Gear Guide: For iPhones and iPads

If you're in the market for some iPhone or iPad accessories, but you don't want to spend a lot, here are some affordable options.

Six for under $30

iPhone Goes Old-School (part 1)

You can make your iPhone look just like the old instant camera it may have replaced with Photojojo’s Instant Camera iPhone Decal. This adhesive decal fits perfectly onto the back of your iPhone (or onto the backs of many hard-shell cases) and makes the phone look like an old Polaroid OneStep Land Camera; the iPhone’s actual camera lens and flash are exposed by a hole in the decal. It protects the back of your iPhone from scratches, and if you ever want to remove it, it won’t leave sticky residue behind. It’s also guaranteed to produce a smile from your photo subjects; no iPhone accessory I’ve used generates as much attention and curiosity from passers-by.—Dan Frakes
$6; Photojojo

Watch Your Back

Apple’s Smart Cover for the iPad 2 is great; few cases match its combination of convenience, screen protection, minimal bulk, and magnet-enhanced gadgetry. But the Smart Cover has one glaring flaw: It doesn’t protect the back of your iPad. BlueLounge’s Kicks can fix that: They’re slim, silicone-rubber rails that stick to the back of the tablet and keep that metal backplate from being inadvertently scratched or scuffed. They also keep the tablet from sliding around on smooth surfaces and let you lean it against a table edge without worry. The 3M Damage-Free adhesive releases without leaving any residue.—Dan Frakes
$12; BlueLounge

Stop that Sync!

You can charge your iPhone, iPod, or iPad using any powered USB port. But if that port belongs to a computer, plugging in can also initiate an iTunes sync. That’s fine when you’re connecting to the Mac you usually sync with. But what if you want to plug into a Mac that isn't your normal syncing machine, or you're on the go and want to use someone else’s computer for quick charge? The 100cm-long Sync Blocker solves that problem. It’s a USB-to-dock-connector cable (available in black or white) with a tiny switch that lets you choose to use the cable for a standard sync-and-charge or for power only. (When used with an iPad, you can sync or charge, but not both.) In power-only mode, the juice-providing Mac will never know an i-device has been connected—Dan Frakes
$13; USBFever

Take Your Pick

If you’re a guitarist, or if regular styluses are too generic, check out Woodees’ iPic: It’s a multipurpose stylus that’s shaped just like a classic guitar pick. The top is flat and easy to grip; the bottom has a rubber nib that’s perfect for any touchscreen. You can use it as a pick in guitar apps or as a regular stylus in anything else.—Serenity Caldwell
$15 (black or white); Woodees

iPhone Goes Old-School (part 2)

The Lootiful iPwn 4 case lets gaming geeks relive their princess-saving, barrel-jumping, block-stacking childhoods (or adulthoods). The case makes your iPhone look almost exactly like the original gray Nintendo Game Boy; it’s almost heartbreakingly realistic. The iPwn snaps easily onto your iPhone, fitting flush, and it leaves the cameras and ports free while providing basic protection to the back and sides. We may never see Super Mario Bros. for iOS, but the iPwn makes it easier to pretend.—Lauren Crabbe
$18; Lootiful

Stylin' Stylii

Anyone with a graphite obsession will love the JustMobile AluPen (pictured)—an aluminum stylus that feels like a good stick of charcoal in your hands. If you value precision, you can’t go wrong with Adonit’s Jot Pro or Ten One Design’s Pogo Sketch Pro. The Jot Pro features a fine-tipped disk for sketching; the Pogo Sketch Pro provides nice balance, ample angles for left- and right-handed users, and swappable 8mm nibs.—Serenity Caldwell
AluPen: $25 (with AluCube holder, $40); JustMobile
Jot Pro: $30; Adonit
Pogo Sketch Pro: $25; Ten One Design

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