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Beamhaus BillFold: A Beautiful Leather Wallet Case For iPhone 5 [Review]



The Beamhaus BillFold is a wallet case with three pockets; one that holds your iPhone 5, another for your credit card or ID, and another for your cash. The iPhone pocket has a suede lining that’s kind to your iPhone’s display and prevents it from getting scratched.

BillFold by Beamhaus
Category: Wallet Case
Works With: iPhone 5
Price: $89.99

The BillFold is made entirely of leather; “Horween latigo” in tan is used externally, while the inside is lined with “Horween Dublin” in black. It’s only available in these colors, but I think you’ll agree it looks pretty darn beautiful.

The BillFold is priced at $89.99, which is a little pricey for an iPhone 5 case. But is it worth it?

Transit By Soen: A Beautiful Bluetooth Speaker With Surprisingly Good Sound [Review]



Soen Audio is both new and experienced at making speakers. The young company is formed by a small group of engineers and designers from household names like JBL and Harmon. But Soen only has one product out so far, a portable Bluetooth speaker called Transit that started shipping this week.

Transit by Soen Audio
Category: Speakers
Works With: Bluetooth
Price: $249

Boasting a striking industrial design and surprisingly rich sound, the Transit is a more grown-up speaker than most of its competition. I’ve been using a Transit for the past few weeks, and it has become something I enjoy on a daily basis.

Griffin IntelliCase For iPad Mini Is Slim, Simple & Stylish [Review]



The Griffin IntelliCase for iPad mini is designed to provide you with all-over protection for your device without adding too much bulk and spoiling its sleek and sexy design. It combines a hard polycarbonate rear shell with a flexible, hinged cover that doubles as a stand for typing or watching movies, and its micro-textured surface promises to increase grip, making those nasty slips a thing of the past.

IntelliCase by Griffin
Category: Cases
Works With: iPad mini
Price: $39.99

The IntelliCase clips onto the sides of your iPad mini, and it provides access to all of its buttons, ports, and cameras. It has “strategically-placed” magnets embedded inside its front cover that will automatically put your iPad to sleep when you close it, and then wake it up again when you open it.

The IntelliCase is priced at $39.99, and it’s available in black, red, black and gold, and blue and grey. I’ve been using it for the past two weeks to find out if it’s any good.

Pad & Quill’s Cartella Linen Case For The MacBook Air Is A Modern Classic [Review]


Cartella Linen by Pad & Quill
Category: Cases
Works With:MacBook Air
Price: $99

The Cartella Linen is Pad & Quill’s bookbindery case for the MacBook Air. I’ve been using the 13-inch version for a few weeks now and it’s great, if a little big. If you’re looking for a handsome, tough case that you can leave on all the time, which you can use on your lap and which you can carry under your arm down the street, then this is it.

Let’s take a closer look.

ID America’s SmartFold Case For iPad Mini Is Ideal For The Office [Review]



The id America SmartFold is a leatherette folio case for the iPad mini which offers drop protection and a smart design that will fit in just nicely at your next board meeting. It protects your iPad mini from top to toe, with a reinforced back for impact absorption and a sturdy front cover that stays closed with magnets.

SmartFold by id America
Category: Cases
Works With: iPad mini
Price: $39.95

The SmartFold provides access to all of your iPad mini’s ports and buttons, and leaves its front- and rear-facing cameras exposed. Its front cover can be folded back into a stand for typing or watching movies, and it has a soft microfiber lining to prevent your device from getting scratched.

The SmartFold is available in black and white and it’s priced at $39.95. I’ve been using it for the past two weeks to find out if it’s any good.

The Kii Is Sync-And-Charge Piece Of Mind On A Keychain [Review]




Kii by Bluelounge
Category: iPhone Cables
Works With: Any iPhone or iPad
Price: $19.95-39.95

We’ve all been there: out of juice on the road and with no charging cable on hand. You can, of course, carry around a 30-pin or Lightning charging cable with you, but that takes up space. There’s something to be said for a small footprint and peace-of-mind.

Enter the Kii by Bluelounge. It’s sync-and-charge piece of mind on a keychain, in a very convenient form factor.

Eye-Fi Mobi: Finally, Eye-Fi Gets It Right [Review]


Mobi byEye-Fi
Category: SD cards
Works With: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
Price: $50

I have used a variety of Eye-Fi cards in the past, both top-end, RAW-compatible Eye-Fi branded cards, and SanDisk’s licensed versions. And all of them have sucked. But the folks at Photojojo insisted I try out the new 8GB Eye-Fi mobi, a card designed to pair with an iDevice and let you seamlessly transfer pictures from any camera to your iPhone or iPad.

And — to my huge surprise — it’s fantastic.

WaterFi Will Let You Swim Laps With Your iPod Or Nike+ Fuelband [Review]



There is an ocean of fitness trackers out there, but not many you can take into the ocean with you. There is still a large pool of sports MP3 players out there, but not many that can go swimming. We take for granted the reason for this sad set of affairs. Water may be the giver of life to this planet, but it is the supreme enemy of gadgets everywhere.

Waterproofing by Waterfi
Category: Fitness
Works With: Nike+ Fuelband, iPod Shuffle
Price: $224.99, $139.99

That’s an annoyance even for the best of us. How many times have you been jogging, only for your MP3 player to get shorted out in the rain, or for your headphones to short out from your own sweat? And it’s doubly annoying for swimmers like me, who not only can’t take an iPod into the pool with us when we’re swimming laps, but who can’t even track our swims using fitness trackers like the Nike+ Fuelband.

That’s where WaterFi comes in. A Californian company, WaterFi specializes in taking other company’s gadgets and waterproofing them with a dual-coated, patent-pending process. WaterFi’s promise is that their process will make any gadget utterly resistent to even the most through dunking, but how well does it work in practice?

WaterFi was kind enough to send Cult of Mac two of their products for review: their waterproofed iPod Shuffle swim kit and their Waterproofed Nike+ Fuelband. But how well does it actually work?

Pulse Is A Tiny Touch-Screened Fitness Tracker With Smart iOS Support [Review]


Ready for night or day: Withings' Pulse
Ready for night or day: Withings' Pulse

Connected gadgets are the hotness in tech right now. It seems like everyone is trying to track your activity during the day and your sweet sweet R.E.M.’s during the dark of night.

Pulse by Withings
Category: Fitness
Works With: iPhone, iPod Touch
Price: $100

Withings, makers of the Smart Scale and other connected tech., is now ready to join the world of fitness tracking with their new Pulse—a teensy little thing—which tracks your daily steps, pulse, sleep, and with its built-in sensors, even the altitudes you traverse. But there’s more to the story here than basic tracking; with historic data available on its touch-enabled screen and astute iOS integration via the Withings app, the Pulse is a talented first offering from Withings, and an easy fitness tracker to recommend.

Phiaton’s Bridge Headphones Quiet Noisy Rooms With Isolated Tunes [Review]


Quiet lies within Phiaton's Bridge MS 500 headphones.
Quiet lies within Phiaton's Bridge MS 500 headphones.

Let’s be honest—people buy $300 headphones for two reasons: they like the way they look or like the way they sound.

Bridge MS 500 Headphones by Phiaton
Category: Headphones
Works With: iPhone, iPod, iPad, or Mac
Price: $300

Phiaton knows that, which is why they put so much effort into making the Bridge MS 500 headphones look like the interior of a Italian sportscar. But for those looking for more substance, how about this: good fidelity and great sound isolation so you can hear more nuances in your music. Sound like a good recipe?

Ballistic Smooth Series For iPad Mini: A Good Balance Between Looks & Protection [Review]



Made from durable thermoplastic polyurethane, the Ballistic Smooth Series case for iPad mini aims to provide even the clumsiest of owners with all the protection they’ll need for their beloved tablet. And it does so without adding too much bulk.

Smooth Series by Ballistic
Category: Cases
Works With: iPad mini
Price: $39.99

“Your new iPad mini is a sleek and sexy piece of technology, we want to make sure you can keep it that way,” Ballistic says. “We developed the Ballistic Smooth Series case for the iPad mini. This case offers the best of both worlds, it is slim but still offers a lot of protection from the hazards of daily use.”

The Smooth Series comes in four colors — black, hot pink, charcoal, and purple — all of which include four sets of replaceable corner bumpers in a variety of different colors, so you can customize its look to suit you. It’s priced at $39.99, so let’s find out whether it’s worth it.

Apple Could Have Made Freeform3’s iPhone 5 Bumper [Review]


Freeform3 iPhone 5 1
Aluminum Case by Freeform3
Category: Cases
Works With: iPhone 5
Price: $69.99

iPhone cases overwhelm me. There are cases made from wood, metal, plastic, recyclable material, leather, and fabric. I’ve tried nearly every kind you can imagine, but I have yet to find one that I’m happy to wake up to every morning—many probably feel that way about their lovers.

In my quest to find a good looking, functional, minimal iPhone case, I came across an aluminum case for the iPhone 5 by Freeform3, a Craftwerk company. What started as a Kickstarter project has turned into the best iPhone bumper I’ve ever used.

Get A Grip With Speck’s HandyShell Case For iPad & iPad Mini [Review]


Screen Shot 2013-07-04 at 18.31.14


The Speck HandyShell for iPad and iPad mini is a protective case with an integrated multi-function utility handle that lets you hold it, mount it, stand it, and hang it. It allows you to use your device in new ways in all kinds of situations.

HandyShell by Speck
Category: Cases
Works With: iPad/iPad mini
Price: $54.95

It has a hard plastic back with impact-resistant, “bump-proof” rubber sides that protect the edges of your iPad from dings and drops, and extend around to the front to protect its display. So if your iPad falls flat on its face, the HandyShell will take the brunt of the impact — not your screen.

As you would expect, the HandyShell makes all of your ports, buttons, and cameras easily accessible, and it’s available in a number of colors. But at just under $55, is it a little too expensive?

Grove SkateCase Is Lovely, But Is It Worth The Price? [Review]


SkatCase by Grove
Category: Cases
Works With: iPhone 5
Price: $150

Grove was last seen on these hallowed pages when I wrote about the SkateBack, an iPhone 5 rear panel fashioned from the offcuts of old skateboards. Now I actually have a skate-derived case in my hands. It’s still for the iPhone 5, but it’s a full case, not just a rear panel, and it comes in the same shape as Grove’s bamboo cases.

It’s pretty good. It’s also $150.

Smart Trigger Turns Your iPhone Into A DSLR Remote And Intervalometer [Review]


Snugly In Your DSLR's Hotshoe: Satechi's Smart Trigger.
Snugly In Your DSLR's Hotshoe: Satechi's Smart Trigger.

Unless you like sprinting to beat your camera’s timer, as the family photog, you know often you just end up being left out of the family memories.

Smart Trigger by Satechi
Category: iOS/photography accessories
Works With: iPhone, iPod
Price: $45

The Satechi Smart Trigger can offer some help there. By connecting to your DLSR, it gives you a cartful of remote shutter controls that works wirelessly via your iPhone or iPod Touch. But it also includes some features advanced photographers, or those wanting to get into landscape or time-lapse photography, will find highly beneficial.

The Lioncase Pocket Shield: Thin, Light And Pretty Damn Classy [Review]


PocketShield by Lioncase
Category: Cases
Works With: iPad Mini
Price: $32

As ever, I shall start this iPad case review by reminding you that I only ever use a Smart Cover on either of my iPads, the mini and the Retina. And that on the occasions that I might be moved to use a case (when not actively reviewing one) I like something light and thin.

Which brings me to the Lioncase Pocket Shield for the iPad mini. It’s slim (13mm), it’s light (150g) and it has a pocket!

CamRanger Turns Your iOS Device Into A Full-On DSLR Remote [Review]


I just took a picture with my DSLR... from my iPad
I just took a picture with my DSLR... from my iPad

“Wow, this is cool.” That was my first thought when I saw CamRanger controlling a full-size DSLR for the first time, then wirelessly beaming picture previews to an iPad 15 feet away.

Category: iOS/photography accessories
Works With: iPhone, iPad, Mac
Price: $300

From ISO, to shutter, to aperture, white balance—-even live view and touch-to-focus—-the CamRanger gives you amazing control of any compatible DSLR from your iPad or iPhone. All it takes to get the magic going, is the tiny CamRanger unit and their free iOS app.

DigiPower Travel Charger For Camera Batteries Is Effective And Annoying [Review]


Travel Charger by DigiPower
Category: Chargers
Works With: Various Cameras
Price: $50

The modern digital camera is a miracle. It can take photos in light so low that you can’t even focus the lens manually. It can record thousands of images onto a single SD card, or it can shoot RAW and let you make incredible adjustments back in the comfort of your own home.

But one thing that has driven me crazy with pretty much every digital camera I have ever owned is its charger. They’re almost universally terrible. Which is why I bought this Digipower alternative. But is it actually any better?

MiniDrive Uses SD MacBook Slot To Add Extra Storage [Review]


MiniDrive by  MiniDrive
Category: Storage
Works With: SD-slot-equipped Mac
Price: $20

The  MiniDrive is tiny caddy that lets you hide a microSD card entirely inside the SD card slot on your MacBook Air (or any other Mac with an SD slot). The idea is that you can cheaply add storage to your SSD-equipped Mac.

When I first wrote up the MiniDrive as a news piece, a whole bunch of readers got in contact to tell me how much it sucked, mostly because it didn’t fit properly into the SD slot on their Macs.

My experience has been fine, so I’m putting down those bad experiences to being the first wave of Kickstarter order fulfillments. That’s no excuse, clearly – if you sell something it should work – but I can only review what I have to review. And so I will.

UPDATE: This MiniDrive has nothing to do with the Nifty Minidrive I saw at CES. Sorry for any confusion.

Old Pan Am Life Rafts Make Surprisingly Good iPad Cases [Review]


Life Raft by Station Supply Co
Category: Cases
Works With: iPad 2+, iPhone 4+
Price: $45 as tested

Pan Am, a U.S icon that died in 1991, thankfully before it’s name could be ConCatenAted into PanAm, and not before some clever entrepreneur with an eye to the future squirreled away dome of the planes’ old life rafts.

Fast forward to today, when those rafts are being chopped up and made into cases for another American icon: the iPad. For just $20, you can wrap the back of your tablet in a strip of – uh, whatever life rafts were made of in the 70s.

I have been using one on my iPad mini for the last week or two. It’s fantastic, but I had to administer some tough love to get it onto shape.

The FitBit Flex Will Get Your Ass Off The Couch, But Not Through A Marathon [Review]



Flex by FitBit
Category: Fitness
Works With: iPhone 5, Mac
Price: $100

The FitBit Flex is a $99 rubber band you wear around your wrist to track how many steps you’ve taken every day. It connects via Bluetooth to your iPhone, or through a dongle to your Mac. If you are utterly sedentary, it’s a fantastic gadget that may very well encourage you to make some slight adjustments to your lifestyle before your heart explodes in front of your computer desk one day. If you are already even lightly active, though, the FitBit Flex is a puzzle of a product that seems fetishistically focussed on how much you walk while utterly ignoring how much you bike, swim or even run.

AmpJacket Makes Your iPhone Louder And Stronger [Review]


AmpJacket by Kubxlab
Category: Cases
Works With: iPhone 4/S/5
Price: $30

There are a few things I really like about Kubxlab’s AmpJacket. It’s soft and squiggly, so it’s kind of fun to play with even when not on the phone. It’s also very small when you consider what it does – it’ll even slide into a pants pocket. And finally, there;s the fact that it not only amplifies the sound fro the iPhone’s speaker, but protects that iPhone and even raises it out of the way of spills in the kitchen.

Cardboard iPad Case Is Way Better Than You Might Expect [Review]


iPad Case by Guided Products
Category: Cases
Works With: iPad 2G and newer
Price: $7ish

Remember that $7 cardboard iPad case I wrote about a few weeks back? I have two here in my apartment, and I have been testing them out for the last week. The review follows, but here’s the short form: They’re surprisingly good; they’re excellent insulators; they’re good for making shopping lists.

Analog Camera For iPhone: Who Needs Instagram For Filters? [Review]


Analog Camera - Image View

A couple of weeks ago, we told you about an upcoming iPhone app called Analog Camera. Developed by Realmac Software, maker of popular to-do app Clear, Analog Camera is a gorgeous app for taking pictures and quickly applying Instagram-like filters.

Analog Camera
Made by: Realmac Software
Category: Photography
Works With: iPhone, iPod touch
Price: $0.99

Now that Analog Camera is available for download in the App Store, it’s time to decide if it belongs on your iPhone’s Home screen.

Acase Collatio For iPhone 5: A Great Wallet Case At A Great Price [Review]



The BookBook from Twelve South has long been the best and most luxurious leather wallet case for iPhone, but it has a new contender from Acase that wants to steal its crown. It’s called the Collatio, and in many ways, it’s very similar to the BookBook.

Collatio by Acase
Category: Cases
Works With: iPhone 5
Price: $39.90

As well as holding your iPhone 5, the Collatio holds up to three credit cards, and features a larger pocket for bills, receipts, and anything else you’d like to stuff in there. It provides access to all of your iPhone’s buttons and ports — though you will need to open it up to use the volume buttons and mute switch — plus its front- and rear-facing cameras.

The biggest difference between the Collatio and the BookBook, however, is the price. While Twelve South’s offering will cost you $60, the Collatio is just $40. But is it as good?