By Christian Zibreg on Apr 2, 2014
Apple in late-2012 debuted the then new Lightning I/O as a replacement for the aging, decade-old 30-pin Dock connector. One of its most compelling features: the symmetrical design allowing the cable to be inserted with either side facing up.
I reckoned at the time that the industry would scramble to replicate Apple’s innovation. Sure enough, the USB 3.0 Promoter Group last December unveiled a new USB Type-C specification with much smaller, twice as fast connectors and cables.
You guessed right, USB Type-C is reversible so the new cables and connectors can be plugged in without worrying about the orientation. Leaked straight out of the world’s top contract manufacturer, Foxconn, the first renders give us a glimpse into the USB’s new Type-C, coming this July… 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 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 Cody Lee on Aug 17, 2013
Following a handful of fatal electrocutions in China due to the use of unauthorized chargers, Apple unveiled a new USB Power Adapter Takeback Program earlier this month to “enable customers to acquire properly designed adapters.”
The program, which allows folks to turn in their third-party adapters for recycling, or trade them in towards the purchase of an Apple-branded adapter, officially launched yesterday, and it’s now available in 30 countries around the globe… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Aug 12, 2013
Earlier this month Apple launched Takeback Program, a trade-in initiative encouraging buyers to dispose of third-party (especially knock-off) USB power adapters and buy Apple’s chargers at a discount.
The sudden and unexpected offer is in response to relentless reporting by China’s state-run media describing a fatality involving Chinese stewardess who electrocuted herself after using a knockoff charger to power her iPhone.
Takeback Program started on August 9 in China and will roll out to United States this coming Friday, August 16. While it was initially thought the offer was US and China only, a reliable blogger has learned that’s not the case as Apple is gearing up to launch the trade-in program in its other key markets, including Canada, France, Germany and United Kingdom… Read More
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
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 Jim Gresham on Jun 7, 2013
Determined to provide renewable power for all USB powered devices, SolePower transfers walking energy to a wearable storage unit for on-demand charging. While away from AC outlets, charging becomes increasingly difficult, even when toting around large solar panels. Similarly, battery backup cases only provide a specific amount of renewed life for a smartphone. The team of young engineers with SolePower insists on carrying a charging station all the time, in a shoe!
Walking motion capacitors are not new to the gadget scene, but an interchangeable sole is the new attraction. Adding SolePower is simple, just pull out the existing shoe insert and replace with a new iPhone charging version. Once the conversion is complete, walk between 2.5 and 5 miles to fully charge an iPhone… Read More
By Jim Gresham on Jun 3, 2013
Satechi just released a new USB 3.0 hub for the Mac enthusiasts. Long have we waited for a quality USB port extender that would match the design and look of the brushed aluminum. The new 7 port hub is smooth and compact, offering ample high speed connections for your various devices. As a powered unit, it offers up to 5Gbps over the 3.0 connection and comes in either black or white options… Read More
By Jim Gresham on Apr 10, 2013
Since my visit to CES 2013, a quest for a backup portable iPhone charger began. Running around the world’s largest trade show peddling for power was pretty ugly. New Trent was kind enough to send one over for review and it fitted the bill for my charging woes. A simple, travel size device, the iTorch IMP52D provided a full charge in just under 2 hours for my iPhone 5… Read More
By Cody Lee on Apr 1, 2013
Late last year we covered an interesting little iPhone accessory called the ChargeCard. It was just a Kickstarter project at the time, but we were really intrigued by the credit card-sized USB cable that’s capable of feeding power to your iPhone.
Apparently others were too, because it blew past its funding goal to become a real product. And now that it’s shipping, the ChargeCard team was nice enough to send me one to check out. Oh, and they sent me something for iDB readers too… 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 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 Mike Schnier on Feb 1, 2013
One of the features I’ve missed from the classic iPods is the ability to plug the devices into a computer in order to directly access their hard drives or flash memory. When I was in school, I didn’t carry a USB key around with me because I always had my iPod and everyone had the cables handy. While there is software that can transfer files between an iPhone and a PC, we’re generally not permitted to install programs on shared computers.
One solution is roqyUSB, a jailbreak utility that allows users to create virtual hard disks which can be accessed by USB. This isn’t the first virtual USB drive we’ve seen for jailbroken devices, but it is the first we’ve seen in a default repository… Read More
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
By Ed Sutherland on Oct 17, 2012
Apple is expected in early November to lay down the law to its developers on producing Lightning connectors. Among the Apple edicts: Lightning pins will be strictly controlled by the iPhone maker, which will provide them to “approved [developers] with production quantities of the pin once their product is determined to have met its standards and specifications,” according to TechCrunch.
As for potential knock-offs, the blog cites a source who warns lawsuits and import confiscations could be in their future. Without providing details, the source described as being “close to the program,” suggests the Cupertino, Calif. company will provide “additional security against low-quality copies” of the new iDevice connector… Read More
By Ed Sutherland on Sep 21, 2012
Apple apparently has gone to great length and expense to ensure consumers purchase only its version of the Lightning connector. The connector, which debuted with the iPhone 5, includes a chip which serves to prevent third-party alternatives, according to a report.
The authentication chip is located between the cable’s V+ contact and power pin, according to Double Helix Cables, which took the new cable apart, sharing its results with AppleInsider. Because the chip appears only in Apple’s Lightening cable, third-party alternatives offered by places like Alibaba.com won’t work, the company claims… Read More
By Cody Lee on Aug 29, 2012
We’re just weeks away from Apple’s next-gen iPhone event, and the leaked parts just keep on coming. This time it’s a wall charger, USB cable and a case — all of which appear to be made for the handset and its rumored smaller dock connector.
For the first time since its inception, Apple is widely expected to change the dock connector on its iPhone this fall. Instead of the usual 30-pin setup, it’s said to be utilizing a smaller, 8-pin connector that we’ll also see in future iOS products… Read More
By Cody Lee on Aug 22, 2012
Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen an increase in iPhone 5 part leaks — specifically the dock connector/headphone jack assembly. The components have echoed previous reports that the next-gen iPhone would have a smaller dock connector.
Adding to the evidence is a new photo of a USB charging/sync cable, which popped up online this afternoon. With its 8-9 pin end matching up with the previous parts we’ve seen, it’s believed the cable belongs to Apple’s new smartphone…. Read More