The Three Best Docks for iPhones & iPads

iPhones and iPads were meant to be proudly displayed. The desk is the obvious spot to stand them up, but any countertop will do.

To this end, docks are the hefty blocks of metal, plastic, rubber, and wooden materials that hold up the iPhone and iPad. Apple used to make their own, but that quickly went away with the various sizes and shapes of their newer devices. These days, you need to look to third parties for a dock product. Here are my favorites.

The Charging Nest

This dock, like all the good ones, will hold up any iPhone or Android phone as well as an iPad or other Android tablet. You can insert the charging cord for the device you use, and thus you have a universal dock. It will even work with most cases on your device. You will need an adapter to use this dock with some devices, which the manufacturer provides.

As a solid wooden product with real leather wrapping to cradle your device, it will do nicely if you prefer a natural look. And did I mention you can add a monogram or personalized message to the front face of the Charging Nest? Very sophisticated indeed.

The EverDock

This dock plans to stand the test time. Insert your own charging cord and it will hold up most any device—no adapter necessary. It comes in four Apple-centric colors (space gray, silver, gold, and black); aircraft-grade aluminum, of course.

As a significant option, you can get the EverDock Duo, which holds two devices at once. This is a great option for your iPhone and iPad to stand together and charge together. Such a model is great on the nightstand for overnight charging.

The HiRise

This is another unique dock with features I find particularly attractive. The HiRise will only hold iPhones and iPad Minis, as it only suits Apple’s Lightning Cable, but the upside is that it gives you access to your device’s headphone minijack. So you can plug in headphones while your device is docked.

Like the Charging Nest, the HiRise will work with most devices wearing a protective cases. This is great because I have four cases I use from time to time, and its very fiddly to take them off the iPhone just to sit them on a pedestal.

The HiRise happens to be especially affordable compared to the pricing of the Charging Nest or EverDock. The value is great, considering its a Twelve South product.

If it’s aesthetic that matter most to you, and you want a wood dock, the Charging Nest is the dock for you. If future compatibility with other devices matters most, since you want one dock that will fit all devices, the EverDock makes sense. But if you want access to the headphone minijack on your iPhone when it’s docked, then the HiRise is the only way to go.

I got to thinking about docks when Katie Floyd reviewed the EverDock. If you want a push in that direction, read her review or MacSparky’s.

Joe Darnell

Joe is a UI and graphic designer with prior experience as the creative director for three media-based businesses. Joe’s passionate about web design and graphic design with about 15 years of experience in the media industry. Additionally, Joe is the host of the Top Brew and Techtonic podasts, both featured on iTunes.