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 Christian Zibreg on Jun 24, 2013
One of the little-known features of iOS 7 that not many people will like is its background check of whether or not a third-party accessory is hooked up to the your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad using a non-certified Lightning cable.
We’ve know Apple has tightened its MFi program rules (MFi stands for ‘Made for iDevice’) and iOS 7 seems to be stepping up a cat and mouse game between Apple and non-MFi vendors…. Read More
By Cody Lee on Jun 19, 2013
This is quite interesting. It appears that AT&T has begun installing charging stations in parks throughout New York to help keep smartphones and other mobile devices up and running. The stations are solar-powered and capable of charging a wide range of gadgets.
The carrier says that the new Street Charge project was born out of its work during the recovery from Superstorm Sandy. After the hurricane ripped through most of the eastern US, AT&T setup charging stations in the blacked out areas. And now it’s expanding on the idea… 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
By Cody Lee on May 23, 2013
It’s almost impossible to stand out in the crowded space of smartphone accessories these days. This year’s CES alone saw nearly 1000 new mobile add-ons, from 590 different manufacturers. And that’s just a single 4-day trade show.
But it’s no surprise that the folks over at iLoveHandles have managed to do it with their new ‘Trunk’ Lightning cable. The understated accessory may look like just another Lightning to USB cable, but it actually doubles as an iPhone stand… Read More
By Jim Gresham on May 14, 2013
Covering several Bluelounge products 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
By Ed Sutherland on May 9, 2013
Much has been written about Apple’s new Lightning connector, introduced with the iPhone 5 to supercede the aging 30-pin Dock connection. Thursday, the United States Patent and Trademark Office published three Apple patent filings from 2012 detailing how the Lightning connector is built. Among the questions addressed: how did Apple create an “orientation agnostic” connector design while also ensuring stability and proper alignment? Read More
By Ed Sutherland on May 6, 2013
A growing trend by accessory makers to adopt wireless connections could disconnect Apple from a significant source of revenue. In a departure from the days of the iPod, where accessories such as speakers were designed with 30-pin connections fitting only Apple devices, add-on device manufacturers are have increasingly been turning to Bluetooth for some time to connect a growing number of mobile devices – many not made by Apple.
The reason for the transition includes the rise of Samsung, Amazon and other iPhone and iPad rivals, along with the feeling Apple kept secret from accessory makers its new Lightning connection. As a result, some of the largest accessory makers are turning to the wireless Bluetooth standard to avoid any more surprises from Apple, according to the New York Times… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Apr 19, 2013
The three-inch Nomad Lightning cable made waves when it was announced back in November 2012. This handy little USB-to-Lighting accessory fits your key ring and comes to the rescue when you find yourself out and about with a dying iPhone and no charger in sight.
Originally a Kickstarter project, creators Kegan & Roberto developed the Nomad according to Apple’s strict requirements in order to earn the sought-after Lightning accessory certification. The Nomad cable is available for pre-order now, priced at $24.99 a pop (no shipments expected until June)… Read More
By Jim Gresham on Mar 12, 2013
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
By Cody Lee on Mar 2, 2013
This is kind of interesting. The folks over at Panic, the Oregon-based software company behind Mac apps like Coda and Transmit, were doing some digging around in Apple’s Lightning Digital AV Adapter, and discovered it contains a tiny computer.
Now, we know Apple has a penchant for embedding authentication chips and such in its cables, as a way of controlling third party iOS accessories. But this is completely different. The Adapter has a built-in ARM SoC, 256MB of RAM and runs an OS… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Feb 24, 2013
Apple is probably looking to add compatibility with high-speed USB 3.0 interconnect to its new Lightning connector. The tiny Lightning I/O debuted on the iPhone 5 in September 2012 as a replacement for Apple’s decade-old 30-pin Dock connector. The controversial move has introduced incompatibilities with legacy accessories that now require an additional $29 or $39 adapter from Apple, even earning a funny Joy of Tech treatment… Read More
By Cody Lee on Feb 14, 2013
When Apple introduced the iPhone 5 last fall, it turned the iOS accessory market upside down. In addition to the new handset, the company unveiled its new Lightning dock connector—a 9 pin port that instantly made millions of add-ons obsolete.
But Apple didn’t just change the connector, it also tightened up the requirements for its third-party MFi accessory program. And today, Mophie, who just announced the Helium battery case for the iPhone 5, offers some insight on the changes… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Feb 14, 2013
Just as Scosche launched its new wall and car Lightning chargers earlier this morning (in addition to the world’s first official retractable Lightning-to-USB cable), Apple has made some tweaks to some of its own accessories.
Surprisingly enough, the new and shorter 0.5-meter Lightning to USB cable costs the same nineteen bucks as Apple’s 1-meter Lightning to USB cable, making the purchase of the latter a no-brainer. The shorter Lightning cable arrives just as Apple last month unveiled the new $29 0.5-meter Thunderbolt cable. Also new: a tweaked In-Ear Headphones… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Feb 14, 2013
Announced back in November 2012, Scosche’s chargers based on Apple’s Lightning I/O are now available for sale at the company’s web store. The California-based accessory maker now sells a range of Lightning chargers for use with your car and home sockets. Wall chargers are priced up to $34.99 and car chargers start at $24.99. In addition, Scosche also sells the $24.99 three-foot retractable Lightning-to-USB cable. More on this hear right after the break… Read More
By Cody Lee on Jan 5, 2013
As most of you know, iDB will be at The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next week. And though Apple itself won’t be there, there will be tons of iOS-flavored products and peripherals worth reading about. Take these new Lightning-compatible audio docks from iHome, for example… Read More
By Cody Lee on Dec 21, 2012
Earlier today, we told you about the unfortunate story of POP, the portable power station. In just a few short months, the accessory went from a popular Kickstarter project with over $100,000 in funding, to essentially deadweight due to Apple denying their request for a MFi license.
The problem was, the POP’s use of other charging cables in conjunction with the new Lightning connector violated Apple’s Made For iPhone terms, thus leading to the license rejection. Well today, following the story, Apple has updated its MFi guidelines and released a statement… Read More