The Week in iOS Accessories: Lightning!
At long last, third-party Lightning-connector accessories, for the latest generations of iPhone, iPad, and iPod, are starting to hit the market, and those add-ons form the bulk of this week’s accessory roundup.
Fender: There are many, many accessories out there that let you connect your guitar to your iPad and make sweet, sweet music. Now Fender has launched the $200 Squier USB Stratocaster Guitar, which skips the middlemen—er, middleaccessories?—altogether by letting you plug the guitar directly into your Apple devicce. A built-in analog output also lets you use the Squier USB as a traditional guitar. Rock on!
iHome: The $300 iW3 is an AirPlay-enabled wireless speaker system that streams music from your iOS device or Mac, though you can also dock and charge your iPhone, iPad, or iPod with the speaker system. The iW3 is portable, thanks to a rechargeable battery, and is available in black, silver, or red.
iLuv: This week marks a pair of new Lightning cables from this company: The $45 iAD 1530 EnergySeal is a car charger for your Lightning-connector-equipped iPhone, iPad, or iPod; and the $30 iCB261 Premium Coiled Charge/Sync Cable with Lightning Connector is a six-foot, coiled USB-to-Lightning cable for—as you’ve probably guessed—charging and syncing. Neither was available for shipping as of this writing; iLuv didn’t say when the products would be available.
JBL: Lightning-connector speaker docks for the iPhone 5 are finally hitting the market, and JBL is offering two: The $100 OnBeat Micro and the $200 OnBeat Venue, the latter of which also accommodates the new iPad and iPad mini. Both devices charge your iPhone while playing music from it; the OnBeat venue can also play music wirelessly via Bluetooth. The OnBeat Micro is designed for mobile use; fill it up with AAA batteries and you can take it outdoors to get the most out of your music.
Kubxlab: Without the iPad, the $30 mOna iPad Stand looks like a pair of modernist salad tongs from Ikea. With a tablet in place, the device looks more like what it really is: a sleek, elegant stand that lets you view your tablet in landscape or portrait orientation, providing a variety of viewing angles for the most comfortable view of the screen.
Qmadix: The $20 Signature Stylus is a combination of a stylus and a pen—with a foam, capacitative tip on one end and an ink pen on the other—which means you can be ready to make your mark on the touchscreen or paper. The stylus comes with an extra foam tip.
Sajid Creative: The $49 Touchtype case (see the top of this article for a photo) lets you combine Apple’s Bluetooth Wireless Keyboard with any full-size iPad inside one stylish case for your mobile typing and computing needs. The case comes in smooth, gray polyurethane or, if you want to spend an extra $50, black leather.
Scosche: This accessory maker has unveiled an entire line of cables and chargers to plug into your iOS device’s Lightning-connector, including the $30 StrikeDrive car charger and the $35 StrikeBase wall charger. There’s also a $30 StrikeLine retractable charging and syncing cable. Scosche hasn’t announced when the products will be available; you can sign up at the company’s website for notification.
USBFever: A photographer often needs an array of tools to capture just the right shot. If you’re an iPhone photographer, chances are good that USBFever’s $99, descriptively named Fisheye + Wide Angle (+ Macro) + 2X + 9X + 12X Telephoto Lens Combo for iPhone 5 has the right tool for you. The package includes a fisheye lens, a wide-angle lens, and three different telephoto lenses to choose from. It also includes a back cover for your iPhone 5 that serves double-duty as an attachment mount for the lenses, as well as a small tripod for stablizing your photos. It includes just about everything you need for iPhone picture taking.