New Lightning accessories for the iPhone 5, iPad 4, and iPad mini are coming out every week it seems. It was tough going there for a while. I’ll be using an adapter for many of my accessories for the foreseeable future (like my alarm clock/speaker dock), but there is hope in sight with a pair of JBL speaker docks, a keyboard folio just for the iPad mini, and the official iPhone 5 version of the popular Elevation dock.
The Elevation dock was a popular Kickstarter project, but like the Twig (which I bought/backed), as soon as the iPhone 5 came out—it became a little useless (or at least less convenient). Hackers and Makers came to the rescue of the Elevation dock with a 3D-printed adapter, and this week Elevation came out with its own official adapter and a version tooled for the iPhone5 (guess what’s on my wish list now), but that’s not all on the accessory front.
JBL has come out with a pair of speaker docks—an portable and one that can fit and iPad—that look very cool (have I mentioned I need a new speaker dock for my office):
The JBL OnBeat Micro ($99) is an ultra-portable, acoustically sophisticated speaker that fits easily into a backpack, purse or briefcase. The JBL OnBeat Micro provides up to 5 hours of playback when used with batteries and charges the iPhone 5, the iPod touch 5th generation and the new iPod nano when used with the included AC adapter. The portable speaker also includes a built-in USB connector to power and play other portable devices. The JBL OnBeat Micro includes a free, downloadable JBL music app to create customized playlists, adjust volume and browse album artwork.
The JBL OnBeat Venue LT ($199) features a hidden Lightning dock connector behind the JBL logo at the speaker’s base. Ideal for the iPad Mini and revised iPad with Retina display, HARMAN’s exclusive TrueStream Bluetooth wireless streaming technology allows the JBL OnBeat Venue LT to connect with up to eight devices, providing additional device flexibility. The JBL OnBeat Venue LT includes the free, downloadable MusicFlow™ app, which allows users to create customized playlists, edit mixes, adjust volume and EQ settings, and browse album artwork.
Now, you know I’m a fan of writing on my iPad. Right now I prop my iPad mini up on my Origami Workstation if I want to write on/with it, but the mini looks kinda lost on the big space, good thing Belkin is stepping up with a keyboard folio just for the iPad mini.
The keyboard folio is just like the larger iPad version, just sized down to the iPad mini:
- Well-spaced keys with tactile feedback for accurate typing
- Shortcut keys for easy media control
- Connects to iPad mini via Bluetooth
- Durable exterior and soft inner lining
- Removable keyboard for more comfortable, convenient typing angles
- Keyboard folds flat when not in use, making it ideal for on the go
- 155 hours active battery life
- Includes USB-to-mini-USB cable for easy recharging
- Camera-lens cutout
Since lots of people have said that the iPad mini is their new go-to iPad for work, I’m betting a lot of those same people will be looking at this keyboard folio as well. Myself, I’ve found (as I expected) that I enjoy typing on my iPad 4 and researching with my iPad mini. Feels very Star Trek: The Next Generation to me (I don’t think it should be lost on folks that the TNG PAAD looks about the same size as an iPad mini). Regardless, I tried the Belkin folio when it came out for the 3rd Generation iPad and I liked the feel of the keyboard and the heft of it together (not to heavy or too light). It remains to be see, however, if physical keyboard made to match the size of the iPad mini will be very comfortable to type on. I know that keyboards for the iPad are pretty good, but I certainly appreciate the extra room the Apple Wireless Keyboard affords me.
As the big, giant holiday shopping season kicks off next week, what’s on your accessory wish list/want list/watch for list? Let us know, who knows, maybe a contest could be arranged.