Tag Archive | "micro-USB"

For $15 You Can Always Have a Charge/Sync Cable for Your Smartphone with You Thanks to This Excellent Accessory

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scosche 2When it comes to technology gifts, I generally tell people not to get them for me. Not that I don’t appreciate the thought, but having a non-techie try to find a good tech gift for a tech-geek is like an atheist shopping for the Pope.

Somehow, this last holiday season, my mother actually managed to get me an awesome tech related gift which I’ve been making great use of. Check it out:

scoscheThis is the Scosche FlipSNYC USB iPhone adapter (fear not, they make Micro/Mini USB version as well!) which is incredibly compact, enough so that you can easily throw it on your keychain. I was impressed by the smart design which manages to keep it so compact, even in lieu of Apple’s relatively massive connector. This isn’t one of those “you can totally put it on your keychain!” ordeals that you might find see on a TV infomercial, where in reality the thing is so bulky that you’d never actually want to put it on your keys — it’s actually small enough to go on your keychain and not attract any unwanted attention.

I’ve always got my keys with me, so even if I run out of the house without thinking I might need to charge or sync my phone, I don’t have to worry about it; if the time comes, out come my keys and this useful little bit of kit.

I’ve been using mine regularly for about 8 months and it shows no sign of breakage or wear.

Scosche sells these things for $15, and even though mine was a gift, I’ve easily justified the price with the amount of use I’ve gotten from it. It’s so handy to be able to plug into any USB port to get your charge on in a pinch and I’d definitely recommend one to any serious smartphone user.

scosche 3Fortunately, Scoche makes the aforementioned iPhone/iPod Touch version, and they’ve also got one for the same price that has both Micro and Mini USB plugs on it, which means that pretty much the entire modern smartphone world is covered.

The iPhone/iPod Touch version is also sold in red or white, just in case you’re too stylish for plain old black.

Scosche is also selling a second version of these called the FlipSYNC II, but they cost $5 more and the only differences seem to be a USB plug with full metal casing (rather than a ‘half’ plug) and the key loop is slightly larger. You can find those here (iPhone version) and here (Micro/Mini USB version), if you’d like to see for yourself.

European Phones Get Standard Charging Connector.

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Its been a long time coming and anyone who has a new phone every year or eighteen months will know what its like to have many different chargers laying around just in case.

Well if you live in Europe, you can say bye to a draw full of tangled mess and hello to the new standard micro-USB charger.

microUSB

The CEN-CENELEC and ETSI standards bodies announced on Wednesday through a press release that the new standard for phone chargers will be based on micro-USB;

“Commission welcomes industry’s commitment to provide a common charger for mobile phones
Incompatibility of chargers for mobile phones is a major inconvenience for users and also leads to unnecessary waste. Therefore, the Commission has requested industry to come forward with a voluntary commitment to solve this problem so as to avoid legislation. As a result major producers of mobile phones have agreed to harmonise chargers in the EU. In a Memorandum of Understanding (“MoU inch), which was submitted to the Commission today, the industry commits to provide chargers compatibility on the basis of the Micro-USB connector. In addition new EU standards to ensure continued safe charger use will be developed to facilitate the implementation of the MoU. The first generation of new inter-chargeable mobile phones should reach the EU market from 2010 onwards.

Vice-President Günter Verheugen, responsible for enterprise and industrial policy, said: “I am very pleased that industry has found an agreement, which will make life much simpler for consumers . They will be able to charge mobile phones anywhere from the new common charger. This also means considerably less electronic waste, because people will no longer have to throw away chargers when buying new phones. I am also very pleased that this solution was found on the basis of self-regulation. As a result, the Commission does not consider it necessary to introduce legislation. inch

Today there is a plethora of chargers for mobile phones in the EU. Many of them can only charge a particular mobile phone. Almost every household has a collection of chargers that have become superfluous over time. Old chargers currently generate several thousands of tons of waste a year.

In intensive and constructive negotiations with the European Commission, the producers of mobile phones have agreed to settle the problem. In a Memorandum of Understanding (“MoU inch) handed over to the Commission, industry takes a self-commitment to ensure the compatibility of new data-enabled mobile phones on the basis of the Micro-USB connector as the interface to provide charging support. It is expected to enable good charging capability. In the future:

Users will enjoy an easier life with their mobiles.
The number of chargers will be reduced
There will be a positive environmental impact.
The MoU will be accompanied by a new EU standard. With the new standard, safe use of new mobile phones as well as avoidance of radio interference problems will be guaranteed. The European Commission continues to work closely with industry to ensure that the MoU will be operational quickly. It expects that the first generation of new inter-chargeable mobile phones will reach the EU market from 2010 onwards. The following companies have signed the MoU: Apple, LG, Motorola, NEC, Nokia, Qualcomm, Research in Motion (RIM), Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Texas Instruments.

The Commission welcomes that the MoU will not preclude innovation in the fast moving mobile phone market by fixing a certain technology forever. Therefore, when the time has come, the MoU will adapt to future charging technologies. inch

Many smartphones already come with micro-USB but the EU expects the standard to be dominant within two years.

The only question that remains to be answered is, will the companies who signed the agreement be making their mobile internet devices / tablets with the same connector?

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