Free iPhone app lets you stream your favorite music from YouTube, SoundCloud, and more, right to your Boombotix speaker

Program offers easy access to tracks and playlists not typically available on music streaming services

The new Whyd app for iOS is getting a lot of play late, and for good reason. It’s a smartly design program that allows users to easily stream their favorite songs from YouTube, Soundcloud, and other musical playgrounds, right to their headphones or Bluetooth portable speakers, while on the go.

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Smart bike brings turn-by-turn directions to the rider’s handlebars

Connected cycle helps riders keep their eyes on the road

If you’ve ever biked a longer distance, then you know the headache that comes with trying to figure out directions beforehand.

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Either you’ve got to memorize the name of every road and turn, or you’re constantly pulling off on the side of the road to check the map on your phone.

A new “smart” bike on Kickstarter seeks to put an end to this frustration. Referred to as the Vanhawks Valour, this connected cycle has 11 days to go on the web funding site and has already achieved its funding goal five times over.

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The reason why everyone’s throwing money at it is because it’s a pretty damn cool product. Basically, the bike connects to one’s smartphone via mobile app (iOS and Android) / Bluetooth technology, and sends GPS directions directly to the rider’s handlebars, using LEDs to indicate which road to go down. The reason behind this technology? To keep the rider’s eyes on the road, especially during high-traffic commute times.

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The bike can be pre-ordered via Kickstarter for $1,049. That’s the single fixed-gear though – if you want the multi-speed unit, you’ll need to pony up $1,199. Both models are expected to be ready for shipping out in November (just in time for the holiday season).

Also worth noting is that as the bike app becomes familiar with roads and areas traversed, it becomes smarter; that is, it learns where to avoid potholes and suggest safer routes. The bike also includes haptic feedback in the handle bar grips, so when an object is entering a blind spot, the rider is alerted.

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Lastly, the Valour app can also act like a fitness wristband tracker, keeping score of your riding progress by monitoring and logging your activity, including things like distance traveled, time spent riding, and calories burned. The data is sent to a corresponding app where riders can analyze later on and set goals accordingly.

Awesome safety app for cyclists

Real-time tracking app lets family and friends track rider en route

There are a million apps out there for today’s cyclist to peruse, but one in particular just came out, and is definitely worth sharing. “RoadID” is what it’s called, and while you might’ve heard that name before, its latest iteration is worth sharing because it can be used as a means of letting friends and family track a cyclist’s progress in real time.

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What’s more, if the cyclist stops moving for more than five minutes, a notification is sent to that friend / family member, alerting them that the rider might be in trouble.

Also worth noting, the app has a lock screen that displays all vital information about the cyclist for first responders to review when they arrive at the scene (hopefully it never has to be used). Information displayed includes the user’s name, city and state, three emergency contacts, and important medical information (e.g. allergies, medical history, blood type, etc.)

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Obviously, the app can be used for other activities like running, walking, or hiking — basically anything you can take your Bluetooth portable speaker with you. The way the user’s friends and family members can view the status of the cyclist / road warrior is via link, which can be sent by email or text prior to hitting the road.

Beyond emergency situations, the app also makes it easy for riders to track each other down for a meet-up on long rides. So it’s not all doom-and-gloom—it can also be used for on-the-fly get-togethers.

RoadID is free, and can be downloaded via the Apple store.

Samsung’s new music streaming service is totally free, comes completely chock full of songs

Technology manufacturer enters online music streaming competition

Hey iTunes, Pandora, Spotify, and Songza — watch out, here comes Milk Music.

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The oddly named new music streaming service comes from technology giant Samsung. At present it’s only available on Galaxy phones in the US, but for those rocking the company’s flagship device, users have free access to over 200 radio stations and some 13 million songs that they can stream right into their ears or over their Bluetooth portable speakers.

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As mentioned in the first line of the story, the play area for music streaming services is already crazy crowded with some really big names. What’s more, these services can be streamed on any smartphone device on the market.

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Despite this competitive advantage, the South Korean-based company is confident their particular product will attract users.

“We feel that while the music space is very competitive there is room for improvement,” said Daren Tsui, vice president of music at Samsung Media Solutions.

Worth noting is the fact that this is not Samsung’s first venture in to music streaming—the company launched a service called Music Hub back in 2012.

Also worth noting – it was recently shut down.

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New app will prevent distracted users from getting hit by a car, eaten by a dinosaur, etc.

Safety app will use audio intelligence software to protect users

Look — we want you to enjoy our Bluetooth portable speakers, but we don’t want you to get so distracted by all of their audio awesomeness, or so involved in the music thumping in your headphones, that you wind up getting hurt.

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That’s why we’re big proponents of the new app that the folks over at One Llama are working on. It’s called “Audio Aware” and in layman’s terms, the program uses audio intelligence software to listen to the world around its user for specific sounds that they might want to be aware of.

Some examples include screeching tires, car horns, screaming voices, roaring dinosaurs, and so on. When a sound matches, the app lets the user know:

When a sufficient match, such as a car horn, is detected, it will cancel any audio you’re hearing and pipe in an amplified version of the sound it’s picking up, or perhaps a cartoon-like version of that sound that is easier to recognize.

Unfortunately, the app only works with headphones and portable speakers that have One Llama technology baked into it. That being the case, people with poor hearing or hearing loss stand to benefit from downloading it in the immediate future. But the company is actively working with developers to expand the app’s capabilities to better “listen” to the world around us using standard audio equipment, so that we can all continue safely listening to our music on our favorite devices.