The Week in iOS Accessories: Travelin', man
This week’s roundup of iOS accessories features devices that let you travel—but without letting your iPad travel too far away from you.
Clarion: Looking for a hands-free way to use your iPhone on the road? Clarion’s $270 Next Gate is a Bluetooth-enabled device that lets you access apps and use voice commands to send email and use social networks while you’re driving. (Navigation and music apps such as Pandora are also easily accessible using the Next Gate.) The device is compatible with the iPhone 4 and 4S, and it will require a free Clarion app. The Next Gate goes on sale in June.
Crux: This accessory maker has a couple of new cases for the new iPad. The $99 Crux360 is a spruced-up version of the accessory for previous versions of the iPad. As the name suggests, the tablet-holding portion of the case swivels to position your iPad in a number of orientations, making it useful for typing, movie watching, or reading. The $79 CruxFlip offers many of the same features, but lacks the 360’s Bluetooth keyboard.
iHome: There’s not enough psychedelia in today’s iOS accessories. The $199 LED Color Changing Tower Stereo Speaker System fixes that problem—this three-foot-tall tower of glowing light also serves as a speaker dock for the iPhone and iPod touch. The tower can fade between indigo, blue, green, white, orange, red, violet, and yellow, or it can pulse to the music. There’s even a strobe effect. The device works with iHome’s free music-control apps, and it weighs just eight pounds, making it easy to create a club atmosphere wherever you go.
Kanex: We recently told you about how the Apple TV is making its way into the boardroom thanks to the device’s AirPlay feature. Now Kanex is trying to accelerate that process with the $59 ATV Pro, which lets iPad users project their tablet-based presentations over AirPlay to VGA projectors. It does this by letting you connect an Apple TV to a VGA projector. The device is pitched for classroom use, though Kanex points out that it can also be used to project movies from the iTunes or Netflix applications on your iOS device.
Kensington: The iPad lets you take your computing mobile, but sometimes the device can be too mobile—and attractive to thieves. The $130 KeyFolio Secure Security Case for iPad 2 keeps your tablet tethered to the spot where you need it—literally. The case can be locked down with a cable attached to your desk or other furniture, making it difficult to heist the electronics. The case also features a Bluetooth-enabled keyboard with an adjustible stand for optimum viewing of the iPad screen.
MiPow: iOS chargers aren’t always stylish, but that’s not the case with MiPow’s $46 Power Tube Shake 2600 and $99 Power Tube 5500. The former can be used to charge the iPhone and iPod touch; the latter powers up those iOS devices as well as the iPad and includes a built-in LED flashlight. Both Power Tubes come in a variety of colors and a cool metallic sheen; each also includes a velvet pouch for storage and carrying.
USB Typewriter: We’re not in the habit of featuring Etsy shops, but we admit to being charmed by the offerings (first reported at Wired.com) of USB Typewriter, which offers a series of old manual typewriters retrofitted to serve as the keyboard and dock for an iPad. (The devices can also serve as keyboards for other computers.) The typewriters—which range between $699 and $799—can still be used to type on paper, if you wish, and if you have an old typewriter sitting at home, the company offers a $74 do-it-yourself conversion kit to make your own iPad dock.