Archive for October 7, 2019

iRobot Rolls Out OTA Software Updates That Bring New Features To Robots

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 7, 2019 by itnerd

This week iRobot began rolling out a few exciting over-the-air (OTA) software updates/features for customers who own Roomba i, s and 900 Series robots, as well as the Braava jet m6 robot mop.

iRobot CEO Colin Angle speaks to the significance of these updates in his latest LinkedIn commentary.

Some highlights of the software update are include:

  • Keep Out Zones – As part of the latest over-the-air software update, owners of a Roomba i or s series robot vacuum or the Braava jet m6 robot mop, will now have Keep Out Zones. Keep Out Zones is a feature that – as the name suggests – allows users to designate areas in their home that they don’t want the robot to go, such as around pet bowls or other trouble spots. Keep Out Zones are added to a user’s Imprint™ Smart Map via the iRobot HOME App.
  • Smart Charge & Resume – When a Roomba i and s Series robot vacuum or a Braava jet m6 robot mop has a low battery, the robot will intelligently recharge for the amount of time needed to continue cleaning and get the job done. This feature will help reduce the total duration of time a robot takes to complete a cleaning job.

The software updates will automatically be applied to Wi-Fi connected robots. To help ensure the robot is updated, customers should make sure their robot is connected to their Wi-Fi network and left charging overnight on the home base. In some cases, it may take up to 24 hours to receive a software update. Actual installation of software once downloaded/received should take approximately 10 minutes. To check the robot’s software, open the iRobot HOME App, select your robot, open the settings tab and click on About “robot name.

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What To Look For In A Case That Will Protect Your Smartphone As Much As Possible

Posted in Tips on October 7, 2019 by itnerd

Many people who read this blog ask me for advice in terms of a case to protect their smartphone. Most of the time they’re looking for a specific brand or a specific case that I would recommend. The thing is that there’s no one size fits all solution for a case as we all have different needs when it comes to cases. Thus what I’m going to do today is to walk you through what I look for when I review a case. That way you can take that info and find the case that’s right for you.

  1. Drop protection is a must: I don’t care how careful you are with your smartphone. At some point you will drop it and if it lands the wrong way, it will get expensive. Thus the first thing that I look for in a case is an explicit statement of drop protection. Ideally you want to see that it was tested by a third party and meets a certain standard such as MIL-STD-810. That way you know that whatever claims that the company behind the case is making is based in fact.
  2. Look for an edge that is raised above the screen: The next thing that I look for is that the edge of the case is raised above the screen. That way it provides a bit more protection for a screen from events where the phone is placed or falls screen first onto a surface as the screen never touches the surface in question. My ideal scenario is that this is true with a screen protector. That way your phone has more substantive protection inside a case.
  3. The case must provide as much protection around the edge of the phone as possible: While it isn’t possible to 100% cover the edge of whatever smartphone you use, you want to find a case that covers as much as possible. For example, some cases will expose the bottom of the phone. That in my mind is a #fail as that’s where scratches and dents will occur. And that affects resale value. Thus you want to find a case that avoids that.
  4. Wireless charging compatibility is a must: It’s 2019 and wireless charging is a thing. But a lot of case manufacturers don’t see it that way and make cases that don’t work with wireless chargers. Thus you should look for an explicit reference that the case that you are considering is wireless charger compatible whether you actually use a wireless charger or not. Because if you don’t presently, you will in the future.
  5. Contactless payment compatibility is a must: People pay for all sorts of things with their phones simply by tapping their phone onto a payment terminal. Thus much like with wireless charging, you should look for an explicit reference to being compatible with contactless payments (aka Google Pay, Samsung Pay, or Apple Pay). That way you don’t have to remove your phone from your case to pay for coffee.

If the case that you’re considering checks those boxes, then you can look at things like style, color, etc. Because at that point, you’re going to end up with a case that is going to functionally suit your needs.

So, did I miss anything that is important when considering a case for your smartphone? If I did, leave a comment and share your thoughts on this.