hubs

Brilliant Belkin iPhone stand uses Apple DockKit to keep camera pointed at user

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Belkin Auto-Tracking Stand Pro in use
The Belkin Auto-Tracking Stand Pro can be your virtual cameraman, whether you're making a TikTok video or simply on a video call.
Photo: Belkin

The Belkin Auto-Tracking Stand Pro is the first-ever accessory to work with Apple DockKit. Using this tech, it can hold up an iPhone, rotate and tilt to keep the camera focused on the user during video calls.

After being announced CES 2024 in January, the accessory reached the market on Friday.

Kensington hub uses Thunderbolt 5 to transfer files at an amazing 120Gbps

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Kensington SD5000T5 Thunderbolt 5 Dock
Thunderbolt 5 means this upcoming Kensington multiport dock offers transfers at up to 120Gbps.
Photo: Kensington

Kensington on Monday unveiled one of the first docks using Thunderbolt 5, a new version of the networking standard that’s up to three times the speed of its predecessor. The SD5000T5 will sport an array of ports, and support dual 8K displays.

Also at CES 2024, the accessory-maker took the wraps off a trio of USB-C docks.

How to access a USB drive with iPhone or iPad

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How to access a USB drive with iPhone or iPad
Using a USB drive with iPhone or iPad is much easier than it used to be.
Image: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The world is full of USB drives, from portable thumbdrives to full external SSDs. Happily, you’re not closed off from these just because you use an iPhone or iPad. Connecting to external drives has gotten much easier than it used to be.

And you’ll have full read/write access to everything on the drive. You won’t even need to install any software, as the app you need comes preinstalled on your device.

Easily connect your Mac to a TV with this very affordable 4-in-1 USB-C dock [Review] ★★★★

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Easily connect your Mac to a TV with this very affordable 4-in-1 USB-C dock [Review]★★★★
The Plugable USBC-4IN1 can connect a 4K HDMI TV to a Mac or iPad, and add more high-speed USB accessories, too.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The movies and shows on a MacBook or iPad can be easily played on a full-size TV, but many computers need an adapter to add the HDMI port. The Plugable USBC-4IN1 has just what’s needed, offering 4K video at 60Hz. Or Plugable’s USB-C dock is well suited for using an HDMI monitor to get work done.

Plus, it stands out from the pack with a USB-C port that supports simultaneous 100W power pass-through charging and 10Gbps data transfers. There’s a couple of high-speed USB ports, too.

I put the surprisingly affordable accessory through a series of test to see if it lived up to its promises. Here’s what I found.

Go old school with very affordable new USB hub

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Go old school with very affordable new Plugable USBC-HUB4A USB hub
Add four useful ports to Mac or iPad with Plugable's inexpensive USB-C hub.
Photo: Plugable

Plugable just launched a hub for MacBook or iPad users who need to connect to multiple USB-A accessories. It includes four ports for legacy accessories, and connects to the computer via USB-C.

The inexpensive hub is designed for use in an office or on the go.

This clever multiport hub is also an accessory case [Review] ★★★★☆

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JSAUX Omnicase 2 Pro review★★★★☆
The JSAUX Omnicase 2 Pro includes just about all the ports a traveler needs.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The JSAUX Omnicase 2 Pro is an 11-in-1 USB-C travel hub that offers USB and video ports plus SD card readers. And it sets itself apart from rival hubs with a built-in case for storing a cable, various adapters and SD cards. It’s ready to connect a Mac or iPad to USB accessories, monitors, Ethernet, memory cards and more. And it includes adapters if you run into connection problems.

I tested the multiport hub out to see how well it works. Here’s what I found.

Take Thunderbolt speed on the road with new Hyper hub

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Sanho HyperDrive Thunderbolt 4 Power Hub review: You can never have too many high-speed data ports, and the HyperDrive Thunderbolt 4 Power Hub adds three more to your Mac or iPad Pro.
You can never have too many high-speed data ports, and the HyperDrive Thunderbolt 4 Power Hub adds three more to your Mac or iPad Pro.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The most important feature of the new Hyper Thunderbolt 4 Power Hub is something it doesn’t have: a giant power brick. The three-port hub offers 40Gbps data transfers as its rivals do, but in a more compact form.

The device was unveiled in summer 2022 and went through crowdfunding but is only now available for all to buy.

Sleek new 7-in-1 USB-C dock offers dual 4K HDMI ports

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Sleek new 7-in-1 USB-C dock offers dual 4K HDMI ports
Add a pair of 4K monitors on the go with this portable USB-C dock.
Photo: Plugable

Plugable’s new USB-C dock is small enough to be mistaken a hub but has room for seven ports. And that includes dual 4K HDMI ports that can be used even with Macs that ordinarily support only one external monitor.

The USB-C HDMI Docking Station also has USB and Ethernet ports, as well as an SD card reader.

Cut cable clutter with mountable Belkin 6-in-1 hub

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Cut cable clutter with mountable Belkin 6-in-1 hub
Your iMac can have six more ports without adding a bunch of wires to your desk.
Photo: Belkin

Place the new Belkin Connect USB-C 6-in-1 Multiport Hub in the back of an iMac or monitor to discreetly add multiple ports to a computer. It offers a couple of USB-A ports, memory card readers and more.

The hub is available now.

Add Ethernet and 6 more ports to MacBook with this clip-on USB-C hub [Review]

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HyperDrive Duo Pro 7-in-2 USB-C Hub review
The HyperDrive Duo Pro clips to a MacBook and adds HDMI, USB-A, Ethernet and more.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The HyperDrive Duo Pro 7-in-2 USB-C Hub plugs into the side of a MacBook to add a variety of useful ports. The standout is Ethernet, but there’s also USB-A, HDMI and microSD.

I did real-world testing of the 2022 version of this clip-on hub, and found that it lives up to the hype.

Connect 3 displays to your MacBook with Hyper’s new 4K docking station

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Hyper's new 4K docking station lets you easy run three external displays with your MacBook.
Hyper's new 4K docking station lets you easy run three external displays with your MacBook.
Photo: Hyper

Feel the need for more external screens to go with your MacBook Air or MacBook Pro? On Tuesday Hyper rolled out its new HyperDrive 4K Multi-Display Docking Station. It’ll help you connect up to three 4K displays with a 60Hz refresh rate.

And what’s more, the dock works with every MacBook made since 2016, Hyper said.

Add a trio of blazing-fast ports to your Mac with new Plugable Thunderbolt 4 hub

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Add trio of blazing-fast ports to your Mac with new Plugable Thunderbolt 4 hub
Plugable’s just-launched Thunderbolt 4 hub makes your Mac more useful by adding accessories that require very fast connections.
Photo: Plugable

The new Plugable TBT4-HUB3C hub turns a single Thunderbolt 4 port into three of them, expanding the number of high-speed accessories that can be connected to a Mac or iPad Pro. That includes big displays and large-capacity drives.

And Plugable also launched new 1-meter and 2-meter Thunderbolt cables Thursday.

Improved HyperDrive is the USB-C hub your iPad needs [Review]

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Sanho HyperDrive USB-C 6-in-1 Hub for iPad review
Attach the Sanho HyperDrive USB-C 6-in-1 Hub to your iPad to use a wide variety of accessories.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The Sanho HyperDrive USB-C 6-in-1 Hub clips to an iPad and adds a collection of ports, allowing the tablet to make use of a variety of popular accessories, from mice and headphones to external displays. The multiport adapter offers outstanding functionality in minimal space.

The original version is one of the best iPad accessories ever. I tested the followup and it’s even better.

Plugable ‌USB-C hub‌‌ ‌connects 7 accessories, won‘t strain your wallet

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Plugable USB-C 7-in-1 Hub works with MacBook or iPad Pro
The Plugable USB-C 7-in-1 Hub easily connects an HDMI monitor to a MacBook, and much more.
Photo: Plugable

Plugable decided to stand out in the crowded market for USB-C multiport adapters with a low-price offering. On Tuesday, it unveiled a 7-in-1 Hub that comes in at a significantly lower cost than many of its rivals.

Even so, it can connect to multiple legacy USB-A accessories, a external monitor and removable memory cards.

HyperDrive Ultimate Ultimate Hub adds a whopping 40 ports to your MacBook

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This USB-C hub has everything but the kitchen sink.
This USB-C hub has everything but the kitchen sink.
Photo: Hyper

Many people would like to add a few ports to their MacBook Pro, but Hyper just launched a hub for people who’d like to add a ridiculous number.

The HyperDrive Ultimate Ultimate Hub offers more than three dozen ports, in an unbelievably wide variety. It goes a long way toward turning a MacBook into a desktop PC.

Check out the new USB-C hub indicator icon in iOS

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The new USB-C hub indicator icon on the 2018 iPad Pro.
The new USB-C hub indicator icon on the 2018 iPad Pro.
Photo: Cult of Mac

When you plug a USB-C hub into your new iPad Pro, you will see a new icon appear in the iOS status bar, up on the right by the battery, Wi-Fi, and LTE status icons. It’s a little blue lozenge with an icon of an old-style Camera Connection Kit in it, and it appears for just a short moment.

The new icon is handy to let you know that your hub has been recognized, but it doesn’t always work as expected.

New USB-C hub makes MacBook Pro backward-compatible

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Type-C hub
The hub to end all the hubbub about the MacBook Pro's USB-C ports.
Photo: SCOSCHE

Apple has made accessories companies busy working furiously to create the perfect dongle or hub for users furious over a new MacBook Pro will only USB-C ports.

We crave change and innovation from Apple, then moan when we are not ready for it. SCOSCHE Industries hopes to ease your transition with a new USB-C AV multiport adaptor with three ports for your peripheral devices.

Neat USB Hub Almost As Handsome As Your MacBook

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In the age of tiny, efficient Thunderbolt and Lightning ports, stuffing a full-sized USB plug into a Mac now seems so very very old fashioned. Still, USB is still the oversized and awkward norm, and stuff them into our Macs we must.

Which is where Satechi’s “Premium 4-Port Aluminum USB 2.0 Hub” comes in.

Twitter Releases New iPhone App

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twitter4

Today, Twitter announced a new design for the popular micro-blogging site that will start rolling out over the next couple of weeks, which they hope will make it easier than ever to connect with other users and discover great new content.

If you go to Twitter.com, you won’t see the sexy new interface for a while yet, but as part of their push to update all officially supported Twitter platforms to the new paradigm, Twitter has pushed out a totally overhauled version of the Twitter for iPhone app.