5 Must Have Mobile Phone Accessories

Mobile phone culture has evolved dramatically over the last ten years or so. What was once simply a medium for making phone calls has become an essential aspect of our lives. We’re never without our phones. We’re always fiddling around with our apps, sending group messages, or uploading new Instagram photos. Always.

As smartphone technology has evolved (and it has evolved dramatically), so too have their range of accessories. Once upon a time, we could only dream of novelty mobile phone holders. Now, there are accessories as big as your imagination (or budget) will allow.

With so many options, it can be pretty tough to decipher the must haves from the have nots. There are a lot of luxury items that don’t seem to serve any particular purpose at all, other than looking pretty. Some accessories, though, have become invaluable. They are designed to make our lives easier, and we thought it was about time to give some credit where it’s due. Here are our must-have phone accessories.

www.visualhunt.com

 

Docking Stations

Phone stands, as we mentioned earlier, aren’t anything new. For as long as mobile phones have been popular, there have been some downright weird and wonderful stands for them to reside in. That concept seems somewhat outdated now. I mean, when is your phone ever not in your hand, pocket, or easily within reach?

It was going to take something pretty big to make smartphone docks worthwhile, and that’s exactly what happened. Now, they serve functions, and there are a lot of choose from. The most popular of which is, without a doubt, the charging station. These futuristic looking docks are far removed from the eyesores of the 90s. Now, they’re sleek and shiny. They came to prominence with the must-have iPod charging dock. From there, they took on a greater responsibility as the iPhone increased in popularity.

Docks aren’t only available as charging stations, though. You can get ones with built-in Bluetooth speakers, so you can play your phone’s music library at a decent level and quality. You can even buy a specialist dock for your car so that your phone can take pride of place on the dashboard. That’s ideal for making the most out of your GPS app.

Phone Cases

Smartphone trends seem to change up every year. One element that remains the same, though, is that all phones seem to be on the delicate side today. Remember back when your phone could take a hell of a beating and get straight back up for more? Those days are long behind us. Now, one slip of the finger and you’ve gone and shattered your screen. That’s not an inexpensive repair job, either.

That’s why protecting your phone is imperative. For all its intricate design, they’re still incredibly susceptible to breakages. The fact is that phone cases are no longer negotiable. They’re necessary to protect your phone on the off chance that you do – accidentally – throw it against the wall in a fit of rage. They’re a fashion statement, too, though. The best iPhone 6 cases come in all kinds of shapes, colours, and designs.

Different cases even have their own benefits. You can, for example, pick up a waterproof cover if you have a habit of dropping your phone while taking bath selfies.

Power Banks

It wasn’t even that long ago that your worst nightmare was getting caught short with a low battery when you were on the move. That thought still sends a shiver down your spine, doesn’t it? We’d go to some extreme cringe-inducing lengths to avoid such a disaster, too. Like asking the guy behind the bar if he minds giving your phone a quick charge.

Those days – thankfully – are long behind us. When power banks first emerged on the market, we couldn’t order one quickly enough. These clever and convenient little devices contain their energy. You simply charge the power bank up, it reserves its power, and you keep it on your person in case of emergency. Then, if you’re faced with the dreaded low battery notification while out and about, it’s nothing to worry about. Just hook your phone up and you’re set. Portable charging.

www.visualhunt.com

Selfie Sticks

You didn’t really think this list would gloss over the biggest cultural phenomenon of the last few years, did you? Selfie sticks. Love them or hate them, they’re undoubtedly one of the most must-have smartphone gadgets. You don’t need telling what they’re supposed to achieve. If you’re struggling to work that perfect selfie angle, the extendable arm helps you find it.

Say goodbye to poorly lit and badly composed Facebook profile pictures and hello to wider angles, no matter how short your arms are. Bluetooth selfie sticks are the ones you want, to reduce any awkward reaching.

An honourable mention must go to the vast array of camera accessories you can buy to enhance further your photographic experience. You can pick up dozens of different camera lens sets for your phone to ensure the perfect Instagram snap. From fisheye to wide-angle lenses, they’re all made to create the best photos you can from your otherwise limited phone camera.

Stylus Pens

Somewhere along the way, the art of the pen and pencil got tossed aside in favour of their electronic equivalent. It’s weird to think about, actually. It’s a technology that’s not so far removed from the Etch A Sketch of the 1960s. And yet, now, people can’t seem to live without them. Stylus pens are great for jotting down notes, handwritten drafts, or anything else you might need to write down.

Let’s not forget about the eco-friendly benefits, either. Why waste paper when you can achieve the same effect with your smartphone? Shopping lists and reminders suddenly don’t result in mass waste. The stylus pen technology has taken even broader strokes (literally) in recent times too. Now, you can pick up a stylus paintbrush and embrace your creative side. It’s all the fun of painting with none of the mess. You can’t say fairer than that, can you?


Smarty Ring

Didn’t think it was real but it is. Get instant alerts from your smartphone right on your finger with Smarty Ring.



Saidoka iPhone Dock

Saidoka iPhone Dock

Saidoka fixes the problem inherent in many docks, your iPhone sits at an awkward angle making it difficult to use while charging. Instead with the Saidoka, Bluelounge designed a dock that allows your iPhone to be sit at an angled, upward-facing position making it easier to use your apps while charging. There is even a removable rubber cover to make allowances for your rubber protective cover. Looks great.

Saidoka iPhone Dock


iWoody iPhone

iWoody iPhone

iPhone’s are the modern toddler pacifier, but what if your iPhone isn’t available? With soft, spongy ear buds that double as chalkboard erasers, this toy smart phone, crafted of natural wood, is perfect for occupying little hands while mom and dad are on the phone. Includes one piece of chalk.



Grippy Pad

Just like a tree frog’s amazing feet, the Grippy Pad will hold all sorts of things in place. And all without a single magnet, velcro strip, or sticky adhesive in sight.  By some marvel of manufacturing (don’t ask) this advanced silicone material grips everything from iPads to Sat Navs. Just slap it on your dashboard and place your items on top. Like magic, they’ll be held in place!

Just like a tree frog’s amazing feet, the Grippy Pad will hold all sorts of things in place. And all without a single magnet, velcro strip, or sticky adhesive in sight. By some marvel of manufacturing (don’t ask) this advanced silicone material grips everything from iPads to Sat Navs. Just slap it on your dashboard and place your items on top. Like magic, they’ll be held in place!



Smartphone Condoms

Smartskin Condoms for Smartphones

Smartskin Condoms for Smartphones

Smartskin Condoms for Smartphones are soft and stretchy plastic skins that cover your device to protect it, while still retaining full touchscreen capability and 98% camera clarity. The skins slip on and stretch to fit, and sealing tabs are provided to stick over the remaining area.

Useful for last minute protection from rain and sand. This looks nicer than my current sandwich bag solution.

Available for a range of popular smartphones from Firebox.


Must-Have Accessories To Buy With Your iPad

Apple has earned the reputation as being one of the most innovative companies in the world, setting new industry trends and opening up new markets. But it wasn’t always like this. When the iPad was initially launched, it was naturally met with criticism.

Wired.com called the device “little more than a giant iPhone” and TechRepublic.com claimed “the iPad will fail to win significant market share.” Almost three years later and over 100 million units sold since its introduction, these critics have been proven wrong.

Along with the iPhone, Apple has forever changed how we interact with technology. And there is no shortage of rumors about new developments in wearable gadgets which will have to wait. Until then the following are must-have accessories you can buy today to enhance the capabilities of your iPad.

Apple TV

The Apple TV only costs $99 and offers wireless connectivity with the iPad. You can be able to stream the content on your iPad including movies, shows and even games directly to your television screen. This is the perfect accessory for the living room.

Wacom Bamboo stylus

The use of a stylus is perfect for graphic designers, students and even small business owners. The Wacom Bamboo stylus offers a comfortable feel and is well worth the investment, allowing accurate annotations and interactivity.

Smart cases

The iPad should have a good case to protect it against damage and scratches. Apple offers its own line of smart covers but their only drawback is they only keep the front protected, leaving the back side vulnerable. The best iPad 2 cases are designed to offer complete protection and dual functionality.

Logitech tablet keyboard

Writing on the iPad is a bit of a nuance. Those wanting to be able to do actual writing work on their devices will benefit from having a separate keyboard built specifically for this purpose. The Logitech tablet keyboard makes a perfect addition for travelers frequently on the go.

Wireless hotspot

The iPad comes with cellular connectivity at an extra cost. However, even if you opted for the wi-fi only model you can still get connection across the nation with wireless hotspot devices such as the Spring Overdrive. These devices are portable meaning you have connection wherever you go.

There are plenty of other accessories but these are some of the best available. The App Store is also filled with apps that can transform your device into a productivity or entertainment powerhouse.

Jillian Johnson is a professional content marketing writer and blogger with a particular interest in writing about technology. To read more writing by Jillian, follow her @MissWritey.


Cord Tacos

The cord taco will help you clean up all of those wires in your bag, pocket, car or wherever they are.

The cord taco will help you clean up all of those wires in your bag, pocket, car or wherever they are.



Mobile culture: Gloves Made For Texting

Mobile culture: Gloves Made For Texting
kate spade new york Tilt-a-Whirl Scarf, Hat and Gloves
Fashion accommodates the real needs of people using modern tools.
From Mobile Marketer: an advertisement in a Bloomingdale catalogue this past December shows the importance that mobile, specifically SMS, plays in the lives of consumers on a daily basis.

The ad is for Juicy Couture winter gloves that have the tips of the thumb and pointer finger cut off, especially for texting. Who would have thought two years ago that we would be seeing ads like this.
“The use of SMS will continue and perhaps accelerate as more phones enter into the market, and applications, such as Facebook continue to integrate with SMS,” said Joshua Kittner, senior marketing consultant for digital engagement at the American Red Cross, Washington.

Have you ever heard anyone commenting about how they like being marketed to via sms?
I’m surprised with their data showing increasing growth for sms in the US. Those with smart phones tend to use app. messaging systems far more frequently – Facebook, Whatsapp, Skype and IM being the most popular in my circle. With cheap unlimited data plans like we enjoy in Taiwan, sms messaging is far less attractive. Obviously, I’m forgetting that most still don’t own a smart phone.
Here’s a quick round-up of texting Gloves and mittens (some are sold out at post):
Freehands Gloves has the largest collection
From Josh Rubin of CoolHunting who “realized there was an opportunity in the winter of 2007 when he found himself answering his iPhone with his nose to avoid taking his gloves off.”
DKNY Cashmere Pop Top Glove
Juicy Couture – Text Me Leather Electronic Gloves
jobout 1.19
Soft knit gloves that fold back at the tips of the pointer fingers and thumbs for easy texting; rib knit trim at the wrist.
Rachel Rachel Roy Gloves, Striped Texting
From last year: Etre Touchy wool gloves with the tips of the thumb and index finger exposed to allow for convenient usage of touch screen devices like the iPhone.


Uniform Wares Timepieces

uniform wares
Thanks “anonymoose” for sending this my way.
I haven’t worn a watch in years; I don’t need a watch as a fashion accessory and since phones have displayed the time during idle, I’ve had no practical use to wear one. I do love and appreciate well designed or unique clock faces (most of which I have been finding lately in iPhone apps. which I realize cannot truly compare to a finely crafted timepiece) and these timepieces from UniformWares fit that characterization perfectly.
Paraphrasing from their website: Uniform Wares produces timepieces intended for everyday use by individuals with an eye for design details. Their products have an intentionally pared down form, characterized by distinct form, materials, colour and surface finish.
I can’t decide which I prefer, the 300 series or 200 series.


Cotton Canvas at Tsing Hua

cotton canvas ensemble
A young Tsing Hua University students returns after a weekend away. I share her love for comfortable clothing and accessories made from affordable cotton canvas. Managed to ask for a look see which she graciously obliged. Didn’t want her picture taken – too sleepy. Great quality kit with no brand name attached. Perfect.


Pod à porter neckband for iPod shuffle

Pod à porter neckband for iPod shuffle
When simplistic mobile devices get smaller, it can result in more interesting, fashionable ways in which to wear, carry and use them. Pod à Porter by Michiel Cornelissen Ontwerp is a jewelry-like accessory for last years iPod shuffle. The accessory removes the frustration usually experienced when using devices with headphones by avoiding wire-tangle and reducing accidental headphone drops.
Usability aside, if the current generation of the iPod nano lends itself to brash timepieces last years shuffle seems to lend itself well to subtle hidden accessories. It’s perhaps one of the few advantages of this interface-less design.
Pod à porter


The iPod as fashion accessory

The iPod as fashion accessory
Computing devices are becoming more apart of our everyday apparel (see CuteCircuit for a current popular concept). I’ve long since stopped wearing a watch (my phone works well enough and the weather here is killer on leather straps) but the new nanos diminutive size and utility might make me change my mind, almost. Though the screen might make it impossible to use, the removal of the calendar, notes and contact apps. lesson the nanos appeal. And if they could only add facetime.
The iPod Watch Band pictured above comes in a variety of colors and styles to coordinate with whatever color nano you prefer, and pack perfectly into the Maratac Light Case for travel (source).
Via Uncrate.