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12-15-2012, 10:54 AM #1
Our Staff's Favorite Apple Device Accessories of 2012
Our staff have used a variety of different accessories for our Apple devices this year – for both iOS devices and Macs. Not all of our staff use accessories, but for those that do, we're going to share what we like using the most. Feel free to use our advice for holiday shopping ideas!
Akshay Masand only uses one accessory for his iPhone 4S.
When it comes to keeping his iPhone 4S alive all day long, Akshay puts his trust in the Mophie Juice Pack Plus. It's an iPhone case with a built-in battery pack that can be used to add even more hours to your stock iPhone battery. It serves double-duty, not only keeping the device alive longer, but also being protective and stock resistant at the same time.
Since Akshay is always out and about, he feels that without the Mophie Juice Pack Plus, his iPhone would very likely be dead at times of need. Because of this, he recommends the spare battery case to anyone in a similar situation that needs extra battery power and can't always sit around waiting for their iPhones to charge.
Mophie's Juice Pack Plus retails for $99.95.
Anthony Bouchard uses accessories for his iOS devices and his Mac.
For his iPhone 5, Anthony uses the Frequency snap-on case from Incipio because it offers decent drop protection and scratch protection, all while continuing to look good and have a slim form-factor. The back of the case has a neat design that simulates the volume bars of a stereo system, hence the name "Frequency."
One of the more irritating parts about the case is the dust build-up that occurs at the rims on the front of the iPhone while it sits in your pocket. On the bright side, it's easy to remove it put back on, so it's easy to clean off. Anthony would recommend this case if you needed cheap protection, however there are higher-quality cases out there.
Incipio's Frequency case for iPhone 5 retails for $24.99.
For his MacBook Pro (early 2011 model), Anthony makes great use of the Data Doubler by Other World Computing because it gives him additional storage space and allows him to run a hard drive parallel with his solid state drive, which makes booting faster, without having to have an external hard drive dangling for its life when he needs to go somewhere. It was also neat how it came with all of the installation tools you would need.
The Data Doubler is compatible with all of Apple’s thicker, non-retina MacBook Pros from early 2009 up until mid 2012. It is a hardware installation that requires removing the CD/DVD drive, but since Anthony never used his CD/DVD drive, the pros outweighed the cons absolutely. He would recommend the Data Doubler to anyone trying to dual boot from separate drives, or for anyone trying to conserve space on the rather pricy solid state drives.
OWC's Data Doubler retails for $49.99.
When it comes to audio, Anthony uses the Klipsch Promedia 2.1 speaker system for his MacBook Pro and iPhone 5. He likes it because it comes with a nice 6.5-inch subwoofer that reaches those deep lows in music, and it also gets the high sound spectrum as well. It comes with the ability to mute the subwoofer in situations where you don't want to be too noisy.
The system comes in a wired and wireless version, however Anthony uses the wired version because it was cheaper and it never goes anywhere anyhow. He would recommend it to anyone looking for superior sound quality from their Apple devices.
Klipsch's ProMedia 2.1 speaker system retails for $149.99.
Cowboy has his own stash of accessories for his iOS devices and Macs.
For his iPhone 5, Cowboy relies on the Feather snap-on case from Incipio to offer scuff and scratch protection. He enjoys the lightweight, slim, and minimalist design of the Feather, as it really is nothing more than a thin plastic shell.
Cowboy likes to have his devices looking nice, so he probably wouldn't settle for some of those bulkier cases out there. He would definitely recommend the Incipio Feather to anyone looking for a minimalist case.
Incipio's Feather case for iPhone 5 retails for $24.99.
When it comes to protecting his MacBook Pro with retina display, Cowboy prefers the Black Carbon Fiber iCarbons skin to keep the aluminum from getting scuffed, scratched, or otherwise worn with time.
Cowboy enjoys the look of the Black Carbon Fiber appearance and would recommend it to anyone looking for MacBook Pro protection.
iCarbons' Black Carbon Fiber skin for the 15-inch MacBook Pro with retina display retails for $49.95.
When it comes to listening to the music on his iPhone 5 in the car, Cowboy has one of those old-fashioned cassette players. For pairing the two, he uses the Philips Cassette Adapter, which allows him to play music from his iPhone right through the cassette player just like it were an old-fashioned cassette tape.
The adapter is nothing more than a plastic cassette tape mock-up with a 3.5mm headphone jack coming out of it that can be put into the iPhone's headphone jack. Since Cowboy has an hour-long drive when commuting to and from work, he doesn't think he'd be too happy without this accessory. He would definitely recommend this adapter to anyone with a car that has an old-fashioned cassette player instead of a modern radio.
Philips' Cassette Adapter retails for $8.99.
Kyle Matthews uses a combination of accessories for both his iOS devices and Macs.
For his iPhone 5, Kyle likes to use the WalletSlim case from Sena because it offers great protection and allows him to go places without a wallet. The rear side of the case has slots that can hold credit cards or money, and the case is made out of a leathery material.
Kyle points out that one of the most annoying part of the case is that the snap on the back doubles the thickness of the case, but he still recommends it since he can't go without a case on his iPhone 5. In fact, he feels it was dangerous to have obtained the iPhone 5 before having a case to go with it.
Sena's WalletSlim case for the iPhone 5 retails for $44.95.
For his MacBook Pro with retina display, Kyle likes to use the Dark Wood iCarbons skin because it offers a nice unique look and helps to protect parts of the computer from scuffs and scratches. iCarbons are basically a stick-on for devices with different kinds of designs.
It covers major areas of the aluminum housing, such as the underside, rear of the display, palm rests, and even has inserts for the multi-touch trackpad. Kyle would be able to use his MacBook Pro without the iCarbons skin, but he prefers to have it, and would probably recommend it if you wanted a way to stylize your MacBook Pro and protect it at the same time.
iCarbons' Dark Wood skin for the 15-inch MacBook Pro with retina display retails for $49.95.
For all of his Bluetooth devices, Kyle likes to use the SuperTooth DISCO wireless speaker. It's a universal device since it can be used with Blueooth or via wired connection, and Kyle takes it everywhere because it jams bass and has great battery life for when he needs it most.
It's small enough to fit on any desk or tabletop, making portability a good feature of the speaker. Kyle also likes how it's much louder than the mobile speakers in his devices, as this offers better sound from further distances and he would recommend it to anyone!
The SuperTooth DISCO speaker system retails for $149.00.
Orby really only uses accessories for his iOS devices, as he doesn't use any with his Macs.
For his iPhone 4S, Orby enjoyed using the Incase Bird’s Nest snap-on case because it is lightweight, aesthetically pleasing, and unique. The case features a thin plastic shell with numerous holes in the rear that give it its unique appearance.
Orby admits that the case isn't the most protective tank in the world, but it does help keep the minor scuffs and scratches off of his iPhone 4S during its daily use.
Incase's Bird's Nest Case for iPhone 4/4S retails for $34.95.
For his iPhone 5, which he upgraded to from the iPhone 4S this year, Orby likes to use the Incase Pro Snap case because it's a transparent snap-on case that shows off the new industrial design of the device right through the material.
Orby feels that the case offers sufficient protection for the rear, front, and sides from those pernicious nicks and scuffs that the anodized aluminum is known for. He also likes how the case is slim and lightweight.
Incase's Pro Snap Case for iPhone 5 retails for $29.95.
Phillip Swanson uses accessories with both his Mac computer and his iOS devices.
When Phillip needs high-quality audio output from his iPhone 4S, he turns to no other than Klipsch, with their Image X10i In-Ear Headset. Phillip cites these earbuds as durable, capable of low bass response, and requiring better than 128kb/s mp3 files to get the most out of them.
Phillip states that these headphones are awesome in their ability to reproduce great-sounding music and would recommend them for anyone that needs to listen to music on the go, since they not only sound great, but they're also as light as a feather and come with a nice faux-leather carrying pouch.
Klipsch's Image X10i In-Ear Headset retails for $349.99.
When it comes to protecting his iPhone 4S, Phillip relies on the SmartFlex Card by Speck, which doubles as not only a protective iPhone case, but also as a credit card and cash holder. Phillip finds this all-in-one case to save a lot of space in his pockets, and allows him to carry a lot of his important ID and debit/credit cards with him at all times.
On the other hand, Phillip also knows that he’s carrying his life around on the back of his iPhone, and notes that if he loses it, he’s in a pretty bad position. Phillip recommends the case to anyone looking to fit everything into one small space, since it helps with his skinny jeans!
Speck's SmartFlex Card retails for $34.95.
When it comes to using his iMac, Phillip uses Apple's Magic Trackpad to navigate his operating system. It is much like any built-in multi-touch trackpad in any of Apple's latest Macbooks, although it can also be used with Apple's desktop computers. It's wireless, which also gives Phillip the freedom to move it around as he wishes.
He finds that the touch-based gestures make it much easier to get video editing done. Since the trackpad helps him get work done faster and more efficiently, Phillip hopes that it will help prevent early adoption of carpal tunnel. He would recommend the Magic Trackpad to anyone that has loved Apple's multi-touch gestures thus far.
Apple's Magic Trackpad retails for $69.00.
Simon uses a variety of accessories for his iOS devices.
For his iPhone 5, Simon's favorite accessory is his Sector 5 case from Element Case. The Sector 5 is a metal (aluminum) case with a unique design, and this is exactly why Simon likes it.
Simon really likes the look of this case and feels that it does a great job of protecting his iPhone 5. Simon would definitely recommend this case and feels he could use his iPhone 5 without it, but it just wouldn't be as good that way.
Element Case's Sector 5 case for iPhone 5 retails for $139.95.
For being able to use his iPhone 5 and iPod touch 5G in his car with his existing accessories, Simon finds Apple's Lightning to 30-pin adapter to be a must-have. The adapter allows him to listen to music from his new devices in his car.
The adapter is just a Lightning connector on one end with a 30-pin connector port on the other end. This allows objects with 30-pin connectors to be used with the new Lightning connector on Apple's newer devices. Simon would recommend this accessory to anyone that needed it and feels his experience with his iOS devices wouldn’t be as good without it.
Apple's Lightning to 30-pin Adapter retails for $29.00.
For his iPad with Retina Display, Simon uses the gray version of Apple’s Smart Case because it has the same awesome functionality as the original Smart Cover, but with additional protection for the rear of the iPad.
The Smart Cover functionality means that the iPad will auto-lock when the cover is closed over the display. The overall look of the case is sleek. Simon would recommend this case for iPad owners and thinks using his iPad wouldn’t be the same without it.
Apple's Smart Case for iPad 2 and newer retails for $49.00.
thetoothfairy makes use of a number of accessories for her iPhone and iPad.
Like Simon, thetoothfairy also has a liking for Apple's Smart Case for her New iPad because it has that awesome functionality of turning off the iPad display when it’s closed. She feels this makes the Smart Case the best case for the iPad.
Thetoothfairy also likes how the Smart Case comes in multiple color choices, and would recommend the case to just about anyone with an iPad for its ease of use.
Apple's Smart Case for iPad 2 and newer retails for $49.00.
For being able to connect her New iPad to her television to watch movies with her DirectTV application, thetoothfairy also enjoys using Apple’s 30-pin Digital AV Adapter. The adapter has a 30-pin connector on one end, while the other end has an HDMI port and 30-pin connector port.
The HDMI port is for use with an HDMI cable for connecting to a television or some other kind of monitor, while the 30-pin connector is for charging the device while you use the adapter. Thetoothfairy would recommend this accessory for anyone with a device that uses the 30-pin connector because it allows you to put what's on your iPad's screen on the big television screen and she just wouldn't be happy without it.
Apple's 30-pin Digital AV Adapter retails for $39.00.
When it comes to audio, thetoothfairy loves using the iHome iD3 Studio Series Audio System for her New iPad and iPhone 4S. She enjoys it for its classic design and impressive audio sound quality.
This system includes a dock connector, so you can charge your iOS device while you listen to audio from it. It supports every iOS device ever made with a 30-pin connector. Thetoothfairy has more than one of these and would recommend them to anyone with an iOS device that uses the 30-pin connector.
iHome's iD3 Studio Series Audio System retails for $199.99.
Also check out our staff's favorite jailbreak and App Store applications!
Last edited by Anthony Bouchard; 12-16-2012 at 06:49 PM.
12-17-2012, 06:58 AM #2
OWC is "money" when it comes to upgrading Mac hardware. I would recommend the Klipsch Image S4i in-ear-buds. I got mine for $76 with shipping. They are the most bang for your buck.
12-17-2012, 07:28 AM #3
Does the Sector case decrease signal?
12-17-2012, 09:22 AM #4
+1 for the element case!! I got one back in 2011 for my iPhone 4S and I don't think I'll ever use another case again. Superior protection with amazing aesthetics. I also have the same Dark Wood skin for rMBP as Kyle Mathews. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who may be contemplating buying one. It looks amazing!
12-17-2012, 11:44 AM #5
I am still waiting for the Mophie Juice Pack + for the iphone 5.....
12-17-2012, 06:07 PM #6
12-18-2012, 01:01 AM #7
An aluminum case for $139 that will scratch the first time you drop it...you've got to be kidding!
And the MOST IMPORTANT ACCESSORY, a functional lightning dock that is inexpensive, and allows
easy access without removing a case! MISSING FROM YOUR LIST!!
Aluminum case for the iphone 5 for $139.95... you're kidding right!
(The first time you drop it or accidentally put your keys in your pocket with the phone in there,
and, BLAM! scratches!
AND BLATENTLY MISSING... an iphone 5 dock that is inexpensive, well made, and has easy
access quick connect/disconnect WITHOUT having to removing the case!
Last edited by thevmax; 12-18-2012 at 01:07 AM.
12-18-2012, 08:28 AM #8
You did a great job Anthony!
12-18-2012, 08:56 AM #9
12-18-2012, 01:50 PM #10
12-31-2013, 03:57 AM #11