Bluetooth

How can I extend the range of bluetooth?

Bluetooth

Episode 1619

Jeff from Manhattan, NY

Jeff has seen old time radios that have had a bluetooth receiver put in them so you can use them as a cool, retro bluetooth speaker. Leo says those a really cool idea. Is there such thing as a bluetooth extender? Leo says there is, but bluetooth is designed to be short-range. WiFi is a lot better and has five times the range. There are plenty extenders though that boost the range. Miccus makes a bluetooth extender with 160-foot range for $40.

Check out these old time radio bluetooth receivers at Wavelengthantiques.com

Why is My Car Playing U2 When I Get Inside?

Songs of Innocence

Episode 1614

Jon from LA, CA

Jon complains that U2 will start playing when he puts down his phone and gets into the car. It's very annoying. Leo suspects that it's the free U2 album that Apple gave to everyone a few years ago. It's called Songs of Innocence and it's probably in iCloud. Apple created a special tool to delete it, he can get it here. But the larger issue is that when he gets rid of it, his Bluetooth audio in his car will just play something else.

Is There a Bluetooth Printer?

Bluetooth

Episode 1604

Matt from San Diego, CA

Matt wants to know if there's a Bluetooth wireless printer and what's the best one? Leo says that most of the ones that promise Bluetooth connectivity use the Cloud to print. So that's not going to work. It's possible that a sole Bluetooth connection may not be possible due to the bandwidth of transmitting data.  Brother makes a laser printer. The HP4650 is a portable Bluetooth printer. 

The Giz Wiz and the Smart Base

The Giz Wiz

Episode 1590

The life of tech gadgets can be short. A perfect example of that is this JBL Smartbase. This well-built gadget from a famous company is selling for up to 90% off the MSRP. The JBL Smartbase Wireless won an Innovation Award at CES 2016 and came into the marketplace with a price of $199.95. It's described on Amazon as a: Perfect Bluetooth Dashboard Solution for Old Cars and Smartphone Navigation. It allows you to enjoy JBL quality sound wirelessly via Bluetooth.

How can I use a YubiKey authenticator without NFC?

Titan Security Key

Episode 1564

Cheryl from Palmdale, CA

Cheryl has a Motorola Moto G6, and she wants to use a YubiKey for password security. But her phone doesn't have NFC. What can she do? Leo says that she can get a Bluetooth authenticator key like YubiKey that works with Google's Authenticator app. The Google Titan Security Key is the one to get. It's $50. There's a USB and Bluetooth key for one price. So it'll work with her laptop too.

Why do apps open up when I start up Bluetooth?

Smartphone and computer

Episode 1557

Tom from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

When Tom turns Bluetooth on after having been turned off for awhile, tons of apps start opening up on his phone. What's happening? Leo says that backgrounded apps automatically terminate after a short period. Leo recommends letting the phone manage his apps for him. He doesn't need a third party app to kill them — he should just let the phone do it.

What tablet should I buy?

Apple iPad

Episode 1543

Fiona from Woodland Hills, CA

Fiona is thinking of getting a tablet because she can add it for $20 a month to her cell phone service. Which should she get? Leo recommends the iPad. They start at $329, with Black Friday deals this week of under $200. She's retired and on a budget, though. Leo says she can go with Android, but any tablet under $200 is going to be pretty cheap. She should try and get an iPad on a Black Friday deal. They should be good through Monday. And she should pick up a Bluetooth keyboard, too. Anker makes one for around $25.00.

Why does my iPhone disconnect when listening in the car?

iPhone X

Episode 1538

Barry from Torrance, CA

Barry's Bluetooth connection in his Infinity keeps dropping his iPhones when he's listening to Amazon music. Leo says that Bluetooth is really finicky, but it's all we've got. It shouldn't happen, but chances are, the problem is on Infinity's end and not Apple's. It could also be an issue with Amazon Music. He should try using iTunes and see if the problem is repeated. He should also check his app settings that could change the behavior. Maybe the app thinks he's getting a call and it's "ducking" the audio.