The Week in iOS Accessories: Colors and cables
This week’s roundup of new accessories for your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch features everything from the practical to the spectacularly colorful.
AViiQ: Tired of tangled cables? AViiQ’s Ready Clips (two dock-connector versions for $30) are about the size of a ballpoint pen and are designed to similarly slip into your bag or shirt pocket. You use them just like a standard USB-to-dock-connector cable to connect your iOS device to your computer for charging and syncing, but without the mess of long cords and wires.
Flote: We’re always on the lookout for hands-free ways to use the iPad. The $270 Flote is a floor-stand that lets you read, watch video, and do other fun stuff without having to hold the iPad. The 26-pound stand rests on a one-foot diameter base and provides a boom arm that extends from 36 to 54 inches from the center axis, letting you pull your tablet close or move it out of the way. The Flote comes in silver, black, or white finishes.
Griffin Technology: This company has partnered with Crayola on a number of iOS-related products in the past. Now the two companies have come together to protect your child’s hearing. The new Crayola myPhones are colorful headphones with built-in volume limiting to make sure music and video don’t get too loud when your child plugs into an iPhone, iPad, or iPod. The earbud version is $15; the full-size model is $25. You can choose one of four colors: Purple Pizzazz, Caribbean Green, Blue Berry, or Cotton Candy.
iHome: The $130 iDM5 Executive Space-Saver Station is a little different from most iPad keyboard cases on the market. It's not a case, or even a simple, standalone Bluetooth keyboard. Rather, it’s a kind of keyboard console, into which the iPad fits—it looks kind of like the 1980s home-computer keyboards you'd plug into your television, only updated for the 21st century. The Bluetooth iDM5 includes a built-in microphone for videoconference and speakerphone use, built-in speakers let you enjoy better iPad audio, and it features two USB ports to charge your other mobile devices.
Imagine Acoustics: As first noted by our friends at AirPlaySpeakers.com, the new SoundScene Model 1 is billed as “the world’s thinnest Hi-Fi system.” It’s essentially a framed piece of art, except the frame includes AirPlay-enabled speakers to produce great sound while you view video or listen to audio on your iOS device. You can frame your own art, or you can pick from the company’s roster of art options. The SoundScene Model 1 retails in the United Kingdom for £1,300.
Redpark: Need help finding where you’re going? Redpark’s $59 GPS Cable can do the trick. The cable can connect your iPad, iPhone 3GS or later, or fourth-generation-or-later iPod touch to external navigation devices that use the NMEA 0183 protocol. But wait: iOS devices are already pretty good at showing you precisely where you are and how to get somewhere—why would you connect your phone to a second GPS device? Redpark’s answer: Some location-aware apps require more navigational precision than iOS offers, and some work best with navigation sensors already aboard boats and trucks.
USBFever: Honestly, it’s difficult for us to imagine a world in which we would own both an iPad and a Samsung Galaxy Tab. But apparently such people exist, and USBFever has a new product aimed at them: the $10 Y Charging Cable. This cable lets you charge both your iOS device and your Galaxy Tab—just not at the same time, the company warns. The dual cables terminate in a single USB plug, letting users attach either device directly to a computer for syncing and charging.