MiniDock by BlueLounge Category: Docks Works With: iPhone 5, iPad mini Price: $40
Bluelounge’s new MiniDock really is mini. It’s a tiny little dock which perfectly matches the cuboid charger that came with your iPhone or iPad mini, and turns it into a wall-mounted dock. The device is as portable and effective as it is handy, especially if you never use a case. I have one here in Cult of Mac’s Spanish HQ, and I have been putting it through its paces in our Extreme Test Lab.
Here’s something for you: a bendable but still rigid Lightning-to-USB cable that can function not just as a charging and sync cable for your iPhone, but also as a make-shift stand, propping up your device on a coffee table, desk or even when it’s in a wall charger. $19.95. None too shabby.
One word cropped up over and over at the Consumer Electronics Show this year, and it wasn’t “speakerdock” (yes, that may be two words; but I’m merging them here because that’s what I’m doing). In fact, the word was “Bluetooth” — a word discordant with the very idea of a dock-equipped speaker.
And yet, amid the tsunami of Bluetooth-equipped speakers at CES, there were holdouts — adherers to the Old Way of doing things, of physically connecting a device to its speaker.
One such holdout is the Aud 5, iLuv’s first speaker dock to harbor a Lightning connector.
I have a handful of docks that I’ve stowed away in a drawer because I no longer own the iOS devices I bought them for; they were all bought for specific iOS devices, and they’re not compatible with my latest ones.
With the iDockAll, that’s not an issue, because it’s designed to fit any iOS device you own — including your iPhone, your iPad, and your iPod touch. It looks darn good, too, and it doesn’t prevent your iOS device from being used while it’s charging.
It’s not much bigger than a (large, fat) thumb — but this PhoneSuit Flex battery has more juice than all but the very, very largest iPhone battery cases. While it’s been available in 30-pin and Android/micro-USB flavors for months, it’s now also available for the iPhone 5.
There was a time when every hotel room had a 30-Pin Dock Connector in it somewhere, but eight or nine months after debut, Lightning — the 30-Pin Dock Connector’s successor — still hasn’t really taken off, outside of a few docks and battery cases. Sure, it’s a new standard, and Apple was famously very slow in issuing MFi deals to accessory makers who wanted to support Lightning… but even so, it seems companies have been slow to pick up the new standard.
Why? Once bitten, twice shy, it appears. In the aftermath of Apple’s Lightning transition, more and more companies are opting to embrace cheap, open wireless standards like Bluetooth instead of Lightning. And that’s probably costing Apple revenue.
As a reader of Cult of Mac, I’d say it’s a safe bet that you have a whole bunch of 30-pin docks around your home. And that those docks have been rendered useless by Apple’s evil insistence on equipping all of its new devices with smaller, tougher, easier to use Lightning plugs.
Now, we bring good news. With just €13, you can resurrect your pointless plastic paperweight.