This post reviews and recommends the best 3 in 1 charge cable for new and old iPhones, iPads (Mini), and iPod Touch. In September of 2012, Apple announced the new iPhone 5 with an all new sync and charge connector called “lightning.” Then, a few months later, Apple released an upgraded iPad Retina, a brand new iPad Mini, and a redesigned iPod Touch that each carried the new lightning connector. The lightning connector is a great invention. The charge cable can be inserted either direction and it is much smaller than the previous 30-pin connector. The only problem with this, is that many of us now have a need for a charge cable that can work with both the old 30 pin connector and the new lightning connector.
For example, I have an iPhone 4S that carries the 30 pin connector. I also have an iPad Mini that has the lightning connector. So, now I have to carry around multiple charge cables in order to keep my devices’ batteries charged.
In my search for a solution to this issue, I discovered a very inexpensive yet extremely versatile charge cable. The 3 in 1 USB cable has a USB connection on the one side and then it has a 30 pin connector (for older iOS devices), a lightning connector (for iPhone 5, iPad 4, iPad Mini, and iPod Touch: 5th Generation), and a micro USB connector (charges iPad keyboard cases, my iPhone 4S nested bluetooth headset case – see Review of the Mogo Bluetooth Headset, and even many of those other non-Apple phones :). This is the best charge cable I could find to charge all of my devices at once and it costs less that $5. Since the cable is only about 7 inches long, I paired it with a 6 ft Amazon USB extension cable to give me a little more movement when I’m plugged in.
Here is a link to the cable on Amazon so you can pick up one of these to keep your devices charged: USB 3 in 1 Charge Cable (Lightning, 30 Pin, Micro USB)
And here is a link to the USB extension cable: AmazonBasics USB 2.0 Extension (2 meters)
So, the positives of the 3 in 1 charge cable are that you have the convenience of 3 different connectors that can charge a wide range of devices. I have also been able to sync my iPad Mini to my computer through the lightning connector. The 30 pin connector charges but won’t sync for some reason.
The cons to this cable is that it is cheaply made (you get what you pay for). The cable is super convenient but it might fall a part. My cable has held up really well so far and I have used it quite a bit to simultaneously charge my iPhone 4S, my bluetooth headset case, and my iPad Mini.
Disclaimer: Apple recommends using only Apple chargers and cables. Use of any 3rd party charge or sync cables is at your own risk.