Lightning connector Stories January 8, 2016

Over 200,000 people petition Apple to abandon rumored plans to ditch the 3.5mm headphone socket

Reports that Apple plans to ditch the 3.5mm headphone socket on the iPhone 7 in favor of Lightning headphones have been growing in number, and a recent poll found that 70% of you expect Apple to go this route. However, it appears some 200,000 people aren’t very happy about it.

A somewhat hysterically-worded petition calling for Apple to retain the 3.5mm socket had attracted some 204,000 signatures at the time of writing. The opening paragraph sets the tone …

Apple is about to rip off every one of its customers. Again.

Apple introduced MFi specs for Lightning headphones last year, and a few models are already available. The latest report, from Fast Company, suggests that Apple will also be introducing noise-cancelling technology, which it will be encouraging third-party headphone makers to adopt.

Lightning connector Stories October 12, 2015

Quick Review: OLALA Apple-Certified MFi 6000mAh battery is a convenient iPhone charger for $24

 

We’ve been using the Apple-Certified OLALA MFi iPhone/iPad charger for almost a month. It is an iPhone-sized battery with a built-in Apple Certified Lightning cable which can be extracted from the battery. The plug is at a 90-degree angle which allows for easy charging in a bag or pocket.

The specs to know on this one are:

  • 5V 2.4A  (12W) output meaning the charge is about as fast as can be taken by an iPhone or iPad
  • 6000mAh Capacity  meaning it has enough battery to last up to 2 full iPhone charges (or 1 iPad Mini)
  • It also has a second USB port to charge a second phone or any other device that charges via USB
  • It charges via Micro-USB cable- included.
  • 4 LEDs indicate power level
  • Dimensions: 127.5×63.5x14mm Weight: 146g
  • Comes with 30-day money back guarantee, and 1 full year warranty

Without attempting to be anti-climactic, OLALA does what it says. It always has an iPhone’s worth of charge ready for you when you need it. That Mifi Lightning cable being built in sure does come in handy and the L-shaped retractable tip makes charging super-simple.

Use 9to5mac‘s exclusive $6 off coupon code BL3UY33F to purchase one at $23.99 with free shipping at Amazon. If you don’t have free Prime shipping, you need to pad your order to over $35 otherwise you’ll get tagged with your $6 back in shipping.

Lightning connector Stories October 10, 2015

SolarTab-iphone

If you’ve ever tried to charge your iPhones/iPads/etc. directly from a small solar panel you probably know it is pretty difficult. Even with direct sunlight, you aren’t likely to be able to charge the device reliably. Most USB-charged devices require a minimum of 5W (5Vx1A) of continuous power to even register a charge. Then a cloud comes or the sun moves and you aren’t charging anymore.

Adding a battery to the mix helps, especially if the battery is big and can charge the device on its own without any sun. But most of the solar/battery combos fall into 2 categories: Either messy because they are a bulky 2 step solution or the solar panel is too small to make a meaningful charge and you are mostly using it like a regular USB battery.

solartab

SolarTab is a breath of fresh air here. It is a relatively big 5.5W solar panel built on a thin 13,000mAh battery enclosure that fits in an included Moleskine-esque case. Size-wise, think the original iPad with a nice leather case and a huge solar panel instead of a screen…

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Lightning connector Stories September 22, 2015

Apple patents half-height 3.5mm headphone jack, ready for slimmer future iPhones

While Apple appears to view the Lightning port as the future headphone connector of choice, with some manufacturers already on board, there are plenty of us who’ll be reluctant to replace our existing, expensive headphones. Which poses something of a problem as iPhones and iPads continue to get slimmer, and existing ones barely accommodate the 3.5mm socket.

Apple, however, has a potential solution to this in  a patent granted today (via Patently Apple). It’s essentially a standard 3.5mm jack cut in half, to make it much smaller in cross-section. This could easily be used with existing 3.5mm jacks using an adapter. The clever part is that it’s actually chopped off a little above the halfway mark, so the revised connector would still fit snugly in standard 3.5mm jacks on other devices.

As always with Apple patents, there’s no telling whether it will ever make it into production, but this one strikes me as a neat solution to a problem that could arrive as early as the iPhone 7, KGI suggesting that it will be around 6mm thick.

iPhone 6 photo: ukmobilereview.com

Lightning connector Stories September 22, 2014

IMG_3371

Update: We’ve rounded up some nice 2.1A AC/Car charger and battery upgrade options for the iPhone 6/Plus

Apple has apparently enabled much faster battery charging in the newest iPhone models, but you’d never know it if you only use the included power adapter. According to a change in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus discovered by iLounge, both of the new smartphones are equipped with the hardware to support 2.1A charging.

The problem? Apple only includes a 1A charger in the box. If you’ve been using that AC power adapter to recharge your phone, there’s a much faster way to do it. Since the iPad has long supported 2.1A charging, you can grab a charger for the Apple tablet and use that to achieve a much quicker charge.

Another way to benefit from this new capability is to plug your iPhone directly into a newer-model Mac, which will charge it at the appropriate speed. iLounge noted that the Macs tested for this feature were running Yosemite with no mention of OS X Mavericks, so it’s possible that the change may require the upcoming OS, which is currently is public beta. expand full story

Lightning connector Stories August 24, 2014

Screen-Shot-2014-08-25-at-3.04.20-AM.png

We’ve seen hundreds of iPhone 6-related part leaks, rumors, and claims, and of course lots of comparison photos. Below, via Yaya888 and Gizmobic, we have the latest. These shots compare the iPhone 5 to the space gray 4.7-inch physical iPhone 6 model. The new phone is expected to be introduced on September 9th.

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Lightning connector Stories September 19, 2013

warning

As we suspected when Apple added a warning to a pre-release version of iOS 7 that non-certified cables may not work reliably with iPhones, the launch version is actually blocking some of them from charging the phone. Certified cables contain a chip that allows them to authenticate.

We first spotted this in a Reddit post, and have since confirmed. The warning message itself is unchanged, but it’s no longer an empty threat – though as seen in comments, some non-certified cables are still working. Possibly ones that use cracked chips. The good news is that there is a workaround for others, but it’s not pretty …  expand full story

Lightning connector Stories June 24, 2013

Credit: Ferry Passchier

Credit: Ferry Passchier

We’ve seen a pretty consistent pattern when a new iPhone is released: the previous model gets significantly cheaper, and the model before that tends to be widely available on free-with-contract deals. We’ve already seen the process beginning in anticipation of the 5S, with AT&T cutting the on-contract price of the iPhone 5 to $99 and 4S to $49, with Walmart going a little further with a $39 deal for the 4S.

But with the prospect of the long-awaited low-cost (or lower-cost!) iPhone being released at the same time as the 5S, might we expect to see the plastic iPhone being offered as the freebie in the iPhone 4S’s place … ?  expand full story

Lightning connector Stories February 14, 2013

Could Apple unleash an update that breaks third-party unauthorized Lightning cables?

When Apple first announced that it would replace its old 30-pin connectors with the new, smaller Lightning standard, it took quite sometime for accessory makers to get on board. Accessory manufacturers had trouble producing Lightning-compatible products until cracking a unique authentication chip Apple is using in the new standard. Apple wouldn’t authorize official Lightning products until months later, when Apple briefed accessory makers at its MFi summit in November. Today, in a story from The New York Times, major Apple accessory maker Mophie outlined how Apple is keeping tighter control over companies making products for iOS devices with Lightning. It also warned Apple could potentially disable unauthorized Lightning products with a software update:

When a hardware maker signs up with Apple’s MFi Program, for companies that make accessories for Apple products, it orders a Lightning connector component from Apple to use in designing the accessory. The connectors have serial numbers for each accessory maker, and they contain authentication chips that communicate with the phones. When the company submits its accessory to Apple for testing, Apple can recognize the serial number.

The chip inside the Lightning connector can be reverse engineered — copied by another company — but it probably would not work as well as one that came from Apple, Mr. Howe said. Apple could also theoretically issue software updates that would disable Lightning products that did not use its chips, he said.“That’s one thing Apple is good at: controlling the user experience from end to end,” Mr. Howe said. “If you’re buying something in an Apple store, it’s gone through all this rigorous testing.”

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