The Week in iOS Accessories: Take a stand
There are plenty of iPad stands in this week's roundup of iOS accessories, but we've also got items that help you shoot better photos, keep your hands warm, print documents...and blow out the windows of every house on your street. Here are some of the new products that caught our eye this week:
Behringer: Rawwwwwwr! Sorry: Behringer's iNuke Boom makes us want to rip off our shirts, Incredible Hulk style, and start screaming as the power flows through us. Why? Because this $30,000—yes, 30k—iPhone/iPod dock is eight feet long, four feet tall, weighs more than 700 pounds, and puts out 10,000 watts of power. As we said, Raaaaaawwwwr! Part of the Behringer's Eurosound line of products, the company will unveil this monster machine at January's Consumer Electronics Show. If you're in love with Apple products and huge sound, this might be a good time to get a head start building that underground addition to your house. Just don't forget the earplugs and earthquake insurance.
Lantronix: We don't see too many business-oriented accessories from week to week, but Lantronix offers an exception with its $150 xPrintServer. The device brings AirPrint to any printer, letting you print directly from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch without having to use Mac software. (AirPrint normally works with only a small number of AirPrint-equipped printers.) Lantronix suggests the device is meant to help businesses avoid the cost of having to buy new AirPrint printers.
Maximo Products: If you're looking for a sturdy-but-straight-ahead stand for your iPad, Maximo's $50 iU-AS1 should fill the niche. The stand is made of aluminum and includes anti-vibration cushioning and anti-skid feet to provide a steady view of your iPad's screen. It also provides a variety of angles for maximum comfort and readability. The iU-AS1 comes with a travel pouch; accessories that let you mount the stand on a wall or in your car are sold separately.
NewerTech: It's another late-fall week, which means we have another announcement of iOS-friendly gloves. The $20 NuTouch gloves will let you keep your hands warm and still operate your iPhone or iPad during breaks from building a snowman. The gloves come in a charcoal color, and are made of cotton, rayon, spandex, and an unnamed "conductive fiber." NewerTech says the gloves let users swipe, tap, scroll, and type on their touchscreens.
Photojojo: This company is always coming up with cool new ways to get the most out of your iPhone camera. Usually that's with big steampunkish devices that add a long lens to your phone, but the latest product moves in a more minimalist direction. The $15 Macro Cell Lens Band is, essentially, a rubber band that straps a tiny little macro lens over your phone's own lens. The macro lens allows your camera to capture small details that the iPhone might otherwise miss. The lens's portability—it can be stored in your wallet or on your wrist—keeps it handy for when you're looking to get a timely shot.
PowerSkin: The $90 Gaming Skin, available for pre-order, is a case for your iPhone or iPod touch that's designed specifically for gaming. The case of course offers protection for your iOS device, but it also includes stereo speakers and enhanced "rumbling" (read: vibration) features for buzz-powered gameplay. The case provides its own power, which extends gameplay and video playback to up to 10 hours. And the battery can be charged—via your computer or a wall outlet—while the device is in use. PowerSkin has not announced when the device will ship.
RTI: The $600 RTiDock puts your iPod at the center of your full-home-audio experience. The device features a slide-out drawer for docking your iPod classic, iPod touch, or iPod nano, charging the portable while playing tunes. You can also sync your iPod with iTunes over your network, and the system features video output so that movies and TV shows on your iPod can be viewed on a television. Interestingly, this is the first iOS accessory we can remember that makes hiding your Apple device a feature. The times, they are a'changing.
Satechi: The $50 R1 stand is built for any 7-to-10-inch tablet—including, of course, the iPad. The aluminum R1 features rubber grips to keep your tablet from sliding across the table; it also sports a hinge at the base for adjusting the height and angle for the best viewing position. Satechi says the stand is perfect for use in combination with a Bluetooth keyboard, or for movie and FaceTime viewing.
Scott Paul Technologies: The $25 e-Handle is billed as an accessory for all e-readers, and the iPad certainly fits that bill. Just apply the base pad to the back of your tablet—a non-toxic adhesive makes it stick—and then attach the rotating head. The company says the handle easily detaches, but by using it, you can reduce the amount of hand fatigue that can plague an iPad user. The e-Handle will debut at the Consumer Electronics Show in January.
SpiderArm: Here's an iPad stand that will make your tablet feel a little more at home in a dentist's office. The $80 SpiderArm system clamps to a desktop, offering up to three interlocking arms to allow you to swing the tablet in any direction—including back-and-forth across the breakfast table. The company claims the accessory will be particularly useful in the kitchen, where the mount offers hands-free access to iPad-based cookbooks while leaving the countertop free for actually making your meal.