What does “made for iPod/iPhone” really mean?



While Apple spouted off about the advantages of their new ‘lightning’ connector for the iPhone 5 and above; consumers, retailers and manufacturers everywhere quietly sobbed into their blankets. Not that we liked the old 30pin connectors (they were a pain as well), but because we had filled our houses and cars with stuff designed to work with the old connection. Apple eventually released an adaptor, for which they of course charged a stupid fee, which alleviated the concerns of people who just wanted to charge their phones and maybe a minor amount of functionality; however, for more advanced purposes this simply didn’t cut it.

Take the pioneer SPH-DA110, for example. A unit which previously cost £200, now costs £200 + £30 for the apple adaptor + £80 for the pioneer convertor to enable the new iPhones to work with the adaptor. And the pain doesn’t stop here, the connector doesn’t even often the same functionality as the 30 pin does on new units. If I have to answer one more call to explain how you make the new iPhone work with a head unit via USB then I’m going to be sending Tim Cook (Apples new CEO – not as edgy, crazy or clever as Steve Jobs and clearly not as well known) a very strongly worded letter. Not that he’ll read it.

Quite simply, hidden somewhere in iTunes, there is an option to make your iPhone function as a “mass storage device”. This essentially turns your phone into a USB stick for the purpose of USB connections. It lacks the level of information and control previously afforded by the 30pin connector and removes the one advantage the iPhone had over android. So why not trade your glorified fashion accessory for an android phone. They’re simply not as restrictive on what you can do with them. Heck, if you don’t use apps, you could even go for a windows phone.

If you’re a die-hard Apple and iPhone fan, crawling through air port A/C vents in a vest clutching to your phone, fear not. Apple have now released Car Play, which grants you even more control (including siri) through your head unit. The new SPH-DA120 will probably do it for you; or if you’re transitioning to android the android auto systems then units like the AVH-X8700BT has both systems installed.

Long rant short – it really means nothing any more.


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