iPhone and iPad owners are spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing cases for their Apple devices — from Lego to leather, there are a wealth of options to choose from, with new ones appearing with each passing week. The latest to arrive are several Belkin cases put together in collaboration with fashion designer Orla Kiely. The snugly fitting cases are marked with a selection of Kiely’s signature designs and covered in either a high-gloss or soft-touch finish.
The distinctive, strong stylings of Irish-born Orla Kiely have appeared on hats, handbags, kitchenware and clothing before coming to Belkin’s new range. “This collection of fashion-inspired cases from internationally renowned designer Orla Kiely is a testament that function can be paired with an artful vision,” commented Belkin Product Manager Albert Farag. “Each case is designed first and foremost to keep your devices safe and secure, and is incredibly minimalist, giving you maximum protection without adding bulk.”
As you would expect, the cases are closely molded to fit your iDevice of choice, and the iPad editions can double up as stands with multiple viewing angles. Two different designs are available, Multi Stem and Optic Stem, with pricing ranging from £24.99 for the lightweight iPhone casing to £54.99 for the full-sized iPad. The iPad mini cases retail for £44.99, while the more durable pocketbook-style iPhone covers cost £29.99.
The iPad cases are compatible with the iPad 2 and newer models (including the iPad mini). The wallet cases, which include inner pockets and a secure snap closure tab, are for the iPhone 5 only, though the more lightweight back cases fit the iPhone 4, 4S and 5. The full range can be viewed and purchased from the Belkin website. According to Belkin, Orla herself uses an Optic Stem case for her own iPhone.
Looking for stocking fillers, or struggling for inspiration for the office Secret Santa? Here’s a few ideas that shouldn’t leave you out of pocket…
Joystick for iPad
More gaming fun can be had on an iPad with this clever little add-on, which attaches with suction cups for easy setup and removal. The coiled spring provides force feedback that automatically returns it to the centre position and the joystick can be stored in the included carrying pouch.
Santa Speaker Blanket Have a laugh on Christmas morning with this Santa Speaker Blanket – from Sound Asleep, it features hidden speakers in the hood, which can be connected to iPods, TVs, radios and so on – the sound simply plays through the item without uncomfortable headphones or messy wires. No batteries required; powered from the connected device.
Doodle iPhone Case For anyone arty, they’ll enjoy the opportunity to personalise their own iPhone cover with the Doodle Case. Don’t like the design or fancy a change? Just wipe it off and create a new design.
Can’t guaranteed the children a white Christmas this year? Not to worry, grab a Snowimal and keep the kids entertained creating their very own miniature snowmen. Made from malleable putty, the Snowimal comes with a range of accessories to make lots of different snowpeople.
Actually – these blow our budget, but they’re so cute we wanted to include them somewhere. At only three inches high, these are the funkiest portable plug-in speakers around, which plug in to any Ipod, MP3 player, mobile phone, computer or computer game console. They come with a USB charging cable, connection cord and a key chain loop. Choose from characters include the yellow Smiley, Sumo and Ninja.
Men are hard to buy for right? Not if they love their gadgets. Here’s a few ideas for you…
Logitech Gaming Keyboard G105 Have you been a Call of Duty widow this year? Well, you might not want to encourage him – but if you are feeling indulgent, how about the Logitech Gaming Keyboard G105 – the official gaming keyboard for Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3, which has six programmable G keys and night-vision green LED blacklighting. The Logitech Laser Mouse G9X – the official gaming mouse for Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 – has hand speeds up to 165 inches a second, and a weight-tuning system.
If someone else is splashing out the big bucks on a new laptop or iPad for him, do your bit by picking up this cool protective sleeve. Made with PORON® XRD™ material and proprietary G-Form technology, these sleeves harden instantly upon impact, absorbing 90% of the energy, to dramatically reduce the risk of cracks or smashes, even in the most extreme conditions.
Is your other half or brother a modder? Do they love building their own custom-built computers? If they have plans to create a PC masterpiece, give them the modder’s favourite tool – a Dremel – for Christmas. The great value Dremel 300 Black Edition offers everything you need to get started in DIY – the iconic Dremel 300 Series multi-tool plus five outstanding attachments: a line & circle cutter, a flexshaft, a detailer’s grip, a multipurpose cutting kit and a shaping platform. This special Christmas gift set also contains 45 handy accessories and comes packed in a luxury black toolbox. Perfect for all manner of DIY and other projects, such as grinding, carving, routing, sanding and cutting.
The LiveSound™ hi-fi headset is a portable headset that benefits from its Sony heritage, has solid metal housing and flat tangle free cables. The LiveKey™ control and full remote lets him control any LiveKe adopted app on the Android Market without the need to use his handset.
If your dad has a nostalgic leaning, let him hang onto the past by attaching his iPhone to the Desktop Handset for iPhone 4. Allow dad to dip his feet into the modern mobile world while maintaining that reassuringly familiar office phone feeling.
Has the man in your life got an iPad 2? Well, apart from asking for your own for Christmas, think about getting him this nifty add-on, that works just like a gramophone to amplify the speaker sound of his tablet by 15 decibels, without any need for wires or batteries.
Let the inner kid out and get him shooting aliens this Boxing Day with the AppBlaster, which turns an iPhone 3, 4 or iPod Touch into a fully fledged alien destroyer. It comes with a free augmented reality app that transforms the user’s surroundings into an alien warzone, turning the house or bus or office into a den of alien mischief. The appBlaster is the perfect gift for a gaming-loving teenager, offering hours of fun and leaving the TV blissfully free for you to watch your favourite Christmas classics.
These hybrid headphones act as either headphones, or if you need to share your music with the world, speakers, simply flick the switch from headphones to speaker and the drivers on the outside kick in. You can rotate the ear cups so the headphones stand upright on any flat surface, which is perfect when in speaker mode. The speakers are powered by a rechargeable Lithium-ion battery via USB, and when fully charged will give you 4hrs play time.
Finally, there’s nothing worse for a chap than being in possession of his favourite tipple, then finding that the world’s population of bottle openers have deserted him. The opener on this case can be used with a free app featuring various sound effects or music of his choice to accompany the opening motion as well as a beer counting meter.
Forget the usual perfume or underwear and think outside the box this year with a few gadget ideas…
Zeo Sleep Manager
Do you have a sister or partner who is always looking for way to improve her health and wellbeing? The Zeo Sleep Manager Mobile (£89) uses the latest technology to tell you how you slept. A Zeo Softwave headband tracks your sleep stages throughout the night and then transfers your sleep data either to a bedside unit or wirelessly to your smart phone. In the morning, Zeo shows you how much time you spent in Light, Deep and REM sleep and gives you a real, timed sleep graph with your sleep patterns. You can then compare your nightly Zeo sleep score to your age group, personal target and learn how to improve your sleep.
The Jelly Belly Candy Company has launched a new range of scented smartphone covers for BlackBerry and Apple users. There are nine popular scented covers to choose from, so she can carry her favourite jelly bean scent with her wherever she goes. Choose from Bubblegum, Very Cherry, Blueberry, Top Banana, Green Apple, Wild Blackberry, French Vanilla, Liquorice and Grape. Each purchase comes with a 10g bag of jelly beans (which you can gobble up before Christmas if you like!) – even the camera lens hole is the shape of a jelly bean!
Using Bluetooth® technology, the ZOMM Leash prevents users from losing their mobile phone by vibrating, flashing lights and sounding an alarm whenever they walk a set distance away from it. The device is designed to easily attach to key rings, bag straps or fit into pockets and is fully-customisable. Many women also use the Leash as a safety device to keep their children from wandering-off while out and about. Pop the Leash into a child’s pocket and if they stray too far away, the alarm will sound – alerting parents that their child is out of sight.
Griffin has teamed up with crowd-sourcing company, Threadless, to turn its most popular t-shirts into great-looking iPhone cases. Available in a range of designs there’s sure to be something to suit her taste.
Price: : £24.99 From: Apple stores
PrimaDonna S from De’Longhi
Good things come in small packages and if she loves a really good cup of coffee in the morning but can’t justify taking up space in the kitchen, De Longhi has released the PrimaDonna S coffee machine, which it says is the most compact and feature-rich bean to cup coffee machine to date. She can enjoy espressos, cappuccinos and lattes all at the touch of a button, if your pockets are deep enough..
Has she been hinting that she’d like a little something from Agent Provocateur? Well here’s something you’ll both enjoy then – a limited edition Sky+HD box with a design especially created by the famous lingerie designers. Other designers who have got in on the act include Matthew Williamson, Farrow & Ball and Julie Verhoeven. Treat yourself to a Sky Sports package while you’re at it!
Especially made for more delicately proportioned ears, Atomic Floyd has updated its MiniDarts earphone to include a remote feature that offers full control of playback and volume, plus seamless switching between music and chat (with full iPhone and iPad compatibility). Made from metal for a bigger sound and durability and offering soundproof noise isolation.
Warm ears, cool sounds. These fashionable cable knit headphones connect to her iPod/iPhone/Phone/MP3 player via a 3.5mm headphone jack. They have an adjustable backband design for a great fit and are available in cream, black, pink and grey.
Okay, this is not something to be buying a new girlfriend unless you want her to be an ex-girlfriend pretty rapidly, but if you’re sure your other half will not take offence, this system combines IPL with radio frequency to remove up to 89% more hair in just four treatments. The makers claim the system is unique, fast and efficient and can be used on a much wider spectrum of skin types as well as on the face below the cheekbones. A full body treatment takes just 30 minutes with ten per leg and two per underarm and one cartridge holds three full body treatments.
In line with the 20th anniversary of London’s legendary nightclub, the Ministry of Sound, world-renowned dance music brands Hed Kandi and Ministry of Sound have announced a new range of audio iPhone products. In combining the Ministry of Sound’s solid experience and global esteem in providing one of the best club sounds in the world, which spans two decades, with the chicness and style Hed Kandi has become known for, one can expect the new audio range to “rock the socks off” any dance music devotee. Here’s a snippet on what’s on offer…
Pamper your ears with these sophisticated, soft touch, rubber housed earphones. These funky earphones are in-keeping with Hed Kandi and the Ministry of Sound’s dedication to “stand out of the crowd” and are available in six bold colours with a matching cable and plug and a gold plated 3.5mm jack.
Not bad for a modest £7.99
Mirror Screen Protector
Slightly symbolic of a rhythmic mirror ball hanging from a stylish nightclub, this sleek cover will protect your iPhone or iPod against the daily grind, whilst doubling up as a mirror to ‘touch up’ your lipstick whilst queuing to get into a club.
Definitely worth a mere £7.99
Relive your favourite Hed Kandi moments wherever you go with this pocket sized Glitter Ball speaker. The Glitter Ball is compatible with most mobiles and devices and is fully rechargable, meaning you will never be far from your fave ‘hands in the air’ Hed Kandi tunes.
For £14.99, it’s got to be worth it!
Neon and Spectrum ToughSkins
Stand out with these Neon and spectrum ToughSkins, where durability and flexibility is the key. Available for the iPod Touch 4, these impact resistant cases are available in four different neon colours and are priced at £9.99. For real die-hard Ministry of Sound fans, a special Spectrum version is also available for £14.99, which features the iconic club’s logo.
Despite being an ultra-slim 9mm, being encased by an ergonomic aluminium shell, the MOS001 Headphones deliver exceedingly clear sound. These musical ‘powerhouse’ headphones are available in six different bold shades to suit your mood, and are guaranteed to maintain Saturday night fever right through the week.
Sprucing up an iPhone whilst giving it extra protection is all the rage at the moment with a whole host of cases bombarding their way onto the market. LG looks at some of the best cases to give your iPhone that extra ‘wow’ factor.
As its name denotes, the ‘Feather’ is an ultra lightweight case available for the iPhone 4. By fusing functionality, style and practically no additional bulk, it is hardly surprising that the Feather is Incipio’s best-selling case.
Anything claiming to be ‘revolutionary’ can always afford to bump up the price and this is most certainly the case with the Incipio SILICRYLIC. Being an innovatory two-part case, a shock-absorbing silicone core wraps itself round the iPhone 4, whilst hard shell shields on the corners and the back, give the phone additional protection. The SILICRYLIC is available in a variety of vibrant colours.
This “Next Generation Polymer” – aka the NGP, provides a semi-rigid shell for the iPhone 4. Being dense yet flexible, the NGP resourcefully protects against knocks, whilst enduring resistance to any tears and stretches. The NGP is available in different colours, which seems to be an inherent characteristic of most iPhone cases.
Cygnett Snap Duos
These silicon frames provide 360 degree protection without compromising access to all controls and connectors. These modern cases are available in black, grey, blue, yellow, red, turquoise and orange, and even solves antenna issues associated with the iPhone 4.
If shiny, shimmering and modern chrome takes your fancy, then this chrome finished metallic polycarbonate case may be just the caper to protect your iPhone 4G with adding virtually no bulk whatsoever. All switches and buttons are easily accessible, and if you really had nothing better to do, you could spend all day cleaning the mirrored screen protector with the microfiber cleaning cloth provided!
At a slightly higher price you would expect the Scosche switchback to offer a little more than other iPhone cases. And it does, actually, as it comes with an integrated kickstand, which is great for watching videos ‘hands free’. The Scosche Switchback is available in four interchangeable colour combinations and is made from a durable polycarbonate material, which guarantees complete protection of the iPhone 4.
Mophie Juice Pack Air
Dearer still, the Mophie Juice Pack Air doubles up as a protective case and a discreet battery charger, ensuring your iPhone 3GS has enough ‘juice’ in it at all times. Being the ‘world’s thinnest rechargeable battery case’ and being available in four stylish colours, the Juice Pack Air is quickly gaining the reputation of being a ‘must have’ accessory for the iPhone 3GS. A version for the iPhone 4 is also available and we’ll be taking a closer look at it tomorrow.
No-one likes accounting, even if you at a super hip Z on the end like UK based accounting software firm Accountz have done. What people do like, however is apps, and Accountz have thoughtfully combined the two in their new release Mobile Accountz Lite iPhone app – which allows you to take control of your finances, spending and expenses whilst on the move. You can upload transactions Over-The-Air to any software that uses OFX or CSV files. You can also just handle everything within the app.
On first launch things are a little barren – there are prettier looking apps out there. But not for accountancy. The simply, focused approach actually benefits the app once you start using it – it’s easy to see which account is which and get at “state of the nation” view of all your accounts there and then – like an inverse calorie counter that helps to keep your wallet fat. Your first move after setting everything up should probably be noting the £2.99 the app costs. If you are serious about your finances – and in the current economic climate it makes sense to be – then you should give Accountz a look.
Like it or loathe it, the Christmas holiday season is slowly sneaking up on us. Unless you work in technology journalism, in which case it will have been forced upon you since mid-summer. Insanity. Anyway, in the UK there is a Christmas rush for greetings cards, something that eCards Media are keen to take advantage of to stress test their new print-on-demand greetings cards service. “But wait” you say, “Print-on-demand greetings cards… that’s MoonPig’s game.” And you would be right. However eCard’s Media are confident they can take on MoonPig, undercutting them on price with cards at 99p, compared with MoonPig’s £2.99. If that wasn’t enough, eCard’s Media, who are responsible for the Postcards app we briefly mentioned here are giving away 10,000 free greetings cards. Still not impressed? They are working on putting the Moon onto a Stick. Their system allows you to put digital images onto glossy A5 cards and then send them the same day via the UK post. Interested? Head to www.ecards.co.uk and pop in OneFreeCard to give it a whirl.
If you spend as much time playing with gadgets as I do then you will be aware of the increase stress modern life, with its tablets and smartphones is placing on the thumbs. Even hardcore hitchhikers sympathise. GadgetHelpline.com, whose name is self-explanatory have produced a little exercise video for anyone suffering from Thumb Fatigue. Have a peek. Why wouldn’t you.
The other problem with smartphones is how filthy they can be – with 18 times more bacteria than on the average toilet seat according to a recent Which? report. If that’s caught your eye then you might be interested in the new ECOSKIN case for the iPhone 4.
iPhone cases are as numerous as the stars but what makes Anokimobi’s ecoskin special is not only the high-grade recycled plastic that it is manufactured from, but as a result of their teaming up with BioMaster, the surface which is impregnated with silver ions to reduce bacteria levels. Unlike diamond encrusted iPhones, that are a testament to modern waste, the ecoskin is a green wonder, with both packaging and the phone cover made from recycled materials. Get yours in pink, black or clear from here.