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Posts Tagged ‘iPod’

Top 10 Lightning accessories for iPhone, iPad and iPod

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

The Lightning connector divided opinion upon its release with the iPhone 5. On the one hand, it was a smaller, more convenient connector that was reversible. On the other, it meant that Apple’s long-standing 30 Pin connector was obsolete, a move that sent millions of accessories to the grave – from cheap charging cables to expensive speaker systems. Whatever your opinion on the matter, Lightning is here to stay so you may as well make the most of it! In that spirit, let’s take a look at ten of the best accessories for the now ubiquitous Apple connector.

1. Dexim Universal Dock Station (iPhone & iPad with Lightning Connector)

Official Apple iPhone 5C Lightning Charge and Sync Dock - White    Official Apple iPhone 5C Lightning Charge and Sync Dock - White

Our first Lightning accessory is this dock from Dexim. The dock is rare in being outfitted for both iPad and iPhone, allowing you to connect either device as required. The 2.1A output ensures all devices will charge rapidly, and the adjustable connector allows for cases to be kept on while charging.

2. Qi iPhone 5S / 5C / 5 Wireless Charging Receiver

Qi iPhone 5S / 5C / 5 Wireless Charging Receiver    Qi iPhone 5S / 5C / 5 Wireless Charging Receiver

Qi is a popular wireless charging standard in Android world, but don’t expect it to appear on an iPhone any time soon. Thankfully you can get this wireless charging receiver which plugs into your phone’s lightning port, then can be tucked into a case of your choice. Then you’ll have the convenience of wireless charging when you want it, in a package that’s compatible with all Lightning iPhones and a wide range of cases.

3. Griffin Wired Keyboard for Apple Lightning Devices

Griffin Wired Keyboard for Apple Lightning Devices    Griffin Wired Keyboard for Apple Lightning Devices

If you want to get some work done on an iPad or iPhone, then a full-size keyboard is quite helpful. One option is a Bluetooth keyboard, but these are expensive and require recharging. A good alternative then, is this Griffin Wired Keyboard, which plugs directly into the Lightning port and works immediately.

4. Genuine Lightning Digital AV Adapter

Genuine Lightning Digital AV Adapter   Genuine Lightning Digital AV Adapter

Want to show your iPhone, iPod or iPad content on the biggest screen in the room? This Digital AV adapter lets you easily connect your Lightning device to HDTVs, monitors and projectors. Again, everything is plug-and-play; just connect up the relevant cables and away you go. Perfect for screening HD movies, showing off photos and playing music. Definitely one of the most helpful Lightning adapters for the iPhone 5.

5. KitSound X-Dock 2 Lightning Clock Radio Dock for iPhone 5S / 5C /5

KitSound X-Dock 2 Lightning Connector Clock Radio Dock for iPhone 5    KitSound X-Dock 2 Lightning Connector Clock Radio Dock for iPhone 5

This clock radio dock is a powerful piece of kit, with room for an iPhone 5S, 5C or 5 next to a digital display. This is the ideal accessory for your bedside table or desk, allowing you to keep an eye on the time, charge your iPhone, set alarms and listen to the radio. You can wake up to your favourite FM station, your favourite iTunes songs or even the standard ‘bzzz’ alarm clock sound.

6. Kit: Lightning to Micro USB Adapter – White

Kit: Lightning to Micro USB Adapter - White

This simple adapter ensures that you don’t always need a Lightning cable around all the time. Instead, you can use the rather more numerous microUSB cables and accessories to charge and sync. And since the adapter is so small, there’s no excuse not to bring it with you!

7. High Power Lightning Car Charger with USB Port – Black

High Power Lightning Car Charger with Extra USB Port - Black    High Power Lightning Car Charger with Extra USB Port - Black

Car chargers are brilliant, particularly if you’re trying to entertain your kids in the back seat with an iPad or navigate with an iPhone. This one offers 2.4A of charging power, allowing an iPad – or two iPhones – to be charged at full speed. That means even if you’re draining a lot of power from playing movies or using GPS navigation, you’ll still end up with way more battery life than you started with. An integrated USB port allows other devices to be charged too.

8. Kit 4-in-1 Connection Kit

Kit 4 in 1 Connection Kit for iPad Air / iPad 4 / iPad Mini 2 / Mini    Kit 4 in 1 Connection Kit for iPad Air / iPad 4 / iPad Mini 2 / Mini

This tiny box is one of the most useful accessories you can own for the iPhone or iPad. Plug the Lightning connector into your device, and then you can plug in a USB device (like a keyboard or flash drive) as well as SD cards. That makes it really easy to get stuff on or off your iPad, or plug in a full-size keyboard for a better typing experience. There’s even a Lightning port, so you can keep charging your device while everything else is connected.

9. Kit Magnetic Battery Case for iPhone 5S

Boostcase Hybrid Snap Case with 1500Mah Battery for iPhone 5 - Purple    Boostcase Hybrid Snap Case with 1500Mah Battery for iPhone 5 - Purple

This clever case includes an battery pack which allows you to recharge your phone on the go. The battery is magnetically attached to the rest of the case, and can be used in situ or removed from the case as necessary. With 2800 mAh you’ll have three times the battery life, and that makes a  big difference.

10. iMee Sync and Charge Lightning to USB Cable – Gold

iMee Sync and Charge Lightning to USB Cable - Gold    iMee Sync and Charge Lightning to USB Cable - Gold

Our final Lightning accessory is also the simplest: a stylish Lightning cable in Gold. This is a great fit with the Champagne Gold iPhone 5S, but looks great with other colours as well. Otherwise, this is just the same as your Apple Lightning cable, offering charging and syncing at full speeds.


OK, so these are our selections! We hope you’ve found this blog helpful, and be sure to let us know if you have any questions or comments below!

Check out this digital breathalyser for iPhone, iPod and iPad

Monday, September 3rd, 2012

Now this is something that you don’t see everyday – a breathalyser for Apple devices like the iPhone, iPad and iPod. It’s called the iPega Digital Breath Alcohol Tester and it’s a small and discrete way to monitor your blood alcohol content. The pocket-size sensor is good for parties and other social occasions where you’ll want to have a better idea of precisely how drunk you are.

The iPega is very easy to use – just connect the alcohol tester to your unlocked Apple device and press the switch to turn it on. You’ll be asked to exhale into the sensor for three to five seconds, and then the screen will tell you what your blood / alcohol content is. There are two warning levels, cautionary and dangerous, which will allow you to make more informed decisions.

However, it is worth noting that this alcohol tester has no official certification and the readings are not legally binding – you cannot present this as proof that you are not too drunk! If you are not sure, it is always better to err on the side of caution; if you have been drinking do not take to the road unless you’re in a taxi!

For more information on the iPega Digital Breath Alcohol Tester, please visit the product page below. You can also ask us questions about this or other Apple accessories on Twitter @mobilefun. Thanks for visiting the blog and be sure to have a nice and safe day.

An iPad 2 Dock for iPhone Owners

Friday, March 4th, 2011

I like this iPad 2 dock immensely. The Griffin PowerDock Dual encompasses the style and quality you would expect from Griffin and which Apple devotees demand. It isn’t all style-over-substance though, so what you get is a charger that will power your iPad or iPad 2 and your iPhone at the same time.

The charger also doubles as an iPad 2 deskstand too – both devices are easily viewable when docked, so whilst they charge you can still see the content of both. What’s more, the convex dish shape at the front allows you to store odds and ends like car keys or change.

Griffin iPad 2 Dock

Charges iPad/iPad 2 and Phone at the same time.

The charger mains plug adapts and can therefore be used in any country with 240-110v supply.

iPad 2 Dock Tray

Neat dish storage for thingybobs

Just one more of the iPad 2 accessories we’ll be reviewing soon.

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Full Stereo Bluetooth Support coming to iPhone

Monday, July 19th, 2010

At the top of my missing features list for iPhone 4 is full support for Stereo Bluetooth Headsets and Bluetooth Headphones. Apple took a step in the right direction when they released iOS 3.0 but as is often the case with Apple, it wasn’t quite what everyone was hoping for.

12 months on and it looks as though Apple are finally about to roll out full support for Stereo Bluetooth in their next iOS software update, as developers are reporting that version 4.1 includes support for both the A2DP and AVRCP Bluetooth Profiles.

AVRCP Explained

AVRCP stands for Audio/Video Remote Control Profile and as the name suggests, it allows you to use controls built into your bluetooth headset, bluetooth speakers or bluetooth car kit to control music playback from your iPhone or iPod touch. The iPhone has a very limited version of this built in already, but it only allows you to play/pause your music and increase the volume. By adding full support for AVRCP it means that you will be also be able to skip tracks without touching your phone. You can find out more about Bluetooth Profiles on our ‘What is Bluetooth Page’

iPhone 4 Stereo Bluetooth Headsets

There is an upside to Apple arriving late to the party though, and that is that there are already loads of stereo Bluetooth Headsets and Bluetooth Headphones that will work with the iPhone. I compiled a list of my favourites last year, but as this update changes how well they work with Apple devices I thought I’d take another look at what was available. These have been tested using the 4.1 beta software on iPhone 4 so the results maybe slightly different when Apple release the final version or on older models of iPhone.

A few points that are worth mentioning here are that in most cases the headsets will not only control music playback from both the standard iPod app, but also any third party music apps that stream music from the internet. I used Last.FM to test the headsets and was able to play/pause and track skip and increase volume both when the app was in use and when it was running in the background. The only exception to this was the Sony Ericsson IS800 – you’ll find out why later in this post.

Also, if you have the iPhone 3GS, latest iPod touch or iPhone 4, these headsets will activate voice commands, allowing you to make calls, change song, switch playlist find out the time etc, all without having to touch your device.

Nokia BH-505 Stereo Bluetooth Headset

Nokia BH-505 Stereo Bluetooth Headset

The BH-505 is one of the latest Stereo Bluetooth Headsets to arrive at Mobile Fun and is one that I reviewed a couple of weeks ago. The BH-505 is a really slim, smart looking headband style headset. Setting the headset up is simple and it’s comfortable to wear. One earpiece has phone controls on it and the other has music controls.

For the basic answer/end, play/pause it’s just a case of tapping the large silver button, but volume control and track skip is a little fiddly as you have to slide a switch up or down. It’s easy enough once you’ve got the hang of it, but if you’ve got big fingers you might struggle a little.  Audio quality is excellent and battery life is good too.

Sony Ericsson MW600 Stereo Bluetooth Headset

Sony Ericsson MW600 Stereo Bluetooth Headset

The MW600 is incredibly popular at the moment and with good reason. It’s an excellent compact headset that allows you to use any standard 3.5mm headphones with it. What makes this one special is that it also has a built in FM Radio – a feature that many people have been calling out for on the iPhone.

The Bluetooth unit is not much bigger than a standard AA battery and is designed to be clipped on to your clothing. The controls are straight forward and easy to use, with 3 dedicated music keys as well as a separate key for calls and to activate voice dialling.

The volume controls on the MW600 take a little getting used to as they’re touch sensitive. To adjust the volume level you just slide your finger up or down the side of it. It has a screen which shows caller ID, but track information wasn’t displayed with either iPhone or iPod touch.

Jabra Halo Bluetooth Headphones

Jabra Halo Bluetooth Headphones

I loved the Jabra Halo when it came out, and still do – especially now that it works fully with the iPhone. They’re probably the most normal looking headphones out of all of the ones on offer and I think they’re the smartest looking too. Unlike the rest of the headsets on this list, the Jabra Halo has only one button. Everything else uses touch sensitive controls on the right earpiece.

The one button answers and ends calls and plays/pauses your music. Track Skip and volume share the same controls. Slide your finger up to increase the volume, down to decrease it. A quick double tap at either end of the volume bar will skip or rewind track.

You get quite a few accessories in the box, including a USB to 3.5mm cable that you can use to connect the Halo to devices that don’t have bluetooth.

Jabra BT3030 Stereo Bluetooth Headset

Jabra BT3030 Stereo Bluetooth Headset

Jabra have always made great headsets and the BT3030 is one of their most successful. It’s a ‘dog tag’ style headset that can be worn around your neck or clipped to your clothes. It has a standard 3.5mm jack so that you can use any headphones with it and a clear, backlit keypad.

Of all the headsets listed here, this is the easiest to use as the controls are clear and well spaced.

Battery life is pretty good too with over 7 hours of music playback from a single charge.

Altec Lansing BackBeat 903 Bluetooth Headset

Altec Lansing BackBeat 903 Bluetooth Headset

The BackBeat Headset is another popular one, despite it’s more unusual looks. It combines the over the ear style of a mono headset with a headband to provide a very secure fit, making it perfect for those who want to listen to their music while they’re working out, running or cycling.

The controls are a little on the fiddly side and it will take some getting used to – especially the track skip controls, but once you’ve got the hang of it you’ll be flying through your songs.

Because of their unique over/in the ear design, these may not be the most comfortable solution if you wear glasses.

Sony Ericsson HBH-IS800 Stereo Bluetooth Headset

Sony Ericsson HBH-IS800 Stereo Bluetooth Headset

This was my top rated headset last year, mainly because of its size. The fact that it didn’t have any track control buttons also won me over as I felt as though I wouldn’t be paying for features I couldn’t use with it. Having said that, the lack of controls now works against it as it means that you have to use the phone to change song and adjust the volume, or rely on voice control.

It’s still the smallest headset available. It has no bulky bluetooth receiver and is just two earpieces connected by a short cable and despite its tiny size the sound quality is excellent.

iPhone 4 Car Kits

It’s not just Stereo Headsets that will benefit from the addition of AVRCP support, Car Kits also make use of this technology. Here’s a quick look at two of the best in car solutions for the iPhone.

Parrot MKi Car Kits

Parrot MKi9000 Bluetooth Car KitThe Parrot MKi range of car kits are the best way to fully integrate your iPhone or iPod touch into your car. They have 3 ways to connect your iPhone to them, dock connector, 3.5mm or Bluetooth.

Up until now, the Dock connector has always been the best option as it gives you full control of your music, using a small wireless remote. With the introduction of AVRCP support you’ll no longer need to plug your phone in – unless of course you need to charge it.

For a completely integrated solution you’ll need the Parrot Unika. This is an additional control box that allows you to connect the Mki Car Kits to the stereo controls on your steering wheel, completely eliminating the need to use the remote control.

Jabra Cruiser FM Car Kit

Jabra Cruiser Bluetooth SpeakerphoneThe Jabra Cruiser is so much more than just a speakerphone. It connects to your iPhone using bluetooth and transmits audio from it to your car stereo using its built in FM transmitter.

The Cruiser has play/pause and track skip controls built in so that you can change track without having to touch the phone. You can choose whether to play your music back through the built in loud speaker or through your car stereo.

Set up is extremely simple, just pair your phone to the kit and then tune your car stereo in to the frequency that the Cruiser calls out and you’re good to go.

Bluetooth Speakers

Supertooth Disco Bluetooth Stereo SpeakerLast but not least, Bluetooth Speakers will also become much more useful when the iPhone supports AVRCP. You’ll be able to start playing your music directly on the speakers and then use the controls mounted on the top of the speaker to skip tracks and increase the volume.

Bluetooth speakers have a number of advantages over iPhone Speaker Docks, but the main one is that Bluetooth Speakers can be used with any Bluetooth device, including phones, laptops, PC’s MP3 Players, where as iPhone Speaker Docks will normally only work with Apple devices.

Those are just a selection of iPhone 4 Accessories that will work better with the iPhone when iOS 4.1 is released. There are loads more over on the main site so if you’ve not seen anything here that takes your fancy, you should find something on the main site. If not, or you’ve seen some headphones, speakers or car kits that you think deserve a mention, let us know using the comments section below.

Guide to the Best iPhone 4 Bluetooth Headphones

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

As I’m sure you’re aware, Apple have just announced the iPhone 4 and along with it iOS 4.0 – the latest major update to the operating system on iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. There are a number of great new features, but one of the features that I was really hoping to see was full support for Stereo Bluetooth Headsets and music control using AVRCP.

In simple terms, this means that you would have been able to listen to your music from your iPhone through a pair of Bluetooth Headphones and control your music playback, (play, pause, forward, rewind and volume) using the controls on the headset, but Apple for some reason have yet again decided to leave this feature out of iOS4 so you’ll need to continue to skip tracks using the iPod app on your iPhone.

There is a work around of course and that is to jailbreak your phone, but that’s not something that a lot of people want to do and I can’t say as I blame them.

Although iOS4 doesn’t fully support Stereo Bluetooth, it does still support the basics, so you can enjoy your music in stereo and play/pause your music, you just can’t skip backwards/forwards. There are plenty of Stereo Bluetooth Headsets that will work with the iPhone and last June I compiled a list of my favourite Bluetooth Headphones, but as headsets have changed and the phone now supports more features, I thought it was well worth revisiting the list and updating it with some of the best new Bluetooth Headphones for iPhone.

Background Apps

Another new feature in iOS 4 is that you can now leave audio apps running in the background. This is great news for anyone who regularly uses streaming services such as spotify or Last.fm as it means you can now continue listening even if you’re browsing the web or emailing.

We’re using the latest version of the iOS4 beta software to test these headsets, but until developers update their apps to support multitasking, we aren’t going to be able to confirm that the headsets listed below will work with apps running in the background, but look out for a separate post once iOS 4 is officially released on the 21st June.

iPhone 4 Bluetooth Headphones

Right, on to the headsets!  With so many to choose from, it can get a bit overwhelming, so I’ve been through our current range of Bluetooth Headphones and compiled a list of my top 5 Bluetooth Headphones for the all new iPhone 4.

The headsets below were all tested with iPhone but should work just as well with the iPod touch.  If you have an iPod touch 2G (or newer), then you will be able to play / pause your music and, in some cases, adjust the volume but you won’t be able to use these headsets with any of your VOIP apps (such as Skype) on your iPod. Bluetooth won’t work on the first generation iPod touch as it doesn’t have bluetooth built in.

1. Sony Ericsson MW600 Stereo Bluetooth Headset

These are the most popular Bluetooth Headphones we’ve ever sold! Not only do they allow you to listen to music from your iPhone without a wired connection, they have a built in FM radio – something the iPhone has long been criticised for not having.

Another unique feature is that they have their own volume control – this means that you can adjust the volume on the headset or on the phone. As with most headphones on this list, they have the ability to skip tracks, but as the iPhone doesn’t support it, the feature is a little wasted for now. It’s multipoint too, so you can use it with your PC or Playstation 3 at the same time.For more details, take a look at my Sony Ericsson MW600 Review.

Sony Ericsson MW600 Stereo Headset with Radio

Sony Ericsson MW600 Stereo Headset with Radio

2. Jabra BT3030 Stereo Bluetooth Headset

The Jabra BT3030 works well with both the iPod touch and all versions of the iPhone.  The BT3030 is another multipoint headset – Multipoint allows you to connect to two devices at once, so you can connect it to your mobile phone and your iPod touch to listen to your music, and when a call comes in, it will pause the music and answer the call from your mobile.

The BT3030 hangs around your neck on a chain or can clip to your belt or pocket, and can be used with any 3.5mm headphones. Volume control on the BT3030 is not a problem, press the ‘+’ or ‘-’ keys to adjust the volume. It has several controls on the main unit, including play, pause and track skip – again, all work fine except track skip.

Jabra BT3030 Stereo Bluetooth Headset

Jabra BT3030 Stereo Bluetooth Headset

3. Jabra Halo Bluetooth Headphones

The Jabra Halo Stereo Bluetooth Headphones are great. They’re the most normal looking ‘over the head’ headphones that I’ve come across and work well with the iPhone. It has incredibly simple controls – a touch sensitive slider on the right ear lets you adjust the volume by sliding your finger up or down, where as a double tap would skip the track if iPhone supoprted it. One multi use button lets you play/pause your music as well as answer/end calls and activate voice dialling (iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 only).

When they’re not in use, the headphones fold away so as not to take up too much space and to reduce the chance of them getting damaged. For more info take a look at my Jabra Halo hands on review.

Jabra Halo Bluetooth Headphones

Jabra Halo Bluetooth Headphones

4. Sony Ericsson IS-800 Stereo Bluetooth Headset

These are without doubt my favourite Bluetooth Headphones, but there are others that work better with iPhone and that’s why these have dropped from the top spot last year to fourth place this year. The IS-800 is incredibly small – it’s basically two earpieces joined by a wire! Although there are wires involved, the IS-800 is one of a few headsets that don’t feature a fairly bulky control unit. Instead the IS800 has a small, simple in-line control that allows you to answer and end calls.

Battery life is impressive at upto 270 hours – especially considering how small this headset is. The IS-800 doesn’t support AVCRP, which is fine as neither does the iPhone! The headset doesn’t have any volume controls, so all adjustment needs to be made on your iPhone.

Sony Ericsson IS-800 Stereo Headset

Sony Ericsson IS-800 Stereo Headset

5. Samsung SBH-650 Stereo Bluetooth Headset

Samsung don’t do many accessories for phones, but the few that they do make are really good. The Samsung SBH-650 has been a hit with Mobile Fun customers since it launched. It is easy to set up and works really well with iPhone. It’s very similar in terms of spec to the Jabra BT3030 but it looks a smarter. Like the MW600 and the BT3030, you can use your own 3.5mm headphones if you don’t like or lose the ones that come with the headset. It’s also multipoint, so using it with 2 devices at the same time isn’t a problem.

Controls are propably laid out the opposite way round to what you’d expect, with the volume controls on the front and track skip/play/pause on the sides. If you want to know more about the SBH-650, take a look at my Samsung SBH-650 Stereo Bluetooth Headset Review.

Samsung SBB-650

Samsung SBB-650

There are more Stereo Bluetooth Headsets for the iPhone and iPod touch over on the main site, so if you’ve not seen one here that does what you want, take a look at all our Stereo Bluetooth Headsets.

If you’ve got any questions or queries about Stereo Bluetooth on the iPhone leave us a comment and we’ll get back to you.