Parrot Asteroid Mini

Parrot Asteroid Mini Review


After what seemed like months of hunting around and reading reviews on various makes and models of car kits, including a visit to the Gadget Show in Birmingham.. I finally settled on the Parrot Asteroid Mini.

This is one powerful piece of kit, I have always been a fan of the Parrots, working my way up through the models. However this has been my first with a colour screen, with support for Android market store apps.

One of the biggest selling points of the Asteroid mini for me was the ability to install and use Waze a free community-based GPS navigation system.

The Mini sports a 3.7 inch full colour display, and a wireless remote (with the option of hard wiring it if required) – although the screen on the mini is not touch screen the controls on the remote make navigating and text entry fairly straight forward.. Granted, a touch screen would be quicker – and perhaps a little less frustrating at times. However the amount of time I spend typing on the device, the jog wheel is sufficient.

The mini can access the net using a  compatible Smartphone or a 3G/4G USB dongle, supported operating systems include Android, iOS, RIM, Symbian, Bada.

The ability to be able to search for music via voice is pretty neat, however I find this can be slightly hit and miss if traveling on noisy road surfaces.. The device is capable of accessing music from a whole range of devices including iPod/iPhone, USB, SD card, Bluetooth, line-in. Whats more the Android app store also has a whole raft of music apps to download, such as Shazam and Deezer

The good:

  • 3.5″ Full Colour display
  • Wireless remote control
  • Back lit remote control (if hardwired)
  • The Android App store

The bad:

My only main complaint about the Asteroid is that the speed it takes to cold boot can sometimes feel like an eternity.. We are talking 2-3 minutes from power on to a usable state.. This is something which maybe resolved in future android releases.

Also the lack of touch screen, or qwerty keyboard may bother some people.



ValveHave you got a monster gaming rig, but sometimes wish you could kick back and play your games from the comfort of the sofa? If so, Valve have some good news for you in the form of a new Steam streaming feature.

The PC gaming giant brought their In-Home Streaming service out of beta today and made it available for all Steam users. The new feature allows gamers to run demanding titles on their main gaming PC, but stream it to other potentially less powerful systems.

As well as opening up the possibility of running the latest AAA titles on an aging laptop while sat on the sofa, this latest move from Valve aligns perfectly with their ambitions to take control of the living room. Valve are keen to expand their Steam platform away from the desk and onto the TV, and the new service will support this ambition alongside their “Big Picture” interface and upcoming Steam Boxes.

At the moment the streaming service does have some limitations. Currently only Windows (Vista and later) machines can function as the host PC, but you are able to use any OS X, Linux or MS system running steam as the receiver. Valve are also recommending that systems are connected via ethernet, but there have been some success stories of people using wireless N networks.

It’s clearly early days for the technology, but the potential for utilising old kit in new ways is exciting. If you’d like to read more about the new feature, check out Valves announcement here.

WWDC 2014WWDC 2014

With the world wide developers conference 2014 (WWDC) just around the corner, below are the details of some of the things we can expect to see during perhaps the busiest week in Apple’s corporate calendar:

OS X 10.10

This is almost a dead cert for unveiling during the keynote. It will initially be available as a beta for developers, with the gold image landing sometime around August. Some of the features of 10.10 are rumoured to be:

  • Flat design – following suit of iOS 7.0 a much ‘flatter’ in appearance UI is
  • expected to be unveiled.. Rumour has it that 10.10 will be a complete redesign of the OS X UI, including toggle designs as seen in iOS, sharper and more defined corners and more defined icons..
  • Personal health features – Apple are rapidly making moves into the wearables tech market, primarily focusing around personal health. OS X 10.10 is expected to feature the Apple Healthbook app.
  • Free to upgrade – It would be extremely surprising if Apple wen’t back to charging for OS X upgrades.. It’s highly lightly that 10.10 will be free to all Mavericks users.

If you are wondering if your Mac will support the latest OS X, you’ll have to hand on a little bit longer until the required specification is released. However, OS X Mavericks is said to work on any iMac or MacBook Pro from mid to late 2007 onwards. I’d personally be very surprised if Apple released OS X to devices from 2007, although it would be a shame to say goodbye to your old kit..


iOS 8.0

It’s also being rumoured that iOS 8 will be announced at the WWDC, with an expected release date somewhere around September the 17th.

Some of the rumoured features of iOS 8 are thought to be:

  • Healthbook app – following suit from the OS X release, Apple will more then likely bundle their latest stock app with the latest iOS release.
  • Preview app – Apple are apparently working on porting the OS X preview app to iOS devices.
  • iTunes Radio app – Work is apparently underway to create a separate app, specifically for the “new” iTunes Radio service
  • Integration with Shazam – Shazam has been on the bleeding edge of music identification for many years. Apple are apparently working with the Shazam team to tightly integrate Shazam with the latest iOS release
  • Inter-app communication – Although not much is known about this yet, they are working on introducing new ways for applications to communicate with each other.
  • Miscellaneous improvements – As with all iOS updates, updates and bug fixes will no doubt be brought to the stock apps such as messages and mail etc. It’s also rumoured that the notification centre is set to be stripped of its “Missed” tab.. Making way for an improved way of delivering missed notifcations.


Click here to see the WWDC 2014 schedule of events.
It’s fare to say the week commencing 2nd of June will be an interesting and exciting one for any Apple fans! I’ll be following the keynotes closely and will update as and when new rumours surface..

iOS 7.1

Apple have been working towards releasing iOS 8.0 at this years WWDC (Scheduled for 2nd June) however, they are far from abandoning iOS 7.1 and reports are flooding in that 7.1.2 is showing up in weblogs of popular Apple tech related sites.

It would appear 7.1.2 has been seeded to it’s employees for testing, traffic from the devices is still few and far between but it does suggest they will be releasing an update prior to WWDC. The last update (7.1.1) released on 22nd of April was packed to the rafters with bug fixes and some improvements to the way the Touch ID system worked.

There has been no news, as of yet, to what the update will contain. However it’s been strongly suggested that it will fix the encryption and iMessage issues.

Users who have previously jailbroken may want to hold off from upgrading until a new jailbreak is developed. However, this is perhaps unlikely to get much attention with iOS 8 just around the corner.

Will you be updating to 7.1.2? Or will you hold out for 8.0?

eBay LogoInformation has recently leaked to the worlds press stating that eBay was recently the centre of one of the worlds largest ever security breaches, Between late February and early March hackers managed to break into systems using a small collection of employee’s usernames and passwords. Once unlawful entry onto the corporate network had been established the hackers made off with a massive haul of what is though to be 233 million peoples names, phone numbers, email and postal addresses, dates of birth and salted and hashed passwords. More than 15 million of those users affected are believed to reside in the UK.

Although all user passwords are kept in an encrypted form, eBay are still prompting people to change their passwords as soon as is possible.

eBay have confirmed they have since shut down the unauthorised access, and have already started to put measures in place to prevent future data breaches. They have also confirmed that the database ‘lost’ in the hack attack did not contain any financial information, nor was there any evidence of a compromise of Paypal data or systems.

This data loss beats the previous record of 160 million credit card numbers stolen by 5  Russian hackers from a collection US companies from 2008 to 2013.

To date, no one has been found guilty of the eBay hack, eBay have confirmed they have been working with the FBI to track down the perpetrators.

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