Apple aims for wide adoption of platform-exclusive tech
New information has been revealed on the specifications Apple has in mind for its planned licensing of the female Lightning port for third-party accessories. Manufacturers have reportedly been briefed on details and objectives, which include spreading Lightning to as many different accessories as possible in place of micro-USB. Possibilities include not just things like docks and headphones, but battery cases, gamepads, and Bluetooth speakers.
Tech requires no built-in batteries
Philips has announced a new set of Lightning headphones, the Fidelio NC1Ls. As with the company's previous Lightning hardware, the NC1Ls include their own 24-bit digital-to-analog converter. New to the product, though, is active noise cancellation -- based on inverting the input from four integrated microphones. Unlike most noise-cancelling headphones, the NC1Ls run on the power of the device they're connected to, eliminating the need for built-in or replaceable batteries (but also introducing additional battery drain on mobile devices).
Port tech should simplify some accessories
As a part of last week's Made For i conference in China, Apple introduced a pair of important changes to standards for Lightning connectors. Above all is that accessory makers will now be allowed to include built-in Lightning ports. In the past, companies have been forced to include separate USB connections for charging products, even though Lightning is fully capable of delivering power.
Juno Power announces cloth braided Lightning cables
Portable power solutions company Juno Power has announced its newest line of Lightning adapter cables, named Kaebo. An Apple-certified charge-and-sync cable, the Kaebo features high-strength cloth that is resistant to rips or tears. Its aluminum build is designed to withstand most accidental damage. The cable is equipped with an aluminum connector and USB head for optimal performance, and is available in silver, light gold, and slate gray. Measuring at one meter (3.3 feet) long, the Kaebo is priced at $22 through Juno Power and Amazon.
Slight change could make cables more convenient
A new photo (below) from well-known leak source Sonny Dickson shows what's said to be an Apple Lightning cable with a reversible USB connector. While current official cables are reversible on the Lightning end, the USB connector can only be facing a single direction when it's plugged into a computer. Dickson isn't the first person to show images of updated Lightning cables, but a leak from last week came from a more questionable source, especially since third parties manufacture Lightning cables with and without Apple's permission.
Based on popular 30-pin version, includes line-in and USB passthrough charging
A little less than two years after it introduced its first digital 30-pin attachable microphone for the iPhone and other iOS devices, Blue Microphones is finally bringing out a Lightning-based version that works natively with the iPhone 5 and later models such as the iPhone 5s and Retina iPad mini. The new Mikey Digital includes two condenser microphones -- identical to the ones used in its popular Yeti and Snowball microphones -- and thanks to its reversible Lightning connector is now able to pointed either forwards or backwards.
UK repair company says unofficial USB-to-Lightning adapters may burn out crucial circuit
Reports of iPhone 5 units with charging issues has lead a UK repair shop to note that unauthorized third-party charging accessories used with the iPhone 5 (and possibly other Lightning-equipped iPhones) may be causing damage to the iPhone itself, specifically by burning out a specific power-management integrated circuit (IC) labelled "U2." The circuit helps flow power to the battery and charging circuitry and also controls some USB functions as well as sends power to the sleep/wake button.
Lightning audio expected to be activated in iOS 7 update
Apple has produced a new Made-for-i specification allowing manufacturers to make headphones that connect via a Lightning cable instead of a 3.5mm headphone jack, a report says. The technology is currently unsupported in iOS, but Apple will allegedly be updating iOS 7 with support sometime later.
Could result in cheaper add-ons
In January, Apple quietly scaled back the licensing fees it charges companies wanting to make Lightning and/or Made-for-i accessories, reports say. To what extent the fees have been reduced hasn't been made public. The change could, however, potentially reduce the cost of accessories to the public and/or encourage development of more products.
Two Lightning, one USB device chargeable from one clock
The migration to the Apple 30-pin dock cable wasn't well received initially back in 2003, but it opened the floodgates for a series of accessories customized to the iPod ecosystem. To fulfill the drive for thinner devices, the first Lightning-equipped devices shipped last fall, but with somewhat less-than-outstanding peripheral support. An early adopter of the technology, iHome, has embraced the concept that users have more than one device that may need charging simultaneously. Displayed at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, Electronista was given the chance to live with the iHome iDL100G dual Lightning clock radio and alarm clock for a month in-home, checking to see how we thought it fared.
Utilizes existing Lightning cables for charging
Accessory maker TwelveSouth has launched a new HiRise stand, this time for smaller Lightning-equipped devices. The unit operates like a dock, propping up a device for easy viewing and control while it continues to charge. Owners must, however, have their own Lightning cable ready to make the stand work as intended.
New dock tries to cover all the bases
The market for iOS speaker docks is sharply divided these days, and it's all Apple's fault. By switching to the new Lightning format last fall, it forced accessory makers to cater either to the broadest market of Apple devices -- which still use 30-pin connectors -- or the bleeding edge. Soundfreaq's Sound Step Lightning is of course aimed mostly at new hardware, but also takes something of a shotgun approach by including Bluetooth, USB, FM, and auxiliary inputs to boot. In our review, we'll see if the Sound Step holds up in terms of quality, not just support.
Unlicensed accessories may no longer pop up iOS 7 warnings
A Chinese company, iPhone5mod, claims to have "permanently" solved the problem of iOS 7 popping up warnings for uncertified Lightning accessories. The solution is said to be hardware-based, and irreversible by Apple unless the company redesigns its Lightning technology. iPhone5mod is now selling five iOS 7-compatible accessories, include three cables and two iPhone 5 docks.
Still allows cables' use
The iOS 7 beta is popping up a brief warning for people trying to connect unauthorized third-party Lightning cables, various accounts say. "This cable or accessory is not certified and may not work reliably with this iPhone," an example message reads. Notably, though, the cables should indeed work after the warning is dismissed.
IK Multimedia updates iPad stand lineup
IK Multimedia has announced that its iKlip 2 and iKlip Studio accessories for the iPad and iPad mini are now available for purchase. Designed to securely hold an iPad on a microphone stand, the iKlip 2 evolves from its predecessor through the use of a new ball-joint hinge that improves a users ability to position the device. Meanwhile, the iKlip Studio is a desktop stand that provides 8 different viewing angle options in 10 degree increments. Both products can be purchased from IK Multimedia's online store for $40 and $30 respectively.
BiteMyApple ships OCDock iMac or Thunderbolt display-mounted iPhone 5 dock
Accessory retailer BiteMyApple.co has commenced shipping the OCDock, a dock for the iPhone 5 that fuses with the “foot” of the iMac and Thunderbolt Display. Designed to eliminate the hassle of wires, the OCDock boasts a cable as thin as a sheet of paper that slides under the aluminum foot of the iMac or Thunderbolt display. The dock is crafted out of brushed aluminum so it looks like an extension of the Apple product, not a separate piece. The dock retails for $80, and is sold exclusively at BiteMyApple.co.
'HDMI' signal is actually compressed, but will improve with OS update
The teardown of Apple's Lightning-to-HDMI iPad mini adapter done by developers at Panic has revealed a bit of misleading advertising from Apple's product page for the adapter: while the adapter does indeed produce a 1080p image on a television, it has been compressed using H.264 -- resulting in some compression artifacts. While inferior to the previous (and cheaper) 30pin-to-HDMI adapter Apple still sells for older iOS devices, the problem is expected to be resolved in a future software update -- thanks to the Lightning adapter's future-proofing.
Both 5W and 12W versions of AC, car chargers available
Accessory manufacturer Scosche Industries has announced the availability of new Lightning chargers and the first official retractable Lightning cable. The strikeBASE AC adapter in 5W and 12W versions is now on sale, along with the strikeDRIVE car charger, also in 5W and 12W models. A strikeLINE PRO retractable Lightning cable has also been released.
Priced as high as regular cable
Apple has released a new, shorter Lightning-to-USB cable at its online store. The 0.5m version is half the length of the standard cable, but nevertheless has an identical $19 pricetag. The cable is shipping in one to two business days.
Charge intended for home use; OnBeat Rumble Lightning dock
Two new JBL products are expected to launch at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next week. Both the JBL Charge portable Bluetooth streaming speaker and the Lightning-equipped docking station JBL OnBeat Rumble will be on display at the JBL booth at the expo, which begins Monday.
Chinese goods had fake Apple, UL logos
US Customs and Border Protection agents have seized over $635,000 in counterfeit Lightning connectors during a routine search in Anchorage, the Alaska Dispatch reports. The cables arrived on a flight from China, and were intended for distribution to several US locations. Fake Apple and UL (Underwriters Laboratories) icons were stamped on each item; the deceit was quickly spotted, though, because the products were sealed in cardboard blister packs, instead of the stylized white boxes Apple prefers.
Revision of rules allows Lightning and 30-pin dock cables in same device
Apple today formally updated its specifications on the Lightning manufacturing licensing agreement that allegedly torpedoed a Kickstarter project. The company said it is now allowing the Lightning adapter found on the iPhone 5, iPad (fourth generation), and iPad mini to be used in conjunction with the older 30-pin dock cable on the same accessory.
Refunds for device offered by designer's own crowd funding site
A high-profile iOS charging accessory Kickstarter project has been cancelled by its inventor, even after raising well more than twice the requested funding. The POP Charger, designed by Edison Junior representative Jamie Siminoff, saw an update to the funding page for the first time in over a month. The update stated that the company would not be able to build and engineer the device, since Apple was not going to approve Lightning connectors in use in parallel with the now-outdated 30-pin connectors.
Motorcycle maker still retains some uses
Over the weekend, Apple officially acquired some of the rights to the "Lightning" name from motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson, reports say. Two trademark applications published by the European Union Patent & Trademark Office on Sunday indicate that a transfer of the rights happened on Saturday. Lightning is still technically protected until 2013, and even after that point Harley-Davidson will be able to use Lightning for assorted products.
JBL intros OnBeat Micro and Venue LT with Lightning connectors
JBL has revealed its first speaker docks with native support for Apple’s latest propietary Lightning connector. The JBL OnBeat Micro and the Venue LT have been specifically designed for the new Lightning port equipped iPhone 5, iPad mini, fourth-gen Retina iPad and the new iPod touch models. The speaker docks will also support other non-Lightning devices via a USB port allowing users to connect an array of other devices.
New wall and car chargers Lightning compatible
Scosche Industries today became the first accessory manufacturer to show off 5W and 12W wall and car chargers compatible with Apple's Lightning adapter standard. The new chargers come as Scosche also eliminates 10W chargers from its lineup, due to the fact that they do not provide maximum charging speeds for the fourth-generation iPad. The new chargers are compatible with the iPad mini, with the 12W unit fully charging the smaller tablet in three hours.
Universal connector described matches Lightning
Apple has filed a patent covering the technology behind its Lightning connector cables. The patent is titled "Universal Connector," and it purports to describe "circuits, methods, and apparatus that limit the number of types of connectors needed by an electronic device." The technology is aimed at reducing "the number and types of connector receptacles needed on an electronic device."
New cables join existing Lightning adapter line
Four new Lightning cables have been announced by Apple at their press event. The new adapters connect to the Lightning port found on the iPhone 5, iPad, and iPad mini, allowing the handhelds to interact with non-Lightning equipment, such as digital cameras and displays. These new cables join existing converters, such as the Lightning to 30-pin adapters.
Retina iPad to gain Lightning connector, global LTE, perhaps more
Alongside reports that Apple may drop the iPad 2 entirely and replace it with the forthcoming "iPad mini" at its press conference on October 23, unnamed sources are behind a rumor that the full-sized, 9.7-inch Retina iPad may also get a refresh -- but it would be a tweaking of the iPad as it is now to accommodate a change to the company's Lightning connector and possibly the addition of a better, more global LTE radio like the iPhone 5 has. Pricing, storage capacities and other major features, the sources contend, would remain the same.
Lightning port more of a concern than iOS 6 Maps
Demand for the iPhone 5 remains very high in spite of two potentially serious issues with the device, according to new data from 451 Research and ChangeWave Research. 19 percent of a group surveyed last month said they were "very likely" to buy an iPhone 5, while 13 percent said they were somewhat likely. A poll from October 2011 for the iPhone 4S generated respective figures of 10 percent and 11.5 percent.
Manufacturers said to have cracked Apple authentication chip
Third-party manufacturers are said to have cracked the authentication layer Apple builds into all of its new Lightning connectors for its newest iDevices. A new iPhone 5 dock is currently being sold through China-based iPhone5mod.com, representatives for which spoke with Mac Rumors, confirming that they had obtained cracked chips that bypass Apple's authentication functions. The third-party accessories currently on sale, though, reportedly still use authentic Lightning controller chips.
Overdue $29 Lightning to 30-pin adapter now shipping
Apple is finally shipping its Lightning to 30-pin adapters with Australian customers receiving shipping notifcations for the accessory; it will arrive as much as four weeks after the initial launch of the iPhone 5. The switch from the 30-pin adapter to the new 8-pin Lightning port has rendered the new iPhone 5, without the adapter, incompatible with existing 30-pin charging docks, as well as clock and radio systems. The delay has not been explained by Apple, which has also been struggling to supply users with Lightning to USB cables to supplement the single cable shipped with the iPhone 5 itself.
Size spelled format's demise
Amid the excitement of the iPhone 5 launch, the exposition of new features and the unveiling of upgrades, there was one casualty that few Apple fans could have missed. After nine years of faithful service, the trusty 30 pin dock connector is being relieved of duty, so we're taking this opportunity to look back over its career and eventual retirement.
Only Apple-approved factories can produce Lightning goods
Apple has significantly changed its Made For iPad/iPhone/iPod (MFi) policies, changes that are keeping potential iDevice accessory makers from producing Lightning accessories. Sources tell iLounge that the number of Lightning accessories available in the near future will be lower than previously expected due to the special construction of Apple's adapter as well as the new MFi policies. Apple is reportedly planning a seminar in the near future, where it will discuss the policy changes and new rules for manufacturers, after which designers may begin manufacturing Lightning devices in greater quantities.
Chinese companies attempting to clone technology
Apple's new Lightning connector format uses an authenticator chip to block unauthorized accessories, CNN Money says it has learned. The part is mentioned by one source said to have "knowledge of Apple's manufacturing," as well the owner of Double Helix Cables, who tore apart the new connector shortly after the iPhone 5 launch and discovered a chip in the path of the Lightning's power wire. The positioning of the chip is said to make Lightning "much more complex" than Apple's older 30-pin format.
Lightning adapter not exclusive after all
Apple's new iPods and third-party Lightning adapters are now appearing on Amazon, AppleInsider observes. In terms of iPods, people can now preorder the updated Nano and Touch models, which ship in October. Amazon is also advertising the new Shuffle lineup, though the products are basically unchanged.
Gear essential for older iPhone/iPod accessories
Lightning cables and adapters have effectively sold out at Apple's online store, checks show. The basic Lightning-to-USB cable is now listed as shipping in two to three weeks. The Lightning-to-30-pin and Lightning-to-30-pin cable adapters are still slated to ship in October, but with a rush of overnight iPhone 5 sales, it's likely that new orders will only be delivered later in the month.
9-pin design could be limiting factor
[update] Apple has said that Video-out Lightning cables are forthcoming. A list of supported outputs have been added. The new Lightning connector used on Apple devices like the iPhone 5 doesn't support video-out, Apple's website suggests. Product pages for the company's Lightning-to-30-pin adapters state that "Video and iPod Out" aren't supported, even though the 30-pin products they attach to should be capable.