December 6, 2016 – IK Multimedia, a leading manufacturer of hardware, accessories, apps and software for iPhone, iPad and Mac, is pleased to announce the availability of the new iKlip Grip Pro – the professional quality 4-in-1 tripod and handle for capturing professional photos and video on the go with any iPhone or compact action video camera. iKlip Grip Pro lets users securely hold their iPhones while using the stand as a compact tabletop tripod, a video handle, a monopod or as a standard tripod adapter. iKlip Grip Pro features an integrated, all-in-one compact design that provides the highest level of convenience for capturing media on the go.
Ultimate Control and stability for the best shots
Pivoting 360° Positioning
Pricing and availability
For more information, please visit:
Find iKlip Grip Pro at an Apple Store near you:
The EasyAcc DP100 Bluetooth 4.0 Portable Speaker (DP100) is a small (2.6 x 2.6 x 3.8 inches), coffee cup-sized speaker that is one cool sound machine. The DP100 sports a full 4 Watt 45mm driver that can turn any room into a fully immersed music experience. But please don’t damage your hearing or disturb your neighbors with this speaker. Now this speaker won’t vibrate the car next to you at a traffic light, but it does put out some great volume. And its small size means that it’s ultraportable and easy to carry with you on camping trips, day trips, picnics, and on the days when you can have lunch outside at work.
- MicroUSB charging
- 2,200 mAh capacity
- Up to 25 hours of continuous play time
- 10.6 ounces
- Phone answering
- 4 Watts
- 30m/100ft unobstructed connectivity distance.
The DP100 pairs in seconds as you can see on the video, so no matter where you are or who you’re with, someone can connect to the speaker for shared play. You can control volume and all music controls via the soft press buttons on top of the unit. You can also control the speaker from your phone.
At home or in an office, the Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity limitation might be the standard 10m/30ft, but outside where there are no walls or metal frames, you can be separated by 30m/100ft. The cool thing is that you can still hear the speaker at that distance.
EasyAcc makes some great products and the DP100 is no exception. Look for other EasyAcc product reviews here on The Frugal Networker site. Every product from EasyAcc is well made, performs very well, and is priced perfectly.
Why it’s Frugal: The DP100 is frugal because it is a lot of product for a little money. Its solid construction, long battery life, and big sound means that you can keep this little gem for years of enjoyment and that’s frugal.
Check out the video for a good review of what’s in the box, a demonstration of the speedy Bluetooth connectivity, and a good sound sample. I really like the DP100, but did find that I have trouble with the controls. It’s possible that I just haven’t taken the time to learn the controls, but I haven’t really needed to use them either, so it’s a tradeoff. Read the included documentation to find out how to use the device and you’ll be happy. The DP100 is a great little speaker at a great price and it makes a great gift and a nice stocking stuffer.
Recommendation: Buy it. It’s good frugal fun.
January 5th, 2016 – IK Multimedia, the leader in mobile music creation and technology products, is pleased to announce iRig® BlueTurn, the first backlit compact Bluetooth page turning solution for iPhone, iPad, Mac and Android. Portable and streamlined, it’s a small foot controller with two highly visible backlit soft-touch buttons that musicians, performers and more can easily pair with their favorite device for use with a wide range of document viewing apps and software like IK’s iKlip Stage app.
Designed for use on stage and on the road, iRig BlueTurn runs on two AAA batteries and features a rugged, durable enclosure. It’s an ideal companion for musicians who perform from a score, guitar and bass players who practice with tablature, speakers who use notes, presenters who use slides and more.
Portable page turning
With iRig BlueTurn, it’s easy to take control from the floor. Once it’s paired to a device or computer, its buttons send standard HID messages over Bluetooth LE technology. iRig BlueTurn works with IK’s owniKlip® Stage setlist management app and it’s also compatible with many popular page turning and document viewing apps and software.
iRig BlueTurn‘s buttons can be used in three different modes: They can send Page Up/Page Down, Arrow Up/Arrow Down or Arrow Left/Arrow Right commands depending on whether scrolling or page turning is required. These different modes can be set directly from the hardware when powering up.
Light it up
iRig BlueTurn is made for performers. Its backlit buttons are incredibly handy considering that most performance situations take place in venues with a low amount of ambient light. These buttons have an unobtrusive glow that makes them well suited for use during digital slideshows, while performing music or giving a lecture.
iRig BlueTurn is ready to go. It sports a small footprint and an enclosure that’s tough enough to stand up to the rigors of the road. It easily fits into any small bag or backpack, which makes it a great travel companion for the performer on the go. A mobile design, it’s powered by 2 AAA batteries, which last a long time thanks to its ultra-low energy consumption rate.
Pricing and availability
iRig BlueTurn will be available in February 2016 from music and electronics retailers worldwide, and from the IK online store, for only $/€69.99 (excluding taxes).
For more information about iRig BlueTurn, please visit www.irigblueturn.com
To learn more about iKlip Stage, please go to: www.ikmultimedia.com/iklipstage
I’ve seen several iPhoneography camera holders, mounts, and brackets to give the iPhone a more DSLR-type experience. The Grip&Shoot is a little different in that it’s not just a one-trick pony product. It is actually multiple products in one. The current Grip&Shoot (G&S) retail package comes with an iPhone 5 Shooter Case, an iPhone 4S Shooter Case, a Bluetooth Smart Grip, a Grip Adapter, a Carrying Pouch, a Wrist Lanyard, and a late edition includes the JawZ Universal Adapter.
Because there are so many parts to discuss, I’ll cover each one in its own subsection.
The Shooter Cases that come with the G&S package are pretty standard case fare with the exception of the G&S attachment on one side. The cases are actually suitable for regular use. The attachment portion isn’t really obtrusive or inconvenient, so you basically get a free case in the bargain. Two cases currently come with the G&S package, one for the iPhone 4S and one for the iPhone 5.
The Smart Grip is really the meat and potatoes of the G&S package and even if you lost all the other parts, this one has the functionality you purchased. It is the Bluetooth connection, the trigger, and the connector for the Shooter Case or for the JawZ universal adapter.
The Smart Grip also has a (+) and a (-) button for zoom in and zoom out functions. You can take photos or start/stop video through the G&S app. The G&S device does not work with any other app on your phone. You must use the G&S app for functionality.
The bottom portion of the G&S Smart Grip is removable and can act as a remote stand for your phone for selfies, group shots, or just to place somewhere that isn’t convenient to stand. You fire the camera from the Smart Grip and you have a stable surface that kind of acts like a tripod, only a lot more portable. It works as a remote shutter release over 100 feet away from the phone.
- iPhone: 4S and newer
- iPod: 3rd Gen and newer
- iPad: 3rd Gen and newer
- iPad Mini: All supported
Android (Kit-Kat 4.4 and newer)
- Nexus 4
- Nexus 5
- Asus Nexus 7
- HTC One
- Samsung Galaxy S4, S5
- Samsung Galaxy Note 3, 4
- Samsung Galaxy Tab2
- Samsung Galaxy Ace3
- Sony Xperia
OK, I’ll admit that I was going to criticize the G&S for missing one of the most important features of any photo-related device: a tripod interface. Well, wouldn’t you know it…the G&S folks put one on there. It’s part of the so-called Grip Adapter attached to the bottom of the removable stand. You can screw this into a tripod mount on any device that has one and you can also put the G&S device on a tripod after removing the Grip Adapter. So, it really serves two purposes. Three if you count the third one as I wasn’t able to criticize the lack of a tripod mount. You can unscrew the Grip Adapter with a penny and the screw is designed to remain in the adapter and not fall out onto the ground to be lost forever. Indeed, the G&S people thought of everything.
Why it’s Frugal: The G&S package is frugal because it’s so much more than simply a phone grip to steady your phone for pictures. It’s the full package created by someone who knows photography and phoneography. Honestly, it might be the best sub $100 accessory you can buy for your phone. It has everything. If you tried to buy the package components separately, you might end up spending close to $200. It’s a frugal value.
The Carrying Pouch is a magnetic closure protective case that not only stores your G&S, but also your phone. It features quick open/close flaps for you rapid shooters, a belt clip, and two belt or strap loops for attaching to a purse strap, a camera case strap, or your belt. It has a plush, non-abrasive interior covering to protect your phone and your G&S. Have I said that the G&S designers thought of everything?
For those of you who are really rapid shooters, the package includes a wrist lanyard that loops through an opening in the Removable Stand. Put it on and let ‘er swing. Handy, thoughtful, and sturdy.
Finally I get to my favorite G&S accessory: The JawZ Universal Adapter. I already have a case for my phone. I don’t want to remove it to use it with the G&S, so I thought, “Gee, it would be nice if…” And, of course, before I could finish that sentence, I found the adjustable JawZ universal adapter that fits just about any phone, including the case. <Sigh> What’s a techno gadget critic to do when there’s nothing to complain about for a product? Just enjoy the product that was obviously made by someone who knows photography/iPhoneography as well as I do?
As painful as it is to do it, I have to admit that the G&S package is everything you need to be a successful phoneographer. For phone photos and video, I’m not sure it can be beat. And yes, I’m an Apple product bigot here because it was originally touted as a gadget for the iPhone, but apparently the G&S geniuses have extended that functionality to other phones as well. Great job guys. I know it’s not really a criticism, but it’s the best I have for one–that G&S extended its reach to customers other than those who spend a lot of money on Apple stuff.
If you couldn’t tell, I really like the Grip&Shoot Bluetooth Smart Grip package. I think it’s well worth the $99.95 price tag and that anyone who’s into phoneography needs to get one.
Recommendation: Buy it. It’s versatile, rugged, and is an awesome phoneography accessory.
The Phoenix 2 portable Bluetooth speaker by Beacon Audio is a coffee cup-sized speaker that delivers big sound, handy two-way phone conversation capability, and long battery life all at a moderate price point. It would make a great gift or a cool conversation starter at any party. No one will believe the volume and depth of sound that you can squeeze out of this tiny box. The two speakers and single subwoofer might be a clue to that volume, although I’m not officially an audiophile.
The range is somewhere between 30 to 80 feet depending on where your music device and the Phoenix 2 are located. Walls, metal objects, and other electronic devices might interfere at varying levels. But outside in good weather with no obstructions, expect to be able to walk pretty far from the speaker or from your phone with no problems.
- Two speakers and a subwoofer
- 360-degree sound
- Microphone for phone calls
- Long-lasting (8-10 hours) rechargeable battery
- Bluetooth connectivity
- 3.5mm auxiliary jack
- USB charge connector
- Compatible with most devices
As you can see from the video, the Phoenix 2 is small, attractive, and ready to serve. I like it. I can’t find any flaws with it. That said, I do think that the price is a little high. $60 seems a little steep, but I’m kind of cheap, hence the frugal part of this blog. I think that a $30 to $40 range would be much better.
Why it’s Frugal: The Beacon Audio Phoenix 2 portable Bluetooth speaker isn’t particularly frugal. It does deliver an unexpected sound quality, even at the highest volume level, it is a luxury item, especially at the $60 price level.
If you’re looking for a portable Bluetooth speaker that will pair with just about anything you have and doesn’t require an extra app or any hassle, then the Phoenix 2 is a great choice. It comes in a variety of colors and free shipping from Amazon or the manufacturer, so that’s a big bonus.
Recommendation: Buy it. Have fun with it.
I’ve reviewed several Bluetooth speakers on this blog but none as fun or as unique as the Porta Party Bluetooth Speakers by CHIC BUDS. But, I’m a little confused by the company name. On the web site, I’ve seen it as chicBuds and CHIC BUDS, but on the package it’s CHIC BUDS and CH!C BUDS. So, for the purposes of this review, I’m going to use CHIC BUDS because I’ve seen it on the packaging and on the web site that way. It actually doesn’t matter how you spell it, though, because the Porta Party (And, it’s Porta PARTY, not POTTY) is an awesome little speaker with a HUGE sound.
I don’t usually use all caps to describe something but since I’m going with the all caps company name, why not just go all the way. Seriously, this small jar-sized speaker packs a big sound. When I first turned it on, I figured that it would be a small, tinny sound because of the diminutive stature. I was wrong. Really wrong.
There’s no tinny sound from this little pocket-sized bomb. The trebles are loud and clear and the bass is body thumpingly deep. If I were to sum up the sound quality and volume into a single word, it would be, “Impressive.”
If sound alone weren’t enough to sell you on the Porta Party speaker, check out its stats and features:
- Standard USB/DC charging port
- Play 30 ft. away from sound source
- Hands-free call answering
- Bluetooth music playing
- Weighs just 8 ounces
- Uses a 3.5mm audio cable (included)
- Charge lasts up to 10 hours
- USB cable included
- Bluetooth 3.0
- Easy device pairing
- 4.7 x 2.4 x 2.4 inches
In their own words:
“In 2005, the founders of CHIC BUDS recognized a need in the market for technology accessories created specifically for females, and CHIC BUDS was launched.
Today, CHIC BUDS, a division of FxA, continues to be a company of girls designing and developing fashionable, fun and functional tech accessories for all of us girls that heavily rely on technology yet still delight in embracing our own personal style. At CHIC BUDS, we embrace and celebrate individuality and creativity amongst all women and girls which drives us to bring all the hard-working women and girls around the world more fun choices when it comes to their technology accessories. Our product line up not only solves the modern girl’s tech style challenges but also delivers the function we all require.”
So, I know that these speakers are “created specifically for females,” but guys can buy them too and just use them ironically. To me, the Porta Party speakers are kind of like Cosmos, you know, the drink. They’re so good and yet not really something you want your friends to see you drinking. My brother-in-law once asked my wife and me, “Have you guys ever had a Cosmo? They’re yummy!” Yeah, they’re yummy, Scott.
Sound Nerd Info:
- Transmission distance: 10m/30ft
- Bluetooth frequency: 2.4GHz-2.48GHz
- Output: 3W
- Speaker: Ø40MM, 4Ω
- Audio bandwidth: 200Hz-20KHz
- SNR: ≥80dB
- Li-ion: 3.7V/500mA
Using the Porta Party speaker is very simple. Switch it to the ON position on the bottom of the speaker. Turn on Bluetooth on your device. When ChicBuds Porta Party appears in your Bluetooth device list, tap it to connect. You’re connected. Play music, make a phone call, answer a phone call, and have fun with your tiny boom box (large handle and shoulder not required).
OK, I just thought of something funny to do with your Porta Party speaker. Have a friend call you and answer it on the Porta Party by pressing the Phone button near the bottom edge of the speaker. Put the speaker in your purse. While you’re in a store, have your friend start yelling and screaming, “Let me out of here. Help! I’m trapped in this purse. Stop just looking and help me.”
That should start a party and a conversation.
Hopefully that conversation won’t end with, “You have the right to remain silent…”
One thing to note about the Porta Party speaker. To skip to the next or to the previous song, press the + or – button once. To turn up or to turn down the sound volume, press and hold the corresponding button. If you’re using the speaker as a phone, speak into the Mic located near the Phone and Volume buttons.
To charge the speaker, plug in the supplied USB cable’s small end into the speaker and the other end into your computer’s USB port. Mine charges in 2-3 hours.
My wife and daughter both love the Katie style speaker and have both expressed a desire for one. In fact, to write this review, I found the speaker on my wife’s desk and I didn’t put it there. It had been in my office in the “Review Queue” to my knowledge. I was wrong. Fortunately, it still had a charge on it and I’m currently playing it as I write this. It’s playing my “Workout” playlist on my iPhone 5.
In fact, I thought I had the sound down sufficiently but when “The Ballad of Mona Lisa” by Panic! at the Disco came on, my daughter came in and sang with it. She was supposed to be doing homework.
Why it’s Frugal: The CHIC BUDS Porta Party isn’t frugal. It’s not a frugal device. It’s a luxury device. It’s a fashion-forward accessory that’s fun and powerful enough to provide all the sound you need, but frugal it’s not. And as any woman will tell you, if it looks good (and sounds good), it doesn’t have to be frugal.
The Porta Party Bluetooth speaker is on the upper end of the price range for an electronic gadget like this. $50 is a pretty big chunk of change for this accessory. Fortunately, you can grab one for almost $10 off that MSRP by buying it from Amazon. If you’re an Amazon Prime subscriber, which I strongly recommend, you’ll save shipping costs and get it in two days.
Although I’m kind of complaining about the price tag, $50 is about average for portable Bluetooth speakers. There are some that sell for $40-ish and some sell for as much as $150. The CHIC BUDS Porta Party Bluetooth speaker is very well made and attractive. It should provide years of enjoyment and look darn good doing it.
Recommendation: Have him buy you one or splurge on yourself. You deserve it.
Attention avid Phoneographers! I’m not going to make you wait for the punch line on this one. The Muku Labs’ Shuttr, remote shutter release, is exactly what I’ve been looking for–for a very long time. I love it! I love my iPhone 5 too. It takes great photos. But, it has one limitation–the same limitation as all phone cameras, and cameras in general–it’s awkward to take remote pictures with.
Sure, you can prop it up or use a phone tripod and set the timer but are you really getting the picture you want with a timer? It’s a rare occurrence, if you do.
With the Shuttr, you can use the handy included phone stand or use some other method of planting your phone far enough away from yourself that you don’t look distorted like you’re looking through some psycho’s eyes in a horror movie.
Or, my favorite thing to do with the Shuttr–place my phone around and take candid shots on demand. And as many as I want to take. No silly app and no timer. Just press, press, press as much as you want to grab those stills or to start and pause video.
The Shuttr works great with the standard iPhone‘s native camera app in still or video mode. But what about other apps?
Here’s the list I’ve tested with and my results (iPhone 5, iOS 7.3):
(In no particular order)
|Super Pop Cam||No|
|Top Camera Lite||No|
Your mileage, of course, may vary. I think some of my problems were due to iOS 7 and not Shuttr. Although, I did notice that the apps that work use the basic Camera app and simply apply filters or effects after the fact. So, chances are that if your camera app uses the built-in, generic Camera app, then Shuttr will likely work.
Shuttr is small enough to fit on your keychain and lightweight enough to take anywhere. I love the Muku Labs Shuttr. It’s one of the best smart phone and tablet accessories that I’ve seen. It feels durable and well made. You can also replace the battery when it gets weak or dies. This is not a throw away device.
Apparently I’m not alone in my praise of the Shuttr. There’s a lot of love for it out there. Every major blog and gadget site has sung its praises and it has all five star reviews on Amazon. You can add mine to that.
The Shuttr comes in either black or white and includes a soft carrying pouch and stand. If the $40 price tag seems high to you, then try to find something else that does the same thing. I hadn’t found anything like it and I receive daily emails from Photojojo.
You connect it via Bluetooth by turning on the Shuttr, opening your Settings, opening Bluetooth settings, and then discovering the Shuttr. Tap the Shuttr listing to pair it. You’re done and the Shuttr is ready to use.
Why it’s frugal: The Shuttr is an essential device if you’re a real Phoneographer–seriously. You should have one. I haven’t found anything that comes close to it at any price, so for me, it’s the most valuable photographic accessory that I have. Its value as a must-have accessory makes it frugal.
Of all the iPhone accessories I’ve played with and used, the Shuttr is one that I’ll always have with me. I might forget my tripod, a USB disk, an EyeFi card, or even my car keys, but you can be sure that I’ll never forget this little gem.
Recommendation: Definitely buy it.