The Missing Link: Where is the Android Dock?
Everywhere we looked at this year’s CES show we found iPod/iPhone/iPad speaker docks, chargers and other accessories that use Apple’s standard connector. To many of us, the Apple 30 pin connector is as familiar as USB; we know nothing can be done with our iPhone or iPod without utilizing it. When we thought about it, we wondered why isn’t there a standard docking connector for Android devices? Where are the Android docks?
Thousands of
Apple Accessories

Apple’s standard connector works across most all of their iPod and iPhones and even iPads. That’s around 7 million iPads, 50 million iPhones, 40 million iPod touches and hundreds of millions of iPods. The ability to dock all their products has spawned an entire accessory “eco-system” that includes thousands of speaker docks, power packs, chargers, car adaptors, iPod ready receivers and TVs and lots of other gear.
How About an “Open”
Android Connector?

What if Google had suggested a standard connector? Wouldn’t we be looking at an equal number of docks and accessories for Android phones? Yes, the new Motorola Atrix has a docking system but it uses the micro USB and micro HDMI connections. Google prefers open systems to proprietary ones but standardizing a connector doesn’t have to be proprietary. In fact, what many don’t realize is that connection is a proprietary holding of Apple’s; anyone who wants to make an accessory that is compatible with your iPad/iPhone/iPod has to pay Apple a licensing fee. Google could make a connector standard available for free. Micro USB could work but phone manufacturers would have to standardize on placement and orientation as well as make APIs for docking.
Will Wireless Make
Connectors Obsolete?

You might argue that wireless will make connectors obsolete and standards like DLNA, AirPlay and even Bluetooth that lets you move media among device, might play a bigger role in the future but there’s nothing like having a clock radio sitting by your bedside that charges your phone and plays your music. Too bad it can't work with an Android phone.
Did Google Goof?
We all know how much Google prefers open systems to proprietary ones like Apple’s and we have to admit open systems are fine but here’s a good example where Google could have defined a standard docking system and failed to do so. The result is a plus in the Apple column for “connected” accessories like docking stations. We’d be interested in hearing your opinion. Did Google goof by not offering a standard connector?
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Android Dock with remote (no bluetooth!)


This has a great app, remote and does not use bluetooth so it charges WELL.

Philips AS140/37 Fidelio Docking System for Android

I don't know if anyone has seen this site yet but I thought I'd post it:




oh well...

Oh well! The problems are insurmountable. We might as well give up then.

For goodness sake! How difficult is it to manufacture a convertor to adapt an iPod dock's proprietary connector to provide a USB socket/micro USB plug plus a trailing 3.5mm stereo audio connector ? And if those Chinese companies that could make, but haven't yet thought of producing such an adaptor felt some kind of strangely non-oriental obligation to pay royalties to apple for the use of their stupid proprietary connector, how much, really would it be?? So for now, all those millions of non apple devices can just go hang.

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android connector placement not standardized

I don't know if Google has influence over Android phone hardware. They'd have to develop the standard for a multi-pin dock connector *and* require it be positioned in a certain place for accessories to be universally useful. The Microsoft Zune had a multi-pin connector with audio, USB and device control, which seems to indicate that Apple doesn't have a lock on docking.

I work for a company, CableJive, who mostly builds products for Apple docks, but also has a few products to help Android phones connect to an iPhone dock. We've tried all kinds of angles on building docks for Android phones, but ultimately always come back to using a cable instead of a fixed dock because the micro USB connector is on all different sides of the various phones.

I did a write-up about some of the hackery we've done to create a cable called the dockBoss+: http://blog.cablejive.com/2011/09/02/andriod-to-ipodiphone-dock-adapter-cable/

Connector to apple dock

I'm not fun of apple gadget, but my family has iPod etc. I don't want to buy another speaker and so on.
So I wish some one make the connector to for apple dock product. cable connector works, but it's nice to
stand my android phone on the speaker.

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Dont need wires other than to charge

Google Android have not goofed it by far, Apple have. A friend of mine got a iphone like many of them, and toke it back firstly you need a home computer you must plug into it and run that iTunes program that takes over your of like a virus, upgrades music ect all must be used with itunes, unless you have jailbroke it. And again plug it back into your pc. What a waste of time. On the other had Android dont need any of that. I have a HTC be desire and all my interconnecting is done via wifi, send music to my home audio system on my phone, and still walk round the house with my htc in my pocket then answer a phone call whilst still playing music, if it was a iphone I would have missed the call. Same in my car sat nav handsfree phoning, music. No docking other than the micro usb lead if it needs charging, and most phones charge that way anyway, I even created my own apps just to simplierfy some things, lets be honest what does a iphone do better or easier than my htc be desire, ummmmmmmm could be hear all day thinking, yeah rip you of, it's like you did not see that speed camera coming till its to late, and once more what is it with them going faulty all the time, every person I know that has had one had to send it back some point or another and in some cases 2 or 5 times, glitch in the software, and what is it with the sim card I know lets make it even more difficult for customers to change there phone, and have you seen the cost of a new battery for them, any way that's enough from me or ill be here all night, lets go Android all the way.

ipad cable

how about apple making a male/female connector cable so that a person can also use their ipad to any of apple`s docking stations
Thanks Tony Fuzz

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Docking station

I honestly hope Google or any third party will NOT come up with such docks that are available for I(things). I see that stuff stacked wasting space and customers money. These things comes from $10 to $100 or more. And honestly what purpose do they serve? The audio that comes out from most of these are worse than bad. All you need is $2 stereo dubbing cable to connect to a decent audio system (which most any person capable of buying a smart already have). A clock ? Really? Charging your Phone? Give me a break.. I guess Android users are more careful with their money to spend on trivia like a Docking station. Google definitely did not Goof. They are more smarter than that.


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"More smarter" ?? But with

"More smarter" ?? But with worse grammar

One really good thing about most recent Apple products

I am no fan of Apple, but I have an "older" iPod 5th generation (video) and I am amazed that the latest iThings still use the same dock as this antique. I was in a hotel recently and the alarm clock had an iPod dock. It was really nice to be able to play my music without fuss.
At first, the iPod connector equipped accessories were very expensive, probably because of licensing costs, but now they are everywhere and inexpensive.
So your comment is very appropriate.
As Google's operating system and ecosystem evolves, I hope they will fix this omission. It would be to everyone's benefit.

Android dock?

Thats what I would like to have an expensive additive to my phone. So when I need to travel I can load another suitcase of accessories for my phone. Do you work for Iphone? Give it a break. Your either jealous or total unaware of the functions of the Android phones. I have had both so if you need accessories for your iphone give me a call, I no longer need them.

Hooray for Open Standards!

Hey, here's a great idea to solve 2 problems in one. Firstly, it will help cool the incessant debate between iToy... oops typo... iPhone fanatics and those who choose for varied reasons to go with a different manufacturer for their mobile needs. Secondly, it will also assist us in finally attaining the ultimate goal that we should all be fervently seeking... universal compatibility disengaged from commercial profit-mongering at the expense of the end consumer. Hooray for open standards!

So here's how we do it. All Apple needs to do is real easy and extremely cheap (in fact, it will save them in production and support costs). Firstly, Apple simply needs to unlock its iPhone hardware platform, as well as provide a connector that is standardised, much smaller and cheaper, less complex, less prone-to-damage or wear (such as microUSB). Then I am certain that Google would be only too pleased to provide a completely free, open and therefore totally customisable operating system solution to Apple to help them over their long term fixation with proprietary products designed solely to lock end-users into their one-horse world. And if Apple still wished to add its own glitzy iCandy and even lock it back down to protect its simplistic users from "breaking" it, as I'm sure Apple would be unable to resist, then they still can. Don't fear though Apple propeller-heads because you'll still be able to "jailbreak" (except without the jail part) your phone and load whatever flavour Android build you wish. Or build or customise your own. Hooray for Android!

Google may even eagerly offer to develop specific drivers to support the proprietary hardware "features" of the phone such as the retina display and even, if Apple stubbornly wanted to keep it, the iMess connector as well. If Google were not prepared to go quite that far, I am absolutely certain that the ready and waiting, enormous and ever-growing army of Android developers out there would very quickly (likely within days) develop suitable drivers to support all (?) of those hardware features so drooled over by the Appleheads. Hooray for open source!

Doing this would also immediately resolve some of the iPhone's inherent bugs including the iOS itself and the likes of the cute "marketing bug" that falsely and misleadingly tampers with the signal level display to "compensate" for its flawed reception. Hooray for openness and truth!

And all of this at absolutely no cost whatsoever to Apple. Now that's an offer hard to refuse surely! Hooray for free and open software!

Alas though, I suspect I may be dreaming, recalling how long Apple held out with their proprietary hold on the Mac PC before finally succumbing to the overwhelming force of the world's consumers and the increasingly more open computer industry. With Apple PC hardware now able to run other Intel-compatible operating systems, those users who prefer the benefits of other OS's can do just that, as well as enjoy any of the features of the Apple hardware that they feel excel over other hardware manufacturers' equipment. Hooray for users' freedom of choice!

[Note to Apple: Those features do NOT include the mouse functionality! Just put a second mouse button on the thing for goodness sake. Let go of that last symbol of closed non-conformity that you just can't seem to get over. It's what stopped me buying a Macbook on which I would have run Apple, Linux and Windows but not with a semi-dismembered mouse]

So I think this argument will only be resolved when Apple finally pulls its head out of the iCloud, comes back down to earth and finally embraces open standards like the rest of the free-thinking and sensible world. Hooray for commonsense!

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Genious, you should be working for Apple. . would probably last a day.

I believe they should start

I believe they should start using something like the Duracell Mygrid with speaker systems or anything for that matter so that it can be charging and it can connect to the devices wirelessly.

It's a miracle Apple 30 pin i connector has lasted so long...

Every hour teachers in my college connect a laptop VGA to projector - same connector for decades - with no tech help. Every day a visitor shows up with a new flavour of Apple laptop.
I have six different Apple to VGA adaptors to cope with the fact that every generation of Apple laptop has a new display output. The adaptors cost from 18 to 25 UK pounds EACH! It's a miracle that the Apple 30 pin i-connector has lived this long...
Long live USB and min-jack! Apple propriety is milking money out of fools!
PS - I now buy my Apple adaptors cheap off ebay from China because so many go "missing" Perfectly respectable and well paid professors think nothing of attempting to steal them! They are genuinely stunned when told how much they cost.
Apple will soon have a battle in Europe where the issue of different charger connectors, making old chargers obsolete will soon be illegal - ALL phones will have to use mini USB and the same voltage so old chargers WILL work on new phones by law.

comparing apples with grapes

Maybe it's just me, but I don't think Google goofed on this one. They're in the OS OS (Open Source Operating System) business, not in the cables and connectors business. They're OS is expected to work with any standard connector, and - trust me - there's already good enough standards, no need for another one. And may the best connector win, why choke it to your own ?

Android has missed the boat! It's stuck on the dock!

I agree that there should be a standard for docking the Android products, and miss the many accessories that are available for Apple. I have all the i-gadgets and the HTC Evo. I love the Evo, and also love the micro USB for charging, since the same cable fits my Bluetooth headsets, but miss the clock with charging station! Even with a charging pad, it's not the same as all the fun stuff available for my iPhone, iPad and iPods!

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Google only makes the software, idiots.

Google only makes the software, idiots. It's up to Samsung, HTC and the others to create the docking ports, because they're the ones who make the hardware. The phone itself docks, not the software.

Re: Google only makes the software, idiots.

I agree with the first guy who made that comment. I'm definetly not a fan but Apple does have their act together when it comes to their devices and software.
Any one of you, even in the near future, see Samsung, HTC, LG, Motorola, Nokia, etc... holding hands to make one docking port?

Take off your rose colored glasses and WAKE UP!

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Did Google miss the boat?

You hit it right over the center field wall. HTC which I believe was the first to come out with the Google\Android phone should have set a standard interface which othersw would have been forced to follow or get left in the dust. JMHO.

Wow...! You are really so clever .......

Wow...! You are really so clever .......

Boy, someone woke up on the

Boy, someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed! Relax, no need to call people idiots.

missing link

Am i the only one who understood the message here? The point wasn't that Android phones need a special cable, it was that maybe the phone makers should put the charging port in the same placement underneth the phone so that accessory manufactors could produce docks and other devices that could easily dock a phone without the cord, like the Iphone!
I'm in agreement, it would have been a great idea!

I can assure you, you're not

I can assure you, you're not the only one getting the point, I do too. But most commenters don't seem to. Anyway, I totally agree, having the possibility of using docking stations without ruling out the standard connections available now would be a perfect idea/addition.

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interconnect standards

I am in total agreement. My preference is strongly mini HDMI. It offers the most for digital transfer hands down.
It is also offered in most newer products already; e.g. HD digital cameras.
Has no transfer speed issues found in USB versions.

It's called 'USB'

It's called 'USB'

Just use your Ipod dock with your android device.

I might point out that most - if not all - of the docks for ipod have a standard 3.5mm audio in on them so you can at least use them as speakers for your android, and a usb port as well (for shuffles) so you could charge your android with that. 2 cables to plug in? Boo hoo. If there really must be an android dock, make it wireless. No more cables please.


Wireless would be the best. I have a box full of useless cables from past devices, I don't know why I keep them! The whole docking issue is a way to get more money from every customer who wants to do more with their device. Fact is by the time you get all of the acc's you want or need they will be replaced with something else anyway, with a new cable!

Typo in your article about the lack of an Android dock

Yo, just FYI
It's "To many of us the Apple 30 pin..." Not "Too many of us,"

I know, most people don't care, but I was raised on good spelling and your article/blog was just too good to be spoiled.

Andy Chiodo

Too or to

It is too many; not to many.
Good grammer is important but make sure you are right.


I agree, good grammar is important, and so are speaker docks ;)

...lack of Android dock.....

(To) bad your reply was not more substintive!



(To) bad your reply was not more substintive!



Android doesn't need docking

Most if not all Android devices are USB connectable to almost anything. Imagine that, using a standard cord that comes with most all computers, not having to search for that one special cord to plug in...HMMMM....WHO got what wrong....Apple has met their match and is quickly being overtaken, and hopefully will soon be gone.

As far as the thousands of devices that Apple makes, who profits from these "special" devices????

Thanks, GOOGLE, for being a little more user friendly!!!

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