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.
White Wave Dock by Modern Tech Category: Docks Works With: All Lightning iDevices Price: $22
For the longest time, there were no Lightning docks available for iPhones or iPads, and it looks like Apple will never make one. I have some thoughts on why that might be, but we’ll get to that in a bit. For now, we’re going to take a quick look at the seemingly crappy dock I picked up from Amazon last month. It’s called the “White Wave Lightning Dock Docking Charge Station for Apple iPad Mini/ iPad 4G/ iPhone 5/ iPod Touch 5G/ iPod Nano 7G,” which should give you some idea of the kind of SEO-mad company behind it.
Over the weekend, a fascinating little post over on the Panic weblog revealed that the Lightning AV adapter meant to send video out from a connected iPhone or iPad over HDMI had an interesting little secret to it: it’s not a converter so much as it is a tiny ARM-based computer with a tiny SoC and 2GB of RAM!
The guys at Panic had a theory that this meant that the Lightning AV Adapter booted a miniature version of iOS every time it was connected, and that it was using a bizarre, hardwired version of the AirPlay protocol to do its streaming. That’s not actually the case, but an anonymous Apple engineer has now given the backstory behind this fascinating little bit of engineering.
Now that you’ve upgraded to the latest iOS devices, you’re probably wondering what to do with all your old 30-pin speaker docks. You could get a $30 Lightning to 30-pin adapter from Apple and continue to use them, but for just $15 extra, you can get the auris and turn them into wireless Bluetooth speakers.