The accessory may not be supported prompt after iOS update

If you’ve recently updated your iOS device and started receiving a prompt telling you “The accessory may not be supported” when plugging in to a dock or clock radio – I feel your pain. I’m not sure why this seems to always coincide with iOS updates, but my theory is that the device manufacturers look at the MFI specification as if it’s the bare minimum they’re required to do. Rather than test that they conform to the entire spec, they instead test that the portion of the spec their product requires barely works.

I came to this theory after finding a really stupid trick that causes the Sony ICF-CS15iP that I just bought my girlfriend last year to work. I know – this product was already a year or two old in 2015, but I really didn’t trust “iHome” devices at the time. I remember when iHome made devices that sounded like garbage, felt cheap, and looked like they were constantly trying to ride Apple’s “iDevice” coattails. I definitely feel like I’ve made a mistake with this purchase after hearing and seeing the iHome clock/charging station I bought my girlfriend’s parents the same year – especially after seeing their device perform fine through iOS updates.

The reason I feel like this is a stupid trick and a mistake on Sony’s part – the prompt never shows up if the charging dock is tilted forward. I know this sounds insanely dumb, but the lightning plug dock is on a tilt swivel, and if you keep the dock tilted forward it seems like the connectors on the dock plug make a more solid connection with the contacts on the phone.

As seen in the photograph – the easiest way for me to accomplish this immediately was to shove two thin note pads behind the tiltable dock. As a more permanent solution I’ll be mounting some foam or plastic back there so that the large, obtrusive note pads aren’t necessary.

I did this all after cleaning the dock plug with 91% alcohol, as well as cleaning the lint out of both of our iPhones at home (powered off of course). Before you go to the Apple store with your iPhone or iPad that doesn’t charge when connected to a lightning cable – make sure to clean out the lint first, otherwise you may leave there feeling like an idiot.

So as far as I can tell, with various iOS updates Apple may push an update that has more strict requirements on lightning connections that device manufacturers may have been lax on implementing. While this solution won’t work for everyone, I hope it will help others troubleshoot their issues.