It wasn't too long ago that I would have thought of a dual USB/MicroUSB flash drive as a dream accessory. Now the landscape has changed so quickly, I'm nearly embarrassed that I have yet to buy one. When we first heard about the Leef Bridge Dual-USB/MicroUSB flash drive, the idea was still novel enough that its quirky name wasn't off-putting. Since then the more traditional players have jumped into the ring, with SanDisk and Sony both coming out with their own drives.
There's been an slew of new "ultra-portable" USB cables show up over the past several months (you know, because USB cables definitely aren't portable on their own) – like ChargeCard, for example. These little gems aim to do one thing: hang out in easily-accessed areas (like your pocket) and be there when your phone needs some juice or file transfer.
Of all these charging cables we've seen, Torso may actually be the most versatile, as it's flexible and features two bendable arms on either side that can be positioned in a variety of ways, allowing the cable to be more than just a cable.
If you've never heard of Leef Bridge, it's an upcoming flash drive that doesn't discriminate between PCs and smartphones by having a USB port on one end and a MicroUSB port on the other. The company pushes the device as the quickest way to move files between a computer and a phone - and now it just got even faster. Leef Bridge has made the leap from USB 2.0 to USB 3.0, which means zippier file transfers for anyone who picks up the flash drive once it goes on sale in January.
In today's world of widespread broadband and increasingly ubiquitous WiFi, some people frankly balk at the thought of using flash drives. Those of us who ignore the naysayers still have had to accept the reality that our trusty flash drives that proved so useful while we sat at PCs aren't quite as useful when transitioning to smartphones. A 32GB flash drive filled with music is awesome when I want to pump music from my laptop, but it's a brick when I want to listen through my phone instead.
Something that surprised me at the CTIA conference yesterday was the connector port used in both the HTC EVO 3D and View 4G. Instead of 2 distinct standards, like on the EVO 4G - MicroUSB and MicroHDMI - the new EVO devices have only 1 port that uses the brand new MHL technology (Mobile High-Definition Link). And it is brilliant.
The MHL 1.0 standard, finalized a few months ago, uses a single port to connect both HDMI and MicroUSB, and get this - it is able to charge via HDMI as well.
A couple of weeks ago, Engadget ran a piece on a new product from a company called Phonesuit aimed at smartphone users with MiniUSB and MicroUSB charging ports (this should cover every Android phone as far as I know). Shortly after Engadget's piece, we were contacted by Phonesuit and offered a review unit, which we gladly accepted.