Today Square unveiled its new card reader with a design that’s nearly half the size of the original. By ditching clunky stock components in the first Square Reader, the mobile payments pioneer has created a smoother card swiping experience and sleeker, tapered design the second time around.
How did Square achieve such drastically improved hardware in only one revision? Apple’s former head of accessories, who led the development of the Lightning connector, was in charge.
In the market for a new Lightning cable for on-the-go charging purposes? Then consider the awkwardly-named “8-pin Lightning Data Sync (iTune) Blocker” from USB Fever. Not only is is like about a third of the price of Apple’s own cable, but it comes with a switch on the wire that’ll let you plug your iDevice into any charging hole without worrying that it’s going to suck out your data of pump it full of filthy malware.
This goldie-lookin Lightning cable seems absurd at first, a piece of shiny nonsense that surely costs a fortune, aimed squarely at the kind of fools that pay real money for Swarovski crystal and Vertu phones. But in fact it’s a pretty great gadget. Why?
When I ordered a Retina iPad mini, I went for the cellular version – and not only because it means I can get online anywhere without draining my iPhone’s battery by tethering. I got it for the GPS, which is pretty fantastic to have when traveling, especially in the (big) pocket-sized mini.
But if you didn’t have the foresight to spend the extra $130 on a cellular, you can now spend that exact same $130 on a dongle that adds GPS through the Lightning port.
Ever find yourself stuck without a cable when you need to charge your iPhone? No, me either. I’m a nerd and a professional gadget tester, so at pretty much all times I have some kind of Lightning cable, dock or adapter either on my person or close to hand.
But if I got out more, and was more stylish in general, then I’d be sporting a Kyte & Key Cabelet, or cable bracelet.
Touch ID has received all kinds of praise since it made its debut on the iPhone 5s last month, so naturally, the question everyone’s asking is whether the new fingerprint-scanning technology will make its way to other iOS devices.
If you’re looking for an ultra-simple dock, or just for a way to stop your iPhone skittering across your desk every time you snap it’s cable, then you might like the Rolio from Blue Lounge. Not only is it one of the most versatile iPhone and iPad charging accessories around, it’s also one of the most affordable.
If you’re considering buying a gold iPhone 5s, you might also considering throwing a few bucks towards the Juicies+ Kickstarter. They’re making a gold Lightning cable that would look absolutely perfect plugged into your new gold iPhone 5S.
If iPhone 5 chargers keep getting smaller at the same rate, soon the whole thing will fit inside the Lightning hole like some kind of USB-powered suppository. For now, though, you’ll have to settle for the still impressively small ChargeKey, a teeny tiny USB-to-Lightning adapter that – yes – hooks onto a keyring.