Apple Shuts Down Kickstarter Project

It’s a shame Apple killed this Kickstarter project to build a portable charger. These kinds of innovative projects can do wonders of the ecosystem of a product like the iPhone/iPad ecosystem.

That said, I’m not sure I totally get the project’s logic. Why not just make it USB and let a user provide their own Lighting cable. On top of being a legal workaround it actually can make the product more attractive by being compatible with anything that can charge over USB. In my opinion it’s actually a superior design. I prefer USB devices over Lighting or Apple 30 pin since it’s easier to share.

Micro USB To Lightning Adapter

Looks like Apple is now shipping the Lightning to Micro USB Adapter. Very cool since micro USB is pretty much the standard for mobile devices.

It seems like overseas manufactures are making good progress cloning the chip’s functionality. I give it a few more months before the flood of 3rd party cables that are of equal quality to what Apple is selling. That’s when you should stock up.

Authentication Chip In Lightning Connector

Back on announcement day for the iPhone 5, I said it would be difficult to impossible for 3rd parties to make Lighting cables because it was likely an active cable. Sadly I was right. From AppleInsider:

Peter from Double Helix Cables took apart the Lightning connector and found inside what appear to be authentication chips. He found a chip located between the V+ contact of the USB and the power pin on the new Lightning plug.

That’s pin 1, the far right pin of a Type A, the far left side of a mini/micro, and the top left of a Type B USB plug. That provides 5V DC. Depending on the nature of how the chip works it could be difficult for cables to provide even power, much less transfer data to the device. Pin 1 and 4 provide power/ground, 2,3 are data.

The big upside here is the market is huge for the first cheap silicon that can emulate this chip at least enough for power, preferably data. Assuming that happens we’ll see a plethora of 3rd party cables. Until then, we’ll see nothing. Of course that could be a huge lawsuit right there.

mozPod 0.2a1

mozPod 0.2a1 is available. It’s alpha because it hasn’t been as well tested as of yet. I wanted to get it out before Thunderbird 2.0 ships, and I’ve been getting a fair number of requests for it lately.

I’ve released MozPod 0.2a1 as an interim release for Thunderbird 2.0 users who want to use mozPod and see some new features. I decided to not support mozPod 0.1 on Thunderbird 2.0 to keep things easier to manage.

This is an alpha release and likely has some bugs. I wanted to get it out for those who want to start testing. This would be an ideal time as people want to move to Thunderbird 2.0.

Here’s the changes that matter:

  • Feature – Preliminary support for Lightning (if installed).
  • Enhancement – Thunderbird 2.0 support.
  • Enhancement – Some performance tweaks.
  • Fix – Sync all available AB’s.
  • Fix – Correctly handle notes that are more than one line.
  • Fix – Skip over LDAP servers in Address Book without failing.
  • Fix – Try to not hold lock on disks.

As usual, if you like it and want to encourage me to spend a little more time on it, feel free to do so. I do request some feedback. Let me know how it works for you.

I’ve got more extension goodness on the way. I’m planning to get to a real mozPod 0.2 release in the next few weeks. There may be a new extension on the way as well…

You download it from this link: mozPod 0.2

When Will Google Calendar Become Usable?

Google Calendar is an awesome web application. And despite my best efforts, Google doesn’t want me to use it. It came out back in April, and still lacks WebDAV support. As a result it’s read-only for client side applications. If they supported WebDAV so we could have full access to calendars, it would be infinitely more usable. I just don’t understand how it launched without. Who knows, perhaps one day it will catch up.

Ideally it would come out with Sync conduits for popular platforms: WebDAV (covers iCal and Sunbird), HotSync (Palm) and Blackberry.

Until then I still can’t figure out how I’d use it on a daily basis. It’s a shame, it’s an awesome app, but unfortunately it’s shortcomings are fatal.

Lightning Strikes The iPod

I started working to implement support for Lighting (project to integrate Calendar into Thunderbird) to sync with Apple iPods via mozPod. Didn’t take to long before I had a successful sync. It’s not done yet, and likely some big evil bugs (read: including but not limited to loss of data or first born child), but it’s well on the way!

That’s right, we now have the ability to sync contacts and calendar to the iPod on Mac/Windows (Linux still on the todo list, though it’s mostly there). It will require Thunderbird 1.5 or later. No release date just yet.

How cool is that? :-D

mozPod 0.2 Status

I have slowly been working on a new mozPod release, it’s just not going very fast, as it’s still a lower priority project. So far, it seems to be pretty well accepted. Here are a few of the changes planned, or already completed:

  • Preliminary Lightning Support
  • Having an LDAP server setup in your Address Book won’t cause the sync to fail
  • Some code cleanup, optimization, and bug fixes

For the record, I will be dropping support for Thunderbird 1.0.x in mozPod 0.2. Most people seem to be upgrading, and it’s just not worth the hassle. Many (or most) seem to have had problems with MozPod and Thunderbird 1.0 anyway.

Yes, development is a little slow, but it’s free (unless you feel like saying thanks), so don’t complain ;-).

Update: It’s out.