It’s alive (still)!

Since my iPhone 5 arrived, I’ve been anxiously awaiting the Lightning to 30-pin adapter that Apple announced on the same day it revealed the iPhone 5. My most pressing need for this adapter was for my car where my iPhone is essentially the center of my audio entertainment and navigation system. And I was worried that the new Lightning connector was going to blow it all to hell.

I have a fairly old-school (at this point) official factory iPod kit in my car that was originally meant to be used with plain old iPods. I was thrilled and surprised when it worked perfectly with the first-generation iPhone in 2007 and it has worked with every iPhone since then. I even kluged together a revised connection system to go with a dashboard holder a couple of years ago, which has been absolutely fantastic for my needs.

Apple had published little information about the Lightning to 30-pin adapter and it seemed very possible that it wouldn’t work with my existing system. But it was worth a try first before I scrapped my entire set-up and invested in a new kit that would be able to route all audio from the iPhone 5 through my car stereo system directly (my car has Bluetooth but lacks the A2DP profile for music, and I’d rather have a wired line out connection for music anyway).

My adapter arrived yesterday and after waiting several agonizing hours for my husband to get home (I’d forgotten he’d taken my car to work that day) I tested it out. And it works!

My set-up is a little bit more Frankensteinish with the addition of the adapter, particularly since it’s white and stands out so much against the black dashboard. But it works and frankly, I don’t give damn at the moment (though I will happily buy a black version if anyone makes one in the future).

Also, I can’t wait for an untethered jailbreak to come out so I can get rid of the “Accessory Connected” screen when connected to my car.

I did test the adapter with a few other accessories including an old Apple Hi-Fi speaker system and an iHome IP9 clock radio. It works with both but does not charge the iPhone 5 through the Hi-Fi.

The adapter fits flush with the bottom of the iPhone 5, so if you have a case that doesn’t have a wide opening on the bottom, it probably won’t work with it. It works with a flexible generic $5 silicone case I purchased through eBay but doesn’t work with a bumper case I bought through Amazon.

Thinking about getting the Lightning to 30-pin adapter? Feel free to ask any questions about it in the comments.

Review: MacBracket lock bracket for Apple’s MacBook Air

If you own a MacBook Air, you’ve probably noticed that it’s missing something that almost every other laptop in Apple’s line-up (and those from other manufacturers as well) does have: a Kensington lock slot. So if you need to lock up your MacBook Air to secure it at a coffee shop, at university, or anywhere else, you’re out of luck. Fortunately, MacBracket is here to save you and your MacBook Air.

The MacBracket is a metal bracket that slides into your MacBook Air’s hinge and has a Kensington lock slot on one end so you can attach a lock to it to secure it to a desk. The MacBracket is made of a high-quality alloy by a company in Germany. It retails for €19.90 (about US$26) plus shipping and can be purchased directly from MacBracket’s site or through the German or UK Amazon stores. It’s available in two versions – one for the older 2008 and 2009 MacBook Air models and another for the models made in 2010 through the present. The version I have is the latter to work with my mid-2011 11-inch MacBook Air.

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An excellent screen protector for the iPhone 5

I can’t stand fingerprints on my iPhone’s screen and even though Apple claims it has an oleophobic coating, it still racks up more marks from regular use than I care to shake a stick at. For my iPhone 4S, I had the SGP Ultra Fine anti-glare screen protector and loved it. For my new iPhone 5, I went with the SGP Ultra Oleophobic version since it was available to order shortly after the iPhone 5 was officially announced.

The screen protector came in the mail today and I installed it within minutes of its arrival. So far, it’s absolutely great at rejecting fingerprints much more than the iPhone 5’s naked screen and I expect it to work just as well in the long run given my experience over the years with SGP’s screen protector products. If you are looking for a crystal clear fingerprint-resistant screen protector, you can order this SGP one through Amazon. It (you actually get two in the package) costs just $13.99 and is Amazon Prime eligible so you can get free 2-day shipping if you’re a Prime member.

Review: Capta tripod mount/stand accessory for smartphones

I first heard of the Capta through Kickstarter and though I missed getting in on the funding campaign before it closed, it remained on my list as an accessory to check out. As you probably already know, I do record video reviews and I’ve been getting a little tired of the cheap and flimsy plastic clamp tripod mount that I’d been using with my iPhone. Fortunately, offered me a Capta to review and I’ve used it to record a few videos and get a feel for how well it works.

If you’re not familiar with the Capta, it’s an aluminum tripod mount and stand accessory for the iPhone or any other smartphone or smartphone-sized device. It has an über sticky polyurethane pad used to secure your smartphone and a ¼-20 threaded hole to mount on a tripod or any other accessory with a stud this size.

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A (pen) Quiver for your Moleskine notebook

Despite the overwhelmingly digital nature of my life these days, I am still in love with paper and pens. Granted, I don’t get to use them as often as I used to when I was in school but I still enjoy a well-balanced pen that writes smoothly and crisply and a fresh pad of paper. To satisfy this need, I have a Moleskine notebook and a Pilot Hi-Tec-C pen and I try to keep them close to me wherever I go to jot down quick notes and thoughts. However, keeping a pen with that notebook has always proven to be harder than I thought, at least until now.

I came across the Quiver, a product by Quiver Global thanks to The Gadgeteer. It’s an elastic and leather contraption that attaches to a hardcover notebook and holds a pen or two for you. The single-pen version slips over the spine of your notebook and the double-pen version slips over the front cover. Though I only wanted a single-pen holder, I didn’t want that version interfering with my ability to keep the notebook open and write in it, so I opted for the double-pen version since that slides on over the front cover instead of the spine.

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