The Week in iOS Accessories: Feel the power
This week’s roundup of iOS accessories offers better ways to write on, power up, or type when using your iPhone or iPad.
Freedom Pop: The $99 Freedom Sleeve Rocket is a 4G hotspot that gives your iPhone touch access to cellular signals—permitting voice calls and data downloads even when you’re not in range of Wi-Fi. Users are required to purchase a minimum of 500MBs of data access each month; the device itself offers six hours of battery life. (See this video for a demonstration.) The company promises no contracts are involved.
Invoxia: The $299 AudiOffice converts your iPhone into the centerpiece of an office-based calling system. The system powers your iOS device while it’s docked; the handset lets you take and make phone calls comfortably from your desk. (You can also play music over the AudiOffice’s speakers.) The system uses the legacy 30-pin dock connector, rather than the iPhone 5’s Lightning connector, so it can’t recharge that phone but it can otherwise be paired with the device via Bluetooth.
KwikDock: The $80 KwikDock is a small dock that plugs into your MacBook’s USB port and offers cable-free charging and syncing for your iOS device (or, at least, older devices with a 30-pin dock connector—you’ll need a Lightning adapter for newer devices). The KwikDock is pitched at business travelers who want to cut down on the number of cables they have to bring on trips.
Mophie: The company now offers white versions of its $60 Powerstation Mini, $80 Powerstation, $100 Powerstation Duo —initially exclusively at the online Apple Store. The first charges just the iPhone or iPod; the second can handle either the iPhone or an iPad; and the third can charge both your phone and tablet at the same time. The company says the new white models will be available in brick-and-mortar Apple Stores starting October 31.
More/Real: The $25 Stylus Caps from More/Real let you turn any pen into a stylus for your iOS touchscreen: Just cap your Sharpie with the tip and you’re ready to start writing or drawing on the screen. What’s more, you still have the Sharpie itself available for paper writing and note-taking if need be. Replacement tips for the Stylus Caps cost $6 apiece.
Mujjo: Fall is here! Time to keep your hands warm. Holland-based Mujjo can help you do that while still letting you use your iPhone or iPad’s touchscreen with its line of €25 touchscreen gloves. They come in gray, sandstone, lavender, and coral pink and are built for comfort and warmth. The gloves use special capacitative-fabric tips that let you use the touchscreen on your iOS device. The gloves will begin shipping on November 12.
Richard Solo: If you need to charge and see your iPhone and iPad at the same time, the $80 Power View Pro S Dual Charging Dock lets you show both devices side-by-side. The twin 30-pin dock-connector cradles obviously aren’t made for the Lightning connector of the iPhone 5 and the latest iPads, but you can charge those devices using one of Apple’s 30-pin-to-Lightning adapters. A couple of hidden USB ports let you charge two additional devices.
StarTech: The $19 Apple (30-pin) Dock Connector/Micro USB to USB Combo Cable features a standard USB connector on one end and both a 30-pin connector and a Micro-USB connector on the other end. So many options! Just one cable!
Unu: The Ecopack iPhone 5 battery case snaps onto your phone and doubles its battery life. The case comes in a variety of colors and purports to be eco-friendly because the battery portion of the device can be swapped between cases, enabling the battery itself to last through several phone upgrades. Pricing and shipping information for the Ecopak, however, are unavailable.
Zagg Inc.: This accessory maker has a pair of new Bluetooth-enabled keyboard cases to accompany the iPad mini: the $90 ZaggKeys Mini 7 and (pictured at the top of this article) the $90 ZaggKeys Mini 9—the latter offering a few more keyboard options. The company is also offering the $30 Breeze and $50 Merge cases for the new, smaller tablet. Zagg has not yet announced shipping dated for any of the products.
Updated 11/6/2012, 11:05am, to correct the description of StarTech's Combo Cable.