I have no illusions about this retractable Lightning cable for charging your current-gen iOS devices – it looks so much like the crappy USB and 30-pin dock connector cables that come in those vending machine accessory kits that I wouldn’t be surprised if you could break the thing inside a few weeks, just by using it as it is meant to be used.
But it is just $10, and it is actually available to buy, which are two major points in its favor.
Unshielded, shoddily built and as close to dangerous junk as you can get without actually being dangerous. Today, this description happens to apply to these knock-off Lightning adapters from China, but it could equally describe any cheap no-name Chinese electronic accessories.
I will be ordering a Button 2.0 for every single one of my shirts. I will even be sewing them onto my t-shirts in order to make them more useful. Why? As you can see in the image above, Button 2.0 is a simple upgrade to boring old Button 1.0 which turns it into a grippy place to clip your iPhone’s headphone cable.
Complaining about Apple gypping you by changing its terrible, bulky, hard-to-use 30-pin dock connector for the sleek, double-sided Lightning connector? Then take a look at the alternative from Samsung. One of the few things it didn't copy from Apple was the giant connector, but that's not to say it got anything right.
With the announcement of a single piece of hardware, Apple has obsoleted thousands of iPhone accessories, almost overnight. Between the thinner, taller case and the new Lightning sync/power adapter, pretty much none of your old accessories (or any accessories you can currently buy) will fit the new iPhone.
Does it matter? Should you stop buying iPhone-specific accessories? Just how useful will these stop-gap adapters be? Find out with our iPhone 5 accessory guide.
It used to be that if your phone ran out of juice, you could just pop into the nearest bar or cafe and ask “Do you have a Nokia charger?”, and the waitron would hand you one of the needle-tipped jacks from some cupboard or drawer.
Now, things have moved on. Battery life is measured in hours, not days, and Nokia is going the way of RIM and if a bar has an iPhone charger, it’s likely the bartender is using it to charge his own iPhone.
What you need is a charger that is always with you. What you need is the Case:Lynk.
Aleratec’s Charge-Glo dock cable has a very simple yet very neat gimmick: like the MagSafe charger you have for your MacBook, it sports an LED in the plug, and this LED changes color to show charging status. No more tapping at your iPhone’s home button to see if it has done charging.
This handsome retro-styled accessory is the Textile iCable from Eastern Collective, a dock-connector with its wire wound in cotton to make it look like an old-timey kettle lead or even a bicycle pump adapter. And if I wasn’t banking on Apple switching over to a new dock connector for all future iDevices (and if I didn’t already have a drawer full of white cables), I’d probably already have ordered a few.
When I first glimpsed the Highline, I teased, calling it “an almost spectacularly misguided idea.” The Highline is a curly cable which hooks into your iDevice’s 30-pin dock connector and keeps it safe from drops and attempted snatch-and-grabs. Despite my conclusions, the kind folks at Kenu sent one over to the Cult of Mac test labs to check out. And while I’d probably never have a use for one, it turns out that it does its job just fine.
Aviiq’s new “Quick Charge Universal Dock Adapter” is a handy three-in-one charger cable featuring miniUSB, microUSB and a 30-pin dock connector, all connected permanently to a regular-sized USB plug on the other end. Yes, it’ll cost you $30, but then again, you’ll never, ever leave an essential cable at home again.