Bluetooth-enabled tracking tags for finding keys and other household items aren’t anything new, but a particularly robust tag called PebbleBee hit Kickstarter recently that introduces a few new tricks. The main use case here is so that you get a buzz on your iPhone if your child goes outside of a certain range, or if you forget your keys at a coffee shop. There are two models PebbleBee has introduced: the Honey and the Hornet.
The Honey sports an internal speaker and LED to help you find lost items using your iPhone. It includes a keyring loop and an adhesive-friendly back, depending on where you want to affix it, and is sealed for water resistance. A multi-function button is embedded on the side, which can buzz your phone, initiate a call on the paired phone, and a few other tasks. The Hornet includes all of that, plus temperature alerts and detailed motion tracking thanks to a 9-axis gyroscope and compass, with either live or replay data on your iPhone.
Battery life lasts for 3 years with intermittent usage, and unlike Tile, the battery is replaceable. If they meet a stretch goal of 0,000, the PebbleBee guys will even be able to make a wireless charger. On the social front, you can allow other trusted contacts to track your PebbleBee tags, or if you lose something far away, can mark an item as lost, and give the PebbleBee community at large to find the item for you.
On the developer side, an API will be available, though there aren’t any examples of it in action just yet. It would be great to see these tying in with smartwatches and other wearables, so you wouldn’t have to take out your phone to see that a tagged object is out of range. In the case of motion tracking, however, one could see how a Hornet might functionally replace more fitness-oriented wearables.
Though I find XY has a bit more style, it’s hard to beat PebbleBee’s feature set. I’ve been getting a lot of use out of the Elgato SmartKey, but PebbleBee is showing that there are many other use cases than just finding your stuff. So far the only other product that really matches PebbleBee in terms of features is Linquet.
Each PebbleBee Honey is going for , and the PebbleBee Hornets are a pop. You can get a little bit of both at the 3 backer tier and be rewarded with three Honeys and three Hornets. They’re even tossing in a free colored bumper for hitting the first stretch goal. The PebbleBee has already blown past its ,000 goal, and currently sits at over ,000 raised and under 20 days left to go. More info on backer tiers and stretch goals can be found on Kickstarter. Any takers?
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Banter Chat Inc. has launched what they are calling the first anonymous social network to connect people through interests and location. Available for Android and iOS, Banter employs a bare-what-you-dare approach to user profiles, allowing users to remain completely anonymous, if they so choose.
Banter focuses on creating a fluid, real-time conversation based on specific topics, allowing users to include images, gifs, links, videos, emoji and more to enrich the conversation. Topics are divided into separate chat rooms, reminiscent of the chat rooms of old. To help with both the anonymity and fluid nature of the conversation, Banter says they kill all public messages after 24 hours.
Public chat rooms are already running for topics such as Cuteness, Food, Games, Sports and more. A cool extra feature is Chat Near Me, in which they pull your GPS coordinates and suggest chat rooms based on businesses or events near you – similar to the Nearby stream in Google+. In addition to public chat rooms, there are private rooms – none are running now, but they promise access controlled chat rooms so you can communicate with just your chosen Banter friends.
Banter also makes it easy to keep up with multiple conversations at once. Starting up the app places you in your Stream, which includes all messages from all of the chat rooms that you have opted into. Your Stream is read-only providing one click access into the individual rooms.
Other anonymous messaging systems have become popular lately, apps like Secret or Whisper allow users to anonymously chat with others, but do not offer the same sort of interests based public chat rooms. Most other anonymous chat tools require personal info, such as an email address, to register. Banter does not require personal info, simply create a username and password to get started.
Banter is available now from the Google Play Store. Have you been looking for a new tool to anonymously and frivolously chat in a public forum?
The news comes by way of Android Police, where the site has recently received screenshots of the new changes. As you’ll see in the images below, not only is the Location Access screen’s layout quite a bit different in Android 4.4 KitKat, the screen name has also been shortened to simply “Location’.
So what’s new here? First, the location on/off toggle is moving to the top right corner of the location screen. Next, the location source checkboxes are gone and have been replaced by a new sub-screen called Location Mode.
Within the location mode screen you’ll find three different location modes: High Accuracy (GPS/Wi-Fi/Mobile network), Battery Saving (Wi-Fi/Mobile networks) and device sensors only (GPS). This might not be a massive change, but it certainly is a bit of an easier, straightforward way of doing things as opposed to the old checkbox method.
The final noticeable change in the new ‘Location’ screen is that there is now a spot that shows recent location requests, which could certainly come in handy if you want to get a better idea of what apps are accessing your location data. The recent location requests info may also be useful in figuring out GPS-related battery drain issues.
Although none of these changes seem particularly crazy or unbelievable, it’s important to remember that the new location access changes are currently unofficial. Even if the screenshots are legit, there’s no way to guarantee these changes will make their way into the release build of Android 4.4 KitKat – though it certainly wouldn’t surprise us if they did.
What do you think of the new ‘location’ screen, like the changes or not?
I’m late with this. Not late in that I missed my train and bus, because the Transit App has ensured I haven’t missed a single trip in almost a year. But late in covering that The Transit App updated to version 2.0 earlier this week and I’m just now telling you about it. Sorry for that. Here it is!
When Apple announced iOS 6 Maps it was without the transit routing directions that the previous, Google-powered version of Maps provided. That created an amazing opportunity for apps just like The Transit App. And they’ve been making the most of that opening. They’ve always been among the best looking apps on the App Store, and they’re increasingly one of the most feature-filled.
So what’s new in The Transit App 2.0? Real-time vehicle locations, new transit modes settings, autocomplete for recent locations, new sorting order in nearby mode, improved schedule popover, and more.
It’s also gone free. No more subscriptions. Just you and everything The Transit App has to offer.
If you takes planes, trains, or subways, and you live in one of the 37 cities supported, check out The Transit App now.
Free – Download now