Tuesday, April 07, 2009

iPhone car charger solutions

There were a lot of things about my iPhone that bugged me 6 months ago. Some of them will persist, others have been fixed, or I've found workarounds, or they should be fixed with version 3.

There's one in particular, however, that still burns. Apple stopped supporting 12V (firewire, automotive adapter) charging for iPods and iPhones.

This meant that a large number of integrated automotive solutions, from low end car chargers to high end automotive sound systems, including my SONY radio and my Griffin FM transmitter stopped, working.

Apple never explained - of course.

This one decision earned Apple a lot of customer ire, and affirmed my desire for more Fear in Apple's future.

I've purchased a number of cheap USB chargers car chargers, but they've been very unreliable and many don't work with my iPhone. Meanwhile my reliable firewire/12V car adapters go unused. I've spitefully refused to purchase a new adapter, but our latest family trip convinced me I need to give in. My phone kept running out of juice about 3 pm. After six months of use the iPhone can't make it through the day. Map use, email, gaming, GPS, entertainment, push calendar sync, occasional conversation -- it's too much for a middle-aged battery.

I need regular power for the computer.

So I had to look at what's available. I know from past experience that unbranded chargers/adapters are worthless. The device has to have a good name and the negative Amazon reviews can't be too bad. Kensington devices look like they have some quality issues, so that leaves one of my favorite vendors - Griffin.

From Griffin we have:
The latter two are good options. On balance I think I'll take a try on the firewire to USB converter, even though there are no Amazon reviews yet. That would allow me to use several devices I already own. Griffin has a 30 day return policy so if it doesn't work out I can send it back. I may also buy the PowerJolt separately.

Update 5/5/09: The PowerJolt for iPhone is perfect, I asked Amazon to correct the listing. Even better, the Firewire to USB converter also works!

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