Today at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in San Francisco, Belkin unveiled the Thunderbolt Express Dock featuring 3 USB ports, a Thunderbolt port for daisy chaining, a Firewire port and a Gigabit Ethernet port. DailyTech notes that this is the same port setup that’s found on the new 27″ Apple Thunderbolt Display — it seems very convenient that it’s the same arrangement as what Apple is already using.
The Belkin Express Dock could be very handy for Mac users wanting to expand their current port offering and don’t want to pay $999 for a Thunderbolt display. Pricing and availability have not yet been announced but the price should be reasonably below the cost of a Thunderbolt display. The next question is, will Belkin also include a Thunderbolt cable so you don’t have to dish out an extra $50 for one? [DailyTech]
A notable lack on Apple’s accessory page for the iPad 2 is the Keyboard Dock the company used to sell last year for the original iPad which allowed you to dock the device, charge it, and type with a physical keyboard at the same time. I own a 2010 Keyboard Dock and, in spite of its portrait-only functionality, it is a well-made piece of tech that I used a lot last summer when I needed to write my articles on the go.
Keyboard Dock is no more. Apple isn’t selling such an accessory for the iPad 2 (they only have a new dock for sale), and AppAdvice reports the dock you bought last year won’t work with the iPad 2: it doesn’t fit well and doesn’t charge the device.
The decision doesn’t come as a surprise considering Apple’s rapid move to touch interfaces instead of physical keyboard input. Clearly, Apple thinks the iPad’s virtual keyboard is great for most of the typing you’ll need to do, and if you really want a physical keyboard you can still get one of the third-party ones that will come out in the next weeks — or just buy an Apple Bluetooth wireless keyboard that works perfectly with the iPad. But that is, no native option for the iPad 2.
Update: we’re hearing from some of our readers that the Keyboard Dock typing works, but the iPad 2 doesn’t indeed fit very well and charging is rather random. Works for some, doesn’t do anything for others. We’ll look into this. (more…)
If you use the OS X Dock as much as I do, then it’s likely that you’ve always wondered why there’s no easy way to assign a keyboard shortcut for apps placed in the Dock. Snap, a $0.99 app available in the Mac App Store, solves this problem by providing an easy solution to cycle through Dock apps using the keyboard.
Once downloaded, Snap will let you assign numeric shortcuts to Dock apps starting from the Finder and the app right next to it. All you have to do is choose a modifier key that, together with the numbers, will enable you to switch between apps in seconds. The modifier key can be Command, Control, Shift or Option. Personally, I chose Option so I can switch between tabs in Chrome using CMD. If you don’t want to have shortcuts for Dock apps, however, you can also manually pick an app from the “Other” menu and virtually create shortcuts for any app on your Mac.
I like Snap because it’s simple and allows me to quickly open apps using easy to remember shortcuts — always faster than heading over an icon with your mouse cursor. Go download it here.
As noted by iLounge, Apple announced a slightly modified version of the iPad dock to fit the new model unveiled today. What’s changed since the first version? Well, the iPad 2 dock seems to have a “small lip at the front” (perhaps to hold it better as it’s so thin?) that makes it a little bit different from the previous one. The usual 30-pin dock connector is included with support for charging and other accessories, as well as a 3.5mm audio line-out port.
It’ll look gorgeous next to a white iPad 2. [via iLounge]
Usually-reliable Taiwanese website Apple.pro [Google Translation] posted a photo of what they claim to be a leaked part of the next-generation iPhone, most specifically the 30-pin dock connector Apple has always used to let iOS devices and computers communicate and share data with each other. The most surprising part — the dock connector doesn’t show any big difference from the one Apple is currently using in the iPhone 4. Perhaps the new one is slightly narrower in the section where it connects to the device’s logic board. Apple.pro notes part number is 821-1300-02, while iPhone 4 has 821-1093-A.
On a related note, it’s interesting to notice Apple hasn’t made any changes to its dock connector after the European commission approved a new standard a few months ago that would require smartphone makers to adopt micro-USB as a universal connector for their devices. But, then again, Apple could just get away by bundling a micro-USB adapter in the iPhone 5′s retail package — something that, admittedly, would be pretty cool in our opinion.
Last, Apple.pro says the “leaked” iPhone 5 screen we saw last week is fake. Several readers pointed out that image could be easily Photoshopped, indeed. [via MacRumors]
Officially announced at the Macworld Expo yesterday, the iFusion for iPhone is an interesting all-in-one solution that combines a standard landline dock, a speakerphone, charger and USB connector into a single device that can let you have phone calls, listen to music, charge the iPhone and sync data with a Mac or PC. The unique design of the device, which will ship in April at $149, is highly ergonomic and allows for superior voice quality thanks to the hand-free speakerphone that, admittedly, also looks pretty good.
The creators of the iFusion call the product the first “iPhone communication docking station”, which comes with its own app (geared towards business users) but that, at the same time, can work with any other audio app for the iPhone, like Skype or Viber.
The iFusion can be pre-ordered here. Demo video embedded below, courtesy of TUAW. (more…)
In the past few years, we have seen an “explosion” of iOS devices used for music creations, live performances and gear experimentation. From the most curious app to the complex setups DJs and musicians have found themselves playing with, iOS devices — and especially the iPad — have become the most desired gadgets by geeks obsessed with music. Most of the times because, well, thanks to apps and hardware compatibility they turned out to be pretty great instruments.
The Alesis StudioDock for iPad aims at taking this whole music experimentation thing to a new level. The StudioDock is both a dock station for the iPad and a protective case that covers the device’s bezel. But most of all, it’s a full-feature music stations with MIDI in/out ports, stereo outs, gain controls and XLR combo ins. The Alesis guys write on their official website:
The StudioDock is the first device that enables anyone with an iPad to create, produce, and perform music with virtually any pro audio gear or instruments. The StudioDock is a universal docking station specifically designed for the iPad, and it gives musicians, recording engineers, and music producers the connectivity they need to create and perform with iPad. Connect all your pro audio gear to virtually any app in the App Store with the StudioDock.
Connecting professional gear to the tablet does indeed sound like a great idea and something that, beyond music, podcasters might want to tinker with as well. Check out StudioDock’s website here; specs embedded after the break, courtesy of CrunchGear. (more…)
Well, sort of. This very particular dock for the iPhone has indeed the shape of a diamond, but it can also take colors from the iPhone’s screen and bring them to a 3D ambience light experience. You’ll have to use together with an app, although no further details have been provided on the product’s website.
I can you hear you say “But Ticci, what does it do?”. I don’t know, but it’s cool. And the name Black Diamond? I bet Steve Jobs already has one. In a super secret testing lab. With a white iPhone. And an iPad 3 prototype. [Yantouch via Slashgear]
A couple of pals under the name Satarii have been working out of a garage-office for the past year perfecting the Satarii Star, an iPhone dock that follows your every move. In conjunction with a wearable tracker, the Satarii is a rotary base that follows you around around a scene such as your living-room. FaceTime conversations would be rather awesome when you could grab a cup of coffee without having to worry about the ol’ shaky cam, and imagine the possibilities in self-producing quality video? Imagine the MacStories reviews that could come of this thing! We’re pretty excited about this neat gadget because it’s a novel idea. Support the team and help Satarii reach their goal of $20,000 so we can see this thing get some legs.
[IndieGoGo via Engadget]