Easy One Touch phone mount made for single-handed use (hands-on)

One key ergonomic feature of a phone mount for your car is the ability to put the phone in and take it out one-handed, as you will often have keys, a purse, or sunglasses in the other hand. iOttie showed particular attention to this detail with its appropriately, and accurately, named Easy One Touch mount.

The mount's clamp uses springs and a cleverly placed button that made locking the phone in place very easy.

The Easy One Touch is typical of many car mounts in that it offers no cable guides or pass-throughs, or any sort of built-in electronics. … Read more

Knowingly texting a driver could land you in court

"Hey, I'm in the car."

For some these words said on the phone -- or written in a text -- signal that communication isn't a good thing at that moment.

For others, it's just another line in the natural flow of needing to know where people are, but carrying on as normal.

Now, lawyers in New Jersey are trying to explore whether calling or texting someone who you know is driving makes you legally liable in the event of an accident.

As WPIX reports, a New Jersey appeals court opened the law to the possibility … Read more

Star Apps: John Waite

John Waite's new live album, "Live All Access," was not a planned release. But after the "Missing You" singer and former Babys and Bad English frontman discovered that he and his band's performances were so enhanced by the addition of new, hard-edge guitar player, Keri Kelli (Alice Cooper, Skid Row, and Slash), he wanted to capture it. Once Waite heard their explosive onstage synergy in the recordings, however, he knew they had to be shared with the world.

In an era of auto-tune and overdubs, "Live All Access" harkens back to a … Read more

SpeeCup Bluetooth speaker pretends it's a travel mug

When it comes to speaker design, the world of hi-fi audio can get pretty outlandish. Beyond the basic rectangle, you have speakers that look like pyramids, spheres, wavy towers, and flat planes.

But until now, there hasn't been one that looks like a traveler's coffee mug.

iCreation's SpeeCup is more than just a speaker. The 8.5-inch-tall casing also contains Bluetooth hardware, integrated play controls, and a battery with 20 hours of charge. The battery helps the SpeeCup's portability: I could use it in my car, then take it into a hotel or use it in … Read more

Audiovox Car Connection tracks your car and children

Mobile data connections are making a big change in how we handle car maintenance and management, as just about every car company will offer some sort of telematics service even in economy cars. These services will let you check your car's status using a smartphone app from almost anywhere in the world.

If you want to retrofit an older car with telematics capability, Audiovox can make it happen with its Car Connection, a device that plugs into a car's OBD-II port and sends data to a central server.

The Audiovox Car Connection is similar to the Vehicle Diagnostics by Delphi systemRead more

GPGTools offers quick encryption options for OS X Mail

If you regularly send confidential information via e-mail and wish to make it as secure as possible, one option for OS X users is GPGTools, which provides encryption and decryption services for any of your e-mail accounts.

GPGTools is a free and open-source encryption project for OS X, based on OpenPGP, which gives OS X users quick access to options for signing and encrypting e-mail messages, as well as offering file-level services for encrypting documents and folders. The project has been around since 2011, but was recently updated to version 2, and supports a number of new features. The suite … Read more

Apple envisions way to adjust your car via an iPhone

Those of you who rent or drive different cars might appreciate a new patent filing from the folks at Apple.

Published Thursday by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, a patent application called "Automatic configuration of self-configurable environments" describes a way to adjust key controls in different cars via your iPhone.

Some cars can automatically "remember" how you adjust the seat, move the mirrors, and raise or lower the steering wheel. In these cases, a press of a button restores those controls to your desired position. But when you plop into the driver's seat … Read more

AT&T teams up with SiriusXM to bring mobile services to Nissan

If the future car is a smartphone on wheels, Nissans are signing up with AT&T.

AT&T has agreed to provide mobile connectivity to SiriusXM Radio for a suite of in-vehicle support services in Nissan automobiles in North America.

The telematics -- or informational telecommunications systems in road vehicles -- from SiriusXM provide such things as emergency support after an accident, stolen vehicle tracking, and roadside assistance, with additional services on the way.

It's part of a plan for SiriusXM to use the combination of satellite and cellular networks to expand features for customers.

Glenn Lurie, … Read more

Flexsmart FM transmitter takes two steps forward, one back

FM transmission is pretty old tech. Feed the transmitter an audio source and set it to broadcast on an open FM frequency. Then tune into that frequency on a nearby radio and enjoy your wireless music.

It's simple, old radio tech, but the FCC imposes limits on how strong these transmitters can broadcast their wireless signals. That doesn't leave much room for improvement. Perhaps that's why, despite a fresh coat of paint and tweaks in tuning sensitivity, the new GoGroove FlexSmart X3 doesn't feel head-and-shoulders better than the FlexSmart X2 that I reviewed over two years … Read more

Apple envisions touch screen to control your car's key features

Apple is trying to integrate itself even further into your car with a freshly patented dashboard touch screen.

Granted Tuesday by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, a patent dubbed "Programmable tactile touch screen displays and man-machine interfaces for improved vehicle instrumentation and telematics" (patent number 8,482,535) describes a tactile-feel touch screen that would let you adjust several of the key features and functions in your car.

See also: "App store in the driver's seat: Here comes your next car"

The patent discusses such options as controlling the temperature, the wipers, and … Read more