blueye I was really excited when I saw advertised the Gear4 BluEye product as it seemed to offer the opportunity to have phone capabilities to my iPod Touch with an add-on smaller than an After Eight. Even better it also worked as a wired remote and had FM radio capabilities too – all for thirty quid. Installation was easy and it paired to my phone first time. The remote worked as expected and makes using the Touch much easier, especially when it is in your pocket. However, that was when the good news ended.

What is supposed to happen when a call is received is that the music is paused and the incoming number is displayed on the screen of the device. Similarly it is supposed to be possible to view the last few dialled numbers on the iPod and then to redial them. Unfortunately none of this works and the Touch screen simply shows a less than helpful “Accessory attached”. The same problem occurs when using the radio. Instead of displaying the frequency on the screen it just remains blank, not terribly useful when trying to tune it in.

So I emailed the support to find out whether this is a feature or a problem with the unit itself. I received the following response “Due to changes made by Apple to the screen technology on the Touch, some of the features of the BluEye do not work as fully as they have done with previous models. Although all the features work, those requiring a screen display will not display text. The two features mostly affected by this are the radio frequency display and last number redial. Although we are working on further firmware to improve the functionality of the BluEye, we do not have a release date yet.”

All this might be fine if this had been pointed out on the BluEye website but it clearly states that “Caller number ID displayed on iPod screen” and that “BluEye is compatible with with the following iPods: iPod Touch, iPod Classic, iPod, iPod nano, iPod mini”.

Also blaming Apple for this is not, in my opinion, acceptable. You cannot include iPod Touch in your literature if it does not provide the advertised features. I did send a follow up email to Gear4 support pointing this out but so far I have not had a response. Maybe I should take it up with the advertising standards…