iPhone 4 and the accessories conundrum

Apple took the decision to change the physical design of the iPhone in the latest revision (also known as iPhone 4, or, “ahmmmmm shiny WANT”). It’s a good move as the 3G/3GS was lovely but a tiny bit dated. The fourth-generation model sits beautifully flatly on a tabletop and it simply gleams in its glass-and-aluminium glory. And when you start to read text on that retina display – woah – it’s beyond crisp.

One issue I did foresee before picking mine up was the accessories problem. iPod owners are used to this, of course, as every model of the nano has had a different form factor requiring a new case, or whatever. One particularly smart thing Apple have done all along, though, is retain the universal dock connector so that cables and things are all interchangeable.

For my 3G and 3GS (yes, I went through both generations) I’d had a Mophie Juicepack Aira Mophie Juicepack Air case which acted as a second battery, handy considering how much I tended to use it as a mobile computing device during the day. I’d also made the significant investment of a TomTom mount for the car. I more-or-less knew that the Juicepack wouldn’t work on the iPhone 4 as the shape of the device is so different, but I was moderately hopeful that the TomTom kit would work since I’d just had a new car stereo fitted and I use the mount (and TomTom app) all the time.

Well. It turns out that the iPhone 4 is exactly the same height as the 3GS, so it does indeed fit neatly into the TomTom mount. However – I found that it wouldn’t charge. It turned out that this was an issue with the way in which the base of the TomTom mount used to be pushed backwards by the converse curved shell of the older model… and there is now a tiny gap between the body of the phone and the back of the mount.

A trip to a local craft store and just over £1 spent fixed that particular issue for me and I now have a working mount. I made a quick video (using the camera and iMovie on the new iPhone) to demonstrate the fix. Take a look.

I’m guessing there will either be a whole new mount, or an “official” fix/patch from TomTom in the future – but this is working brilliantly for me. Tell all your friends!

5 responses to “iPhone 4 and the accessories conundrum

  1. Hey Andy, Way cool… any word on a Mophie upgrade, since I can’t live without the Mophie. And I guess the Mophie would fix the antenna issue people are talking about.

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  5. I felt compelled to comment. I must admit as much as I like the iPhone I am getting a bit fed up each time a new s/w update is release – I find all of a sudden certain accessories no longer change the iPhone. Most notably the rather expensive Bose docking station and the even more expensive Audi. Dear Mr Jobs, please let us charge our iphones in our car and also on our docking stations!

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