The mobile accessory company Insanely Great
may get their name from one of Steve Jobs' sayings, but in addition to designing their products in California, Insanely Great actually makes them there, too. It helps that their phone stands and holders have a few basic parts, specifically molded plastic, grippy backing, and suction cups. But the finished product is attractive, solid, colorful, and useful. Their product names are even whimsical!
I do a lot of typing on my iPad so I have a number of external Bluetooth keyboards. Some are built in to an iPad case and others are standalone units but they all have one thing in common... They use batteries. This was evident on the long flight home from CES when my keyboard ran out of power.
Enter the iKeyboard. In fact, I'm typing this article using one! The iKeyboard is an overlay for the iPad's built in virtual keyboard, in landscape mode. It stays in place using a sticky backing yet it can be applied and removed repeatedly with no residue.
There are a surprising number of vendors offering an iPhone case that includes a beer bottle opener, but the Opena
model stands out for a few reasons. Rather than have the opening mechanism around the Apple logo on the back of the iPhone case, the Opena has a slide out opener made of stainless steel. This means, when opening a bottle, the pressure is not placed directly on the phone.
There are a lot of stylus' out there, but Nomad Brush
has a couple that make a big difference. First, the Nomad Play is targeted at kids thanks to its smaller length, larger width, and wooden handle. But what really sets it apart is the paintbrush style tip, with conductive fibers so users can 'paint' directly on the screen. There is a rubber base where the fibers meet the stylus, so it reduces the chance of kids scraping the screen.
Since CES, I've had a chance to play with the Grablet which is a soft rubber shell for the iPad with special hooks for the included fabric latches. The latches can be configured in a wide variety of ways to allow the user to grip, hold and display an iPad 2 as desired. It's similar to the OtterBox Latch but less bulky and it's a custom fit for the iPad (with versions for the both the original and the iPad 2) unlike the OtterBox which is more of a general purpose holder for any 10" tablet.
Why didn't I think of this? Better yet, why didn't Apple? One of the attractive elements of the iPad 2 is the Smart Cover. So why should the iPhone miss out on the action? That was the thinking of Zahra and Derek, two Chicago-based enterprising entrepreneurs who created TidyTilt and used KickStarter.com to successfully fund it.
Twitter, Facebook, and the like are all decent ways to stay in touch with people you already know about, but Roamz has solved a problem you might not have known you had. What happens when you're traveling? What if there are time-sensitive events happening near you, but you don't follow those related social networking accounts?
In this job, I get to try out a lot of cases, and they're usually plastic, metal, rubber, or fabric. But the Q Card Case for CM4 is an interesting hybrid, combining a soft leather-like fabric where it counts and rubber for the phone case component. They have even applied for a patent for this combination.
The fabric portion has a slot that can hold up to three credit card or ID cards as well as some cash. There's a nice slot that makes it easy to eject the cards as needed.
I've been playing with the original iCade for a few months (see original article here), and it's been great fun, but it sure ain't portable.
Well, the folks at ION have come through. At CES, they showed off their new iCade Jr., which brings arcade-style joystick and buttons from the larger model to the iPhone and iPod touch.