Category Archives: Mobile Technology

As technology moves on, most manufacturers seem to think that everyone will straight away know what it all means, but thats not always the case. To try and clear things up and make the world of mobile phones a little easier for you to understand, we’ve put together these guides to help explain some of this new technology.

Syncing your iPhone contacts to your Car Kit

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Visit unofficialmobileblog.co.uk for the latest posts

Bluetooth Car Kits are getting smarter, and most of them now support synchronising the contacts stored on your phone to the car kit to enable faster dialling, caller display, and enabling voice control – even on phones like the iPhone 3G that doesn’t support voice dialling. As great as this is though, it’s not quite as straight forward as you’d think as there are two different ways that phones and car kits talk to each other. I’ll apologise now if this gets a little confusing, but I’ll try and keep it as simple as I can.

Although Bluetooth is a pretty generic technology, there are a number of different bluetooth profiles and each bluetooth device uses different ones. The two that are needed to synchronise your contacts between your car kit and your phone are either PBAP – Phone Book Access Profile or OPP – Object Push Profile, but in order for it to sync, both the phone and the car kit need to support the same profile.

  • OPP – Object Push Profile – This is an older Bluetooth Profile, so should be supported by most phones and car kits that support contact sync. If the car kit supports the OPP profile then it is capable of receiving information that is sent or ‘pushed’ to it. In order to send your contacts to a car kit that uses OPP you will need to initiate the transfer of your contacts from your phone, either one by one or all at once. The only downside to this is that not all phones support sending your entire phonebook in one go.
  • PBAP – Phone Book Access Profile – This profile is one of the more recent Bluetooth Profiles, so not all phones or car kits support it. The advantage of the PBAP profile is that you don’t need to send your contacts to the car kit, the car kit will retrieve them from your phone automatically every time you connect.

Bluetooth support is limited on the iPhone and although it’s improving, it still doesn’t support all Bluetooth profiles – in particular the OPP profile. There is no way of sending any information from an iPhone over Bluetooth. This means that if you have a Bluetooth Car Kit that only supports OPP, you’ll only be able to use the car kit for calls, although features such as last number redial should still work fine. The iPhone does support the PBAP profile though – in fact it supports it brilliantly, so if you want to be able to sync your contacts make sure that the car kit you buy supports the PBAP profile, it should be listed in the technical spec of the user manual.

I’ve got the Parrot MKi9000 installed in my car and every time the car is started and my iPhone 3G connects, the kit checks my phone for any changes and and updates itself. Like I said before, the iPhone supports PBAP brilliantly, and when paired with a compatible car kit it gives you control over the information that is synchronised with the kit. You can chose which groups of contacts to sync – if any, as well as recent calls and favourites.

iPhone Car Kit Sync Options

iPhone Car Kit Sync Options - iPhone OS 3.1

From personal experience I’ve found that the best car kits for syncing your contacts are those made by Parrot. As well as supporting the iPhone fully, they also feature Text to Speech technology that announces the callers name when you receive a call and some will allow you to use voice dialling – even on the iPhone. It does this by matching the wave print of what you say against the Text to Speech wave prints for the contacts stored in the car kit. Most voice dialling kits require you to train your voice to them or to record your own voice tags for the contacts, and this normally doesn’t work too well. The current Parrot car kits that do all this are listed below. If you want more information on any of the kits, just click on the image or read my post on Parrot Car Kits.

Parrot MKi9200 Fully Fitted Car Kit

Parrot MKi9200 Fully Fitted Bluetooth Car Kit

Parrot MKi9100 Fully Fitted Bluetooth Car Kit

Parrot MKi9100 Fully Fitted Bluetooth Car Kit

Parrot MKi9000 Fully Fitted Bluetooth Car Kit

Parrot MKi9000 Fully Fitted Bluetooth Car Kit

Parrot CK3000 Portable Bluetooth Car Kit

Parrot MK6000 Fully Fitted Bluetooth Car Kit

Parrot Minikit Portable Bluetooth Car Kit

Parrot Minikit Slim Portable Bluetooth Car Kit

Parrot Minikit Chic Portable Bluetooth Car Kit

Parrot Minikit Chic Portable Bluetooth Car Kit

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The Best Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Headsets

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Visit unofficialmobileblog.co.uk for the latest posts


I’ve been working with mobile phones for years now, and I’ve noticed that people really seem to struggle when it comes to choosing a Bluetooth Headset. To someone who isn’t that clued up on mobile technology they all look the same, they all allow you to use your phone safely in the car and can answer & end calls, so why are there so many different ones to choose from and why the big differences in price?

Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Headsets

Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Headsets

Up until recently my answer would have been that the main differences were size, weight and battery life and that’s still true for most headsets, but advances in headset technology have meant that there is now something else to consider when choosing a Bluetooth Headset – Noise Cancellation.

If you’ve ever looked into bluetooth headsets in the past, you might be thinking that noise cancellation is nothing new and that it’s been around for years, and your right, it has. Over the years noise cancellation has seen many different forms, from simple design changes such as foam covers over the microphone to clever software that makes your voice clearer, but newer Bluetooth headsets go one step further and have 2 microphones built into them, one that picks up your voice and another that picks up background noise. Software in the headset then analyses the sound from both microphones and any sounds picked up by both microphones are removed so that your voice comes through clearly.

Not all Bluetooth Headsets currently have this feature, and trying to find the ones that do out of the hundreds that are available will take you quite some time, so to help you along I’ve listed below what I think are some of the best noise cancelling headsets available. All of these headsets have the dual microphone technology, and a couple of them have some extra clever technology make your voice even clearer.

Most of these headsets are available from mobile fun and I’ve provided a link to the relevant page on their site if you want to find out more about any particular headset.

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Use your iPhone as a Modem

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Visit unofficialmobileblog.co.uk for the latest posts


Along with Stereo Bluetooth, one of the other big new features of iPhone OS 3.0 is the ability to use your iPhone as a modem with your Mac, PC or Laptop.

Tethering your iPhone is as easy as using a Mobile Broadband Dongle. You enable Internet Tethering on your iPhone, connect it to your computer using your USB Cable and away you go.

Use your iPhone as a Modem

Use your iPhone as a Modem

If you want to avoid having to rummage around in your bag for your USB Cable you can also connect your phone using Bluetooth – most Mac’s have Bluetooth built in as standard but PC’s don’t so you might need to get yourself a Bluetooth Dongle.  The process is just as simple using bluetooth and takes no time at all to set up. All you need is the latest version of iTunes.

Connecting with the USB cable is just a case of enabling tethering on your iPhone and plugging it in to your computer. After a few seconds you’ll be connected and see the blue tethering bar across the top of your screen.

Using Bluetooth is slightly different and the exact process will vary slightly depending on the Bluetooth Dongle that you are using, but this is how to tether your iPhone 3G to Windows using Bluetooth:

  1. Turn on Bluetooth & Tethering on your iPhone
  2. Search for Bluetooth Devices on your PC
  3. Find your iPhone and enter a Passkey of your choice
  4. Enter the same Passkey on your iPhone
  5. If asked to select services for device, select PAN or Network Access
  6. Device will install and connect to your iPhone
  7. Blue Band will show at top of iPhone home screen when PC is connected to your phone

The whole process is amazingly simple and I have to admit, this was about the easiest phone I’ve ever set up for use as a modem.  There are no drivers to install and no complicated network settings to enter, you just connect using Bluetooth and it works.

Not Got Bluetooth?

If you don’t have a Bluetooth enabled computer then don’t panic, it’s extremely easy to add Bluetooth to any PC. All you need is a USB Bluetooth Dongle.

Nano USB Bluetooth Dongle

Nano USB Bluetooth Dongle

Adding a Bluetooth Dongle to your PC won’t just help with tethering your iPhone, it will allow friends and family to send files and photo’s to your computer quickly and easily and you will be able to use a Bluetooth headset for making calls over Skype and listening to music.

Installing a dongle is quick and easy and you don’t need any knowledge of PC’s, just plug it in to a spare USB port and wait for Windows to set it up – Easy!

If you do have any problems setting it up, I’ve put a guide together on Installing your Bluetooth Dongle that will talk you through it step by step.

Don’t forget though, in order to use tethering, you will need to have the service activated by O2 and there is an extra monthly fee for the service.

How to Boost your Mobile Broadband 3G Signal

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Visit unofficialmobileblog.co.uk for the latest posts


High Gain 3G Antenna

High Gain 3G Antenna

One of the great things about Mobile Broadband is that you can go online anywhere you like – but you can almost guarantee that the place you need it the most is the place where signal is at its weakest.

While 3G coverage is getting stronger with all networks, there will still be blackspots where it drops out, or you can only pick up a 2G signal. Thankfully, a couple of solutions are now available to try and get round these signal issues. If you don’t have a dongle yet and are looking for the network with the strongest 3G signal, then the OFCOM website has just published updated coverage maps (as of 31/12/08) that allow you to view the 3G coverage by network.

There are now two different types of antenna available:

  • Clip Antenna: This Antenna is designed to be a portable solution that clips onto the screen on your laptop or sits on your desk. It is omni-directional, which means that it will pick up signals from all directions.
  • High Gain 3G Directional Antenna: This is a much more powerful signal booster than the clip antenna and is ideal for people who have real problems with 3G reception. They are directional, which means that you will need to point this towards your network’s transmitter in order for it to improve the signal. The High Gain antenna when positioned correctly will make a significant difference to the signal you receive and can be wall mounted as a permanent fixture.

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Which 3G Antenna do I need?

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Visit unofficialmobileblog.co.uk for the latest posts

The table below shows the current 3G Broadband Dongles and the Antennas that are available. If you aren’t sure which dongle you have, my post on how to boost your 3G signal will show you where to find this information.

There are two different types of antenna available. The standard Clip Antenna is designed to be a portable solution that clips onto the screen on your laptop or sits on your desk. It is omni-directional, which means that it will pick up signals from all directions. The High Gain 3G Directional Antenna is a more powerful signal booster. It is directional, which means that you will need to point this towards your networks transmitter in order for it to improve the signal. The High Gain antenna when positioned correctly will make a significant difference to the signal you receive, and can be wall mounted as a permanent fixture.

To find your dongle quickly, press “ctrl” and “f” on your keyboard, and then type in the model number of your dongle excluding the manufacturer or network eg: E160G to search this page. If your dongle is not listed here, don’t worry, this is only a snapshot of the most popular dongles.

If you still can’t find your dongle, please add a comment with the network, dongle make and model number and I’ll find out which antenna you need and add it to the list alternatively the Universal antenna will work with all USB modems.
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