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A while back, Google added to Android the drivers that Gemma needed. Ever since, SKAA has been infiltrating the world of little green robots. Gemma works with all Android phones and tablets which have a micro USB port and which run Android 5 or newer.
Gemma’s connector is an ordinary micro USB plug. We estimate that more than 99% of Android smartphones and tablets out there have a female one of these. We like it because the USB connection moves the audio from your smartphone into Gemma completely unaltered — a pristine, unmucked-with digital audio stream.
Gemma’s shape is not only beautiful — it has a big long snout. This is because Android phone and tablet cases come in many shapes and sizes. Gemma’s snout is shaped just like a micro USB cable end, so it’s a good bet it will penetrate your favourite protective skin / case with ease, enabling you to transmit glorious SKAA audio even when your phone’s clothes are on.
Gemma cares neither if there’s Wi-Fi around, nor if your circumstances have blessed you with the password. You could be on your makeshift raft about 800 nautical miles east of Fiji and Gemma will still do its job, flawlessly transporting your precious audio to its destinations.
NO PAIRING. Yup. Fasten your seat belts — it’s a brave new paradigm we like to call “ridiculously easy”. Plain and simple: we got rid of pairing because it’s awkward and people don’t like it. With SKAA, the receivers (speakers / headphones) are in charge of selecting which transmitter to listen to. So relax, on the transmitter side, there’s nothing to do — it’s Miller time.
No buttons, no lights, no software. The last thing we wanted to do was saddle you with more work! That’s why we spent so much time huddled around a whiteboard figuring out how to remove all buttons, LEDs and software drivers. In a big way, Gemma’s awesomeness flows from what it’s not. You need to download nothing. Install nothing. Push nothing. Watch nothing.
ALL APPS! That’s right, Gemma sends the audio from YOUR favourite app to your SKAA speakers and headphones. Example: today on my Nexus smart phone I used Gemma, Google Translate and a pair of SKAA headphones to help me polish up my Chinese pronunciation. Boy do I suck. Then I used the same setup and made some free Skype calls. I still talk into my Nexus’ microphone, but I listen over SKAA headphones and I get to have the phone in front of me where I have easy access to the mute button and can use the camera for video Skype. The sound is WAY better than my earbuds and there’s no echo problem like when I use the speakerphone.
Range is 15 meters indoors. That’s almost 50 feet. Outdoors it can be way more.
Sends audio to up to four SKAA speakers and/or headphones at the same time. Compare that with Bluetooth, which can only send audio to one, solitary device (speaker or headphone). But that’s standard Bluetooth, you say. That’s the stock stuff — what if I get the Bluetooth that’s pimped out with extras??
Pimped-out Bluetooth. Mostly, it’s done all wrong. Buying speakers / headphones with not-really-Bluetooth add-ons means your phone may also require those exact same not-really-Bluetooth add-ons in order for those extra features to work. So the extras might not work with your particular phone. You’re liable to end up with speakers, which are mega complicated and confusing to set up. Sucks. If pimped-out Bluetooth is really your thang, check out SKAA’s Nadja tech. Nadja doesn’t suck. For sure it will work with your phone/tablet and everyone tells us it’s the bitchinest pimped-out Bluetooth available in this solar system.
Use up to five SKAA transmitters (Gemma and/or other types) in your house at the same time. That’s up to 20 speakers in your house — woot woot!
Audio quality is a honking 480 kbps (compare to iTunes Store standard 256 kbps).
You don’t actually need to install our app, SKAA cmd, ’cause Gemma works just peachy with zero software.
All the same, our SKAA cmd app is pretty cool so at some point you’ll probably want to download it from Google Play and start basking in the glow of them thar juicy extra features. There’s a link to it on our Support page.
Keep in mind, Gemma has no internal battery of its own — it doesn’t need one since the Android smartphone or tablet provides all the juice it needs. Gemma uses about the same amount of power as Bluetooth, so turn off your Bluetooth and plug in your Gemma and call it even!
Only for the intrepid few. Gemma is a USB-complaint audio device. So … in addition to your garden-variety Android smart phones and tablets cited above, Gemma may also work with other devices if they’ve got a micro USB port which outputs audio properly, fully above board, and complying with the rules of the USB audio specification. On this front, tread carefully as there are no guarantees. Gemma will usually work on micro USB ports, which are intended to serve USB speakers or headphones. I’ve seen it work with some Android-based game systems such as Nvidia Shield. Who knows what else … if it has USB OTG (on the go) hardware and is running Android 5 or newer, it’s got a good shot at working with Gemma. Good luck, and remember, you didn’t hear this from me.
What if I’m old fashioned? Are you running Android that’s older than version 5? Well … Gemma might still work. Maybe. Here’s the deal. Google added USB audio output support starting in Android 5. However, prior to that, there were some phone and tablet brands who, not being willing to just wait around for Google, cooked up those drivers on their own. In fact, there are lots of models out there running Android 4.4 that will work with Gemma. Even a few (very few) running 4.2. For sure Sony, Samsung, LG, HTC and many other quality brands added support for Gemma before Google did. The trouble is it’s hard to predict which hardware models combined with which versions of Android will work. That’s why, for the record, we say Android 5 and newer. By the way, because Nexus is pure Google, for sure you’ll need at least Android 5 on your Nexus. Look, we are painfully aware that Android land is a little bit like the wild, wild west, so I say lets stick together!