Tag Archives: iphone 4

Dodo Case

Cases That Do More Than Protect Your iPhone And iPad

Three. That’s the number of times I’ve damaged my iPhone from dropping it. Twice it suffered a shattered screen, and the last time the back cracked. Due to my apparent clumsiness you can imagine the care I use in handling my iPad. For someone like me, a sturdy case is in order. But even the coolest of cases, I’ve learned, can do little in the way of actually protecting the device inside. And they don’t add much in the way of functionality. I decided it was high time to go in search of some cases that could not only keep my devices safe from damage, but also serve a functional purpose.

For the iPhone

LifeProof recently launched an iPhone 4 case that the company says stands up to the most active user, both in the office and out. As you can see in these videos, the LifeProof is designed to stand up to just about anything, including iPhone4 with LifeProof Casea robust workout in the park, a shower, and various food items (not necessarily in that order). The thin design rivals other cases that could be categorized as “sleek” and has a thin film that covers the screen. This full enclosure renders the phone inside waterproof, shockproof, dust-proof, and goo-proof. The case still allows for full access to all of the devices’ functions, so there’s no need to remove the case to plug in. LifeProof’s developers allegedly spent more than $1 million to develop the uber-rugged case to ensure it would stand up to the worst abuse you can dish. At the moment, the company only has a case available for the iPhone 4 at $69, which is about equal to the cost to replace the screen on the device should it shatter. The company says on its website that cases for the 3G, 3GS, and iPad are coming soon.

If you prefer a flexible gel skin and would like a little extra power boost, then the Powerskin is worth checking out. This skin is durable and non-obtrusive while acting as both a protective case and a battery pack, giving your phone an additional four to Powerskineight hours (depending on usage). Even just a couple of extra hours can be a life-saver for some executives who find themselves low on juice before lunch. The Powerskin is made of lightweight, impact-resistant silicone rubber. Inside is XPAL Powered patented battery technology. And the skin is made of 100 percent recycled materials, except for the battery and internal components. All cases come standard with a micro-USB re-charge port, on/off button and LED battery status lights. Not an iPhone user? Fear not, Powerskin has cases for a bevy of other smart phones including Samsung Galaxy, Samsung Vibrant, HTC HD7, HTC Evo, and myTouch 4G. The iPhone 4 case will be available this month at Powerskin’s website for $49.99.

For the iPad

One of the greatest benefits of the iPad is that users love it for work and for fun. Between presentations, email, reading and playing games, you may find yourself holding your iPad up a lot of the day. This can cause aching in the wrists and hands after extended use. The HandStand aims to alleviate that pain, and totally free up your navigation hand with an ergonomic design. The case has a handle HandStandon the back and a comfortable shape that naturally contours, enabling the user to essentially cradle the iPad with one hand. The company that developed the HandStand, Hub International, claims that this platform positions the device as an extension of the user’s hand, reducing fatigue and totally freeing up the navigation hand. The handle also sits in a rotating platform that lets you maneuver the iPad 360 degrees, allowing the iPad to move around and adjust as you do. If you’re looking for a more executive-looking leather case, you’ll be disappointed. The HandStand is made of silicone and comes in just three colors — pink, white and black. While it doesn’t quite measure up on the pretty scale, it does provide a level of durability that many would find comforting. Plus, it would likely be difficult to embed the 360-revolving disk on the back of a leather or soft-material case. On the plus side, this case is made from recycled materials. The HandStand is available at the company’s website for $49.95

Looking for something a little more elegant? Even custom? Try the DodoCase, a throwback to the elegance of classic book-binding. Function and style come together really nicely (and at a fair price) with this case. On the outside, it’s made of leather and latches like an Old World notebook with a black strap. On the inside, the iPad is protected by durable, hand-crafted Dodo casebook binding casing that’s made of eco-friendly bamboo. The DodoCase is made to order, and the company appears to put great care into every case it creates at its headquarters in San Francisco. You’ll wait up to six weeks for this $59 case, but chances are you’ll not only love it, you’ll use it as long as you use your iPad.

Holiday gift guide

Holiday Gift Guide: Find High-Tech Stocking Stuffers That Won’t Break The Bank

The iPhone 4 or iPad (or both) might be on everyone’s Christmas list this year, but if you’re in the same boat as so many Americans, they probably aren’t in your budget. Here are some non-Apple stocking stuffers that won’t break the bank.

Flip videoFlip gets blingy

If you haven’t been to Flip Video’s website recently, you really should. You can now customize the Flip Video camera in a hundred different ways. The company offers tons of pattern and design choices, or you can upload your own image. Flip Video also has teamed up with several consumer electronic companies to offer a line of accessories that makes the Flip experience better. Accessories include a wide-angle lens, two different types of enhanced external microphones, waterproof cases, battery chargers and a pocket projector. iGo, an Arizona-based company, also is offering a battery extender that doubles the Flip Video battery life. $150 – $250, www.theflip.com.


We all wish we were one of those hipsters at the holiday party with the fancy camera around their necks taking impossibly beautiful shots. Sigh. For the rest of us, a really good point-and-shoot is in order. Canon PowerShotThe Canon PowerShot A495 does the trick and delivers high-quality features usually reserved for much more expensive cameras. For less than $100 it also has some creative modes that will get any photographer on your list excited. Some stores had it for as low as $89.

KindleKindle is still king

The iPad is hot, but as far as e-readers go, the Kindle is still killing the competition and the third generation of Kindle does not disappoint. If you know a bookworm, this is the gift to give this year. It now has an improved screen for higher contrast (oy my eyes), faster page turning, built-in 3G, superior battery life, and a slimmer weight and price tag. $139 at www.amazon.com.


Find your way and then some

Yes, there are some people who still want a stand-alone GPS unit despite just about every phone on the market now being GPS enabled. I personally didn’t understand this until I checked out the line of Garmin nuvi devices.  GarminThese little guys do so much more than map. The slick and affordable Garmin’s nuvi 295W is a nice package of best-in-class navigation, plus some fun features. I’m talking about a built-in 3 megapixel camera, WiFi that let’s you e-mail, and a super easy user interface. Even your mom could figure this one out and ENJOY using it.  Staring at $100, www.amazon.com.

Apple officially launched the iPhone 4 with its usual mastery

Apple’s iPhone 4 Fumbles

What a crazy summer it’s been for Apple.

On June 24, Apple officially launched the iPhone 4 with its usual mastery. In April, there had been the prototype that was “accidentally” left in a bar and ended up in the hands of Gizmodo’s editor, Jason Chen. The subsequent police raid on Chen’s home a few days later gave new life to the story just as it was beginning to fade. In May, another prototype popped up in the hands of a Vietnamese businessman. Now the renewed speculation had the added spice of mystery: How could Apple lose two prototypes so close to the anticipated June announcement? Were these accidents or a ploy?

The ensuing announcement on June 7 by Steve Jobs answered all the questions about features and everyone now knew when they’d be able to get their hands on the phone: June 24. Some began waiting in line days early, and in Manhattan a few sold their spots in line. The lines were so long, that in places it got ugly. In Los Angeles, 2,000 people were incensed that Jason Bateman was able to jump the line for his iPhone.

And then it really got interesting.

There were immediate reports of a problem: poor reception and dropped calls. At first, Apple let people blame AT&T, an easy target. Next, they said that the problem was with the software in their phone, which was over-reporting the actual signal strength. In other words, ‘”we made a mistake but the real problem is with AT&T.” As evidence mounted, Apple finally acknowledged that there was indeed a design problem: If you held the phone in your left hand to make the call you compromised the antenna. But they also had a ready answer: “Don’t hold the phone like that.”

Gee thanks.

Many Apple customers were understandably incensed. As they were with the suggested alternative: buy a case from Apple. As the anger mounted, Apple tried again. This time masterfully. With misdirection. “All smart phones suffer from this problem,” announced Apple. “It’s called the ‘death grip.’”

Apple’s partly right: the “death grip” problem is a common problem to at least some degree with most smart phones. But the misdirection is this: the original problem is completely unique to Apple. When Consumer Reports called Apple’s bluff, Apple finally relented and announced free iPhone covers that fix the real problem.

Thanks Apple. That was easy.