Got a new iPhone, iPad or iTouch for Christmas and now looking for some accessories? Since CES 2013, there is no shortage of new gadgets and apps that you ought to consider. Here are six of my picks.
The Card Ninja is a simple but very effective way to turn any phone into a wallet. Simply peel off the adhesive back and attach to the phone of your choice. The elegant, “Made-in-USA” Card Ninja will expand to hold money and/or credit cards. I’ve held five credit cards and my driver’s license when I wanted to travel light. And it doesn’t interfere with my iPhone 4’s camera. Watch the video about Card Ninja here.
If you are driving an older vehicle or even one of those newer ones without a connection from your MP3 player of choice to your car radio…now there’s a solution. Griffin Technology is offering a solution to sound and charging in one small little device – the iTrip Auto Universal Plus. Plug the 12v adapter into your cigarette lighter and you instantly have a USB charger for your device. The other end of the cable goes into the headphone jack of any phone, tablet or MP3 player. It’s totally manufacturer agnostic so you can use it with anything from Android to Zune.
Now press the SmartScan button on the unit and wait for it to scan the available FM frequencies. After it does, one will be printed out on the dial. Simply tune your radio to that frequency and enjoy your music through your car’s speakers. As you drive, if stations change, merely press the SmartScan button again and get a new frequency. You can even manually dial in a frequency and save up to four presets that work well for various locations.
Now however, if you are using an iDevice, you can download the Aha Radio app and have access to their 30,000+ stations. Select one of their easy to load presets or search for just the right genre across the country or in a town near you. Best of all, when you reach your destination, you can unplug your iPhone and take the show with you. The Aha Radio app is a free download on the Apple App Store, https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/aha-radio/id355829417?mt=8.
Olloclip has been making an accessory photo lens device for some time and now offers models for the iPhone 4/4S as well the iPhone 5. Probably the best accessory lens available for iPhone, this handy device can be carried in your pocket, it’s so small. When you are ready to shoot, merely pull it out, slip it over the corner of your phone and you are ready to start shooting. No apps to load, nothing to fool with – it aligns itself and you are ready to go.
The Ollocliip is really three lenses in one – depending on how you attach it. One way it give you a much wider view than the standard iPhone lens. Flip it 180 degrees and it gives you a fisheye lens. Unscrew another part of the lense and you have a wonderful macro lens for super closeups of tiny objects.
The optical quality of the Olloclip is outstanding. You’ll definitely be impressed with the quality of your shots. Check them out online at http://www.olloclip.com/
City Maps 2 Go is a great app if you want to have offline access to detailed maps for your destinations. When I went to Quebec recently, I didn’t want to pay the usurious date rates to AT&T, so I consulted my City Maps 2 Go version of the Quebec map. It was quite detailed and easy to use. City Maps 2 Go have maps for all US and UK counties, 100% coverage of France, Italy, Germany, and many more countries. And, according to their website, they’ll add any map on request within a few days. The app is available at the iTunes store, Google Play, Samsung Play and on Amazon.
Do you like to do street photography? But, are you afraid a big camera will scare off your subjects? Enter the Mirror Case for iPhone. Presently available for iPhone 4/4S and soon to be available for iPhone 5, this simple case slips over your iPhone and enables shooting with your phone in a horizontal position. To the casual observer, it looks like you are reading your iPhone – but actually you’re are taking pictures through a special 45 degree lens with a special app to turn your picture around correctly. Now you can take photos on the subway, in a cafeteria, or while walking down the sidewalk with almost no one noticing. Super easy to slip on or off your camera, this case actually sits an iPhone 4 at a nice angle for reading on your desktop.
The last item is for iPad owners only. If you enjoy watching movies or reading the news in your chair, but wish there was someplace for your iPad, other than hand-holding it, your dreams have come true. The Standzfree is a goosenecked, stable way to support your iPad while you sit, eat, chat on the phone, play a musical instrument or whatever. There’s a 24” flexible section and the solid section telescopes from 12” to 24” if you need additional height or reach.
The Standzfree works with all four current iPad editions and holds your iPad horizontally or vertically with a simple twist. The heavy floor plate that gives it its stability is flat enough to not be a tripping hazard and angled so it can slip under a sofa or chair. It can be assembled from box to in use in a matter of just minutes. More info and a video is available at http://www.standzout.com/