chargers Stories October 19, 2016

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Update 2: Amazon is reportedly working on a new Brand Central program to help protect brands from knock-offs. CNET says that few details are yet available, but one of those involved in a pilot scheme said that Amazon’s approach to dealing with counterfeit products has undergone ‘a sea change.’

Update 1: Amazon commented:

There’s no shortage of third-party chargers and cables sold for Apple equipment, some of them claiming to be the genuine article, but Apple has found that even Amazon has been selling counterfeit products labelled as the real thing. The products concerned were sold by Amazon directly, and not by a third-party Marketplace seller.

The items have now been removed from sale, and Apple is suing the company that made them …

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chargers Stories January 6, 2016

CES-2016-Apple-Watch-Hero

While the Consumer Electronics Show only technically began today, the week so far has been full of companies announcing all sorts of accessories. We’ve covered some of it in detail already, but new offerings are coming in at such a fast pace it’s hard to keep track of it all.

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chargers Stories November 30, 2015

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Several brand-new iPad and iPhone accessories I’ve been testing recently aren’t necessarily worthy of full standalone reviews, but because they come from some of our readers’ and editors’ favorite companies, they’re still worth knowing about. Four of the five are sequels to prior products I’ve covered, while one is totally new — though similar to an earlier design.

Today, I’m taking a quick look at Anker’s PowerCore+ 10050 ($33) and PowerPort 2 ($14), Just Mobile’s AluPlug ($30), and Mophie’s “new” Powerstation 2X ($60) and Powerstation 8X ($150). The names may sound familiar, but each of these power accessories is actually different from what came before, and better…

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chargers Stories November 18, 2015

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Nomad is ending 2015 with a bang. Having moved from small plastic accessories into using luxury materials including metal, leather, and wood, Nomad is flexing its design muscles with four new Apple device chargers that are equally attractive and creative. There’s a deluxe metal Apple Watch/iPhone travel charger called Pod Pro, the wood-encased iPad battery pack PowerPlant, a hybrid iPhone battery and car charger named Roadtrip, and a Lightning battery-equipped leather Wallet. Three of the accessories look as if they were expressly designed to be holiday gifts, while the fourth is less exotic, but practical.

The common thread here is “portable power.” Pod Pro steps up from Nomad’s Apple Watch-only Pod (reviewed here) by more than tripling the power to 6,000mAh, and adding iPhone charging. PowerPlant packs an iPad-ready 12,000mAh cell inside a solid American Walnut wood block. Roadtrip serves as a car charger in your car, doubling as a portable iPhone battery pack for on-the-go use. And Wallet guarantees you’ll have a 2,400mAh battery and Lightning cable anywhere you go. Below, I’ll quickly walk through all of these new accessories so you can get a sense of whether any or all of them is right for you, or your favorite gift recipient…

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chargers Stories August 4, 2015

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Like many other people right now, I’m in the midst of watching my house transform as a direct result of Marie Kondo’s best-selling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. As the title suggests, the book powerfully explains how to properly keep any room tidy, in the process helping you resolve lingering issues in your life. Thanks to positive press, strong word of mouth, and surprisingly tangible results, Tidying Up is rapidly taking minimalism mainstream, bucking an age-old trend towards hoarding untold quantities of stuff and leaving it scattered around one’s living and working spaces.

As a long-time minimalist, it’s refreshing to see decluttering catching on. But Kondo’s KonMari system — keep only those items that “spark joy” and are actually being used, discarding everything else — has created a problem for tech-savvy readers. No matter how necessary they’ve become in our lives, Apple device chargers don’t “spark joy.” In Kondo terminology, their cables are untidy; particularly if you’ve purchased inexpensive third-party options, they’re not particularly nice to look at.

I knew this was a problem when my wife, inspired by Tidying Up, nearly tossed out the multi-iPad charger our family has used for years. Yes, the charger was creating visual clutter, but we needed it — or something better — to keep everyone’s iPads working. My hunt to find minimalist solutions to our daily charging needs inspired this article. Below, I’ll run through a few options that will help you tidy up your iPad, iPhone, iPod, Apple Watch, and Mac spaces, so you (and/or your significant other) can achieve minimalism without giving up your favorite devices…

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chargers Stories July 22, 2015

An example of current Apple Watch stands that must utilize Apple’s official Watch charging cable.

Apple will soon let manufacturers in its Made for iPhone/iPad/iPod (MFi) licensing program include charging pads for the Apple Watch directly in their accessories, according to sources. Currently, dock makers can only offer charging by making unsightly openings in their docks for Apple’s official charger to sit, forcing users to bring their own cable and install it, and compromising an ideal design and user experience in the process. By making charging modules available to manufacturers to use, however, customers will be able to buy docks and stands with integrated chargers without needing to use their own.

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chargers Stories June 6, 2015

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Given the widespread adoption of Bluetooth wireless for in-car telephone calling and music streaming, it would be easy to write off Lightning connector-equipped car accessories as… decreasingly important. Any recent car with Bluetooth audio probably also has a USB port built in for Apple device charging and audio output, letting many people integrate iPhones, iPods, or iPads with cars using nothing more than a budget Lightning-to-USB cable.

But that’s not true for everyone. At CES in January, Griffin showed two new car accessories designed to help Apple users whose cars lack USB ports and Bluetooth. iTrip Bluetooth (aka iTrip Bluetooth Aux) hit stores a couple of months ago, turning any aux-only car stereo into a Bluetooth music receiver. This week, it was joined by iTrip AUX ($50, aka iTrip AUX with AutoPilot), which provides a one-connection charging, audio, and remote control solution for any Lightning-connector iPad, iPhone, or iPod. It has 2.4-Amp power output, capable of refueling any of these devices at peak speed, plus a line-out audio port, and an integrated three-button remote control. If Bluetooth sound quality isn’t good enough for you, or you value a single-connection charging and audio solution, this could be a viable car accessory…

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chargers Stories December 17, 2014

Holiday Gift Guide 6

Christmas and the end of Hanukkah are only a week away. You’re looking for a last-minute gift that’s guaranteed to arrive in time for the holidays. We’re here to help with a collection of top picks for Apple fans, all at great prices.

Welcome to 9to5’s Last Minute Apple Gift Guide!

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chargers Stories July 1, 2014

T-Mobile gets socked with an FTC complaint alleging the Uncarrier ‘Crammed Bogus Charges onto Customers’ Phone Bills’

It feels like just last month, TMobile CEO John Legere accused Verizon and AT&T of “raping” (ugh) its customers and that “the fuckers hate you”.

In a complaint filed today, the Federal Trade Commission is charging mobile phone service provider T-Mobile USA, Inc., with making hundreds of millions of dollars by placing charges on mobile phone bills for purported “premium” SMS subscriptions that, in many cases, were bogus charges that were never authorized by its customers…

The FTC alleges that T-Mobile received anywhere from 35 to 40 percent of the total amount charged to consumers for subscriptions for content such as flirting tips, horoscope information or celebrity gossip that typically cost $9.99 per month. According to the FTC’s complaint, T-Mobile in some cases continued to bill its customers for these services offered by scammers years after becoming aware of signs that the charges were fraudulent.

More in the PDF

Update: T-Mobile has responded publicly to the complaint saying it is being singled out…

We have seen the complaint filed today by the FTC and find it to be unfounded and without merit.  In fact T-Mobile stopped billing for these Premium SMS services last year and launched a proactive program to provide full refunds for any customer that feels that they were charged for something they did not want.  T-Mobile is fighting harder than any of the carriers to change the way the wireless industry operates and we are disappointed that the FTC has chosen to file this action against the most pro-consumer company in the industry rather than the real bad actors.

Full response here.

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