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Apple Watch at CES 2016: docks, battery packs, bands, and more


While the Consumer Electronics Show only technically began today, the week so far has been full of companies announcing all sorts of accessories. We’ve covered some of it in detail already, but new offerings are coming in at such a fast pace it’s hard to keep track of it all.

While Apple is not showcasing at CES 2016 itself, many of the top accessory makers are. This is the first year of CES during which the Apple Watch has been available to customers, so many accessory makers are capitalizing on that fact and announcing their own accessories for Apple’s wearable device. We’ve seen a variety of new products from companies like Hyper, Kanex, Griffin, Belkin, and more. Keep reading for all of the Apple Watch accessories that have been unveiled so far in Las Vegas at the Consumer Electronics Show…



Popular accessory maker Kanex has unveiled an Apple Watch battery dock, seen above. This little accessory features the Apple Watch’s inductive charging pad, but can also charging other Lightning devices. The battery pack adds enough juice to power an Apple Watch for 7-10 days. More here.


Continuing the trend of Apple Watch battery packs, Griffin has announced a keychain-sized solution that will give you one additional recharge of the Apple Watch battery. It will be available in Q2 of this year for 2016. It’s a more compact offering than Kanex’s, but you don’t get nearly as much added juice.

screen-shot-2016-01-04-at-10-42-40-pm Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 3.04.07 PM

Further, Griffin has unveiled a pair of Apple Watch bands. The Trainer Watch Band is a sweat-proof silicone band that runs $39.99 and is made for 42mm Apple Watch models. The Trainer Watch Band will be available in black, white, red, and blue in Q3 2016. The Uptown Leather Band is a more professional option and will run $59.99 when released in Q3. It will be available in toffee/gold, black/silver, ecru/rose gold, and seafoam/silver. More here.


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Zagg this week is showing off its take on an Apple Watch charging station. The Mobile Charging Station is designed to charge both an iPhone and an Apple Watch. A charging dock for the Apple Watch pops up from the top, while there is a built in Lightning cable for iPhone charging. It’s battery pack comes in at 5000mAh and will be available in March of the year for $79.99. More here.





Next, Belkin has unveiled a new Apple Watch dock. This offering is a cheaper version of the $129 Charge Dock we reviewed back in October. Dubbed the Watch Valet Charge Dock, this offering lacks the integrated Lightning cable that the more expensive model features, but comes in at $89. It features a chrome metal arm to hold the Watch. It’s available now on Belkin’s website. More here


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Hyper this week is showing off a new HyperLink solid steel link band for Apple Watch. Hyper’s offering come sin at just $69, much lower than the $400 Apple charges. The HyperLink band uses the same 316L stainless steel as Apple’s offering, as well. It’s available in the normal silver color, as well as a space black variant for darker colored Apple Watch models.

Furthermore, Hyper is showing a new Amber Charging Case for Apple Watch that acts as both a charging stand and a protective case. Made out of aluminum, the case offers a built-in 3,800mAh battery that can charge an Apple Watch and any other USB device simultaneously. The Amber Charging Case is available in silver, gold, rose gold, and space gray for $99.

At checkout, you can use the code 9to5Mac to receive 20% the purchase of either of Hyper’s new Apple Watch accessories. More here.


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Continuing the trend of docks, Action Proof is demoing a new rubberized Apple Watch stand. Called the “Bozon,” this stand offers an interesting take on charging your Apple Watch. Made out of silicon, the Bozon offers four “legs” with the charging cable running through the back.

The Bozon is available now on Amazon for $39.99.


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Zens this week has also taken the wraps off of its Apple Watch power accessory. Called the Charging Bank, it is a brick shaped charging that can recharge the Apple Watch up to four times. The unique thing about the Charging Bank is that it doesn’t use Apple’s charging pad, but rather Zens’ own inductive charging technology.

The Zens Charging Bank for Apple Watch will be available in March for $70. More here.

Check back for more this week as CES unfolds and hit up our other CES 2016 roundups below:

Filed under: Apple Watch Tagged: Accessories, Apple watch, bands, CES 2016, chargers, Docks

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Chance Miller

January 7th



Video: All four colors of Apple’s new iPhone Lightning Dock reviewed


Alongside Apple’s announcement of the new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, it also released a new official Lightning Dock to sit the phones in. Unlike Apple’s previous version of this dock which was made entirely of plastic, these new docks are aluminum and color-matched to the Space Grey, Silver, Gold and Rose Gold finishes of the new iPhone 6s. YouTuber DetroitBORG has a full walkthrough video of all the new docks in action …

The dock is quite simple, a metal stump with a protruding Lightning Connector, but does the job well. The bumper between the dock and the connector gives some spacing which means the dock is compatible with some cases, allowing you to charge the phone without taking it out of the case. It will even fit an iPod nano and iPads although this isn’t really recommended. DetroitBORG says the Lightning connector is sturdy but the weight of an iPad could cause damage.

On the rear of the product, the dock features a Lightning connector and a 3.5mm audio jack to connect external speakers. The Lightning USB cable is not included in the box so you’ll have to provide your own.

DetroitBORG points out a nice touch with these docks; the connector bumper is actually color-matched to the color of the connector port on the corresponding iPhone 6s. This means that the Space Grey dock has a dark grey bumper, the Silver has a lighter gray and the Gold versions are white. This attention to detail is typical of Apple and may make up your mind if you are looking for perfect color coordination.

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The new iPhone Lightning Dock costs $49 from Apple, a $10 premium over the previous plastic Lightning Dock. You can obviously get even cheaper docks from elsewhere but the quality of materials and attention to detail with the new Lightning Dock does seem to justify the price point.


Filed under: AAPL Company, General, iOS, iOS Devices, Tech Industry Tagged: Docks, docks with cases, iPhone 6s, iphone 6s lightning dock, iphone 6s plus, iPhone accessories

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Benjamin Mayo

September 14th



Mini-review: FŪZDock for Apple Watch, a compact charging stand ideal for nightstand mode


A lot of Apple Watch owners who splashed out on a nice charging stand must have been swearing at Apple when watchOS 2 was announced. Most existing charging stands out there position the watch vertically, which was the obvious thing to do at the time – but then along came watchOS 2, with Nightstand mode one of its headline features.

Nightstand mode allows the watch to serve as a bedside clock while charging – but only when on its side, with the buttons on top. Bad news for anyone who already laid out the cash for a vertical stand, and worse news for manufacturers whose stock was effectively rendered obsolete overnight.

For those who haven’t yet bought a stand, the good news is that manufacturers have been quick to respond. Zac Hall reviewed Spigen’s low-cost Apple Watch Night Stand, and now FŪZ Designs has launched a similarly-priced alternative in the form of the FŪZ Dock for Apple Watch … 

If the company’s name sounds familiar, you may recall it from the Bluetooth padlock shown at CES back in January.

The FŪZ Dock is rather similar in design to the Spigen model, but there are two notable differences.


First, the FŪZ Dock is a little taller. Second, it has cable management built-in, which to my mind makes it a little neater. The dock is formed of two pieces: a plastic frame, and a silicon outer. You insert your charging puck, feed the cable down the back of the stand and then place the silicon cover over it to tidy things up – leaving the cable to exit at the rear.


That little extra neatness costs you an extra ten bucks: the FŪZ Dock is $29.99 against the Spigen’s $19.99.

(Incidentally, the above photo makes it appear that the base sits unevenly – that was simply due to me leaning on the cable when I took the photo and not noticing until later; it actually sits flat.)

The metal charging puck supplied with the steel model Apple Watch is slimmer than the plastic one supplied with the Sport, so FŪZ designed the stand to accommodate the thicker plastic puck and supplies a spacer so that the metal one sits flush. I have the plastic one, and the black-and-white design looks pretty nice.


The silicon cover is available in a choice of black, white and blue, to suit three of the most popular Sport models of the Watch.


The silicon finish makes it an excellent aesthetic match for the Sport band.


With the Watch attaching magnetically to the puck, it gives the same secure attachment as any other watch stand. The base of the watch has a similar microsuction material to the Spigen, holding it firmly in place.

My single complaint is that the silicon material acts as something of a dust magnet – you can see that in the photo showing the puck in place – but otherwise this is a neat, affordable solution which will work well with Nightstand mode. Recommended.

The FŪZ Dock for Apple Watch costs $29.99 from FŪZ Designs.

Filed under: Apple Watch, Reviews Tagged: Accessories, Apple watch, Docks, FUZ Designs, FUZ Dock for Apple Watch

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Ben Lovejoy

August 27th



Review: Twelve South HiRise for Apple Watch, a sturdy charging stand to showcase your timepiece

12South HiRise Apple Watch

With the Apple Watch released a few weeks ago and still making its way to customers around the world, Twelve South has started shipping its signature HiRise dock designed for any Apple Watch model. While the Apple Watch Magnetic Charging Cable offers a simple and convenient way of juicing the device even in the dark, the issues with Apple’s MagSafe technology still remain including an overly easy way to accidentally remove the charging magnet from the Apple Watch.

While HiRise still uses the same charging cable, its form factor helps alleviate the issue of your watch separating from the power source while offering a more attractive presentation of your Apple Watch. With its $50 asking price, though, how does Twelve South HiRise for Apple Watch stack up as one of the first charging stands? Read on for the details and more photos…

Key Details:

  • Works with any Apple Watch
  • Mostly metal build with soft plastic contacts to avoid scratching Apple Watch
  • Some assembly required, but minimal and quick
  • Requires your own Apple Magnetic Charging Cable
  • Offered in silver or black





12South HiRise Apple Watch 02

Charging the Apple Watch without a dock can result in a few annoyances: the MagSafe end easily detaches from the watch with any amount of pull, the magnet itself isn’t weighted much so it can easily slide off a bedside table, and you have to snap the MagSafe end to the watch rather than quickly dropping the watch onto a bigger target.

HiRise carries a sturdy build at just over 0.41-pounds to tackle the sliding issue, and Apple Watch rests on the stand (supported by magnet) offering a larger, stationary drop zone for charging.

12South HiRise Apple Watch 03

HiRise does require a slight amount of assembly as it ships in three main pieces with an optional (and spare) screw and tool to secure the base if needed. A simple setup guide walks you through each step of assembly; no tools are required aside from the optional hardware that’s included. You’ll just want to make sure you have an available Apple Watch Magnetic Charging Cable on hand before you put HiRise together.

12South HiRise Apple Watch 12South HiRise Apple Watch 04

The simple assembly process consists of four quick steps. First, you position the arm part of the charging stand to fit angled onto the base. The arm will stand on its own once positioned properly. Second, you’ll need to position the Apple Watch Magnetic Charging Cable into the coin-like slot with the concave side facing outward, then run the cord tightly through the pre-cut groove along the arm and the base.

12South HiRise Apple Watch 12South HiRise Apple Watch 05

This process is perhaps the trickiest as the cable tries to resist the angles necessary for concealing it. The optional screw can be used to secure the pieces together if the cable offers too much resistance, but this means your charging cable is more difficult to access if you plan on frequently removing it. Finally, the base snaps into place to hide the embedded cable.

12South HiRise Apple Watch 12South HiRise Apple Watch

While HiRise benefits from its metal frame with added weight and sturdiness, Twelve South chose plastic to line the areas of the stand where both your watch and band will make contact. This addresses a factor each Apple Watch charging stand will need to consider: metal on metal easily scratches stainless steel. Twelve South highlights that HiRise can support any Apple Watch (aluminum, stainless steel, or gold) and any band material (rubber, leather, or metal).

HiRise looks like it can easily collapse into a flat, compact position for easily packing it into a bag or suitcase during travel, but be sure to note that its position is completely fixed. A future iteration could perhaps incorporate an unseen hinge of sorts for making HiRise more travel-worthy, especially since it’s a bit of a hassle to remove your cable if you don’t have a spare handy.

12South HiRise Apple Watch

Overall, HiRise is an attractive charging stand that offers a more convenient experience for showcasing and juicing your Apple Watch when you aren’t wearing it. The materials resemble the existing line of HiRise docks including the HiRise for iPhone, which brings up another point.

12South HiRise Apple Watch 12South HiRise Apple Watch

The stainless steel Apple Watch collection varies from the look of the aluminum Mac- and iPhone-like HiRise stands made by Twelve South, which means the HiRise for Apple Watch matches closer to the Sport version. HiRise still provides a solid presentation and the available black option may match closer with the stainless steel watches (and be my preference), but I believe an opportunity for a more premium (and pricier) HiRise presents itself.

12South HiRise Apple Watch 01

The ultimate test of HiRise’s utility and usefulness is this: after using it for several nights in a row then returning to just using Apple’s charging cable on my nightstand, I immediately missed having the HiRise on my bedside table. After taking my Apple Watch off its charger the first morning without HiRise, the magnetic end of the cable slid off the table onto the floor.

HiRise for Apple Watch is among the first charging stands to start shipping to customers so there’s not yet much competition to compare it to, but its a solid solution on its own with an asking price the same but perhaps more reasonable than Apple’s Sport band. If you’re considering a useful accessory for your new Apple Watch whether it’s already arrived or still making its way to you, Twelve South’s HiRise for Apple Watch is a worthy charging stand.

Twelve South
Apple Watch

Filed under: Apple Watch, Reviews Tagged: 12south, Apple watch, Apple Watch accessories, Apple Watch docks, Docks, Twelve South

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Zac Hall

May 12th



Pad & Quill introduce The Timber Catchall organizer/charging dock for Apple Watch & iPhone

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Pad & Quill has just introduced another product in its recently announced collection of goodies for the Apple Watch: The Timber Catchall, a charging station/organizer that holds your iPhone and Apple Watch with enough room to fit keys, change, or a few other small items.

Like the rest of its product line, the new Apple Watch charging station is handmade in Minneapolis, and the company notes that it’s “hewn from a single piece of hardwood.” The dock measures 8.5-in x 6.4-in x 0.8-in and comes with a 2 year warranty and free domestic shipping — you’ll have to use your own cables.

The company also recently announced a collection of handmade leather and wood accessories for Apple Watch including travel kits and a charging stand.

The new Timber Catchall is available in three wood types — American Cherry ($99), African Mahogany ($109), and Premium American Walnut ($139), and up for preorder now for shipment in late May.

cherry mahogany walnut

Filed under: Apple Watch, iOS Tagged: Apple watch, Apple Watch docks, Apple Watch stands, Docks, Pad & Quill, stands, The Timber Catchall

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Jordan Kahn

April 20th



Opinion: Don’t judge – Apple Watch accessories are supposed to be personal, not universal


Over the past fifteen years, I’ve seen certain commenters pick the same fight literally every time Apple releases another device: “are accessories really needed for _____?” Fill the blank in with “iPod,” “iPhone,” “iPad,” “Apple TV,” or “Apple Watch” and you’ll see how the answer has eventually turned out to be “yes” every time. Even though I’ve tested virtually every type of Apple accessory out there, I couldn’t help but shake my head when companies first announced cases for the Apple TV’s remote control. Crazy, right? But there were eventually behind-TV mounts, Bluetooth keyboards, and universal remote controls that became truly handy for even Apple’s least-accessorized device.

Now the Apple Watch is coming, and despite Apple’s focus on its purely aesthetic customizability — including welcoming third-party band makers to the party — the “is this necessary?” comments are appearing again. “Nothing like a faux carbon fiber decal on your watch to convey your sense of good taste,” said one commenter, who separately opined that “every protective product listed here is the modern day equivalent of plastic-covered furniture.” To be honest, I personally agree with the first sentiment, but I’m not the target market for stickers. And I can still remember some people describing iPhone cases as plastic-wrapped furniture, back before Apple started selling them, too. So who’s actually right here, a handful of anonymous commenters acting as arbiters of universal style, or consumers looking to have fun customizing their new toys to their personal tastes?…



Why you might want an Apple Watch band accessory. Apple has explicitly embraced two types of accessories (thus far) for the Apple Watch: bands and chargers. Each has obvious appeal: if you want to change the way your Watch looks, swapping the band is the easiest (but perhaps not the least expensive) option. And if you want to keep the Watch working after its first day of use, you’re going to need a charger. Both come with the Apple Watch, but Apple’s actively selling additional ones.

If I had to guess what percentage of the watch-wearing population currently changed watch bands with any frequency, the number would be far less than 1%. But Apple went out of its way to make band-swapping easy, quite possibly to accommodate sweaty workouts. Early reviews suggested that the heart rate sensor won’t work reliably with loose-fitting bands, so swapping bands might well become the norm for athletic Apple Watch users. We’re already seeing a ton (seriously, stop launching Kickstarters already) of traditional watch band adapters for the Apple Watch. It’s clear that Apple Watch bands are going to be a thing.

In the near future, smart bands with electronic features will be, too. I’m not going to tell you that I have great confidence in the first crop of combination watch bands and battery chargers that have been announced. My prediction is that most of them are going to be significantly delayed, trainwreck-quality bad, or both. But the Watch’s need for a band with additional power is patently obvious — so much so that Apple actually patented flexible, wristwatch-ready batteries back in late 2011. It’s only a matter of time until someone, possibly Apple, does this right. And Pebble Time developers will be working on this and other smart straps in the meanwhile.



Why you might want an Apple Watch dock. Every Apple Watch comes with one of Apple’s official Magnetic Charging Cables. The charger attaches to the back of the Watch, which then sits on a table, a point that some reviewers noted was less than ideal. Docks capture the Magnetic Charging Cable and convert it into a stand that looks nice while keeping the Watch from scuffing. Early options I’ve seen are actually pretty cool-looking — frankly a lot better than most of the watch band hacks that have been announced. And Apple is already making its own docks for Edition customers and its retail stores. After a second band, a stand would be my next major purchase.



Why you might want Bluetooth headphones or speakers for your Apple Watch. Even if you already have headphones or speakers for your iPhone, you might not have wireless ones. Since the Apple Watch doesn’t have headphone or Lightning ports, Bluetooth is the key way to listen to music. There are plenty of Bluetooth headphone models out there — I’m personally a fan of Plantronics’ BackBeat Go 2 — and an insane number of Bluetooth speakers to choose from, such as Bose’s SoundLink Mini. My guess is that a lot of people will quickly understand the value of wireless headphones for workouts, and spare speakers for offices.


Why you might want an Apple Watch screen protector, case, or sticker. Here’s where the accessorizing becomes contentious. Some people just hate these things, no matter what Apple device we’re talking about. The logic is simple: Jony Ive and team make beautiful things, and protectors cover them up. But after finding that nearly 80% of iPhone users use cases, Apple started selling them (and many of its own cases have been pretty mediocre). It also shipped rubbery iPad cases on day one, and has been selling them for years. I personally can’t imagine putting a case on my own personal watch now, but that’s just me. People have used Swatch and Casio protectors for decades.

If you’re buying a steel Apple Watch or gold Apple Watch Edition, you probably wouldn’t even consider wrapping it in something else, unless that something else is another, more precious material. Both of these models have sapphire screens that should be very resilient, and hopefully Apple’s Mordor-forged metals will stand up well to the sorts of things that just happen to watches — accidental bumps against door frames, brushes against desks, and so on. The difference in materials is basically Apple saying that if you spend $549 or more for your Watch, it’s pretty much good to go. (Except in the pool or ocean. You might want a waterproof case for that.)

But most of Apple’s orders were probably for the less expensive Sport versions of the Watch. Their faces are protected with glass rather than sapphire, and their bodies are made from aluminum, like the iPods, iPhones, and iPads people have been scratching and denting for years. Buyers of these Apple Watches have more reason to cover up their Watches, either for protective or cosmetic reasons. I personally think that faux carbon fiber stickers (worse yet, gold carbon fiber stickers) are ridiculous, and wouldn’t wrap them around an Apple Watch. However, adults and kids with varied fashion sensibilities will wear $349 Apple Watches. Some may want to keep their Watches scratch-free for resale when the second-generation model comes out. The stickers, screen protectors, and cases spotlighted by my colleague Jordan Kahn are a cheap way to do this.

Why you might not want any of these things. You’re a purist. You love when Apple’s executives show off their completely bare devices, suggesting cases aren’t needed. You feel it’s only right to use and show off those products just as Apple’s web site hero shots display them. I get it. Everyone else gets it: you really love unadorned Apple products.

But if not for common decency, then for the way your jabs will look when 80% of other users disagree with you, please don’t pooh-pooh people who feel otherwise. Enjoy your Apple Watch, and let other people do the same. How someone else accessorizes a device doesn’t really matter… does it?

Filed under: Apple Watch, Opinion Tagged: Accessories, Apple watch, bands, Bluetooth, cases, Docks, headphones, screen protectors, speakers, stickers

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Jeremy Horwitz

April 15th



The World’s Most Obscene iPhone Dock Is Bigger Than a Pony

The World's Most Obscene iPhone Dock Is Bigger Than a Pony

With 28 speakers blasting around 125 watts, the original Wall of Sound made for an obnoxious home stereo system—let alone an iPod dock. But its creators have returned with a bigger and better solution: the Wall of Sound 2.0 that adds an extra 16 speakers, bringing the total to 44 (in addition to a pair of subs) for more decibels and bass than an iPhone dock ever needs.



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Andrew Liszewski

November 6th


Make Your iPhone More Useful with This Sleek Dock

Make Your iPhone More Useful with This Sleek Dock

If you're like most people, you stopped using docks back when Apple stopped including them with iPods. That's exactly why we were so pleasantly surprised when we saw the Bluelounge Saidoka lightning charger for iPhone. It actually looks useful!



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Adam Clark Estes

November 5th


Embed Your Devices in This Lovely Dock Like the Sword in the Stone

Embed Your Devices in This Lovely Dock Like the Sword in the Stone

Playing up the ultra-thin design of modern electronics, this beautiful cypress wood dock, known simply as the Kinodai, features four pre-cut slots, making it seem as though your devices are embedded in the wood like an ax head in a tree stump.

Read more…


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Andrew Liszewski

October 2nd


This Lightning Dock Lets You Dial in a Perfect Fit For iPads in Cases

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Andrew Liszewski

October 1st

September 2017
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