iDB 2012 holiday gift guide: Oliver’s picks

By Oliver Haslam on Dec 13, 2012

It’s that time of year again, when we’re all scrambling around trying to find that perfect gift for the loved ones in our lives.

If you’re anything like me, you revert to type and try desperately to find something with a technological bent. Be it earphones, an iDevice stand or some fancy software; gifts are hard enough to buy at the best of times, let alone when you know nothing about the subject matter.

Here I’ll showcase a handful of handy gift ideas across the world of tech and specifically, Apple. Some are cheap. Some not so much. But hey, it’s Christmas… Read More

 

Bose SoundDock with Lightning support coming later this month

By Cody Lee on Dec 9, 2012

Not everyone is a fan of Bose audio products. They are typically more expensive and have fewer features than their counterparts, but still, they manage to sell a ton of them. And the SoundDock is the perfect example of that.

Introduced in 2004, the $200+ Bose SoundDock is one of the most recognizable lines of iPhone/iPod speakers on the market. And this month, Bose is going to release a new version of the Dock with Lightning support… Read More

 

Philips launches four new eye-candy speaker docks with Lightning I/O

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 5, 2012

Consumer electronics maker Philips unveiled four interesting speaker docks designed for Apple’s latest iOS devices that incorporate Lightning I/O (the iPad mini, fourth-generation iPad with Retina display, fifth-generation iPod touch and the seventh-generation iPod nano). Of course, built-in Lightning I/O means music lovers can dock/charge Lightning enabled iOS devices and play their music at the same time. One portable speaker and three units for indoor use all feature eye-catching modern design and those who had a chance to personally test these boom boxes claim they sound every bit as good as they look… Read More

 

Griffin to launch official Lightning cables next week

By Cody Lee on Nov 30, 2012

Lightning-flavored accessories were fairly scarce in the first few months following Apple’s September iPhone 5 launch. But over the past few weeks, we’ve started seeing more of them surface.

The latest batch of supplements comes from Griffin. The third-party manufacturer announced yesterday that it would be launching a handful of new Lightning-to-USB cables next week… Read More

 

This 3-inch Lightning cable fits on your key ring

By Cody Lee on Nov 28, 2012

Have you ever found yourself out and about with a dying iPhone and no charger? With the introduction of Apple’s new Lightning port, that scenario isn’t nearly as unlikely as it used to be.

That’s why Kickstarters Kegan & Roberto developed the Nomad, a 3-inch USB-to-Lightning cable that fits on your key ring. That way, you’ll never find yourself without an iPhone charger again… Read More

 

Apple granted 36 patents covering Siri mic icon design, Lightning, widgets and more

By Ed Sutherland on Nov 27, 2012

Apple this morning has received patents covering more than three dozen different technologies, ranging from the obvious to the obscure. The company’s patent filings as of late are even inspiring parody treatments like the Apple alphabet patent. Among today’s grants are the filings describing ways to interface sports equipment with your iPhone, iPad or iPod, patents for Mac OS X dashboards and the MacBook keyboard and others seeking to protect icons and designs of popular software features.

Most people know of Apple’s long-time association with Nike and the Nike+ app that records your running routine. Earlier this year, the Cupertino, California company filed a patent to go one step farther, interfacing your iPhone with a treadmill, or other workout machine at the local gym. Now it appears that patent was granted. But, wait, there’s plenty more gadgets and gizmos Apple wants protected… Read More

 

Podi-m is a beautiful dock for your Lightning device

By Cody Lee on Nov 27, 2012

Both Black Friday and Cyber Monday are now behind us, meaning that Christmas is less than a month away. And for those of you looking for last-minute gifts for that special gadget-lover in your life, iOS accessories are always a nice choice.

Unfortunately, there aren’t a ton of options available for Apple’s newer devices like the iPhone 5 or the iPad mini due to their new Lightning connectors. But if you’re determined to find something, you might want to check out the Podi-m… Read More

 

Apple acquired ‘Lightning’ trademark from Harley-Davidson

By Cody Lee on Nov 26, 2012

Back in September, Apple fulfilled the prophecies of the rumor mill and introduced a new charging port for its iOS devices called ‘Lightning.’ As expected, it had 9 pins, and was reversible, so you could insert the plug either way.

Interestingly enough, two trademark applications published on Sunday by the EU Patent & Trademark Office show that Apple actually had to acquire the ‘Lightning’ trademark from the motorcycle-maker Harley-Davidson… Read More

 

The iPhone 5 Lightning Dock review

By Jeff Benjamin on Nov 20, 2012

As most of you probably know by now, Apple has no plans to create a first party dock like it has for previous versions of the iPhone. That’s unfortunate, since I rely on a dock for doing videos and such, and I know plenty of others miss it as well.

The only recourse us iPhone 5 owners have, is to opt for a third party product. One such product is The Lightning Dock, a dock comprised of a solid piece of aluminum, which can be ordered in one of four configurations.

After ordering my Lightning Dock back on October 5th, I finally received it in the mail yesterday via USPS. Needless to say, I was stoked to finally have a dock that could function with new Lightning enabled devices like the iPhone 5, iPod touch 5th gen, and even the iPad mini.

Take a look inside for our hands-on video walkthrough and review… Read More

 

JBL launches two Lightning docking stations

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 15, 2012

JBL today announced a pair of interesting iOS docking stations with built-in support for Apple’s new Lightning I/O. Filed as JBL’s first-ever Lightning-enabled speakers, both the $199 OnBeat Venue LT and $99 OnBeat Micro also feature a built-in USB connector for hooking up non-Lightning music sources. The smaller OnBeat Micro is the perfect traveling companion due to its tiny footprint and support for standard batteries which can provide up to five hours of playback.

Its bigger brother, the Venue LT, can dock via a built-in Lightning port any iOS device with Lightning I/O, which currently entails the iPhone 5, the fifth-gen iPod touch, the new iPod nano, the iPad mini and the fourth-gen iPad… Read More

 

Elevation Lab releases iPhone 5 adapter for popular dock

By Cody Lee on Nov 14, 2012

Good news this afternoon for Elevation Dock owners. The company behind the Kickstarter phenomenon, Elevation Labs, has released an official Lightning adapter for the dock allowing you to use it with your shiny new iPhone 5Read More

 

Scosche unveils new Lightning accessories

By Cody Lee on Nov 14, 2012

It’s been nearly two months since Apple released the iPhone 5, and accessories for the handset are still extremely hard to find. So far all we’ve seen, as far as Apple-approved add-ons, are a car charger and sync dock from Belkin.

Good news this morning though. The California-based Scosche Industries has announced its own official lineup of Lightning accessories, which includes a wall charger, a car charger, and a retractable USB charging/sync cable… Read More

 

Apple and MFi makers: Lightning is waterproof, ethical accessories

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 8, 2012

We relayed word mid-October that Apple would hold a two-day discussion with third-parties in Shenzhen, China the following month in order to discuss terms an guidelines pertaining to Lightning-compatible accessories that bear the Made for iPhone / iPod / iPad (MFi) program logo. In spite of secrecy, one publication has learned a few topics that are being discussed at the meeting.

For starters, Lightning I/O is waterproof. So, knowing the dynamically assigned pins of the Lightning connector won’t corrode or degrade if dunked into water should make you feel good. I’m just taking a wild guess here, but it’s quite possible Apple made this move to appease a cottage industry around waterproof accessories. More tidbits below the fold… Read More

 

Belkin launches two official Lightning accessories

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 5, 2012

Unofficial Lightning accessories that use cracked chips one-up Apple’s offering on price, but the “Made for iPhone” (MFi) stamp of approval has its advantages, mostly by reassuring buyers that MFi accessories meet Apple’s standards of quality and extensive testing. Belkin was the first third-party manufacturer out of the gate with 30-pin connector accessories back in 2003.

On Monday, it has also become the first official Apple partner to launch Lightning-enabled accessories. The company launched a car charger and a sync dock, both priced within reach of budget shoppers. Belkin is accepting pre-orders today, promising to ship the products later this month… Read More

 

Apple’s Lightning to Micro USB Adapter hits US online store

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 2, 2012

Apple’s been an avid supported of USB for years. With USB 3.0, not so much – at least not until first Mac notebooks with USB 3.0 support began rolling out of assembly lines last year. The company, however, never adopted the industry-standard Micro USB connector. Instead, and much to the horror of the multi-billion dollar accessory biz, it chose to replace its own bulky, decade-old proprietary 30-pin dock connector with Lightning, another proprietary connector similar in size to micro USB (there’s a reasonable explanation for that).

So, if you fancy connecting your Lightning-enabled mobile devices to micro USB cables and chargers to sync and charge, Apple comes to the rescue with its official Lightning to Micro USB Adapter. Originally released in Europe in September due to regulations mandating that all mobile phones be charged via commonplace micro USB adapters, it’s now finally available to U.S. customers. How much? Just $20. I know, don’t start… Read More

 

Unofficial Lightning docks arrive

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 30, 2012

As Apple prepares to convene with accessory makers next month in order to lay out new rules pertaining to third-party Lightning gear, companies like iPhone5mod continue to exploit the supply-demand imbalance in order to produce unofficial accessories like cables and adapters that all use cracked Lightning chips.

iPhone5mod already has a few of these in its offering and they’ve just announced another accessory which could easily strike a chord with long-time Apple fans: a Lightning dock. Just like it removed the optical drive from the new iMac, Apple with the iPhone 5 stopped making docks for Lightning devices. Therefore, this opportunity has basically presented itself… Read More

 

Unofficial Lightning cables and adapters shipping November 3 for half the price

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 24, 2012

iPhone5Mod previously released an interesting iPhone 5 Flash Lightning Dock, its first unauthorized Lightning-equipped accessory, and recently announced a nice backplate replacement for your iPhone 5. Today, they’re launching three new Lightning accessories set to ship November 3. Of course, these unsanctioned cables and adapters lure with low prices that significantly undercut Apple’s comparable offerings (think a 50 percent discount or more). We’ve got more information and nice promo clips right past the fold… Read More

 

New Lightning HDMI and VGA adapters, 12W USB charger now on sale

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 24, 2012

Per rumors, Apple yesterday alongside the iPad mini, a revamped iMac, refreshed Mac mini and the new 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro also took the wraps off some new Lightning accessories that will be of note to people who want to show off their presentations, apps, games and more on devices that accept HDMI or VGA input.

Each adapter commands a steep $49 price and is available now from the online Apple Store, with shipping estimates already slipped to a 2-3 week backorder. Apple also put on sale a more powerful USB iPad charger that now provides twelve watts of power instead of ten, helping with faster charge times… Read More

 

Apple could release four new Lightning adapters today

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 23, 2012

According to a well-informed blog, in addition to the iPad mini and some new Macs, Apple today could also release a set of four new Lightning adapters and cables, two of which are aimed at providing compatibility with digital cameras via USB and SD cards, costing $29 each. The other two should provide a way to feed video from the device to external displays, projectors and other devices via the industry-standard VGA adapter or digital AV, priced at $49 each… Read More

 

More headache for Apple and MFi partners as multiple clones of Lightning design emerge

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 22, 2012

Apple has replaced its decade-old 30-pin connector with a brand new 9-pin Lightning plug in its latest round of iPhone and iPod refreshes last month. Per teardown, the new Lightning I/O has also brought with it an authentication chip that along with tightened ‘MFi’ terms is meant to prevent third parties from making unapproved accessories.

Adding insult to injury, it’s also been suggested that cracked chips which bypass its authentication functions are now available. Today, BGR posted images of several claimed third party authentication chips for Lightning USB cables.

Of course, the chips are not officially approved by Apple and present an ample opportunity for shady Chinese firms to manufacture Lightning cables, adapters and other accessories that should easily work with Lightning-equipped iOS devices while costing far less than Apple’s overpriced alternatives…. Read More