Samsung’s latest external SSD comes with USB-C

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 4, 2016

If you’re a proud owner of Apple’s one-port MacBook, up until recently you could only connect a handful of USB-C accessories without using a USB-C-to-USB adapter. But if CES is an indication, 2016 is going to be the year of USB Type-C.

Earlier today, my colleague Jeff told you about several MacBook-friendly USB Type-C monitors and I wrote about Griffin’s USB-C power cable which brings MagSafe charging to the MacBook. Samsung, too, has jumped on the USB-C bandwagon with the Portable SSD T3, basically a next-generation, USB-C-enabled version of its external solid state drive series.

The switch to USB-C connection has made possible data transfer speeds of up to 450 megabytes per second, enough to handle 4K video editing. And with compatibility across multiple operating systems and devices, the T3 works not only with your MacBook but other USB-C-enabled notebooks and desktops. Read More

 

Griffin’s new USB-C power cable brings MagSafe charging to 12-inch MacBook

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 4, 2016

Apple’s twelve-inch MacBook is one hell of a laptop in terms of portability, build quality and features, but some people are fretting over its limited expandability. With just one USB-C port, folks who wish to connect more than one accessory to the notebook must buy pricey USB-C adapters.

Sadly, the adoption of USB-C on the one-port MacBook has also meant nixing Apple’s tremendously popular MagSafe adapter.

If you’re concerned about sending your notebook flying by accidentally tripping over its USB-C charging cable, Griffin has a solution for you in the form of a newly announced charging cable that brings MagSafe-like technology to the new MacBook. Read More

 

Lightning to SD Card Camera Reader review: USB 3.0 brings faster file transfer to iPad Pro

By Jeff Benjamin on Dec 11, 2015

Of all the products that I’ve reviewed as of late, this is one of the ones I’ve been most excited for. Since getting the iPad Pro and trying to establish a video editing workflow with the extra large tablet, I’ve run into a few bottlenecks. The most obvious bottleneck has to do with transferring video from an SD Card to the iPad Pro’s flash storage.

All of the dongles that I had available were of the USB 2.0 variety, so transfer speeds were horrendously slow when trying to get 4K video files from my Panasonic GH4 to my iPad Pro.

Fortunately, the iPad Pro does support USB 3.0, which results in a much faster file transfer experience—it was just a matter of Apple releasing an accessory that supported the extra throughput. The first accessory to do so is Apple’s just-launched update to its Lightning to SD Card  Reader. The dongle looks very much like the previous version of the reader that debuted in 2012, but the Late 2015 update has USB 3.0 support in tow.

How is the experience when transferring large files to the iPad Pro with this new reader? Should those of you invested in a video or photo workflow consider dropping the $29.00 asking price for the updated version? Read More

 

iOS 9.2 lets you import photos and videos directly to iPhone via USB

By Jeff Benjamin on Dec 8, 2015

The just released iOS 9.2 brings with it something that iPhone users have been wanting for quite some time now: the ability to import photos directly from a USB source via Apple’s USB Camera Adapter. Data transfer is still going to operate at USB 2.0 speeds, but having the option to work on videos and photos shot on traditional cameras is a nice new perk for iPhone users. Read More

 

Apple launches Lightning to SD Card Camera Reader to support USB 3.0 transfer speeds on iPad Pro

By Jeff Benjamin on Dec 8, 2015

If you’re looking to quickly transfer photos and videos from your camera’s SD Card to the iPad Pro, then look no further than Apple’s own Lightning to SD Card Camera Reader ($29.00) to handle the job. Apple explicitly states on its store page that the peripheral supports USB 3.0 transfer speeds on the iPad Pro.

Interestingly, the same cannot be said for Apple’s Lightning to USB Camera Adapter, as that still only supports USB 2.0 transfer speeds. The Lightning to SD Card Camera Reader, which just launched and is available to ship in 3-5 business days from Apple’s online store, appears to be the only accessory to support USB 3.0 transfer speeds on the iPad Pro at this time. Read More

 

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.

Read More

 

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.
Read More

 

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.

Read More

 

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.

Read More

 

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.

Read More

 

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

 
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