It’s a shame a product category needs to exist to make Lightning accessories case-compatible, but there’s definitely a problem, so solutions are appreciated. The latest is CableJive’s dockStubz for Lightning Devices ($19), following its earlier cable-based dockXtender. A small black plastic component, it has a female Lightning port that fits onto docking speakers and other Lightning accessories. Jutting out from the top is a non-MFi male Lightning plug, onto which you can place encased iPhones, iPads, or iPods. A spacer is included, to be used depending on the thickness of your case.
dockStubz is roughly the same size and shape as Apple’s Lightning to 30-Pin Adapter, although it’s a little bit shorter, and deeper at the bottom. At it’s thickest point, CableJive’s adapter is 0.39” thick, 1.05” wide, and 1.05” tall. It slims down 0.42” from the bottom, to a plastic post jutting up with the Lightning plug sticking out. In this mode, it’s better suited for heavy-duty cases that are especially thick at the bottom. Adding the spacer adds 0.28”, making it the right choice for the major of other cases.
The plug housing is just a bit bigger than the ones on Apple’s cables, but should still fit into almost all case openings. It worked just as expected in all of our tests—it’s able to transmit data, audio and power, including a proper 2.4A charge. While there were no issues whatsoever, that’s not to say there might not be in the future: if Apple ever decides to lock out these unofficial Lightning plugs, they might trigger an unauthorized accessory notice. For the time being, dockStubz works perfectly.
Wireless connectivity is making Lightning connector case incompatibility less annoying for some people, but there’s no denying that the issue still exists. While we hate that an accessory like this may be necessary for some people, dockStubz is a thoughtfully designed product that solves a real problem, earning it our B rating and general recommendation. If you have a Lightning accessory and docking is an issue because of your case, this is what you should get.
Company and Price
Compatibility: All Lightning-Equipped iPads, iPhones + iPods