The cables we use to charge our devices probably aren’t given much thought until we can’t find them. They’re there… they work. If you’re like me, you probably think that there’s just not much room for improvement when it comes to these cables, right? Well, the folks at Color Cables proved me wrong.
They’re running a crowd funding campaign on Indiegogo right now to raise funds to start producing their take on what cables should be, and they’re addressing a number of problems with standard cables. They sent me a test cable to try out, as well, so I’m going to address these issues one at a time:
* They tangle — totally true. My wife and I both have iPads and iPhones, and none of the cables that came standard with these devices can remain untangled when we unplug them and take them on the go. (Let’s be honest — how many of us just shove these things in a bag instead of rolling them up nicely and securing them with a twist-tie? I dont…) The Color Cables version does not tangle. Period. It’s a flat cable (and I’m sold on flat cables after recently testing a set of headphones that also came with a flat ribbon cable) that unrolls fast and refuses to tangle.
* They all look the same — have you seen the cables that Apple provides? First, the white cables sometimes are hard to spot, but my real complaint is how often my wife misplaces here charger and then “steals” mine from the wall and doesn’t put it back. When I see my cable plugged into her downstairs office socket, I just assume it’s hers and head up to plug my iPad into my office’s socket, oblivious to the fact I just passed my own charge cable. Well, the Color Cables come in seven colors: blue, red, orange, green, purple, grey and pink. My new red cable is MINE. And it’s going to be readily apparent if she borrows it again. I’ll grab her a green cable… problem solved.
* They break easy — Yes, they do. I had to replace an iPad cable a year ago… it just stopped charging after I noticed where the thin part met the thicker had pulled free. Not rugged at all. The Color Cables are heavy. Not that heavy, but definitely heavy enough when you’re holding it you realize that it’s solid and rugged and is going to likely outlast the device it’s charging.
* Hard to spot — I frequently enter my dark bedroom while my wife is asleep. I hate to turn on the lights to find my iPad’s charger. I know it’s there so I fumble fumble and finally find it. Then I have to figure out the proper orientation to insert it for charging (it’s the older type cable). The Color Cables version glows in the dark. It’s a nice soft glow that won’t wake anyone up, but it makes it super-easy for me to find the red cable. And because of that soft glow, I can immediately figure out which side is up before inserting into the iPad. And the Lightning version of the Color Cable won’t even have this problems since it works no matter which side of the plug is inserted into an iPhone or iPad that takes the new cable size. (There’s also a mini-USB for Android users.)
If you’d like to help the company fund its next wave of updated cable types (including the new Lightning style), point your web browser to their new Indiegogo fundraiser and back them while at the same time grabbing yourself (as a backer) a suitable Color Cable of your own. You can find the official Indiegogo project at http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/color-cables-glow-in-the-dark-charge-sync-cables
Note: I’d like to thank James C. and the folks at Color Cables for providing me a test cable to try out. I’m sold, and will be backing for a cable for my wife. Different color, of course!