How to spot a fake Lightning cable

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Use the cable that came with your iPhone as a reference to spot fake Lightning cables.
Use the cable that came with your iPhone as a reference to spot fakes.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Who cares if that cheap charging cable you buy is a fake? It’s just a cable, right? Maybe, maybe not. A fake Lightning cable could contain malware, for instance. Or it could be miswired, damaging your iPhone the way a miswired USB power cable can destroy a laptop computer.

The best case is that your device may not sync or charge. The worst case is that your iPhone could get damaged, or the cable could overheat and set fire to your home while you sleep. Here’s how to make sure a Lightning cable is legit.

Up your charging game for iPhone, Apple Watch, and more [Deals]

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We've rounded up some of the best deals on essential accessories for your charging-related needs.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

For all the convenience of mobile technology, it can be a drag having to keep our devices juiced up. Whatever your situation, we’ve rounded up some top shelf charging upgrades that’ll offer new ways to juice up your most-used devices. We’ve got a universal Lightning dock, a wireless charging station for Apple Watch, a set of extra long set of Lightning cables and super sleek USB charging hub for your car. Everything’s going for a healthy discount, read on for more details:

Who says a car charger needs to look boring?

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Lust List Tylt car charger
The Ribbn lends a touch of style to your car-charging game.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Best List: Ribbn car charger by Tylt

Simple, elegant and fun, the Ribbn car charger is no-muss, no-fuss.

Offering up 4.8 amps, Tylt’s little Lightning charger plugs into a standard cigarette lighter socket and adds a bit of bright-blue bling to your car’s interior.

Gadget Watch: Cameras, cameras and even more frikkin’ cameras

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Cameras, cameras, cameras. German photographic trade show Photokina is just around the corner, and the big names are outing their latest models before the news pipes get completely clogged with the tangled hair and soap scum of new releases. So this week we have a bunch of cool new cameras and accessories, including a GoPro harness for your pooch, along with the usual mix of gadgets designed to make you want to part with your cash.

Cameras, cameras, cameras. German photographic trade show Photokina is just around the corner, and the big names are outing their latest models before the news pipes get completely clogged with the tangled hair and soap scum of new releases. So this week we have a bunch of cool new cameras and accessories, including a GoPro harness for your pooch, along with the usual mix of gadgets designed to make you want to part with your cash.


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Xync’s cable-concealing carabiner could double as a paperweight

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The Xync is handy, but a bit too bulky. Photos: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Moshi’s Xync packs a Lightning-to-USB charging cable into a handy, dangly carabiner-clip package, and adds a secret compartment on the side. But is it better than just carrying a regular Lightning cable in your pocket/bag? The short answer? Hmm…

The long version? Read on.

Gadget Watch: New gear for the beach, the bedroom and the kitchen

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Even the BeachSafe won’t save you if you leave it alone on the beaches of Barcelona, but it’s still a pretty neat idea. It’s a tote bag that folds out to make a seat for sitting on the sand. Slide your towel out of its compartment, fill that compartment with sand (for ballast) using the built-in scoop and secure the bag’s opening with a combination lock. It won’t stop anyone from making off with the whole thing, but I like the idea of a combo bag/seat, whether it’s safe or not. €60

Even the BeachSafe won’t save you if you leave it alone on the beaches of Barcelona, but it’s still a pretty neat idea. It’s a tote bag that folds out to make a seat for sitting on the sand. Slide your towel out of its compartment, fill that compartment with sand (for ballast) using the built-in scoop and secure the bag’s opening with a combination lock. It won’t stop anyone from making off with the whole thing, but I like the idea of a combo bag/seat, whether it’s safe or not. €60


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Jumper Card Packs Lightning, 30-Pin And MicroUSB Into Credit Card-Sized Package

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Back in the 1980s, and probably continuing into the 1990s, every neat gadget was shoehorned into a credit-card-shaped form factor. Magnifying glass? Credit-card-sized. Vinyl record de-duster? Credit-card-sized. And so on.

The Jumper Card continues this excellent heritage by putting a Lightning charger, a 30-pin dock connector and a microUSB charger into the same credit-card-sized package, ready to be slipped into your pocket. But not your wallet, because, like all “credit-card-sized” gadgets, this one is way too thick.