It’s not very often I write on my iPad without a real Bluetooth keyboard. While I don’t mind the virtual, on-screen keyboard for responding to the odd email, anything more than that and I need real keys. For those of you who are in the same boat, check out Belkin’s new Portable Keyboard Case for iPad mini.
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Belkin has become the first accessory maker to get authorization from Apple to build third-party accessories for the Cupertino company’s new Lightning connector. It just announced a new lineup of Lightning accessories, which are compatible with Apple’s latest lineup of iOS devices, including the iPhone 5, the new iPod touch and iPod nano, the fourth-generation iPad, and the iPad mini.
Quick test: see if you can guess what the following product does, just by decoding its cryptic name. Ready?
Belkin NetCam Wi-Fi with Night Vision
Be-be, wo-wo, boo-bee. These are the kind of phrases a human being can only get away with uttering in public if still under the age of two. Fortunately, these are also the only words these underdeveloped fools can manage. There’s probably a lesson about ability vs. ambition hidden in there somewhere.
Which is to say that the Belkin Wemo baby monitor is probably the best-named baby monitor ever. Even your dumb infant can ask for it by name.
The Speck PixelSkin HD is a thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) case that’s designed to give you “slim and smooth” protection for your iPhone 5, while offering “grippyness [sic] with high-contrast matte pixels.”
Its raised bezel aims to keep your iPhone’s display free from scuffs and scratches should you drop it on its face, while the rubberized covers for the volume keys and sleep/wake button prevent fluff and grime from gathering within nooks and crannies.
The PixelSkin HD comes in a variety of colors — including red, purple, blue, black, and grey, and it’s priced at just under $30. The PixelSkin HD was one of my favorite “simple” cases for iPhone 4S, so will it retain that status for the iPhone 5?
The Belkin Grip Sheer, provided by the fine folks at MobileFun, is an iPhone 5 case manufactured from thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) that promises to be “super durable, yet thin enough to slip easily into your pocket.”
Priced at just $21 (£16), the Grip Sheer comes in a range of fancy colors, and boasts a high-gloss transparent finish that’s designed to look good and feel great. It also provides you with access to all your buttons and ports, and leaves a nice big cutout for your iPhone 5’s camera and flash.
So, is the Grip Sheer a case you should be picking up with your new iPhone 5?
This is the iPhone Shutter Grip. Can you guess what it does? That’s right: It adds a handgrip and a shutter release to your iPhone, letting you snap pictures one handed, and generally take photos without dropping the iPhone.
It even has a built-in tripod mount, and a secret second button.
I start to feel twinges of separation anxiety when I get more than a few meters away from my iPad, so I can’t really imagine why anybody would want to use a remote shutter release for their iPhone that can trigger the camera from up to 30 feet away. But here it is, for you braves souls who can manage to cut the iApron stings: the iPhone Shutter Remote, from Photojojo and Belkin.
I’m actually typing this review using Belkin’s Bluetooth Keyboard Folio for iPad 2 ($100). There are a few keyboard cases out there created to both house the iPad 2 as well as provide an alternative to the iPad’s digital keyboard, but this keyboard case’s keyboard is an iPad-toting writer’s dream.
Thanksgiving is just two days away, and if you’re smart, you’re already prepared for it: you’ve got a turkey in the fridge, the ingredients in the cupboard, and the invitations all sent out. Or maybe you’re like me instead, and have found yourself up against the wire to throw a last minute Turkey Day feast. Either way, your iPhone and iPad can make putting on a holiday dinner much easier than the Pilgrims used to do it.