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: Speck Products
Compatible: iPod 4G, 5G, nano, mini
An evolution of the company's earlier MobileCharge, MobileTune expands Speck's car interior-matching charger with FM transmission capabilities. Offering tuning from 88.1 to 107.9FM, MobileTune has a chrome tuning knob on its face, surrounding a small LCD screen with digits. It's compatible with all 4G, 5G, mini and nano iPod models.
Model: TuneStage for iPod nano
Compatible: iPod nano
As an updated version of the company's earlier TuneStage for iPod (iLounge rating: B+), the TuneStage for iPod nano lets you enjoy your iPod's music wirelessly through a stereo up to 33 feet away. The box still includes four pieces: a wireless Bluetooth 1.2 transmitter to attach to the iPod, a wireless receiver that attaches to your stereo system, a stereo audio cable, and a power supply for the receiver. Belkin has replaced its earlier top-mounting Bluetooth transmitter - made only for 3G, 4G, and mini iPods - with a bottom-mounting transmitter that now physically fits only the iPod nano, connecting to both its headphone and Dock Connector ports. If you're using your nano near a USB port or charger, and want to supply your own mini-USB cable, a port at the transmitter's bottom lets you recharge while broadcasting.
Update: On July 26, 2006, Belkin informed iLounge that TuneStage for iPod nano has been cancelled in favor of a new Bluetooth solution to be launched later this year.
Model: Capsule Stickies
Price: $4/€4 per 3-pack
Compatible: iPod nano
Available in six different 3-packs, Capsule Stickies are Click Wheel stickers sized for the iPod nano, featuring art by yolkdesign. A pack called Japanorama has three stickers with Japanese-translated Menu text, Communist features Sino-inspired art with Chinese-translated Click Wheel icons, and other packs - Elegance, Sterile, Morbid, and Shutter - use Western-style icons and English text. The art on all of the Stickies is cool, and intended to match or enhance the company's earlier Capsule cases for iPod nano. Static Cling is used rather than sticky adhesive, making the covers reusable and non-gummy. They'll be available starting July 17 from SwitchEasy's web site.
iSkin's latest offering for the iPod nano is DuoBand, which like the Claro case for 5G iPods uses a combination of a hard plastic outer shell and a silicone rubber insert to protect your nano's body from environmental damage. DuoBand also includes a washable fabric armband with Velcro for adjustment and reflective strips for nighttime use. Since the case protects the iPod's Dock Connector with hard, stationary plastic, it is not compatible with Apple's new Nike+iPod Sport Kit.
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