Although they did not have a booth at Macworld | iWorld 2012, Apple device maker Cirago was making the rounds at the expo showing off their latest and greatest iDevice accessories, Mac add-ons, and cabling solutions to complement the ever-growing number of iPhones, iPads, and Macs. Appletell sat down with members of the Cirago team to check out several new products specifically for iPhones and iPads, including new charging cables with a surprise feature and a great iPad dock charger. All Cirago’s iDevice accessories are certified under Apple’s MFi program, which means they are certified compatible with iPhone, iPad, and almost all Dock connecter-equipped iPod models.
NuView Dock Charger (IPA5000)
The beauty of Cirago’s iDevice accessories lies in their simplicity. Most of them do one thing and do it very well for situations that Apple’s in-the-box accessories do not cover. The NuView is a prime example. With the release of the iPad 2, Apple stopped offering an iPad dock (the first generation was still available, but not recommended due to changes in the iPad’s design). The NuView suffers from no such limitation, as it happily accommodates both iPad and iPad 2 models in portrait orientation for charging. Should you wish to watch a movie in landscape, simply flip the dock around and lay the iPad into the cushioned track, where it is held at the perfect angle for viewing (or swiping through Flipboard articles, tapping through puzzle games, etc.). The NuView holds the iPad snugly enough for solid tapping in either portrait or landscape orientation, and the rubber feet on the bottom of the unit hold the dock firmly in place on a desk/table no matter how wildly you stab at the screen to get in one last word in Scramble With Friends. The included wall charger provides power to charge your iPad when docked vertically; horizontal docking offers no charging capability.
This one wins for sheer simplicity of naming—it is a 10-foot USB cable with an Apple Dock Connector on one end and a USB-A connector (the wide flat one) on the other. What it lacks in other features it more than makes up for in utility, as Apple’s own included Dock Connector cable is a meager three(ish) feet long, and is often too short. Rather than perch an iPhone precariously or leave it on the floor where it might be stepped on because a plug is too far away, Cirago’s 10-foot cable easily reaches. The increasing number of cars with integrated USB ports is also growing, so hiding an iDevice out of sight in a glove box or cubby is much easier when cable length is not a restriction. To support the additional length, the IPA 1200 is thicker than Apple’s standard cable (more than twice as wide), with extra shielding to prevent breakage. The cable uses the USB 2.0 spec, and supports all iPhone, iPad, and iPod models (4th generation and up).
The Sync/Charge is a crafty little chameleon—the kit includes a 6-foot USB to Micro-USB cable, and a brilliant Micro-USB to 30-pin Dock adapter. Many consumer electronics have adopted the Micro-USB as a standard connection for charging and syncing, and, in fact, Micro-USB was adopted as a standard for cellphone chargers in Europe (even Apple signed on, though the Dock Connector is still as ubiquitous as ever). Many devices Stateside—such as Bluetooth headsets from Jawbone, Cirago’s own Bluetooth iPad keyboard case, and many digital cameras—use the Micro-USB for charging and computer syncing, so this Sync/Charge system cuts down on the number of cables one must carry. The cable is 6 feet long (again a handy feature for hard-to-reach outlets), and it is also thicker than Apple’s cable for extra durability. The Dock Connector adaptor is well built and feels durable, and the connection of the Micro-USB to Dock adaptor is solid.