The CrystalCore TiltDock could have been invented by Apple, but it wasn't

The CrystalCore TiltDock is the dock Apple should have invented, but it fell to Apple Core Gear to create. But they need your help! It's an IndieGogo crowdsourced project and at just $25 (plus shipping) for the first 100 backers, it's a bargain. Considering it will retail for close to $100, you should really take advantage of this offering.

I had the opportunity to see and hold the prototypes at the Consumer Electronics Show last week in Las Vegas and I came away impressed. I even put my money where my mouth is and funded the campaign myself, for two units. Since it will work with my iPad mini and iPhone 5, it's a great solution.

What I like best about the dock is the material selection and the heft. This is no plastic docking station. The TiltDock looks like it could have come from Cupertino and would be right at home in the Apple store. With its aluminum exterior, it looks like a miniature Mac mini, and the weighted, sticky base ensures it will stay put on your desk and not lift off the table when you undock your iOS device.

The TiltDock's built in back support flexes to accommodate different sized devices, with or without a case. It's a clever design and a shame that Apple's docks didn't mimic it. Instead, Apple produced docks specific to each model and they didn't accommodate any case at all, leading to their low popularity and the reason Apple doesn't bother offering them now.

There will be versions for the old Apple 30 pin port, microUSB, and, with Apple's approval, the Lightning dock. This is what I preordered so I'm very excited. It's only $5 more than an Apple Lightning cable, after all! But you have to act now, to get the benefit of the early bird pricing!

Master your iPhone and iPad: Sign up here to get our FREE Tip of the Day delivered right to your inbox.

Todd Bernhard is a bestselling (6+ million downloads) award-winning (AARP,, developer and founder of NoTie.NET, an app developer specializing in Talking Ringtone apps including AutoRingtone.

An iPhone is almost always attached to his hip, but over the years, Bernhard has owned an Apple Newton, a Motorola Marco, an HP 95LX, a Compaq iPaq, a Palm Treo, and a Nokia e62.

In addition to writing for iPhone Life, Mr. Bernhard has written for its sister publications, PocketPC Magazine and The HP Palmtop Paper.