Apple tries hard, but battery life isn't exactly at the top of the feature list for iPhones and iPads — which makes chargers a necessary and not exactly good-looking evil. Dress them up a bit with Eastern Collective Textile iCables ($14). These handsome accessories feature a standard USB plug on one end and an Apple 30-pin connector on the other, with stylish woven designs in between, letting you charge up your iGadgets without succumbing to the tangled white cable monster.
There no doubt that the iPhone can be an amazing photographic tool. What's not so amazing? The built-in flash. The Paparazzo iPhone Light ($50) is designed to give your photos a boost by replacing it with a 300 lumen LED light that connects to your iPhone's dock connector, adding a dedicated shutter button and handy grip in the process. Want to shoot video instead of a still? Simply flip the switch to video mode, hit the trigger, and watch as your previously grainy scene becomes something that's actually worth looking at.
Thinking about picking up a GoPro? Already have an iPhone? Then do yourself a favor and pick up a Mophie Outride ($130-$150). This ruggedized, waterproof mount for the iPhone 4/4S keeps your phone protected inside a polycarbonate housing, while a wide angle lens ensures you get the whole picture, and a modular mounting system ensures you'll be able to use it no matter what sport you're in to.
DJ apps simply not cutting it for you? If you've got a couple of iPhones or iPod touches laying around, you can get a more tactile experience from the Philips Mini DJ System (£300; roughly $470). This shiny, oversized boombox features dual rotating docks for Apple's smaller devices, with a channel fader for mixing the two sources together. Other features include 300W of total power, a 3.5mm input for other audio sources, two 5.25-inch woofers and two 2-inch tweeters, an integrated dynamic lighting system, an FM radio, dual microphone inputs with volume and echo controls, an LCD display, a remote control, compatibility with the optional djay app, and integrated handles. Or you could just use djay, an iPad, and an Apple TV — totally up to you. [via]
We're generally fans of eBooks — the convenience factor far outweighs any missed tactile experience — but we do lament the slow, agonizing death of proper book covers. Out of Print eBook Jackets ($40-$45) seek to solve this dilemma by wrapping your Kindle Fire, Nexus 7, or iPad in cover art from literary classics. Thanks to the fact that they're made like real books with book board and cloth, they feel just like real books, which is far more than we can say for the aluminum/plastic build of your tablet.
You know what's nice to have on the back of a smartphone? Grip. You know what's designed to grip? The bottom of sneakers. So Vans did the smart thing and combined the two in the Vans Waffle iPhone Case ($28). Available in white, black, or pink, each flexible case features a gum rubber waffle sole replica on the back, a red heel-tag replica on the side, a toe cap replica on the top, and plenty of openings and push-through button covers so you can still use your phone like a phone. [Scouted by Jonathan]
Let's face it: as good as gaming on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch can be, it's still lacking one critical element: tactile control. The GameDock ($125) is meant to rectify the situation by turning your iOS device into an old-school console. Thanks to two front-mounted USB ports and an outgoing dock connector, you can play nearly any iCade- or dock-ready game in full HD glory on your TV, using actual controllers. As anyone who's tried to play classic ports like Sonic, Street Fighter, or Mega Man can attest, it makes all the difference in the world.
Despite our obvious affinity for Apple gear, we'll be the first to admit that Apple's wrist-friendly iPod nano is lacking a key feature: Bluetooth. The Syre ($50) is the most sensible way we've seen to add this functionality yet. By building the Bluetooth module right into the silicone polymer watch, it keeps things looking sleek and stylish while removing cumbersome cords from your workout routine.
Losing your keys can be a huge annoyance — whether they've slipped into couch cushions or just been left in an odd place, searching for them can cost you valuable time. Hone ($50) can help you get that time back. This small Bluetooth 4 dongle pairs automatically with your iPhone 4S or iPad 3 using a free app, giving you an audible vibration or alert when you tap the "Find" button, so you can spend less time looking and more time doing. [Scouted by Sebastian]
Sure, it's marketed as a point-of-sale system, but the WindFall ($120) can be used in plenty of places other than a small business. Crafted from a single piece of thick, laser-cut steel, it features a fine-texture powdercoat finish, an included assembly tool that lets you secure your iPad inside, a unique pivot and slide design that makes it easy to slide around, a Kensington Security Slot for places where bolting it down isn't an option, and compatibility with the Square reader and MagTek iDynamo reader. Great for keeping recipes handy in the kitchen, keeping instructions handy in the garage, and keeping your guests entertained with photo hunt clones at your home bar.
The new Mophie Juice Pack Pro ($130) assumes a couple of things about you. One, that you're in need of extra juice for your iPhone, and two, that you're either involved in a profession that puts your phone in constant peril, or a complete klutz. If any or all of the above describe you, the Pro has got your back with a Mil-Spec ruggedized case that protects your iPhone 4 or 4S from water, sand, and impacts and a massive 2500 mAh battery that can completely recharge your phone — and then some.
Crafted from the waste material created during skateboard manufacturing, Grove SkateBacks ($50) are ready to add some personality to the rear of your iPhone. Available in three colorways — vibrant, calm, and the nearly-boring neutral — these protective backs are made from 100% post-industrial skate board material, and attach to your iPhone 4 or 4S via a peel-and-stick 3M adhesive that promises to allow for residue-free removal — an important detail if you plan on ditching your handset for a shiny new iPhone this fall.