Reader Jed wrote in with this problem:
My iPhone lives inside one of those extended-battery cases, which is good for power but bad for syncing. I've lost the special sync cable that came with the case, meaning I now have to take the case off (major hassle) whenever I want to sync with iTunes. This is driving me nuts. Is there some other way to sync?
Good news, Jed: there is! With the introduction of iOS 5, Apple made it possible to sync with your PC via Wi-Fi, meaning you don't need a dock, cable, or anything else -- just your existing home network.
This feature came and went without a lot of fanfare, which I find surprising because it's singularly awesome. Well, okay, there's one downside, but it shouldn't affect you: Your iPhone must be plugged into a power source for Wi-Fi syncing to work. (Update: Should have said "automatic Wi-Fi syncing." You can sync manually even without a power source.)
Because your iPhone is pretty much constantly plugged into a power source (i.e. your battery case), syncing should be a snap.
I won't go into great detail on how to set up and use the feature, because PC World's Alex Wawro already did in "How to Use Wireless Sync in iOS 5."
However, I will add that there's one other option to consider, one that's good for anyone who's running into a PC-sync issue (whatever it might be): Skip the PC altogether. Thanks to iCloud, you can now get all your syncing done without involving your PC at all.
Needless to say, you have a couple good options for solving your sync situation. I tend to be fairly old-school, meaning I'm continuing to sync with my PC, but I can sure see the advantages of switching to the cloud -- er, the iCloud.
Contributing Editor Rick Broida writes about business and consumer technology. Ask for help with your PC hassles at firstname.lastname@example.org, or try the treasure trove of helpful folks in the PC World Community Forums. Sign up to have the Hassle-Free PC newsletter e-mailed to you each week.