Carrying around all of the correct 30-pin connector cables, lightning cables and micro USB cables can be quite cumbersome, and of course there are the times when Murphy’s Law kicks in and the one cable you forget to bring is the only one you actually need. Thankfully , mobile accessory manufacturer id America has found a way to reduce the clutter and make sure you always have the right mobile charging cable when you need it.
Enter the CrossLink Universal Sync & Charge Cable, your all-in-one solution able to charge any type of iOS device and any micro USB device all from a single cable. It is a 3-foot cable with a standard USB connector on one end and on the other is a combination of lightning connector (iPhone 5, iPad 4, iPad mini, iPod Touch 5th Gen and iPod Nano 7th gen), 30-Pin connector (All other iOS devices and iPods) and Micro USB connector (other smartphones and tablets), each on its own side. You just match up the connector to the type of device you’d like to charge and plug the other end either into a USB port on your PC or laptop, or any USB to AC/DC power adapter (not included).
I was able to charge and sync any of my iOS devices using just this one cable. The build quality of the CrossLink is amazing, much better than Apple’s stock lighting and 30-pin to USB cables. It is fairly flat and the entire cable is shielded in a nice thick coating of rubbery material, yet it is still very flexible and easy to roll up and put in a bag or pocket. The CrossLink also comes in a variety of colors to match your personal preference and style, including pink, green, blue, yellow, white and black. As you can see, for a splash of color, I opted for the green.
Despite the cable having the extra connectors, you can still only use it with a single device at a time, but I haven’t found that to be an issue. In fact, most of the time, I leave the cable connected to the PC at my desk, so if I need to do a quick charge or need to copy photos off of one of my devices I don’t need to try to hunt down a 30-pin cable for my iPad and a Lightning cable for my iPhone 5, I’m good to go no matter which device I am using. Once you get your hands on a CrossLink you quickly discover just how liberating and convenient it is. I’d recommend ordering a couple of them that way you have one for home and one for travel/work.
The only caveat that I can see with the CrossLink is that if you are someone who uses a case on your device (I fall into this category), then the CrossLink may not fit due to the slight additional bulkiness of the shielding on the end of the cable housing the three connectors. Though, this is a common issue with many 3rd party cables.
I didn’t have any fit issues using the CrossLink cable with the couple of iPhone 5 cases I tried, but they were both open at the bottom. The cable was too big to fit into the opening on my wife’s iPhone 4S with a LifeProof case, however my daughters’ 4th Gen iPod touches with Otterbox Commuter Series cases were fine and our iPad 2 with a Griffin Survivor Series case and my iPad 3 with a MoKo Slim-Fit Folio case had no fit issues either, so it varies by case.
Not only is id America’s CrossLink cable less expensive than a first-party Lightning to USB cable, its higher quality, versatility and ability to charge any/all of your iOS and mobile devices thanks to the included 30-pin and Micro USB connectors makes it a much wiser and econmical choice. If you own a variety of mobile devices (especially Apple devices), this little Jack of all trades will mean that you always have the right cable on hand.