Fed up of changing your iPhone case every time you want to use an external battery pack or add a kickstand? Well, Boostcase for iPhone 5 hopes to make that a thing of the past. It’s just one case, but it’s compatible with a ton of attachments that slide into little grooves on its back and add all kinds of extra functionality to your phone.
BOOSTCASE by Boostcase Category: Cases Works With: iPhone 5 Price: $35+
I’ve been using Boostcase for the past two weeks, thanks to MyBanana, with a kickstand and a hand strap. But you can also get an external battery pack, a card holder, a wallet case, a clutch case, a studded jacket (which isn’t as saucy as it sounds), and more — all of which can be applied in seconds without ever having to remove the Boostcase from your iPhone.
The Boostcase itself costs $35 in a range of different colors and patterns, and for that you also get the hand strap and the kickstand. The other attachments range from $20 to $100.
So, let’s find out whether Boostcase is the only case you’ll ever need for your iPhone.
Hitcase Pro, like Tony Stark’s iron suit, is the penultimate protection for your iPhone 5, even when it’s flying through the air.
Hitcase Pro by HitCase Category: iOS cases Works With: iPhone 5 Price: $130
That’s because, like the red Avenger, Hitcase Pro isn’t just a suit of armor, like so many cases before it. No, this one’s built for action, with some special mounting and lens capabilities that encourage you take your lovely iPhone on adventures you ordinarily should not, all so you can use its camera to record the chaos and prove you survived.
MiniDock by BlueLounge Category: Docks Works With: iPhone 5, iPad mini Price: $40
Bluelounge’s new MiniDock really is mini. It’s a tiny little dock which perfectly matches the cuboid charger that came with your iPhone or iPad mini, and turns it into a wall-mounted dock. The device is as portable and effective as it is handy, especially if you never use a case. I have one here in Cult of Mac’s Spanish HQ, and I have been putting it through its paces in our Extreme Test Lab.
Leather case for iPad mini by Acase Category: Cases Works With: iPad mini Price: $39.99
I have to be honest, I’ve had it stashed away in a cupboard for a while. I got it not long after the iPad mini was released, but I had so many cases to review at the time that I ended up forgetting about it. Reviewing the Collatio reminded me it was there, and I’ve been using it on my iPad mini since.
Like the Collatio, the iPad mini case is made entirely of leather, and it has a front cover that folds over to protect your display. When you’re using your device, the front cover doubles as a stand for typing or watching movies.
Magnets inside the front cover wake your iPad when you open it, then put it back to sleep again when you close it. They also ensure the front cover stays closed when you want it to.
The case provides access to all of your iPad mini’s ports, buttons, and cameras, and it comes in black, chestnut, and vintage brown, with a $39.99 price tag.
I love it when hardware integrates with iOS devices, endowing them with new powers they never hoped to possess. The Withings WS-50 smart scale, paired with their very good iOS app, does just that.
WS-50 Smart Body Analyzer Scale by Withings Category: iOS Accessories Works With: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch Price: $150
By connecting to your Wi-Fi and sending your health stats to the cloud, the Withings WS-50 smart scale allows you to effortlessly track your weight, body mass index, indoor air quality, and even your heart rate. All you have to do to make it work, is step on the scale from time to time, then boot up their app to see just how fat or cut you’re getting.
Quick-Flip Case by Olloclip Category: Cases Works With: iPhone 4/S, iPhone 5, iPod Touch Price: $50
Add the Olloclip accessory lens’s price to the cost of this new Olloclip Quick-Flip case and you get to $120. That used to be the price of an entry-level camera from a fairly decent brand, but I’d recommend you buy the Olloclip gear instead. Your iPhone’s camera way, way better than a $100-200 point-and-shoot, and the Olloclip gear makes it much easier to use.
When my fingers are covered in egg, or I want to use my iPad as a second-screen when working at my Mac, or when I’m performing computer surgery and I want to keep iFixIt in the corner of my eye, there’s a lot of situations in which I might want a stand for my iPad.
iOStand by iOMounts Category: iPhone/iPad Stand Works With: iPad, iPhone, iPod touch Price: $100
Unfortunately, of the few I’ve tried, I’ve found most of them only to be good in specific situations: great for, say, using your iPad as second monitor at your computer, but not good for cooking or doing computer surgery.
The iOStand by iOMounts is the first stand I’ve really liked, because sometimes simpler is better. But it’s not perfect.
For the past six year that I’ve owned an iPhone, not once have I thought about buying a dock. What’s the point? You’ve got your cable right there anyway, and unless it adds some great functionality to the iPhone, I’ve never seen much point in them. But the Projectone from Karas Kustoms has changed my opinion on the usefulness of iPhone docks.
Projectone by Karas Kustoms Category: iPhone Dock Works With: iPhone 5 Price: $45
The Projectone is a machined aluminum dock for your iPhone 5 that passively amplifies sound like a megaphone. Its simplistic style and industrial stylings make it one of the best-looking iPhone docks we’ve seen in a while, but is it actually worth its $45 price tag?
Travelers, campers, heavy users, and those who spend a lot of time away from outlets know when you rely on your iPhone for work or play, it’s not making it through the day without at least one partial recharge. Especially with all the hip Vining and Instagramming we’re all do these days.
iCarrier Portable Dual USB Charger by New Trent Category: iOS Accessories Works With: iPhones, iPods, iPads, USB Devices Price: $68
For those who need a lot of portable power to-go, New Trent’s iCarrier, as the highest capacity portable charger they make, promises not just one smartphone recharge, but up to six. Six!
I devoted my iPhone 5 to iCarrier-only charging to see how well the big boy performed.