Lightning

Photographs of claimed Lightning-based EarPods leak on the web

A sketchy photograph just surfaced on the Chinese microblogging service Weibo, appearing to show off a Lightning-based version of Apple’s standard EarPods headphones. As you know, Apple is widely expected to ditch the 3.5mm analog audio jack on the next iPhone in favor of wireless headphones via Bluetooth and all-digital wired headphones based on Apple’s proprietary Lightning connector.

First Lightning-to-headphone adapter surfaces, offering a sign of things to come

Apple is widely believe to remove the more than century-old 3.5mm analog audio jack from the iPhone 7 in favor of Lightning-enabled headphones and wireless Bluetooth headsets. Chinese vendor Tama Electric is advertising at Computex 2016 in Taipei the first Lightning-to-headphone that would let folks connect their existing analog headphones based on the 3.5mm audio jack to the iPhone 7.

The listing was first discovered by the oft-reliable Japanese blog Mac Otakara.

How to use your iPhone as a mouse or trackpad

Your iOS devices have some of the best touch screens out there. As a matter of fact your iPhone screen makes for a great mouse, or trackpad.

The idea of using iOS devices as a trackpad for your computer isn’t new, but Mobile Mouse Remote is a great app that provides this kind of functionality with ease of use in mind. It even packs some useful bonus features.

If you’re interested in this kind of functionality for your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad, then this is something you’re going to want to check out.

Pod Pro review: the portable Apple Watch & iPhone battery dock

Those who need a portable battery pack for the Apple Watch that aren’t so keen on just plugging the USB end into the receiver of a battery pack and letting the magnetic end dangle around everywhere are going to be hard-pressed to find a good portable battery pack made specifically for the Apple Watch’s proprietary charging platform.

Fortunately, Nomad has the Pod Pro, which can be had on Amazon for $85, and is a great solution for on-the-go Apple Watch charging, and even includes a built-in Lightning cable for charging your device, whether it’s an iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad. We’ll show you what the Pod Pro is all about in this review.

Spotting the signs of a fake Apple Lightning cable

Whenever you buy a new iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad, it’ll come with a Lightning to USB cable that you will use to charge and sync your device. On the other hand, you have to be careful when you buy these cables separately, especially online, because you could end up with a counterfeit cable.

A counterfeit is a cable that tries to look just like Apple’s OEM Lightning to USB cable, even though it isn’t. Using these cables could have an adverse effect on your device, so we’ll show you how to spot the differences between a counterfeit and genuine Lightning to USB cable in this piece.

thingCHARGER adds a Lightning dock and two USB ports to your wall outlet

Charging your devices is something just about everyone has to deal with. We all have phones, cameras, tablets, and more that all seem to constantly need to be replenished. When it comes to chargers, there always seems to be an endless array of options, that all seem to be variations on similar designs. thingCHARGER, is a new product that builds a multi-device charging dock right into your outlet.

LMcable: a 2-in-1 Lightning and Micro USB connector

Lovers of technology who own both iOS and Android devices are forced to use two different cables for charging their batteries – a Lightning cable and a Micro-USB cable.

The discrepancy in charging cable type can be a pain for people who don’t want to carry around more than one cable with them, and that’s why a new Kickstarter campaign for a product called LMcable is trying to make its way onto the market to make charging easier for everyone.

iPhone 7 may ship with wired EarPods after all

Apple’s upcoming iPhone 7 will include an all-digital, wired edition of the EarPods headphones that will connect to the handset’s Lightning port, not the wireless edition as previously rumored.

According to an analyst note from Barclays, a copy of which was obtained by Business Insider, Apple has not yet purchased a license from its supplier Cirrus Logic that would permit the company to use Cirrus’ active noise-canceling software.

Cirrus technology would be needed to filter out background noise during phone calls were Apple to ditch the traditional 3.5mm headphone jack in favor of wireless Bluetooth headphones.

Apple is reportedly building wireless earphones that will fit inside your ear and come with charging case

Apple is reportedly building brand new, completely wireless earphones that will fit inside of a user’s ear, along with a charging case, as per 9to5Mac.

The in-house designed hardware is similar in concept to the Motorola Hint headset and Bragi’s new Dash and said to include a noise-cancelling microphone system. The accessory will be “a premium alternative” to a Lightning-enabled version of the EarPods headset that’s also in the works (EarPods are the wired in-ear headphones that came with your  iPhone).

Three days ago, Japanese blog Macotakara first reported on Apple’s plans to bundle the iPhone 7 with a wireless headset. The following day, Fast Company said Apple is working with a supplier on a new noise-canceling technology to be used both in the iPhone 7 and the new earphones to help remove background noise in music playback and in phone calls.

Apple allegedly plans to bundle iPhone 7 with wireless EarPods

Following a November 2015 claim by the Japanese blog Macotakara which asserted that Apple will ditch the standard 3.5mm headphone port on an ‘iPhone 7’ to focus exclusively on supporting Lightning-enabled headsets and wireless headphones, a new supply chain rumor published Tuesday by Chinese websites Anzhuo.cn and Feng claims that the Cupertino firm will actually bundle the next iPhone with a wireless version of its EarPods headphones to make up for the missing headphone jack.

Review: SteelSeries Nimbus Wireless Controller

If you want to do serious gaming on the Apple TV, then using a wireless Bluetooth controller isn’t an option, it’s a necessity. Yes, Apple controversially made it a requirement for all games on its platform to support the Siri Remote, but that’s not going to cut it for any game with an even mildly complex control scheme.

Games like Alto’s Adventure and Mr. Jump play perfectly fine, and are even suited for the Siri Remote, but in most cases, you’re definitely going to want a controller as an option.

Unfortunately, there is no Apple-branded controller to speak of, but Apple did co-design a controller with the help of SteelSeries. The result of that partnership is the SteelSeries Nimbus, and Apple is promoting this controller as the de facto standard alternative input device for the Apple TV.

All of that considered, while there are other 3rd-party Bluetooth controllers that work with the Apple TV, the most obvious choice is the SteelSeries Nimbus.

I purchased a Nimbus on day one, and have been playing with it for weeks. Is the $49.99 controller worth your time and hard-earned money? Is it really the best way to control games on the Apple TV?

Nomad’s Wallet puts a full charge for your iPhone 6s in your wallet

Nomad today launched an interesting lifestyle accessory for your iPhone, dubbed the Wallet. It’s literally a premium bifold leather wallet with an integrated 3.5-inch Lightning cable and a built-in 2,400mAh battery, enough to provide a full charge for your Lightning-based iPhone and then some more.

The wallet holds six credit or gift cards, cash, is made from Saffiano leather and is just 0.75 inch thick when closed. If you’re a fan of real wallets, not those iPhone cases that double as wallets, you can pre-order Nomad’s Wallet for $79.

Belkin Charge Dock review: the best iPhone and Apple Watch dock available

Shortly after Apple announced that it would allow manufacturers to include Apple Watch charging pads in their accessories, Belkin unveiled the Charge Dock. It’s a charging dock with a built-in magnetic charger for the Watch and an adjustable Lightning connector for iPhone.

The Dock checks all of the necessary boxes: it looks sharp, is very well-made and it carries Made for iPhone and Apple Watch badges, meaning it’s passed Apple’s certification tests. And after using one for the past few weeks, I felt it was good enough to warrant an in-depth review.

Report: the iPad Pro Pencil will ship with an adapter for Lightning cable connections

Good news: when you want to charge your iPad Pro Pencil, you won’t necessarily have to look like a doofus when you do so.

Prior to today, it was assumed that the only way to charge the iPad Pro’s Pencil stylus was to plug it into the bottom of the iPad Pro itself. The Pencil’s cap features a Lightning plug hidden underneath, and Apple showcased its ability to charge it by plugging the device directly into the iPad Pro’s Lightning port.

While this method of charging works, and is extremely handy when you need a quick bit of extra juice on the fly, it looks incredibly goofy to have a stylus protruding out of the top of the iPad Pro, especially because the iPad Pro is so big itself.

Today, 9to5Mac is reporting that Apple plans on shipping the Pencil with an adapter that will allow users to connect the device directly to a Lightning cable. The adapter will reportedly ship with all Pencil’s, which come as a separate purchase from the iPad Pro itself.

AmazonBasics Retractable USB cable saves space, avoids tangles

This past weekend, as I packed for a road trip, I crammed my overnight bag full of clothes, toiletries, gadgets, and cables for all of my various devices. My side pocket looked like a robot spider had spun a USB web. It was a mess.

AmazonBasics’ Retractable USB Cable would have saved me a lot of hassle. It stretches to two feet in length, but when closed up, fits neatly into small compartments so you don’t have a tangled mess to deal with when you unpack.