By Christian Zibreg on Aug 15, 2014
The USB Promoter Group in December of last year formally announced [press release] a brand new USB 3.1 Type-C specification.
We’ve gotten pretty excited by this development as the updated standard calls for much smaller, twice as fast cables with reversible connectors that can be inserted with either side facing up, much like Apple’s own Lightning I/O.
We then heard these new cables and connectors would be arriving this summer. Sure enough, on Tuesday the group said USB Type-C connectors are now ready for production and available to PC and mobile device makers.
Coincidentally or not, Apple’s upcoming iPhone 6 and new iPads may ship with an enhanced Lightning cable featuring a reversible connector on the USB side, according to a Chinese outlet which provided photos of the new cable… Read More
By Sébastien Page on Jul 25, 2014
Why is this 6 month old cable already falling apart? That’s the question my wife asked one day, referring to the Lightning cable she has plugged by her side of the bed to charge her iPhone at night.
As much as I tried to find a good reason, there was nothing I could say that would actually explain why this fairly new cable was already fraying. The only explanation I could give her was that these cables are crap.
It’s not like we’re rough on these cables either. We actually take good care of them. My wife’s charger, for example, has never been anywhere but her bedside, just being used at night. This is not the kind of usage you’d think would be so detrimental to a cable supposed to last several years.
Since I believed this cable was still covered by my iPhone warranty, I decided to take it to Apple and see if they would replace it. Read More
By Cody Lee on May 13, 2014
Folks looking for a way to move media and other data between their iOS devices and computers locally may want to check out the iStick. The newly-announced device may look like an ordinary USB flash drive, but it features a built-in Lightning connector.
The creators of the iStick, Hyper, say it’s the first of its kind, and the whole purpose behind it is to provide users with a way to quickly and safely move data between their computers, iPhones, iPads and iPod touches without the need for iTunes or the Internet… Read More
By Joe Rossignol on Apr 30, 2014
I recently went on a road trip to Montréal, only realizing upon arrival that I had forgotten my official Lightning cable back home. With my iPhone running out of battery and no Apple Store within a short distance, I reluctantly purchased a third-party knockoff cable from a local electronics shop. In hindsight, it was a terrible decision. The cable barely worked and my iPhone constantly prompted me with compatibility warnings. It was a waste of both $20 and my time.
For that reason, I am enthusiastic about a new Kickstarter campaign for an upcoming product called the Quickdraw Cable by Woodford Design. It is hard to get excited over a simple cable accessory, but the Quickdraw has several advantages over a traditional Lightning connector and most third-party knockoffs. For starters, the one-meter cable is crafted with anodized aluminum plugs that are high quality and sturdy. That includes both strong cable strain relief and a waterproof design… Read More
By Jim Gresham on Apr 5, 2014
Docks are my favorite iPhone and iPad accessory. I am not exactly sure what about them is enticing, but having my iOS devices propped elegantly at my workstation has been alluring since I first purchased an iPhone. Apple’s products are not just devices for productivity. Apple’s products are works of carefully crafted art.
In that nature, I would rather prop them up as a showcase. You wouldn’t buy a $600 piece of art and let it lay aimlessly around your home. You would place it prominently, making sure others can tell you have great taste. You own an iPhone, right? Apply the same concept… Read More
By Cody Lee on Mar 16, 2014
Folks in the market for a new case for their iPad mini or iPad mini with Retina display may want to check out this new Tough Armor case bundle from Stack Social. The deal site is offering a case, 3 screen protectors and a 5 foot Lightning cable at a steep discount.
The case is from Spigen’s Tough Armor line, which has churned out several popular iPhone cases, and there are 3 screen protectors—two for the screen, one for the back of your iPad. The Lightning cable is also made by Spigen and has been certified by Apple… Read More
By Cody Lee on Mar 5, 2014
Apple has been taking criticism for its new Lightning connector since it was introduced alongside the iPhone 5 in 2012. The change instantly made millions of cases and other accessories incompatible, forcing users to either buy updated products or do without.
Those complaints have since spilled over into the Lightning cable’s durability, with the Apple Store showing a 1.5 star rating of the cable on over 1,200 reviews. Apparently the cable is vulnerable to breakage, fraying, and according to a new report, corrosion as well… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Feb 28, 2014
The Arq, a new Kickstarter project, seeks to solve the problem of charging multiple devices simultaneously. This cleverly engineered accessory lets you charge multiple form factor iOS and Android devices individually, via either Lightning or micro USB. And thanks to its modular design, devices can be charged in groups or closely nested together, because Arq docks can be conveniently nested together, all within a small footprint.
To give you the exact idea of the Arq’s size, each measures 1.85 inches deep, 4.03 inches wide and 1.38 inches tall. There are also nano micro suction pads on the bottom that keep the Arq firmly anchored to smooth surfaces for easy undocking, as seen on the Slope iPad stand I recently reviewed… Read More
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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