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2014 iPad iPhone iPod Buyers' Guide from iLounge.com

News

Official Apple iPhone add-ons, Works with iPhone logo shown

A new Apple web page for iPhone Accessories has provided eleventh-hour confirmation of prices and names for a number of Apple-branded iPhone add-ons.

The iPhone Bluetooth Headset ($129) is, as previously noted on iLounge, a simple black earpiece with a microphone built in for wireless telephone calling. A rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery inside delivers 72 hours of standby time and 5.5 hours of talk time, according to Apple. It’s not used for music, and features a single button on the top to let you initiate and end calls. Apple has confirmed that the headset comes packaged with a charging cable for itself and the iPhone, as well as a charging dock for itself and the iPhone, called Dual Dock.

The iPhone Dock and iPhone Dual Dock are both priced at $49, and both come with Apple USB Power Adapters. The iPhone Dock provides an audio-line out for connection to speakers, a place to charge the iPhone, and its own Dock Connector to USB cable. iPhone Dual Dock charges both the iPhone and iPhone Bluetooth Headset at the same time, next to each other.

imageThe iPhone Bluetooth Travel Cable ($29) is a specially designed cable with a Dock Connector at one end, a USB plug at the other, and a recessed spot in the Dock Connector plug for charging the Bluetooth Headset.

The iPhone Universal Dock Adapter 3-Pack ($9) enables you to dock iPhone in any iPod Universal Dock and physically fit in similar Universal Dock products, such as iPod and iPhone speakers.

imageThe iPhone TTY Adapter ($9) connects to iPhone’s headphone port and enables use of the iPhone with standard TTY (teletypewriter) devices for the deaf.

The iPhone Stereo Headset ($29) is the stock pair of iPhone earbuds, featuring a microphone behind a windscreen and a button to control iPod audio and phone calls.

imageAdditionally, Apple has explained the Works with iPhone program and offered some guidance on iPod accessory compatibility. The Works with iPhone logo, which turns out to be the same one previously shown on iLounge, signals that an electronic accessory has been “certified by the developer to meet Apple performance standards.” According to the company, “[w]hen you connect an uncertified accessory, your iPhone will notify you and present you with the option to go into Airplane Mode, which turns off the communication capability of the iPhone while it’s connected to that accessory. This means that you’ll avoid potential audio interference, but you’ll be unable to make or receive calls. If you choose not to enter Airplane Mode, you can make and receive calls, but you may experience some audio interference.”

iSkin announces Revo case for iPhone

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iSkin, maker of numerous iPod cases such as the hugely popular eVo 3, has announced the Revo case for iPhone ($40), a silicone rubber case with a clear plastic front protector. According to the company, the clear protector clips on to Revo’s sides and covers the screen without impeding use of iPhone’s touchscreen, while the majority of iPhone’s body is covered with soft, contoured rubber in your choice of several colors. Revo cases come in an all-black version, as well as versions with prominent accent colors at the top and bottom of the screen. Five colors will be available starting in July, each packaged with an optional privacy film for the iPhone screen, which renders it visible when viewed straight on, but not when viewed at an angle.

Altec Lansing unveils Upgrader headphones for iPhone

Altec Lansing has introduced its new Upgrader series of headphones for MP3 players and multimedia phones, including the iPhone. The series — offered with (UHS) and without (UHP) a microphone — includes the UHS 302, UHS 306, and UHS 307, all of which sport microphones and a “convertible” adapter developed to connect with the iPhone and other mobile phones. The UHP 306, UHP 336, UHP 101 and UHP 301 all feature in-ear designs with silicon tips or pads that conform to the unique shape of ears and provide all day comfort. The UHS 306 offers the same sound quality and custom fit, and also features an inline volume control and microphone for switching between phones calls and music.

The Upgrader Series also includes two over-the-ear designs, the UHP 405 that features booming surround sound (optimized for gaming) and UHP 805 that includes active noise-cancellation technology, perfect for airplanes. In addition, the UHP 303, UHP 302, UHP 304, UHS 307, and UHS 302 all offer AirFit designs that offer moisture resistance, and all but the UHS 307 offer breathable ear pads — the UHS 307 offers washable silicone ear tips, an inline volume control and microphone with mute switch, and a spring steel ear hanger, which it shares with the UHP 302. The UHP 304 uses an over-the-head fit with a dual titanium headband. Altec Lansing’s Upgrader Series will be available in August 2007.

First Vaja iPhone cases revealed [updated]

Luxury electronics accessory maker Vaja has revealed its first iPhone case to iLounge. The case, which is unofficially named Vaja Retro Pouch for iPhone, is shown in the picture in both vertical and horizontal models. The horizontal model features a long flap, which folds over the iPhone’s side, while the vertical model features a deep pouch and smaller flap that folds over the top of the iPhone. More details on these cases and others are expected soon.

Updated: We have added pics of the Vaja Classic Pouch for iPhone and Urbano Pouch for iPhone below. Both styles appear to be available in both the vertical and horizontal versions described above.

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Apple debuts Works with iPhone; which logo?

Two and a half years ago, Apple introduced “Made for iPod,” an iPod accessory licensing and testing program that provided manufacturers with iPod hardware specifications and an official Apple seal in exchange for a royalty on badged products. Today, Apple has announced a new iPhone-specific program called “Works with iPhone,” and stated that “[p]roducts that are engineered and certified to be compatible with the iPhone will carry the ‘Works with iPhone’ logo on their packaging.”

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But which logo is the real Works with iPhone logo? We have our guesses based on the graphic designs here—the upper one is a very Apple-esque design, while the one below is not. But both types of logos, and many other variations we’ve seen (“Compatible with iPhone,” “Made for iPhone”) now appear on iPhone accessory packages.

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Why do these logos matter? As Apple’s Questions and Answers page for iPhone explains, “iPhone may cause audio interference with some iPod accessories.” Speakers and other electronic accessories that have not been properly tested with iPhone may exhibit issues that range from minor to serious, and only properly tested electronic accessories will receive Apple’s seal. While it’s entirely possible that third-party accessory makers will learn to test their accessories properly without Apple involvement, most companies offering iPhone accessories today have not done so, and do not yet know how to do so. Consequently, we’ll be checking iPhone accessories to see how they perform with the device, and will be following official “Works with iPhone” developments closely in the future.

Shure debuts MPA-3c Music Phone Adapter

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Shure has unveiled its Music Phone Adapter, a modular accessory that converts the company’s earphones into a stereo headset, and allows iPhone users to switch between listening and communicating. The device features a low-profile VoicePort microphone tuned to enhance intelligibility regardless of background noise, a control button for answering and ending calls, and a detachable modular design.  “The release of the iPhone promises to change the face of the music phone industry by getting serious music lovers to make the leap to a converged device,” said Mark Karnes, Executive Director of Marketing, Shure Incorporated. “The Shure MPA combined with our award-winning earphones provides the missing piece of the convergence puzzle: one convenient accessory that seamlessly delivers premium audio for all portable listening activities.” The Shure MPA-3c Music Phone Adapter is compatible with both the iPhone and the Motorola RAZR V3i, and will sell for $40 when it is released in August.

The Big List of Over 60 iPhone Add-Ons, and a Warning

Trying to figure out which iPhone accessories you should consider buying? iLounge has compiled a master list of over 60 announced iPhone add-ons from major vendors, including Apple, Belkin, Body Glove, DLO, Griffin, Logic 3, Macally, Marware, Monster, Speck, v-Moda, XtremeMac, and many others. Each of the products on this list is linked to our most recent photos and details, whether it’s in the iPhone Accessories section of our Accessories list, The Free iPod Book 3.0, or elsewhere on the iLounge.com site. Click on this article’s title for the fully linked list.

Be aware: iLounge’s editors have strong reason to believe that existing iPod accessories—and even some recently touted as “iPhone-compatible”—will not work as expected with the iPhone. We have made this point as clearly as possible in several articles on the site leading up to the iPhone’s launch. Unfortunately, because iPhones have not been provided to developers for in-house electronic or physical testing, it will be unclear until after the iPhone’s launch which accessories will have issues, and how serious those issues will be. We have been told that it is possible that certain iPod chargers may break when connected to iPhone, and that it is likely that noises from iPhone will create audio interference with older iPod speakers.

If you are concerned about possible damage to your past accessories, we strongly recommend that you await “safe for iPhone” postings on manufacturers’ web sites before connecting them to your iPhone. Brief tests may not be enough to reveal certain types of issues, and since many electronically different revisions of accessories are out there, it is all but impossible for anyone other than the manufacturer to guarantee that all versions of a specific product will work. We’ll continue to monitor official word from manufacturers, and from Apple, as the iPhone launch nears and passes.

Jawbone Bluetooth Headset headed for Apple Stores

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Aliph has announced that its Jawbone Bluetooth Headset will appear for sale alongside the iPhone when the device launches on June 29. “As the leader in audio quality, it’s exciting for us to have the Jawbone paired with the most innovative mobile phone platform in history,” said Hosain Rahman, Aliph CEO. “We believe consumers will find that the marriage of these products delivers the best experience in terms of quality and sophistication.” The Jawbone uses Noise Shield technology combined with innovations in acoustics and audio processing to virtually eliminate all background noise from calls, and allow you to hear the caller more clearly. The Jawbone Bluetooth Headset sells for $120.

Orbino offers Strada iPhone Case

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Orbino is now offering its Strada Case for the iPhone. The case features Orbino’s patented removable spring-loaded combination belt clip and desk stand in polished palladium metal, a form-fitting design hand-stitched in Italy with high tensile waxed thread, hand lacquered four-coat edging, and leather lining. The Strada also offers access to the iPhone’s screen, home button, earpiece, Dock Connector, side buttons, and headphone port. The handmade Orbino Strada Case for iPhone is available in black, red, and brown, and sells for $100, the case is also available with a pure brown crocodile outer for $319, or with pure oak ostrich for $250.

Contour Design unveils iSee for iPhone

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Contour Design has announced the release of its iSee for iPhone. The clear case offers protection for the iPhone while maintaining the device’s aesthetic. The case also offers easy insertion and removal of the phone, full access to all control surfaces, and also includes a holster that can hold the iPhone face in or out, in both horizontal and vertical positions. The iSee for iPhone will be available the last week of June, and will sell for $30.

Apple Bluetooth Headset earns FCC approval

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The Apple Bluetooth Headset has received approval from the Federal Communications Commission. As with the approval of the iPhone, the documents available on the FCC’s website offer little in the way of new information, but they do signal that Apple should be in position to offer the accessory for a currently unknown price when the iPhone launches on June 29.

Pacific Rim intros iShield for iPhone

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Pacific Rim Technologies has introduced its iShield for iPhone. The synthetic leather case features an integrated hard shell to protect against drops, cut-outs for the camera and side buttons, and includes a removable belt clip. It also provides access to the device’s home button, screen, and earpiece. The iShield for iPhone comes in black, red, or white and will sell for $35. It will be available June 27.

BoxWave iPhone accessories available now

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BoxWave Corporation has announced the immediate availability of its Apple iPhone accessories. The lineup includes ClearTouch Anti-Glare and Crystal Screen Protectors, the Designio Leather Case for iPhone, available with a vertical or horizontal flip cover, Designio Leather Sleeve for iPhone, available with and without a clear protective window, and FlexiSkin for iPhone, a thin, silicone-style case. The ClearTouch Screen Protectors sell for $13 each, both the Designio Leather Case and Leather Sleeve sell for $30, and the FlexiSkin for iPhone is priced at $28. Wing Onn Lum, Founder & CEO of BoxWave Corporation, added, “We will continue to support Apple’s iPhone extensively in the coming months and will continue to rapidly release new products to enhance the already complete line of accessories for the iPhone.”

Speck debuts iPhone accessories

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Speck Products has introduced its line of accessories for Apple’s iPhone (PDF link). The new line includes the SkinTight 2-pack with holster, which will be available in either black and clear or pink and clear, the ToughSkin with holster, which will be available in black and clear, the TechStyle Holster Pro, and the imageTechStyle Classic with holster, available in both black and brown with plaid. Both the new ToughSkin and SkinTight models sport new stand/swivel clip holsters. The new line will be available in mid-June, pricing information has yet to be released.

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