Philips has launched a range of speaker docks designed to work exclusively with Android phones and MP3 players, featuring an adaptable mount that will fit any Android device.
With Android phones, tablets and MP3 players soaring in popularity, it seemed only a matter of time before some enterprising manufacturer would look to capitalise on making compatible accessories.
Speaker docks have long been the preserve of Apple devices almost exclusively – virtually all speaker docks on the market are designed to dock and charge iPods and iPhones.
The new Philips range bucks this trend by offering speaker docks which are designed to be compatible with any Android device, thanks to a cleverly-designed adaptable docking system.
Philips Android docking station adapts to fit different devices
The key difference between designing a docking station for an Apple product and for an Android device is that while Apple has a consistent 30-pin connector across all of its iPods and iPhones, the sheer variety of Android models from different manufacturers means there’s no consistent connectivity approach to design a universal dock for.
Philips has found a novel solution to this issue by designing an adaptable docking point which can work with any Android device via their mini-USB connector.
The Philips dock-connector can be moved sideways across the speaker dock itself, and the mini-USB connector can be rotated 180 degrees to fit devices which have their USB points facing either direction.
You can even slide the dock’s mini-USB connector left or right to compensate for devices which have their connection points off-centre. There are also small stabilisers on the dock-connector to allow a secure fitting no matter which Android device you are attaching.
This is a handy feature since a number of Android devices have their USB connections on their side, rather than at the bottom of the device.
Music streaming via Bluetooth
What’s refreshing about Philips’ approach is it allows for exceptionally versatile speaker docks which can work with any Android device, regardless of the model or manufacturer, using the universal mini-USB connection.
As the USB connection doesn’t have an audio output, Philips instead streams the music from the device to the speaker using a Bluetooth connection.
You’ll need to install a Philips app onto the device to enable it to communicate with the speaker dock.
As soon as you connect your Android device to the dock, it automatically activates the app and the Bluetooth connection. At this point, you can actually take your device away from the dock and the music will continue to stream. Should you want to charge your device, you can leave it docked.
Android devices in the dock
Philips’ development of a range of Android speaker docks shows a telling faith in the Android market that’s nothing if not long overdue.
The stratospheric rise of Android-enabled devices has put a serious dent in Apple’s ambitions to be the number one player in town.
Manufacturers such as Samsung, Motorola, HTC and Google itself have produced Android enabled phones and tablets, and Samsung has even released an Android-operated MP3 player, the Samsung Galaxy S WiFi 5.0.
With Android’s success predicted to grow and grow, it’s no surprise that demand for speaker docks that can charge and play Android devices should necessitate a serious response from manufacturers. Upon first inspection, Philips has done a sterling job in developing a system that can keep up with the myriad design differences of the various Android devices, launching its models just in time for Christmas.
Philips Android speaker dock range
Philips AS111 Android speaker dock
– 360-degree design
– Clock function
– Available November 2011, £70
Philips AS351 Android speaker dock
– Battery or AC power
– 10 Watt RMS output
– Available November 2011, £129
Philips AS851 Android speaker dock
– Premium model in range
– 30 Watt RMS output
– Available November 2011, £199