Apple yesterday surprised fans by releasing a $40 Lightning dock for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus which works with official Apple cases. A $10 pricier than Apple’s previous docks, it can be used to listen to music and sync your device with a computer while charging your iPhone’s battery at the same time.
What the spec sheet available on the Online Apple Store doesn’t tell you is that the dock requires iOS 8 or later for audio out. The requirement is listed in a support document for Apple’s Lightning docks, as noted by 9to5Mac.
“You’ll need iOS 8 or later to use the iPhone Lightning Dock,” reads the support document. iOS 8 isn’t required for just charging non-iOS 8 devices.
Jordan Kahn said on Twitter he has been able to confirm with Apple that the iOS 8 requirement is needed to support an Apple headset that includes a remote control.
“When you plug headphones into the iPhone Lightning Dock, you can use the volume and playback controls built into the headphones,” notes Apple.
The dock’s 3.5mm audio out port can be used to connect the dock to external speakers and amplifiers or your headphones.
As mentioned before, the accessory works with Apple’s official cases, but several reviewers have noted that it’s compatible with a number of third-party cases, too, as long as they don’t have really thick bottoms.
In addition to the iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, the charging dock supports iPads and can be used to dock a Lightning equipped iPod touch.
It’s available via the Apple Online Store and ships in 1-3 days.