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:
Company: Uniq Creation
Model: March + Porte
Compatible: iPad mini, iPhone 5
Largely similar to earlier Uniq Creation cases we've seen, the new leather March and Porte cases come in iPhone 5 ($35 each) and iPad mini ($50 each) versions. All of the cases are flip-open designs with a single ID or credit card slot inside the lid, and iOS device holders on the right; March uses a series of parallel colored lines on the front and back, while Porte instead features angled lines. The iPhone versions include a front speaker hole so you can use the device as a handset with the lid closed, while the iPad mini versions tilt their device holders into typing and video stand positions relative to the lids. Each design includes volume button protection while leaving holes for everything else, as well as exposing metal device corners. No extra items come in their packages.
Company: ConnecteDevice Ltd. / Bluetrek
Compatible: iPhone 4S/5, iPad (3rd/4th-Gen)
Packaged in a clear plastic birdhouse and pitched as a Bluetooth 4/Smart-based wristwatch, ConnecteDevice's Cookoo ($130-$250) is certainly one of the most unique iOS-ready accessories we've seen. Offered in five colors that range considerably in price for reasons unknown, the watch is substantially metal and glass in the center, with a rubber, plastic, and metal housing and band. The face looks like a traditional analog wristwatch until you press a Light, Command, or Mode button, at which point you'll notice that there's a black and white LCD screen hidden behind the hour, minute, and second hands. This screen provides iPhone call alerts, iPhone or iPad calendar/reminder alerts, battery alerts, and Facebook notifications -- all in simple icon form, rather than with a more sophisticated text or other display. You can also use Cookoo with an iOS app as a camera remote shutter release, or to locate a misplaced phone or watch, or for Facebook check-ins; additional features are coming soon. Two separate batteries are inside the housing, one for the low-power Bluetooth 4 chip, the other for the timepiece. We'll have more to say on Cookoo soon, but it does provide an interesting alternative to more power-hungry color screen-laden watches we've seen over the last year. Established Bluetooth accessory maker Bluetrek appears to be assisting with development and manufacturing.
Updated: Two days after we began to test Cookoo, the unit malfunctioned, with all of its on-screen icons flashing endlessly on and off for roughly one day. No button presses or other things we tried were able to get the flashing icons to stop; we suspected that they ended on their own when the battery ran down. When we attempted to replace the battery, however, the screen wouldn’t turn back on.
Company: Perfect Fit Technologies
Models: Screen Shield
Compatible: iPad 2, iPad 3rd/4th-Gen, iPad mini
While we like the concept behind Perfect Fit Technologies' Screen Shields -- available in separate "iPad 2/3/4" ($36) and iPad mini ($27) versions -- we weren't totally thrilled with the execution. The company attempts to solve one of the several big issues with screen film, proper alignment, by including an iPad-sized hard plastic frame that's pre-loaded with film; you're supposed to just peel off a film backing layer, insert your clean iPad face-down, press on the frame, and remove the film-covered iPad. Unfortunately, the film didn't align properly during our testing of the iPad mini version, requiring us to peel it off and re-install it, causing dust to creep in. Moreover, the film was as thin as inexpensive Chinese versions we've tested, and didn't look particularly good after installation. With better film and a superior frame, this would be a more compelling alternative.
Incase's Neoprene Sleeve ($30) has been made available for other tablets and computers before; now, it comes to the iPad mini. The sleeve is about as basic as they come, with two pieces of neoprene held together with piping around most of the holder and a zipper at the top. Inside, it's lined with soft white faux fur. Coming only in black, Neoprene Sleeve is probably best carried in a larger bag.
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- HMDX Jam Plus Bluetooth Wireless Speaker
- Fitbit Flex Wireless Activity & Sleep Wristband
- Cambridge Audio Minx Air 100 + 200 Bluetooth + AirPlay Wireless Speakers
- Mophie Juice Pack Plus for iPhone 5
- Ultimate Ears UE Boom
- Trü Protection Trü-Fit Anti-Glare Film Set
- New Trent iCarrier IMP120D Dual USB Power Pack
- BlueFlame 2M Charge and Sync Cable with Lightning Connector
- HMDX Jam Party Bluetooth Wireless Stereo Speaker
- Logitech Harmony Ultimate Universal Remote Control
- Inability to use Find My Friends without a passcode
- Calendar info disappears after iCloud restore
- Remove old iCloud backup after restoring to a new iPhone
- Setting up a ringtone in iTunes
- Using a Wi-Fi hard drive with an iPad
- Backing up and restoring an iPod classic
- Can’t restore iPod touch without passcode
- Retaining older versions of Apps during an iOS Restore
- Can’t eject iPod nano without closing Firefox
- Can’t change iTunes Apple ID to iCloud e-mail address