iPhone and iPod docks are great. They keep your device upright while charging and syncing which allows you to easily access them. They look cleaner on your desk and there’s no fussing with cables or connector plugs that might become damaged from overuse.
But docks are not without flaws. Many docks are device specific. One that you purchase for your iPhone may not fit your iPod Classic and so forth. Another problem is cases. Most of us carry our devices protected in some sort of case. Often these cases prevent the device from fitting properly on the dock which means if you want to use it you’re forced to remove the case first.
All of these issues vanish with the new Universal Cradle for iPhone & iPod from USBFever.com. The cradle works with most every model of iPhone and iPod and best of all, in most cases, you need not remove the case from your device before docking.
USBFever.com was kind enough to give me a unit to review, here are my thoughts.
The dock itself is made from a black, glossy plastic. It has a rounded shape that looks sleek.
The bottom of the cradle features five rubber prevent which serve to both protect the surface where you place the cradle from being scratched and also keep the cradle from sliding around. This allows you to place your device into the cradle one-handed.
On the back of the cradle is the dock connector port. You must use your own cable to connect the cradle to one of your computer’s available USB ports. It would have been nice to see a cable included with the cradle. This way you could leave the cradle constantly connected and use your own cable for charging when you travel. If you only own one cable you’ll have to remove it if you want to charge your device on the road. However, an included cable would certainly mean a higher price and I’m willing to live without it.
That being said, the OEM Apple charge and sync cable works just fine.
Once connected you simply place your device into the cradle and watch as charging commences. The cradle itself has an adjustable dock connector that slides forward and backwards. This allows you to set it for your specific device. You want the connector as far back as possible so that your device rests comfortably along the back of the cradle. This prevents any accidental damage to your device.
I tried the cradle with my iPhone 3Gs, my iPod Touch 3G and my iPod Classic and found it worked perfectly with all three devices even with a different case on each of them.
iPod Touch 3G:
USBFever states that the cradle works with the following devices:
iPhone 3G, iPhone 3Gs, iPhone 1st gen, iPod Touch 2nd gen, iPod Touch 3rd gen, iPod Nano 5th gen, iPod Classic 6th gen.
At only $21.99 you’ll be hard pressed to find a cradle that costs as little yet works with so much. Most cradles and docks like this are device specific, meaning you’ll only be able to use it with one of your devices and the ones that are not cost much more.
The iPhone and iPod Universal Cradle is available directly from USBFever.com here.
M.S.R.P. - $21.99
What I like – adjustable dock connector allows it to work with many devices, no need to remove cases to dock.
What I don’t like - no included cable.