By Cody Lee on Mar 5, 2014
Apple has been taking criticism for its new Lightning connector since it was introduced alongside the iPhone 5 in 2012. The change instantly made millions of cases and other accessories incompatible, forcing users to either buy updated products or do without.
Those complaints have since spilled over into the Lightning cable’s durability, with the Apple Store showing a 1.5 star rating of the cable on over 1,200 reviews. Apparently the cable is vulnerable to breakage, fraying, and according to a new report, corrosion as well… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Feb 28, 2014
The Arq, a new Kickstarter project, seeks to solve the problem of charging multiple devices simultaneously. This cleverly engineered accessory lets you charge multiple form factor iOS and Android devices individually, via either Lightning or micro USB. And thanks to its modular design, devices can be charged in groups or closely nested together, because Arq docks can be conveniently nested together, all within a small footprint.
To give you the exact idea of the Arq’s size, each measures 1.85 inches deep, 4.03 inches wide and 1.38 inches tall. There are also nano micro suction pads on the bottom that keep the Arq firmly anchored to smooth surfaces for easy undocking, as seen on the Slope iPad stand I recently reviewed… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Feb 7, 2014
One of the prime reasons why Apple-sanctioned Lightning accessories, cables and adapters have been so pricey are high costs and allegedly exorbitant fees attached to the company’s ‘Made for iPhone/iPad/iPod’ (MFi) program. Established in 2005, the MFi initiative requires third-parties to use Apple-approved authentication chips and certified cables and adhere to Apple’s rigorous testing.
All of the products that pass testing bear an Apple-approved ‘Made for iPod/iPhone/iPad’ label. By lowering the program fees, Apple has enabled vendors to produce cheaper Lightning cables, adapters and other accessories for the iPhone and iPad… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jan 24, 2014
Announced at the National Association of Music Merchants trade show yesterday, Zoom’s new high-fidelity microphone for Lightning-enabled iOS devices – the iQ5 – not only has the looks, it brings studio-quality 16-bit audio capture at 44.1kHz audio resolution to your iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.
Filed as the first stereo microphone for Lightning-enabled iPad 4 or later, iPhone 5/5s/5c and the latest iPod touches, the iQ5 features an analog-type mic gain wheel for precision adjustment of input levels.
That’s just scratching the surface as the mic comes with a dedicated headphone jack, three auto-gain levels, built-in timing, automatic recording and other handy features.
If you’re serious about podcasting, recording interviews or capturing audio notes on the go, this nicely done, compact accessory could turn your iDevice into a professional-quality stereo recorder… Read More
By Cody Lee on Dec 9, 2013
Square unveiled a new version of its Square Reader accessory today, which is used to input credit and debit cards into the Square app. It says the new Reader is roughly 45% thinner than its predecessor, and is more accurate at reading cards thanks to its new design.
But what makes the new device really interesting is who designed it. According to a report from Wired, Square’s new ultra-thin card reader was developed by a team led by Jesse Dorogusker—a former Director of Engineering at Apple and developer of the Lightning plug… Read More
By Cody Lee on Dec 4, 2013
If you’ve perused the wall of iPhone accessories at your local Apple Store, you know that cases aren’t just for protecting the handset anymore. Some of them have built-in batteries or flashlights, and some even feature built-in knives.
The case we’re talking about today is also multi-functional. It’s called the Apple Worm, and in addition to protecting your iPhone, it features a built-in Lightning cable that will allow you to charge the device and doubles as a stand… Read More
By Jim Gresham on Nov 12, 2013
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
By Jim Gresham on Nov 9, 2013
I assume there was an eyebrow raise at “premium Lightning cables.” Be ensured, the title is not intended to be click bait, rather a description of the actual product. After Apple switched from 30 pin, my arsenal of available cords depleted. Like many of our readers, I amassed a large number of 30 pin cables across the years.
Suddenly, I needed to reinvest in more cables. I grew accustomed to having a cable pretty much anywhere I sat for more than an hour. The folks at Moshi sent me a review unit of their Lightning cable, which is the same price as a standard Apple OEM cable, but offer a lot more in the way of rugged design and classy fixtures… Read More
By Cody Lee on Oct 29, 2013
Well they’ve done it again. The folks that revolutionized ultra-portable USB charging cables with the ChargeCard are back with an all-new, and [perhaps] even more convenient iOS device accessory called the ChargeKey.
As the name insinuates, the ChargeKey is essentially a Lightning-to-USB cable reduced down to the size of a house key. And its small size enables you to attach it to your car/house keys, ensuring that it’s always nearby… Read More
By Jim Gresham on Oct 1, 2013
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
By Christian Zibreg on Sep 19, 2013
Back in June, we discovered Apple implemented a warning in iOS 7 Beta builds to caution people against using non-certified Lightning cables, many of which contain cracked authentication chips.
Specifically, connecting an accessory to an iOS 7 Beta device through a non-certified Lightning cable produced a prompt saying “This cable or accessory is not certified and may not work reliably with this iPhone”.
It seems the company has thrown down the gauntlet to unauthorized accessory makers over the use of unapproved Lightning cables because folks have confirmed that the shipping version of iOS 7 now in fact blocks such cables, preventing them from actually charging your iPhone… Read More
By Cody Lee on Sep 10, 2013
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
By Jim Gresham on Aug 28, 2013
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
By Cody Lee on Aug 6, 2013
Folks looking to pick up a new Lightning charging cable might want to check out Scosche’s latest iOS accessory. The California-based company introduced the ‘boltBOX’ today, a new colorful USB charging cable for all of your Lightning devices.
What makes the boltBOX better than your average Apple USB Lightning cable? Well, aside from the fact that it comes in a variety of different colors, it features an innovative retractable design that neatly stores its 3-foot cable when not in use… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jul 26, 2013
Accessory maker Belkin back at January’s CES 2013 unveiled a handheld home theater system for Apple’s iPad, the Thunderstorm. The amplification system docks your iPad with integrated front-facing speakers and air channels for the powerful bass sounds. The speaker case was initially limited to older 30-pin iPad 2 and third-generation iPad devices. Today, Belkin announced Thunderstorm availability for iPads outfitted with Lightning I/O, namely the iPad 4… Read More
By Jim Gresham on Jul 20, 2013
In a recent turn of events, two companies released a keychain Lightning charger. You may remember, last week we ran a giveaway for an extremely similar product. However, if you read through the previous post, there were a few things the competition could do better.
Enter, Kii by Bluelounge. A clever pun, Kii is a keychain charger, which is produced both for Lightning and 30 pin options. This little guy is currently attached to my daily key ring and traveled with me for the past couple weeks. Offering a charge on a moment’s notice, the Kii is the perfect companion not only for travel, but also daily use… Read More
By Jim Gresham on Jul 9, 2013
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
By Jim Gresham on Jul 8, 2013
Running out of the house with an empty iPhone battery can be catastrophic. We have all been there, stuck in the office, out of town, on a long car ride, when the low battery indicator pops up begging for more juice. Despite many 21st century successes, smartphone batteries still weigh us down. Unfortunately, this causes me to keep a Lightning cable near my nightstand, at the iMac, around the office, and in my car.
To prevent such problems, Kero developed the Nomad cable. Cleverly designed as a keychain, Nomad is a 3″, fully Apple certified lifesaver. The seemingly simplistic resolution to an everyday problem prevents charging headaches…
By Cody Lee on Jun 30, 2013
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
By Ed Sutherland on Jun 18, 2013
Among the nearly 40 Apple patents granted today by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) are ones covering multi-touch technology, as well as designs for the iPhone 5 and the Lightning connector. The widest-ranging group of patents involves the multi-touch technology for the iPhone 5 and latest iPads and iPods.
Meanwhile, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Design, Jonathan Ive, is given lead credit for designing the iPhone 5… Read More