There is certainly no shortage of accessories and add-ons for the iPhone, including a variety Bluetooth headsets and cases. However, there are only a select few that really accentuate the iPhone experience and cause the user to further appreciate their device. Let's take a closer look at my favorite iPhone accessories.
DLO Leather Holster HipCase
I have preferred hip cases since my BlackBerry 850 days because they not only protect my device; they let me access it quickly. Like any good holster, the DLO HipCase keeps the iPhone snug and at the ready, with the ability to retrieve, tap, and replace the iPhone in one smooth continuous motion. Unlike some hip cases I've used, the DLO HipCase not only protects the device in a well-padded pouch, it leaves the headphone completely unobstructed so that I can listen to music with my iPhone at my hip.
Apple sells an A/V adapter cable that plugs into the base of the iPhone, but it's insanely expensive—especially for people seeking an audio-only solution. Belkin's product is a simple cable that plugs into the iPhone's recessed headphone jack and lets you connect it to a home stereo system, boombox, television, or just about any system with RCA-input jacks. It's a less expensive way to project your media library beyond the ear buds.
Songtak SXC-079 Touch Stylus
If you've ever attempted to peck out more than a sentence or two in Mail or Notes, you know how easy it is to hit the wrong key with your finger. It would be much easier to use a stylus, but they don't work on the iPhone's touch screen—until now. Songtak has announced a series of new "Capacitive" rubber-tipped stylus pens that work with the iPhone's touch screen and softkeys. They're really useful on those cold winter days when wearing gloves makes touch screen typing impossible. Unfortunately, because there is no built-in holder for any stylus accessory on the iPhone, you'll have to carry it in a pocket. This makes it easier to lose.
Kensington Mini Battery Extender and Charger
Considering the amount of use the device gets in a typical day, the built-in battery does a pretty good job of providing power to the iPhone.However, making phone calls, watching movies, listening to music and podcasts, retrieving e-mail and Web pages via EDGE or Wi-Fi, and more can quickly drain the battery. Fortunately, Kensington has come out with an external battery pack that can extends play time up to 30 hours of music, 6 hours of video, and 3 hours of talk time. The battery plugs into the dock connector and supplies hours of additional portable power. This accessory can be a lifesaver during a lengthy road or camping trip, or just a very busy day accessing data. An LED battery meter informs you when the pack needs a recharge via the included retractable USB charging cable.
Just Mobile Xtand
This slick new iPhone base stand recently hit the market and is currently my favorite iPhone accessory. Just Mobile Xtand looks like a small robotic arm that firmly grips the iPhone and keeps it in place on your desk, table, or other flat surface, making the touch screen easy to operate. The titanium stand and its curved base matches the look and feel of the Apple product line. The Xtand provides a more stable and durable platform for the iPhone than the base stands offered by Apple and other competitors.
The rotating arm can swivel the iPhone in either a vertical or horizontal position. Xtand is a very cool looking accessory and a great conversation piece. More to come. With the recent release of the iPhone 3G, the accessories market is sure to continue to expand and cover even more innovative after-market add-ons. No doubt, Apple is already working on a third-generation iPhone that will demand even more accessory support to broaden it capabilities.