Accessories makers embracing Bluetooth to side-step Lightning, AirPlay and Apple exclusivity

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

 

Pre-orders for Nomad 3-inch USB-to-Lightning cable open, shipping in June

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

 

RokDock is the new iPhone throne [review + giveaway]

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

 

Teardown reveals Apple’s Lightning Digital AV Adapter contains tiny computer

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

 

Apple looking to add USB 3.0 support to Lightning connector

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 treatmentRead More

 

Mophie offers insight on Apple’s strict Lightning accessory program

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

 

Apple launches shorter Lightning cable, rounder headphones

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

 

Scosche Lightning chargers arrive

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

 

iHome to debut new Lightning audio docks at CES

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

 

Apple alters MFi guidelines following Kickstarter project fiasco

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

 

Apple’s strict MFi terms force Kickstarter project to shut down

By Cody Lee on Dec 21, 2012

Back in September, things were going pretty good for the folks at Edison Junior. Their Kickstarter project POP, a portable power station, was a huge success, raising more than $100,000. And they were hoping to start shipping the accessory by early December.

But unfortunately, instead of mailing out POPs to their backers this month, Edison Junior is trying to figure out how to not go broke returning everyone’s money. It seems that Apple has rejected their application for a Lightning certificate, forcing them to shut down… Read More

 

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