Apple's new "Lightning" all digital connector...
So today we pick up where we stopped...Apple's new dock connector on the iPhone 5.
There has been much buzz about this change as Apple starts to move away from a dock connector standard that has been around for the biggest part of a decade. The 30 pin dock connector has been replaced by a much smaller 8 pin all digital connector that Apple calls "Lightning". This means that many devices that you "docked" your older iPhone with will not connect without a special adapter. (This will not work with some devices that allow video or analog audio and relied on the 30 pin connector to pass signal) If the device has a USB connection, then you can simply use the cable that comes with the iPhone 5 in most cases. Apple has also introduced the Lightning connector on new versions of the iPod Touch and iPod Nano.
I have had good luck with connecting the iPhone 5 to all my devices because they use USB to interface. I also switched to a USB charger in my vehicle a while back (Griffin Technology's Power Jolt Universal Micro is a great compact dual USB charger for the car!) The new connector now allows you to plug it into your iPhone either direction...The older 30 pin connector would only fit into the iPhone one way. If you are like me and have ever tried to plug your iPhone in while its dark, then you can truly appreciate this new reversible design. The Lightning connector makes a solid click when inserted into the new iPhone.
A lot of people I have chatted with in the consumer electronics industry are not very happy with this connector change. This makes perfect sense because it will impact their business and sales directly. It will take time and money for them to re-tool and design products that work with the new connector. The flip side is that Apple like many companies is moving toward transmitting music and video wirelessly via Bluetooth and/or Apple's own wireless standard called Airplay. (Most of the major players already have devices that work with Airplay) Some iPhone users also have their knickers in bunch over the change because they have a collection of extra 30 pin cables in a drawer at home from the past 8 years. Don't freak out people...in the long run this is a good upgrade.
A few other notable changes on the iPhone 5 include a bigger battery, the 4" Retina display, and better quality internal speaker. The battery although bigger, gives about the same life as the iPhone 4s. With the bigger display and LTE (more on that later) it just keeps us from losing time between charges. The 4" Retina display is simply stunning...Without being to big so the phone is hard to hold. Lastly the internal speaker does a much better job than previous models. It gets loud and stays clear especially when used in speaker phone mode.
One last thing I want to cover before wrapping up part 2 is 4G LTE. While we have had the bridge technology HSPA+ (AT&T iPhone 4s) between 3G and LTE in Cape for a while now, most iPhone 5 users will only get to take advantage of it when traveling to other areas. 4G LTE (which stands for Long Term Evolution) is a very fast wireless data transfer protocol. How fast is it? In most places it's 4 times fast than peoples home internet connection speed...yes the internet on your phone can be much faster than your house speeds. It's amazing the power we now have in a hand held device!
Stay tuned for Part #3 where we will talk about iOS6 and Apple's new maps...