The USBduo proves cables don’t have to be boring, does more than charge your phone

USB cables, for all their usefulness, don’t do much outside of connecting two devices together. They’re also hardly known for their aesthetic brilliance. The USBduo is a new Kickstarter project which changes both those things. Thanks to a wooden end casing it looks great, and its functionality is increased considerably, because it combines a card reader, flash drive, and the usual USB cable functionality into one.

Pop a MicroSD card inside the USBduo’s body and it becomes a substitute for a flash memory stick, with the added bonus of having the option to hook up to your PC or your phone, thanks to its full-size and microUSB connections. Cleverly, there’s a second microUSB connection hidden underneath the full-size version, which also makes the USBduo suitable for backing up files from your Android phone to the MicroSD card.

Depending on your device, the cable can link accessories such as a keyboard or a mouse with your phone, and it’ll store photos from a digital camera too. The main USB connector is reversible, and is made from either black walnut, bamboo, oak, or maple wood. It’s a single piece too, so there are no ugly seams ready to crack open in the future.

Because it’s also a normal cable, the USBduo will charge up your phone or tablet, and it supports fast charging. It’s sold in either 11-inches or 39-inches lengths, but there are some stretch goals where other lengths could be added in as options.

Potentially, the USBduo is the only cable you’d really need to carry around, and could easily replace the flash drive many of us keep handy too. While the configuration means it’s mainly suitable for those devices with a microUSB port, an adaptor converting the cable over to a Lightning connector for the iPhone or iPad can be purchased.

If you’re quick, the USBduo can be had for just $20. Considering the cost of a USB cable and flash drive separately, that’s good value. Miss out on the early bird offer and the cost will rise to $25, then $30. Standard retail price is $40. A Lightning adaptor costs an extra $6, and there are options for purchasing multiple cables.

The Kickstarter campaign is underway here, and the team needs to raise $20,000 for it to be successful, after which deliveries will take place in June.

Apple

New patent suggests multiuser support could one day come to Siri

A new patent suggests that a major improvement may be in the works for Apple's digital assistant. Nothing has been confirmed, but Apple may soon work on implementing multiuser support for Siri.
Cars

A bit of patchwork can have you back on the road

Flat tires often come at the worst possible time. Whether you're fixing a flat tire or replacing it, our step-by-step how-to guide will help you get your car back on the road with time to spare.
Movies & TV

You can ditch cable but still get your 'SportsCenter' fix with ESPN+

ESPN's streaming service, ESPN+, is finally here. Despite appearances, ESPN+ isn't a replacement for your ESPN cable channels, and differs from other streaming apps in a few key ways.
Home Theater

Cutting the cord? Let us help you find the best service for live TV streaming

There's a long list of live TV streaming services available to help you cut the cord and replace your traditional TV subscription. Each is different in important ways, and this guide will help you find the best one for you.
Computing

A dead pixel doesn't mean a dead display. Here's how to repair it

Dead pixel got you down? We don't blame you. Check out our guide on how to fix a dead pixel and save yourself that costly screen replacement, or an unwanted trip to your local repair shop.
Wearables

Huawei could announce a trio of new smartwatches at IFA in late August

The Huawei Watch 3 may be a ways off from release, but that doesn't mean Huawei isn't working on what it could look like. A new patent from Huawei hints at a smartwatch with space to store a pair of true wireless earbuds.
Mobile

Apple aficionados, these cute pillows are made just for you

Created as "a cuddly tribute to the tech that changed our lives," these cute pillows will be hard to resist for diehard Apple fans. Each one features an iconic Apple product, including the first iMac and the game-changing iPod.
Mobile

iPad battery explosion prompts Apple Store evacuation in Amsterdam

An iPad battery exploded in an Apple Store over the weekend, causing breathing issues for staff members, and requiring the fire brigade and an ambulance to attend. The incident took place in Amsterdam.
Mobile

Airport’s low-tech solution to digital chaos involves the humble whiteboard

A U.K. airport has suffered a major computer error, caused by data connection problems, which has stopped flight boards from showing crucial passenger information. The solution is wonderfully low-tech.
Mobile

Free yourself! How to unlock a phone from the icy hands of your wireless carrier

Do you want to know how to unlock a phone through your carrier or a third-party service like DoctorSIM? Regardless of which way you want to go, we've compiled a list of requirements and methods for doing so.
Wearables

Part smartwatch, all fitness tracker, the Charge 3 is a blast from Fitbit’s past

Fitbit announced its next wearable: The Fitbit Charge 3. The new fitness tracker features a touchscreen OLED display, smartwatch capabilities, enhanced fitness features and more. Here's everything you need to know about it.
Wearables

Apple registers six models of Apple Watch Series 4 in European Union

Ready for an all new Apple Watch for 2018? It looks like Apple may be planning a complete redesign with improved health features. Here are all the details about the upcoming Apple Watch Series 4.
Photography

From DIY to AAA, here’s how to take a passport photo in 6 different ways

If you're applying for a passport or renewing one, you need to submit a photo in your official application. There are strict guidelines, but fortunately, it's something you can do at home. Here's how to take a passport photo.
Mobile

Huawei P20 photos show bezel-less display with teardrop notch, triple camera module

Huawei is no stranger when it comes to big phones. And this year it plans to go even bigger with the Huawei Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro. Here's what we think we know about the new range.