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Saturday, March 13, 2010
Review: Headset
Review: Headset

SHAPE Services has released another great idea. They must have been thinking, Apple is selling around 9 million iPhones per quarter now, that makes a lot of headsets. All these people use already some kind of communication tool on their Personal Computers at home, like Skype, so why not link the 2 together?

With Headset you are not wired to your PC anymore and you can enjoy the freedom of walking around the house when talking.

The app works with the following programs: MSN/Windows Live, Yahoo, Google Talk, AOL IM, ICQ, YouTube, Skype, MagicJack or any other VOIP program. The iPhone application works together with a Windows application called Mobiola, which can be downloaded for free.

iPhone apps



Softs

Still interested? Then let’s start the download and installation and I will walk you through the application.

Download first Headset here. Now download Mobiola here.

The first thing I noticed when installing Mobiola is that it also installs Apple’s Bonjour service, which makes it possible to discover other devices in the local network without configuration. Once the installer is finshed and you fire up the program, the Windows firewall asks you to allow access for this program, just click yes.

Get connected

What now? You stare at a program that has the shape of an iPhone app with the message “Disconnected”. Ah lets open Headset on the iPhone of course! The app tells me “No Wifi network found”. Of course I deactivated wifi to preserve battery life. Let’s enable Wifi and start again. Now the app says “Connecting…” and I am waiting… Let’s press the yellow configuration wheel icon behind the “connecting message”, okay here I can see my Computer Name, once selected Mobiola asks me to allow this connection, where I select “Always”.

iPhone apps | HeadsetiPhone apps | Headset

Okay so far so good, now I can see the gray bars around the headset light up when I speak. Now I start Skype to make my first phonecall with Headset. Upon launching Skype I hear the startup sound coming through the speakers of the Laptop and NOT the iPhone headset.

Read documentation

Time to read some help documentation. Let’s press the i symbol on the iPhone app, the screen turns around and shows FAQ amongst others. When selecting FAQ it starts mobile safari with an empty screen. Not good. Let’s look online for help… After a minute I found this usefull help page. It turn out that Mobiola installs it’s own sound driver (I remember now seeing this messaging while installing). The only thing I need to do now is set these drivers as the default for both Speakers AND Microphone. See screenshots.

iPhone apps | HeadsetiPhone apps | Headset

Mobiola sound driver

Now the systems sounds come through my iPhone headset, cool! I press again the test call in Skype and notice that the sound still comes out of the PC speakers even I just changed the default driver to Mobiola??? Let’s read again for more help. Okay I need to select the audio driver also in Skype of course… Let’s change that in Tools > Options > General > Audio Settings. Voila this is better, now it works perfectly. Great, I can finally start using Skype again, I lost interest just because my voice quality was not good on the laptop without using a real headset.

iPhone apps | Headset

Okay this works good, but what about downloading Skype for the iPhone, gives me the same functionality, not? Not, with Mobiola/Headset you can also record your conversations, not needed every day I agree, but can be functional for a lot of occasions.

Quick start

To sum things up to get you started quickly;

1. Download the 2 apps
2. Install Mobiola and launch it
3. Press the yellow configure wheel on the iPhone (have Wifi enabled on the iPhone) and select your PC
4. Start your favorite VOIP tool and change the audio driver in the tool to Mobiola
5. Rock and Roll

The plot

What else can I say about Headset? It is also great to use it as external speakers, let’s say you are playing music on your PC and want to stream it to you iPhone this way. Headset also works on the iPod Touch 2nd generation but you need to buy a headset with microphone of course.

A great new tool from SHAPE services that works!

Summary:
Features - 4.0
Appearance - 5.0
Usability - 4.0
Value - 5.0

Overall: 4.5 stars our of 5

The application was made available to iPhoneTunes for review purposes.


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