Welcome to our new, continuously-updated First Looks - a collection of previews showing brand new iPod, iPhone and iPad accessories that we’re currently in the process of testing. Here’s what’s hot right now:
Bluelounge has introduced Soba ($25), a new cable management system. The total Soba package contains a 10-foot fabric tube, two end caps, three mounting caps, one Y-split cap, five rubber bands, and one zipper tool. Soba can bundle up to three cables in its tubing, and it comes in black or white. The zipper tool is used to easily open the tube and secure the cables — it's not terribly intuitive at first, but there's a guide available on Bluelounge's website. Once you figure it out, your stray cables should be contained quickly and easily. We would recommend Soba for computer desks with small numbers of cables to manage, but not for setups with tons of cables.
Company: Armpocket Enterprises
Compatibility: iPhone 6/Air
Although Apple hasn't said anything yet about its next-generation iPhone models, that's not stopping accessory makers from peddling wares that most likely will fit them. Armpocket has joined the pack with Xtreme i-30 ($40) and Ultra i-35 ($45), armbands claimed to be ready for the iPhone 6/Air. Both models are moisure-wicking pouches with clear plastic screen protectors built-in, and offered in your choice of three armband lengths. Behind where a phone fits, there's a pocket for keys, cash, and cards, and the carriers help protect from sweat and water. The i-30 will be aimed at bare or encased 4.7"-screened iPhones, with the ability to hold bare 5.5"-screened iPhones, while the i-35 is large enough to hold the 5.5"-screened iPhone inside or outside a case.
How confident is Spigen in the size, shape, and dimensions of Apple's as-yet-unannounced iPhone 6 / iPhone Air? Enough to debut Thin Fit and Thin Fit A ($15), new form-fitting shells made to protect the sides and backs of Apple's next-generation 4.7"-screened iPhone. The basic Thin Fit versions come in clear and opaque versions, including one non-slip black version, slightly pearlescent white, and light blue. Each has holes for the side-mounted controls and rear camera, plus complete coverage gaps for the iPhone's top, bottom, and front. Thin Fit A adds a circular cut-out for the Apple logo, albeit with clear protection to keep the logo from being scratched; it comes in flat black and gunmetal versions. As the photos show, each case's rounded sides, noticeably greater height, and slightly larger width suggest that the next iPhone's 4.7" screen will be markedly larger than the 4" iPhone 5/5c/5s displays. Updated September 8: Spigen has added Aluminum Fit ($30) to the collection -- a version with a "100% aluminum" plate built into the otherwise plastic frame. We'll have to see how the sheet of metal works with the new iPhone's wireless capabilities.
Model: Pulse O2
Compatability: All iPads, iPhones, iPod touches (iOS 5.0+)
Billed as Withings' new product, and the sequel to last summer's Pulse Activity Tracker, Pulse O2 ($120) is actually a simple update with some new software. The sensor itself is exactly the same as before, but it ships with updated firmware that can detect blood oxygen levels, which is especially important for mountain climbers, those training in high altitudes, and people with breathing problems. This firmware is available for existing Pulses. There's also a silicone band included in the package now, so the device can be worn as a watch.
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