Rocketfish RF-MAB2 Bluetooth Headphones

I had a gift card burning a hole in my pocket and decided to use it on a pair of Rocketfish RF-MAB2 Bluetooth Headphones. (Rocketfish is Best Buy’s house brand.) I was pretty much expecting to return them, but after using them for the past several weeks, I find that I really like them. The freedom of wireless headphones is great.

They support stereo A2DP Bluetooth so they work quite nicely with my iPhone 4. I can change tracks, adjust volume, play/pause music, etc. The sound is pretty good and I like the open-air design. You can pause music and still carry on a conversation without removing them. Volume is adequate.

They are relatively comfortable. Since I sometimes wear glasses, I find it more comfortable to wear them upside-down–where the loop in the band goes under my ears instead of over. You’d think they would slip off, but they don’t. If I’m leaning with my head back, I loop them under my chin. This is awkward at best, but it works.

They have a built-in mic so you can use it to make calls too. Performance is so so, and I find that they only work acceptably in a relatively quiet environment.

I don’t know how much abuse they could take but construction is pretty good. I doubt the band could tolerate being severely bent. I’m not overly proctective, but I do try not to squash them.

I haven’t tested it’s supposed 14 hours of battery life, but I think it might be able to achieve this. I go all day without needing to recharge. It has a standard micro-USB connector for charging.

I highly recommend them. I got them for $49 at Best Buy.

Cheap iPhone 4 desktop dock for charging and syncing

Sure you can charge and sync your iPhone 4 with the plain ol cable, but I’ve always liked the formalness of a dock. I tracked this one down and although it isn’t designed specifically for the iPhone 4, it works pretty well, *even with the case on*. I got it on iOffer and it’s called the “Apple iPhone dock charger Sync Cradle for 4 4G 3G 3GS“. It’s listed for $6.50, but that excludes shipping. You don’t get the shipping cost until the seller contacts you subsequently. Shipping ended up being $8.00, but $14.50 still seemed pretty cheap overall.

The picture in the listing didn’t show the clear plastic backing and bright blue LED light. There is also a small cap that comes on the end of the USB cable. I superglued it to the top of the clear backing to support the back of the thinner iPhone 4. Amazingly, it’s basically the exact thickness that is needed!

The dock acts just like the iPhone cable, so I can charge and sync my iPhone 4 when it’s in the dock. I’m quite happy with the purchase!

Think the iPhone 4 has issues? Try using the Nokia N97.

I find it very entertaining the back and forth going on between Apple and Nokia over the whole antenna problem. Honestly, people are making too much of it. The only people that should complain is anyone that wouldn’t use a case. Of course, you’d have to be pretty stupid to not use a case on a phone with a front and back made of **G L A S S**, but I digress.

I owned the “flagship” Nokia N97 for 8 torturous months. What a piece of sh*t it is. Forget dropped calls, there were times when I couldn’t even answer a call! Navigating through the ancient UI was a test of anyone’s¬†patience. Push a button and you have to wait to see if it really recognized the touch. Despite having 32GB of memory, it has this tiny partition where required system and programs files needed to stored, so you’d run out of memory anyways! And the 5MP camera with Carl Zeiss lens??? Oh, using the flash caused the light to bleed into the picture–like some iPhone 4 cases–but there was nothing you could do. Well, you could mitigate it a little by marking the area surrounding the lens and flash with a Sharpie! (How would that go over, if that was Apple’s fix?!) You couldn’t even read the letters on the keyboard if the backlight was on. I could go on and on about the N97, but I’ll spare you. If anything needed to be recalled it was the N97…geez!

Before the N97, I had the N95 which was revolutionary in its day. Anyways, I find the iPhone 4 to be by far the best phone I’ve ever used. The damn thing just works.

If loving the iPhone (and iPad) makes me an Apple fanboy, then so be it. Note that I still use Windows for serious work and will never move to a Mac. I just think that Apple got the small form factor OS right.

If you don’t like the iPhone 4, take it back and get a refund. Actually, I think Apple should give all complainers an N97 and their money back!

Quickly terminating an iOS4 multitasking iPhone app

I’ve always hated the way it takes several taps to close a web page on the iPhone browser. Apple takes a similar approach with handling multitasking apps in iOS4, but introduces a much bigger problem. The problem is to truly close (i.e., terminate) a background application, you have to switch to the Home screen, double-click to open up the task menu, long-press an icon and then select the app to terminate. That’s a lot of steps and a pain if you always want to truly close a particular app.

So far apps running in the background don’t seem to impact battery life too bad, but the big exception for me is the Tom Tom GPS app. This baby sucks juice like crazy. Anyways, with a little searching I came across this gem of a posting 30+ Super Secret iPhone Features and Shortcuts. Most of this stuff I already knew, but the sixth one down entitled “Hold Home for Five Seconds to Quit the Current App” was just what I was looking for.

Just hold the Sleep/Wake (aka Power) button until the power off screen appears. Then hold the Home button (the big button on the lower-front of the iPhone) until the app closes. Works perfectly!

You will notice that the icon will still appear in the tasks list, but as far as I can tell, it isn’t running and if you select it, the app boots like it is the first time and doesn’t return you to the state it was in last.

iPhone 4 Verdict? Awesome.

Got my iPhone 4 via FedEx. The 1-1/2 hours pre-ordering online was worth it. So far the darn thing is awesome. I love it. Here are some notes on my experience:

  • Display is so sharp. Kindle app text looks like paper. I can *easily* read even using the smallest font!
  • The ability to work with my work Exchange email/contacts and personal email/contacts separately or combined is wonderful.
    • NOTE: To sync a Google Apps account, the domain must have ¬†“Enable Google Sync” enabled in the domain’s Google Apps Mobile settings section.
    • There’s a weird issue when using Google Apps email. Due to some issue with the way Google sets things up, the iPhone’s autolock timesout immediately causing you to have to enter your passcode alot. According to this forum posting, Google is going to fix it soon.
  • Very heavy, so fear of dropping is high.
  • Confirmed the antenna problem when you hold in your left hand. The Body Glove shell case I bought seems to fix. No big deal.
  • Multitasking! Can finally run Pandora in background while doing other things!
  • I wish there was some way to immediately close an app rather than having to go to the Multitasking ribbon, select and then close an app. I’ve heard though that iOS4 hibernates some apps, so even though they are there, they aren’t really running. You can’t really tell by looking at it. Also, supposedly it will eventually close apps and won’t keep adding to the ribbon forever. BTW, apps are ordered based on last used.
  • Very little shutter lag with camera. Seems to take nice pictures, but I haven’t really tested it much.
  • Was able to add my long-time ST:TNG ringtone by following the instructions here. Not as easy as on the Nokia, which lets you just point at any sound file, but, hey, it works. A little disappointed you can’t change the text message alert tone in a similar manner. How dumb.
  • Call quality on my side is way better than any Nokia I’ve had including my N97
  • The iPhone email client is lame. It’s weird how you have to mark folders in the settings or you can’t see their contents.