One of the better Yuletide traditions is the venerable holiday Advent Calendar, in which each day of December leading up to Christmas is marked off on a special calendar by opening its corresponding door to find a small gift, toy or chocolate squirreled away inside.
This year, we here at Cult of Mac decided we wanted to give our readers their very own Apple-themed advent calendar, filled with the year’s best apps, gadgets, stories and other curios. So each day in December, we’re going to lovingly peel back the door on the Cult of Mac 2012 Advent Calendar to reveal another delicious morsel, something really special that came out this year that we think every one of you should enjoy.
Day 16’s a day late, which just means you get to open two squares today instead of one. Behind the first? Monolith’s excellent wood backs for the iPhone.
A little woodworking company named Monolith has made two of my most beloved products this year: gorgeous wood replacement backs for the iPhone 4S and the iPhone 5.
I love seeing wood in a gadget. It takes a trend that was ubiquitous in the 70s and 80s, when home electronics were big and bulky enough to be mostly considered a kind of furniture, and presents it as a refreshing anecdote to a modern trend in tech design that puts the emphasis on more impersonal and space-age materials like plastic and metal, silicon and glass.
For me, wood can imply an intimacy — a device is yours, it was made for you — that makes it a perfect material for a smartphone: a device that is, by definition, the gadget with which most of us have our most personal relationship. And while Apple understandably doesn’t make iPhones out of wood, I’m delighted that a company like Monolith does, by offering a stunning line of natural wood backs for the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 that are as practical as they are beautiful.
If you have an iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S, the wood replacement backs actually replace the glass back of your handset, while the iPhone 5 variety simply affixes to the glass-and-aluminum back. The iPhone 5 variaion might seem like a step down, but it’s not: I love my Monolith-backed iPhone 5 every bit as much as I loved my Monolith-backed iPhone 4S.