I am constantly thinking about cables and chargers. Between phones and computers and tablets and videogame controllers and ereaders, everything needs a charger and, happily most of them work with a regular-sized USB port at one end. But, it is a sometimes confusing thing. Which item connects to where and how? And then, there’s going on a trip – do you have enough wall adaptors and cords to get that which needs to be charged at night charged at night?
There are, as I have stated in the past, various solutions available and recently a few new items came across my desk. First, there are Andru and HoneyDru, a couple of Android-intended adaptors (Andru for the wall to USB and HoneyDru for car cigarette lighters, or whatever we call those now). And then, to attach from the Andru/HoneyDru to the device there are the other product, Color Cables, which are vibrantly colored during the day and truly glow in the dark at night.
Looking at the plug side of things first, the point of the Andru and HoneyDru is for them to be attractive and functional. Andru looks like the Android OS mascot and has cute little eyes that light up to let you know when things are being charged. HoneyDru looks like a bee and has light-up eyes and wings which show when it’s working. They both come with standard USB to mini USB cables. The cables are detachable from the charging unit meaning that while it may originally be intended for Android, you can absolutely charge idevices with it as long as you substitute cables.
Andru’s eyes are constantly lit white when the charger is plugged in (they go blue when something is being charged), which means that there is a constant draw of power, even if it is a small one. The official website for Andru states that it utilizes “very low standby power” (UPDATE: we have been informed the latent power draw is 30mW), which is not the same as zero. This is a little upsetting because Andru is pose-able and cute and fun, but a constant power draw in this day and age feels unnecessary (even if it is a small draw). That is, quite honestly, the only drawback to this little guy who provides a 5V/1A DC output. HoneyDru offers up a 5V/2A DC output and his little light-up eyes and wings don’t draw power when the car is turned off and consequently is less troublesome.
Then there are the Color Cables, and these bad boys are brilliant, and not just in terms of their colors, but boy are they colorful. They come in a multitude of lengths; colors; and as either 30-pin, Lightning, or micro USB. Want an easy way to know what cable goes with what device but are having trouble because every cable you own is either white or black? This is the solution. Plus, it is easy to follow a snaking purple cable as opposed to trying to follow the snaking white one amidst a see of other white ones. They aren’t as easy to separately identify when they all glow in the dark at the same time, but in the light it is no problem. Additionally, they’re thick and lay flat, which to me is an advantage – they don’t knot and don’t feel as though they’re going to break (as far too many cables do near their ends).
Currently, the makers of Color Cables are running an Indiegogo campaign in order to expand their offerings in terms of colors and connection types. It is something that I hope succeeds, as they are, in case I wasn’t clear, great. I never got them to glow quite as brightly in the dark as in the picture to the right, but they certainly glowed more than enough to make out quite clearly.
It seems to me that the people we buy our devices from are becoming more and more stingy about selling appropriate cables/adaptors to charge them. Buy a new controller for the PS4 and it doesn’t come with a micro USB cable. Buy a Kindle and it comes with a cable, but no longer with a wall adaptor. Whether that is right or wrong, it allows for differentiation of cables and adaptors. As long as you have to go out and buy the appropriate cables/adaptors with which to charge your devices, why not make your life easy by purchasing cables and adaptors that look different from one another so that you know what goes where? The philosophy works for me and as long as there are fun-looking ways of making it happen, I’ m all for it.