MAG:2 CLASSICS

The perfect accessory for an iPhone and AirPods user. Magnetically snap-on your iPhone 12/13/14 on the charging stand, and place your wireless charging AirPods on the base. This unique, sleek design, inspired by home decor, works best on your desk or bedside… More here.

It’s kind of ridiculous that the above MagSafe charger is so surprising. It is a beautiful design and highlights just how unoriginal most of the competition is. However, $150…

An iPhone / Apple Watch / AirPods charging stand that is cheaper than one MagSafe charger

The (deep breath) Magnetic Wireless Charger Stand, 3 in 1 Magsafe 18W Fast Charging Station with QC3.0 Adapter for Apple iPhone13/12,13/12Pro,13/12Pro Max,13/12Mini,AirPods 2/pro,iWatch 6/ SE/5/4/3/2 is currently available in the UK on Amazon for £28.89.

The HiRise 3 Wireless Charging Stand from Twelve South is $99.99 and by all accounts doesn’t work as it should for the money (review here).

I decided to try the Magnetic Wireless blah blah thingy from Amazon following some reassurance that the reviews appeared to be genuine and extremely positive. And it has proved to be an excellent product that delivers in all of the areas that are important.

It is not a sleek product by any means and does look relatively thick, but it is sturdy and never feels like it will fall over. Charging could be a bit quicker when giving all three devices a burst of power, but it will certainly work well overnight or on a desk.

When you consider that it is cheaper than one MagSafe charger from Apple there is no doubt that it offers superb value for money. I cannot, however, verify that it won’t burn your house down due to poor electrics, but that risk will be up to you and how you feel about non-brand products like this.

When design fails

Take a look at the above watch I bought last week for £50. It’s a 1972 Avia Swissonic which is an electric watch and which was arguably right at the cutting edge of technology at the time. Electric watches were pre-quartz and they were designed to offer an alternative to mechanical timepieces. A battery and a tuning fork were used to keep time, and there are many available today in a variety of impressive 1970’s styling.

I say again, take a look at it and if you think hard you may notice a ‘huge’ design flaw in the dial.

The new Twelve South HiRise 3 looks impressive as well. It has the ability to charge an iPhone via MagSafe, an Apple Watch and a set of AirPods. It is $99.99 and can only charge an iPhone up to 10 watts, the Apple Watch cannot work in Nightstand mode and if you have a case on your iPhone it won’t connect properly. Jeez! That is so poor from a company that has historically made excellent products. A review highlighting the issues is here.

Oh yes, the watch. Look at the number of markers between the 5 minute markers. There are 3.

How on earth can you set the time accurately and, even worse, how can you tell the time accurately on this watch which was marketed as being a much more accurate timepiece for the modern generation? That’s appalling design for the sake of design while forgetting the actual functionality, and something that thankfully Apple rarely does.

Have you any examples of terrible design on products you own?

UPDATE: Neil may have solved the Watch conundrum- ‘Am I being dense? On the electric watch, I wonder if one is supposed to use the gaps between the markings, rather than the markings, to count the minutes?’

The Khonsu Clock Lamp

When decorating your home, it’s always considered a win-win when something is both fashionable and functional. Take the Khonsu Clock Lamp for example: Crafted from metal, it boasts a round silhouette, so it’s sure to make a bold statement on any bare space in your abode plus it functions as a lamp and wireless charger at the same time! A decorative wall clock without numbers can bring a different style to your home! More here.

I like designs that are practical and which hide their technological aim well and this is a good example of that. Stunning.

Apple needs to drop the Lightning cable

My USB-C devices-

MacBook Air / iPad Air / Kindle Paperwhite / Jabra headphones / IBM work laptop / Microphone

My Lightning devices-

AirPods Pro

I should include the iPhone 13 Pro in the Lightning category, but I use MagSafe for charging at home and in the car- it never sees a Lighting cable.

Apple needs to drop Lightning today because unlike when the previous iPhone connector was changed and uproar ensued, the world has moved on and adopted USB-C. Apple simply failed to notice.

Apple’s AirTag problem

“So something kinda terrifying happened to me last night— someone attached an Apple AirTag to the underside of my front wheel well while I was inside a bar,” Jeana tweeted Saturday morning… More here.

That is scary to say the least. Not a fault of Apple technically, but I am wondering if there is a way to limit this kind of activity software-wise. Then again, that would negate the idea of AirTags in the first place.

The Twelve South Hoverbar Duo

In hindsight, you really can’t call the HoverBar Duo an iPad ‘stand’. The multi-hinged, incredibly versatile, height/direction adjustable arm is capable of doing much more than your conventional stand is. In fact, think of it as a mechanical butler who just holds your iPad for you at any angle you want, for any length of time. More versatile than a stand or a tripod, the HoverBar Duo for the iPad and iPhone is better described by the things that it’s capable of… and it’s capable of quite a lot! More here.

One of very few accessories I have seen that could transform how a device is used. Not cheap, but still good value.

Chargie

Chargie is the only charging manager that can physically halt the charging process at your chosen percentage (the lower, the better), so that the battery will actually outlast the phone.

This will allow you to recycle your device by donating it to someone in need (grandma, elder, kid etc) so that its carbon footprint is greatly reduced… More here.

Interesting idea. I’m not 100% convinced, but it has potential.

MagSafe is magnificent

I realised quickly after buying my iPhone 13 Pro that I would need a new case and a new magnet to attach the phone to my dashboard when driving. I considered a few options, but eventually opted to buy a third party MagSafe charger which would be attached to my existing magnet on the dashboard which would then charge the iPhone via my MagSafe iPhone case. It was only at that point that I realised that my phone had always played podcasts and music through my car using Bluetooth. I knew it was connected, but always presumed that it was using the cable attached to the USB port. Alas, my car is too old to support the newer iPhones for audio by wire, but the Bluetooth setup works just fine. And I have to say that simply attaching my iPhone and removing it via MagSafe is just so simple compared to my previous method.

Next, my lightning cable broke that was attached to the Twelve South HiRise cradle next to my bed which meant needing to buy a new Apple cable because third party ones would not fit. I thought about it and decided to buy a third party MagSafe cradle and an official MagSafe charging cable, and an Anker USB-C charging block. Phew!

The end result is a ‘much’ easier experience which is ideal when you are trying to grab your phone in the dark. The end result is also an expense of more than £100 on charging accessories which is crazy. However, I would not go back because the experience, while minor in the grand scheme of things, is so much better than before.