I like my iPhones in wood. Part of it’s to satisfy my Danish mid-century pretensions, but as I’ve said before, there’s something perfect about making a smartphone after wood. Wood implies an intimacy that metal or plastic doesn’t — that it was hand-crafted with you in mind — which makes it a natural (but not practical) material for a smartphone, which is the gadget with which most of us have our most personal relationships.
Back when I had an iPhone 4S, I replaced the glass back of my device with a replacement teak back by Monolith and never looked back. Not only was it more practical and more unique than the iPhone 4S’s easily shattered glass back, but it felt just sublime in the hand.
When the iPhone 5 came out, I was eager to know from Monolith whether they’d be doing replacement wood backs for Apple’s latest handsets. The response I got was a disappointment: while it was possible to replace the back of the iPhone 4/4S by just popping out two screws, it was impossible to replace the iPhone 5 ‘s back plate in the same way. The best Monolith could do, they said, was adhesives. My heart sank. Surely, wood stickers you slap on the back of your iPhone 5 would just suck.
They don’t. Defying both my expectations and experiences with similar products, Monolith’s wood iPhone 5 skins are every bit as amazing as their wood iPhone 4 backs. They’re beautifully made, wonderfully packaged, easy to apply, feel rich and luscious to the touch and are so thin as to make you have a hard time believing they can shave a tree this thin.
One of the consequences of the iPhone 5’s streamlined, ultra-thin design is that you can no longer just pop off the backplate of the device and replace it. That means no more Don-Draper-esque teak backs or glowing Apple logos or anything else that you could do to deeply personalize your iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S.
So what do you do if you want to customize your iPhone 5 without having to slap a bulky case on it? You skin it. And RAW out of Brooklyn is making some of the best custom skins for the iPhone 5 around out of quality leather and wood grain to give your handset a classier look.
Magnets. Even if we’ll probably never know how they work, you gotta love them. They let us pin notes to fridges, they lock and unlock your iPad’s screen and now they can even stick your your iPhone to any metal surface. If only they didn’t do that pesky trick of wiping your bak cards, magnets would be pretty much perfect.
To prolong the life of Grand Theft Auto 3 on the PC all those years ago, gamers began introducing all sorts of things — such as new cars, weapons, and skins — to the game by modifying numerous files within its directory. If you were a “modder” then, then we have good news for you: the recently released GTA 3 games for iOS and Android are also susceptible to modding.
The other day, as I was stuffing my new 11.6-inch MacBook Air in my tote, I once again felt that bubble of warm gratitude that after twenty odd years of waiting, someone had finally come along and given me the perfect writer’s laptop that I’ve always wanted: the perfect amalgam of extreme portability married to great battery life and a sturdy, pleasant-to-use keyboard.
I’d had such pleasant reveries before, but this time, it was punctuated with a bit of sadness, as I remembered the many journals I’d carried around over the years — a rather absurd addiction of mine, given that I rarely wrote anything of worth in them — and realized that the new MacBook Air was effectively more convenient to carry around than even the composition notebooks I used to lug with me when I wanted to travel light but still be able to do some quick writing if the inspiration struck.
It’s weird that I’m sad that the MacBook Air obviated a kind of notebook that I never really used anyway, but I liked having all sorts of notebooks around, and now there’s no point in buying any new ones. I guess I’ll have to content myself in the future with the likes of this composition notebook skin for MacBook Air, which takes its attention to detail right down to the simulation of the note page’s fuzzy, blue lined rule.