I was gutted to find this morning that my brand new iPhone 4 didn’t work with my beloved TomTom Car Kit — the best automotive cradle/charger for the iPhone, bar none.
The iPhone 4 fits in the cradle OK, but it doesn’t charge. Discovering this filled me with disappointment. I love the TomTom Car Kit (which costs $100 but is well worth it). It holds the iPhone just where I want it for navigation and music. It charges the iPhone, and boosts the GPS signal when using TomTom’s excellent navigation app. And it doesn’t move, even if I clumsily bash on the iPhone’s screen with my big sausage fingers.
So I’m delighted there’s a simple and inexpensive fix for the charging issue — a small strip of velcro.
As Engadget tipster Ben Peacock Martin Alaniz discovered, you cut a small strip of velcro (the soft side) and stick it to the back of the Car Kit cradle, just behind the dock connector.
There is no need to attach anything to the iPhone itself. The velcro acts as a cushion holds the moving part of the cradle flat, pushing the Car Kit’s electrical contacts against the iPhone’s. Simple and cheap.
If you’re eager to ensconce your iPhone or iPod Touch in the shell of a far inferior (but nostalgically remembered) medium of analogue music delivery, the iPhone Cassette Tape case looks like a great buy. Not only does it look pretty sweet, but once your iPod or iPhone is inside, all you need to do is flip the cassette shell around to make it functional as a stand.
Unfortunately, they are only available to purchase in bulk right now, but some geek-oriented web outlet is sure to start selling them individually as soon as their own orders are in.
The iOS device-controlled AR.Drone quadricopter from Parrot, last seen terrorizing my co-workers, will finally reach the consumer market in September for $299. The crazy vehicle, which can do things that no flying thing should be able to, for lack of better words, uses cameras, WiFi, and the iPod touch, iPhone, or iPad to look through a live video feed, steer around blind corners, hover, bank, and generally act amazing.
Oh, yeah, and you can hold augmented reality dogfights with your friends. An Android client will ship eventually, but for now, this thing is for Apple users only. Check it out!
The Icon by essential tpe is a design first in a peripheral line all too dominated by bulky li-ion boxes: it looks good. Actually, it looks great, aping the style of the iOS replenishing battery icon by using electroluminescent lighting film that displays the add-on battery’s power level even when it’s unplugged.
It has all the hallmarks of just another Yanko Design wishful-thinking concept, but essential tpe swear that this is a real product which they are ready to sell you… an assertion perhaps belied by the lack of pricing details and the rendered appearance of the product shots.
We certainly hope it’s a real product though: the Icon just looks too sexy for us to root against it.
Curious about Apple’s own foray into protective iPhone cases, the bumper? The guys over at AppAdvice have taken some pretty shots of the bumper case ensconcing a new iPhone 4.
It looks surprisingly good, especially wrapped around the white model, and my guess is that by offering some padding around the iPhone 4’s most vulnerable fracture point, the $29 case will be pretty good at keeping your iPhone safe from cracks… but keys shredding your screen will be just as big of a concern as a totally unprotected handset.
Despite Apple’s feelings about them, my guess is you’ll want to invest in a protective film even if you pick up the bumper.
We here at Cult of Mac receive a ton of email asking “What’s the best _____?” or “I just got a new iP___, tell me what sweet apps I should purchase!” Though we try to cover the vast realm of the best of Apple products, software, and accessories we know that crowdsourcing it to you guys will give us some interesting results.
We’re posting questions on our Facebook Page or Twitter profile and taking your answers into consideration. Here’s the first question of our Nerd Debates: “What’s the best iPhone case out there and why?”
Y’know how you’ll be watching a basketball game and your team’ll be winning fairly comfortably, and then, bam — they’ve suddenly lost the game and you’re not quite sure how it happened? So it goes with Sony’s somewhat aging DR-BT160AS Bluetooth headset: It hits the mark on many elements, misses slightly on a few — and then somehow drops the ball at one critical spot.
Kyle Buckner has come a long way from sketching fantasy Apple accoutrements for school projects, though even he admits he’s set “a fairly big price” on his latest work – an elegant iPhone docking station that’s part art piece and part kick-ass speaker system.
After making inquiries about getting his prototype design mass produced for more economical sale, Buckner has decided for now to let his one-of-a-kind item fetch what it will on eBay, with a starting bid just shy of $3K.
But making and selling pricey one-offs isn’t the talented designer’s idea of success. “I would love to design new products for companies,” he told us in an email exchange. “I love making prototypes for my ideas but with no way of easily mass producing them, I’ll never make it.”
So Bucker’s focused his attention on looking for work with manufacturers on product design, industrial design, furniture design….anything that would put his talents to more effective (and less risky) use.
About 30 years ago, Monster began to carve out a name for itself selling cables-on-steroids to musicians. Recently, they’ve decided to take on the likes of Bose and Audio-Technica with a line of hip-hop inspired headphones called Beats by Dr. Dre.
In between the series of massive, battery-operated over-ear models and in-ear buds sits the Solos, a folding, on-ear set that seems to hit all the key points for a stylish set of traveller’s headphones: Fly looks? Check. Portability? Yeah. Sublime, bass-infused sound? In spades. It even has a microphone. In fact, the only thing missing here — except for in one component — is Monster’s legendary build quality.