Apple reduces cost and minimum purchase volumes for MFi licenses

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

 

Zoom launches compact iQ5 stereo mic for Lightning-enabled iDevices

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

 

EU lawmakers drafting legislation that could force Apple to change its Lightning plug

By Cody Lee on Dec 20, 2013

EU lawmakers agreed yesterday to draft legislation that will force all mobile phone manufacturers to consent to the use of a common standard for battery chargers which can fit any device. The draft could be voted on by the EU Parliament as early as March 2014.

While many see this as a huge win for consumers, who would no longer have to purchase new charging accessories for different devices, it would be a huge blow to Apple. The company uses a propriety plug, the Lightning connector, in all of its iOS product lines… Read More

 

Square introduces new card reader developed by Apple’s Lightning plug designer

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

 

How to record direct feed footage from iOS to a Mac or PC

By Jeff Benjamin on Dec 6, 2013

Lots of people have asked me how I go about recording footage directly from the iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. The process is one that is simple and straightforward with the help of a couple of hardware and software tools.

From time to time I will record footage directly from an iOS device, while at other times, I like to record the screen using an external camera so that you can see my hands as I work with the device. Depending on the circumstances, I’ve been known to switch up my methods for doing so.

The bottom line is that there are times in which you should definitely go the direct feed route as opposed to recording the screen externally. As the saying goes, there are many ways to skin a cat, but the method that I’ve been using has been working quite well for me. Have a look inside as I spill the details on what makes a successful iOS device recording setup. Read More

 

Apple Worm case for iPhone features built-in stand and Lightning cable

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

 

MiDock for iPhone is a simple and minimal desktop companion

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

 

A quick look at the Moshi dual car charger and premium Lightning cables

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

 

Meet the ChargeKey, one of the smallest Lightning cables we’ve ever seen

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

 

Bluelounge releases Rolio and CableDrop Mini for cable management woes

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

 

iOS 7 now prevents some non-certified Lightning cables from charging your device

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

 

Apple introduces new $29 docks for the iPhone 5s and 5c

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

 

HiRise: iPhone’s new throne pedestal by Twelve South

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

 

Scosche introduces new ‘BoltBox’ charging cables for Lightning devices

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