Sketchy report calls for iPhone 7 with USB-C, dual cameras, Touch ID-integrated screen & more

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 1, 2015

A sketchy rumor originating from sources in China has it that Apple is currently experimenting with at least five different iPhone 7 configurations, each with its own unique hardware characteristics.

Some of the features Apple is reportedly testing out for the next iPhone include a USB Type-C connector compatible with wireless headsets, wireless charging, multi-touch-capable Force Touch technology, dual cameras and a next-generation Touch ID technology embedded within the display. Read More


PowerMe will turn any device into a power source

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 22, 2015

A new accessory that launched earlier today on the crowdsourcing platform Indiegogo attempts to solve an important concern with mobile devices—battery life—with an interesting twist.

Dubbed the PowerMe, this tiny multi-purpose dongle turns almost any mobile device outfitted with a microUSB port into a mobile battery pack for your other gadgets, including Lightning-enabled iPhones, iPads and iPods.

In addition, the PowerMe lets you share photos, music and other documents between devices and it’s small enough to easily snap onto your keyring. Read More


Apple Pencil ships with extra tip and Lightning-to-Lightning adapter for USB charging

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 20, 2015

Apple’s $99 stylus accessory for the iPad Pro, the Apple Pencil, conveniently comes with a spare tip and includes a special Lightning-to-USB adapter to save users from having to precariously charge their Pencils directly from their iPads.

A spare tip is a nice addition as it gives Pencil customers piece of mind knowing that wearing down the tip won’t force them to take their accessory for servicing. Read More


The iPad Pro Lightning connector is capable of supporting USB 3.0 speeds

By Jeff Benjamin on Nov 12, 2015

According to CNET’s iPad Pro review, Apple’s just-released tablet is capable of supporting USB 3.0 transfer speeds via its Lightning connector. The report, which corroborates a finding by iFixit, and was later brought to our attention by MacRumors’ Juli Clover, is notable for a few reasons.

First, it would make the iPad Pro the first and only device that Apple makes (that’s not a Mac) to support USB 3.0 transfer speeds. Secondly, it means that copying large 4K video files to the device will be much more feasible. Read More


How to direct connect an iPhone to an iPad to share photos and videos

By Jeff Benjamin on Oct 17, 2015

Today I learned that it’s possible to directly connect an iPhone to an iPad via a Lightning cable. To create a dual-sided Lightning cable, just take a regular Lightning cable and connect the USB end to a Lightning to USB Camera adapter. This, in essence, creates a Lightning to Lightning cable that can be used to directly connect an iPhone to an iPad.

This setup is a novelty to do just because you can. In practice, I find that it actually adds little value in terms of transmission speed. Still, it’s cool that it can be done, which is why I thought I’d share with you.

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How to create a USB install disk for OS X El Capitan the right way

By Jeff Benjamin on Sep 10, 2015

Now that the final GM version of OS X El Capitan is released, it’s time to revisit how to create a USB install disk. Chances are high this GM seed will be the same version of OS X that ships later this month on September 30th.

Not only is the OS X 10.11 GM available to registered Apple developers, but it’s also available via Apple’s public beta program. With this in mind, you may now deem it the appropriate time to take the plunge, if you already haven’t thus far.

In this post, we’ll show you how incredibly simple it is to create an OS X El Capitan USB install disk from scratch. All you need is a USB disk with at least 8GB of storage space.  Read More


Nomad launches iPhone car charger with 3,000 mAh battery, USB C and more

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 31, 2015

Nomad, makers of beautiful accessories for Apple’s mobile gadgets, today announced a new car charger for the iPhone and other gadgets that offers some novel features normally not found in car chargers.

Billed as “the first battery pack designed for your car,” the Nomad Roadtrip integrates a 3,000 mAh battery and provides both the standard USB port and USB-C for charging the latest devices. Read More


Review: Skiva PowerFlow 7 Port StandCharger + Giveaway

By Jeff Benjamin on Aug 21, 2015

Chances are that if you’re reading this review, you have more than one portable device that charges via USB. Maybe you have two—a tablet and a phone—or maybe you have multiple phones.

Admittedly, someone like me is a bit of anomaly, as I review phones and cover them on a daily basis. Hence, it’s not out of the ordinary for me to have multiple smartphones at any given time. This has especially become true as I get acquainted with more Android devices.

One of the main caveats of having this many portable devices is keeping them charged. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve picked up a phone or a tablet that I haven’t touched in a while, only to find it dead—the dreaded “dead phone syndrome”.

The problem really is two-fold: a). I don’t have enough wall outlets and chargers in convenient places to keep the devices topped off, and b). my devices are usually scattered all over the place.

Skiva’s new PowerFlow StandCharger 7-Port USB Charging Station aims to eliminate both problems. It can charge all of your devices at the same time via the seven 2.4 Amp USB ports, and it also houses each device in a organized manner.

But does the Skiva do enough to warrant a serious look? Is this $59.99 device truly better than your current system of charging your device? Check out our video walkthrough and thoughts inside.
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Good deal: Plugable 7-Port USB 3.0 hub

By iDB Deals on Jul 7, 2015

Find organization in your desktop clutter with the Plugable 7-Port hub. Charge, sync and power up to 7 devices from just one USB port, it’s the ultimate space saving solution and is available for $32 with iDownloadBlog Deals for a limited time – saving you 13% off the retail price.

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Get fast power for three devices with the Mpow car charger, now 80% off

By iDB Deals on Jun 4, 2015

On the road? Get in the fast lane with the high-speed Mpow car charger, now $13.99 at iDownloadBlog Deals.

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Kinkoo charges up to six USB devices at once [deal]

By iDB Deals on May 20, 2015

Charge all of your devices at the same time—fast—with Kinkoo’s 6-port charger. Get it at iDownloadBlog Deals today for $35.

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Charge up to six devices at the same time with the Rapid Charge USB Wall Charger

By Lory Gil on Apr 29, 2015

It is highly likely that you have three, four, or even six rechargeable mobile devices in your home (possibly more). Whether you are using a smartphone, tablet, e-reader, wireless speaker, or some other device that uses a USB cable to recharge, there are probably a lot more gadgets lying around than you realize.

Choetech makes a six port Rapid Charge USB Wall Charger that, not only supports charging of six devices at the same time, but also provides fast charging with up to 10-amp output. Read More


Charge your iPhone and Apple Watch simultaneously with these dual USB chargers

By Cody Lee on Apr 26, 2015

The first night I took off my Apple Watch, I ran into a problem. I went to plug the charger into the outlet behind my nightstand, and I realized both spots were taken—1 by my iPhone alarm dock and the other by my lamp. So I started looking into dual USB chargers.

Figuring I wasn’t the only one coming up a plug short, I decided to share my findings here on iDB. I’ve compiled a list of 8 dual USB chargers that I feel are worth checking out. They vary in price and design, and as usual, I’ve only included those with high ratings, making sure they are some of the best dual USB chargers you can use with your iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Read More


Good deal: Satechi 4-Port USB Clamp Hub

By iDB Deals on Apr 8, 2015

With the USB ports hidden on the back side of most computers and tech products, convenient access to these ports often feels like a luxury not afforded. An innovative and thoughtful solution to that problem is the Satechi Aluminium Clamp USB Hub, which brings 4 USB ports front and center (or wherever you want) on basically any device you own. Get this cool clamping hub for just $20 at iDownloadBlog Deals. Read More


Poll: should USB-C replace Lightning on iPhones?

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 18, 2015

Apple’s new 12-inch MacBook has left watchers scratching their head over its one-port design.

By replacing Thunderbolt I/O, standard USB, MagSafe and SD card ports with a single, much slimmer USB-C port (also known as USB Type-C), the company was able to create “the future of notebook.”

At the same time, the new notebook does inconvenience users, at least over the short term, by requiring various adapters to connect the machine to their existing accessories. Thankfully, there’re signs that the industry is going all in on USB-C.

Google’s recently refreshed Pixel notebook has two USB-C ports, for example. In addition, upcoming accessories, like Nomad’s versatile Apple Watch charging dock incorporate USB-C as the new charging standard.

It may be a safe bet to wager that USB-C will eventually take the gadget industry by storm, but this begs the question of Lightning I/O on iPhones, iPods and iPads. Is what we’re seeing here Apple’s next iPhone connector, do you think, or should the company stick with Lightning I/O for the next ten years? Read More


Here are the three USB-C adapters for the upcoming MacBook

By Jeff Benjamin on Mar 9, 2015

The new 12″ Retina display-equipped MacBook Air is heavy on new innovative features, but noticeably light on ports. In fact, only one port (outside of the headphone jack) for external devices exists on the new machine—a new USB-C connector. This connector will take care of all duties when it comes to external connections. It will handle the power adapter, it will handle USB, and it’ll even do the heavy lifting for external video like HDMI and VGA.

As you might expect, the MacBook doesn’t come bundled with any adapters outside of the power cable. Here’s a look at some of the adapter accessories that will be available when the MacBook launches on April 10th. Read More


Review: PlugBug World by Twelve South, the versatile little charger Apple should have made

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 2, 2015

Aren’t you sick and tired of those unsightly, clunky wall chargers lying underneath your desk? I’m all for simplification so solutions that cut down the number of power adapters needed to juice up my devices are bound to win my attention.

Twelve South’s PlugBug World is a cute hybrid charger which connects to any MacBook brick or Apple USB wall charger.

By integrating an additional 2.1-Amp USB port, this compact accessory can quickly recharge any iOS device, or a lower-powered USB device, while feeding power to a MacBook at the same time.

Continue reading as I let you in on the PlugBug’s little secrets, such as its cunning adaptability, versatility and smart design choices that make it stand out from other products and turn it into an indispensable companion in your mobile arsenal. Read More


Poll: how do you feel about Apple’s reportedly radical MacBook Air redesign?

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 7, 2015

A well-sourced report from 9to5Mac’s Mark Gurman has ignited a heated debate on social media about the practicability of a brand new twelve-inch MacBook Air model as it’s said to ditch standard USB ports, the SD Card slot and even its Thunderbolt I/O and MagSafe power connector in favor of a single, fully reversible USB Type-C port.

Critics who call it a step back usability-wise, not forward, mention the original MacBook Air which released in January 2008 with just one USB port on it. On the other hand, they forget that USB Type-C does a lot more than standard USB. For starters, it can safely replace Thunderbolt for video and data I/O and MagSafe for charging.

That being said, there are still some fundamental questions like how am I supposed to connect an iPhone to the machine if the only USB port is used for charging? I’ll ellaborate on the viability of a one-port MacBook Air further below, but first tell us, if you will, your initial reactions to the purported design of the forthcoming notebook. Read More


CES 2015: OWC puts desktop-class SSD into USB 3.0 thumb drive, previews FusionDrive-like app

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 7, 2015

At CES, Other World Computing launched several new products aimed at Apple users, including a new desktop-class solid state drive (SSD) packaged inside a tiny USB 3.0 thumb drive form factor and a work-in-progress version of the forthcoming Transwarp software which marries traditional hard drive to SSD cache akin to Apple’s own FusionDrive solution. Read More


This micro USB to Lightning cable adapter can help eliminate cable clutter

By Jim Gresham on Dec 10, 2014

Tired of carrying around multiple cables? Of course you are! Lots of gadgets pile up around iOS devices. There are battery cases, portable Bluetooth speakers, powered headphones, and the like. Unfortunately, none of them use Lightning cables for charging as they instead require a micro USB.

I keep both a Lightning cable and micro USB cable in my daypack at all times. Actually, I keep two Lightning and two micro USB cables in my pack. My forgetfulness only proves the challenge of keeping enough cords around. If only there was a cable to satisfy both standards. Thanks to accessory maker TYLT, the Syncable-Duo is just the solution. Read More

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