When it comes to car mounts for the iPhone and iPod touch, there are a lot of 'em available. I personally despise windshield suction-cup mounts, as every one I've tried has fallen off my windshield as soon as it heats up in the strong Colorado sun. When I saw Bracketron's new Universal USB Power Dock Pro Flex (US$34.95), I decided to give it a try -- it avoids the suction cup failure mode by running a 'stalk' up from the AC adapter port in the car's console.
My car mount woes are further aggravated by the fact that I use a mophie juice pack air battery case on my iPhone 4S. Many of the car mounts I've tested have required a bare iPhone, so I've had to remove the case every time I want to put the phone into a mount. Not so with Power Dock Pro Flex. It's adjustable, and I'm able to easily get iPhone and case into the mount.
However, there's one little fly in the ointment; the arms on the case that hold the phone in place end up covering the charging port for the juice pack air so that I can't charge it. I was able to resolve that problem by placing the iPhone into the mount upside-down! It's not the recommended way and definitely not suggested if you're putting an iPhone (with or without case) into the Power Dock Pro Flex and planning on charging it through the Dock connector.
The Power Dock Pro Flex is designed to be universal, meaning that it works with a variety of smartphones. That's why it doesn't come with a Apple Dock connector cable; you'll have to supply your own. It does come with a USB to micro-USB cable, which works flawlessly to keep the juice pack air charged.
The mount plugs directly into a standard 12V power port in a car and has a flexible arm that ends in a ball-mounted holder for the phone. The part of the mount that's plugged into your power port has an LED to indicate that you have power, and the aforementioned USB port. Bracketron uses a feature called "power grip arms" that insures that the plug is going to stay put in that 12V power port. For those of you who might be wondering, I do NOT look at the phone when I'm driving -- that's what voice directions are for, so it makes no difference if my iPhone is within my field of vision or not.
I'm pretty happy with the Power Dock Pro Flex, and it's reasonably priced. It keeps an iPhone in an accessory case securely held in my car while providing a way to charge it, and that's all I need. It's also a perfect fit for those who may have several people with different smartphones who want to use the same mount in one car.
Bracketron Power Dock Pro Flex keeps iPhone secured and powered in your car originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Thu, 26 Apr 2012 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.