An interesting Apple patent application has surfaced in the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) database on Thursday. Titled ‘Smart dock for activating a voice recognition mode of a portable electronic device,’ the filing basically describes a smart dock of sorts for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices with a unique feature giving Apple’s Siri digital personal assistant a permanent place in your home, with a cool always-on functionality.
Unlike Motorola’s Moto X handset with on-device Google Now feature always in the listening mode and responding to the ‘OK Google’ phrase, Apple’s patent relies on a hardware dock providing the listening functionality, with users being able to set a custom audio prompt that will trigger Siri… Read More
iPad stands and docks are a great way to store and use the device without personally holding it. One of my favorite iOS device accessories, there are many stands and docks laying around on my desks, so many, I even let my friends borrow them on occasion. With a dedicated work station in my home office, I like viewing my devices in an upright position. It is simply easier to watch for notifications without picking up the device to look at the screen. Stands also keep my devices off dusty surfaces like the coffee table, book shelves or kitchen counter.
Anywhere I sit or stand for more than 10 to 15 minutes has an iOS device stand. The living room book shelves and side tables, kitchen counter, office desk, and sometimes my night stand all have device stands or docks. In an effort of generosity, even the guest bedroom has a charging alarm/clock/iPhone dock. All of my rambling is to say, I am quite well versed in the dock arena and MiStand by Mi is quite impressively giving all former stands a challenge for my top spot… Read More
OS X’s dock is one of the most recognizable features of the operating system as a whole. It’s safe to say that it was fairly groundbreaking when it first appeared, and many still find it useful down to this day.
I’m one of those people. I know that some like to completely disable the dock, skin the dock, or often use the ⌘ + Option + D command to hide it from view when not in use. I’m a bit different; I like to keep it looking stock, and generally like to keep it exposed.
With that said, I do have some tips that I follow with every fresh install of OS X. Inside, I’ll show you how I setup and utilize my dock, and why I believe it continues to be such a useful tool after all of these years. Read More
The Bluetooth speaker is making its way as a universal speaker for all mobile devices. As I mentioned in a previous Bluetoothspeaker round up just last week, it appears more companies are entering the Bluetooth speaker marketplace. Also, it seems fewer companies are producing dock based speakers. After Apple turned the iPhone dedicated aftermarket upside down by eliminating the 30 pin cable, fewer companies want to continue chancing a Lightning pin specific option. With the universal Bluetooth standard, not only does the company future proof their design, but all mobile devices will work effortlessly, thus preventing costly dedicated iPhone models.
ZAGG (you know them as one of the original iPhone skin companies) is also branching into the mobile media scene. No longer just the InvisibleShield company, ZAGG and their new subsidiary iFrogz are getting their hands dirty in a cross platform way. From skins to cases to audio, there is certainly a diversification for the company. I was able to review a new pair of their Bluetooth headphones a few weeks back and today, a closer look at the ZAGG Bluetooth speaker, should leave everyone begging for more.
The ZAGG Origin, which made its first splash at CES 2013, had escaped my radar until recently. With a streamlined design and hard hitting sound, I was excited to receive a review unit. Origin may look like it is just another part of the average Bluetooth line up, but a detachable companion speaker is the second part of a one-two punch to success… Read More
Like iPhone sleeve cases, the “dock” is a generally over populated hardware field that many manufacturers throw out as an option. With so many different docks on the market, little things make or break the product. At what angle is the iPhone sitting, does it adjust, what are the materials, can it hold both iPhone and iPad, etc? Today, I take a look at the successfully Kickstarted MiDock and put it through the paces.
My first impressions of the device were very positive and for my personal preferences, it fit with my iPhone usage. However, after looking at the MiDock more critically, it might not be for everyone. Take a stop beyond the fold to determine if the MiDock is right for you… Read More
It is no surprise, considering the number of Bluelounge reviews I cover, I am a big fan of this product line. Consequently, when my friend at their office asked if I wanted to check out their latest invention, I quickly responded to the request. Bluelounge makes great products that solve simple everyday problems. Many companies claim to do the same, but setting themselves apart, Bluelounge solves these mundane problems in elegant ways with products like Kii, MiniDock, Mika, and Saidoka.
Today, two new products are announced, Rolio and CableDrop Mini. Both newly released items take on the challenge of creative cord management. Everyone struggles to keep cords in-check on their work stations, but with these two options, at least there is some organization to the madness… Read More
While there weren’t too many surprises during today’s iPhone event, we did get a couple of small ones afterwards. Apple quietly introduced a handful of new accessories for its just-revealed iPhone 5c and 5s handsets.
These accessories include a new 2 meter (or 6.5ft) Lightning to USB Cable, which is twice as long as the previous version, as well as—surprisingly—two new Lightning charging docks for its two new smartphones… Read More
If you’re looking for a subtle way to imitate some of the features of iOS 7 on your lesser firmware, then CopyDock is a new jailbreak tweak you might want to try. CopyDock brings an iOS 7 inspired dock to iOS 6 devices with no options or settings to configure.
CopyDock isn’t a perfect 1:1 match of the dock found in iOS 7, but it’s close. Have a look at our brief video inside to see what I mean. Read More
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a review of the photography app Sphere (formerly TourWrist). After reading the review, the app’s developer sent me Motrr’s new photography mount, Galileo, which is a perfect accessory to the 360-photography app.
Motrr’s new spherical recording device made the front pages when its Kickstarter campaign went supernova and made seven times its original goal. The Galileo is currently shipping to Kickstarter pledgers and Motrr is taking preorders for the device for a mid-October launch.
In addition to being a spherical recording device that fits perfectly with Sphere, Motrr’s Galileo is an iOS-controlled remote motion stand for the iPhone and iPod touch. The device features 360-degree spherical rotation capability and lets users take pictures or view streaming video using pan-and-tilt speeds of up to 200 degrees per second. Set up your iPhone with Galileo and use another iOS device to control it by swiping your finger on the screen to move the angle in any direction you like. This multipurpose stand lets you use your iPhone for video conferencing, baby monitoring, and more… Read More
A couple weeks ago, we highlighted the launch of Twelve South’s newest accessory, the HiRise for iPhone 5 and iPad mini. I was able to finally get my hands on one and can report the excitement is worth the hype. For those new to the Twelve South scene, the company is a premium and Apple exclusive accessory maker, made famous for simple and elegant products like the iPhone SurfacePad, BookBook case, and BookArc.
Humbly setting a company goal to launch 12 Mac accessories each year, each new item is focused on design and function. Often, the elegance and intricacies of Twelve South products are found in the smallest of details, which often make the user experience even more enjoyable.
The HiRise for iPhone is no exception to the quality build and functional design of the product line. The HiRise for iMac or for MacBook Pro are popular items and the ported design easily conforms to iPhone 5 and iPad mini. With a small footprint, the newest HiRise is an excellent desktop companion… Read More
Review fans will be quick to recognize the Bluelounge company name as an accessory manufacturer we tend to frequently cover on iDB. Regularity is due to the creative products Bluelounge designs and produces on a continuing basis. The company is an international design studio that creates relevant and well detailed accessories for Apple products. The creative director, Dominic Symons, believes Bluelounge products should solve a problem, look great, and be well built.
To that end, today, Bluelounge announces the Saidoka desktop iPhone companion that is “docked by your side.” The clever and streamlined design utilizes a minimal footprint and is an officially licensed MFI dock with a Lightning charging pin assembly built into the cradle. Thanks to a friend at the company, I enjoyed playing with the dock before its public release… Read More
Folks in the market for a new dock for their collection of iOS devices may want to check out the new iDockAll from Wiplabs. The accessory can charge either your 30-pin or Lightning device, or both, depending on which model you get—it even works with cases.
And not only is it universal, but it looks great and is extremely functional. Made out of a single block of solid aluminum, the iDockAll would fit right in on a desk with other Apple hardware, and its unique design allows you to keep using your device as it charges… Read More
Those in the market for an interesting new iPhone accessory might want to check out this new flexible universal mobile mount, otherwise known as the FUMM. The odd-looking gadget can transform itself into a mount, stand, or dock for your iPhone.
It’s able to pull this off thanks to three durable, metal flex tubes and two plastic pads lined with special ‘nano suction pads.’ The patent-pending technology enables to mount on almost any surface and withstand more than 10 pounds of pull force… Read More
Covering several Blueloungeproducts in our review section, astute readers will now be somewhat familiar with the product line. Creating items from packs to docks, Bluelounge attempts to combine form and function for their small, yet clever array of items. The company, taking hints from both art and architecture, prides itself on “forward design aesthetic.”
Well over a year ago, the MiniDock became a staple item for users trying to get rid of desktop clutter. A portable charging dock made carrying a 30 pin cable around the house a thing of the past. Today, Bluelounge updates their MiniDock with Lightning compatibility and refines a few nice touches at the same time. I was able to get my hands on a prerelease model and am impressed with the new features… Read More
Tired of fumbling around for your iPhone in the car? Why are we forced to pick up our device every time we hear a push notification? Why do we keep wasting money on suction cups and intrusive docking systems? ProClip USA does not know the answer to these questions, but it is providing a solution.
ProClip USA builds device holders for almost every make and model vehicle currently on the market. I stumbled across their website well over a year ago, but did not receive the opportunity to review a product until bumping into the team at CES in January.
Thankfully, they were kind enough to send over an iPhone 5 and iPad mini mount for my 2007 Nissan Altima. This review takes a quick look at installation and provides feedback about my experience with these two options… Read More
Rokform is quite a regular on the review stream around these parts and it should come as no surprise. Before you assume, no, this is not a sponsored post. Simply, Rokform makes extremely quality products and I am always impressed by them.
The most recent chunks of T-6061 aircraft grade aluminum that Rokform CNC machined into a usable hunk of metal is the RokDock. The heaviest accessory on my desk, the three pound dock is a hyper-masculine throne upon which my iPhone rests. The RokDock is just awesome, no need to complain about my open love affair with their products… Read More
I’ve always been a huge fan of video games, ever since my earliest days, and the Atari 2600 was my first childhood gaming console (yup, I’m that old). After seeing the other day this 35 years old system finding a new life by becoming a retro-inspired iPhone speaker dock, it immediately brought back fond memories of gaming sessions shared with my friends after school.
A fan tore a broken Atari 2600 apart, making a few clever changes to turn it into an app-enhanced stereo speaker dock. The Atari dock will recharge an iPhone or iPod touch while allowing you to listen to your music or an FM radio. The mod also features six equalizer settings, comes with a remote control of its own and has a 3.5mm jack to connect other audio sources… Read More
MultiDock is a new jailbreak tweak that allows you to customize iOS’ dock on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. The tweak features the ability to change the number of rows and the number of app icons on each row.
Each change requires a respring, which is easily accomplished via the tweak’s built in respring button featured in MultiDock’s settings app. Is MultiDock worth its $1.99 asking price? Read More
ActiveDock — a tweak inspired by the dock featured in OS X — is now available on Cydia for download. Last week, we took an in-depth look at ActiveDock, and determined that it is hands-down better looking than the stock dock in iOS. There are also features for alerting you when an app is launched and when an app receives a notification.
Take a look at our video walkthrough for more information. In the meantime, if you’re browsing this post on your jailbroken iOS device, hit up this link to be taken directly to ActiveDock’s Cydia page. You can find it on the BigBoss repo for $1.99. Be sure to let us know what you think about it in the comments section.
When you hear about an upcoming tweak collaboration between jailbreak community staples like Filippo Bigarella and Surenix, then the tweak is pretty much destined to be good. Unsurprisingly, that is the case for the upcoming ActiveDock, a jailbreak tweak that brings an OS X styled dock to the small screen.
We’ve gone hands-on with ActiveDock and put it through its paces. Needless to say, we came away impressed. Check out our video walkthrough inside. Read More