The iPhone and iPad: They’re not just for making phone calls anymore! Then again, they never were. As long as iOS devices have been on the market, there has been a healthy demand for accessories to beautify iPhones and iPads. Moreover, creative engineers have discovered ways to draw these life-altering devices even further into our daily needs and routines through some of the best iPhone/iPad accessories ever devised.
Did you know you can use your iPhone or iPad to take enhanced pictures, control your home temperature remotely, or even prod you into healthier living? Here are five of the best and most useful iPhone and iPad accessories currently on the market.
HEX Code Wallet – Are your pocket seams groaning from the weight of your iPhone, wallet, and business cards? Simplify. The Code Wallet is a nifty invention that simultaneously acts as a folding screen protector for your iPhone while leaving space for credit cards and more. A strap secures everything in place, and your headphone jack, lock button, and dock port remain naked and ready to use without having to open the wallet.
Olloclip – The iPhone camera isn’t a photographer’s dream, but an accessory or two can drastically improve its shooting performance. The Olloclip snaps onto your iPhone 4/4S and lets you shoot pictures with a wide-angle, fisheye, or macro lens.
Freedom i-Connex 2 Mini Keyboard – You can actually get an impressive amount of writing done with your iPhone or iPad, but some people that were reared on the dependable clickety-clack of a real keyboard cannot get the hang of the average iDevice’s virtual keyboard. The i-Connex Mini Keyboard is a highly portable input device that is compatible with iOS devices as well as Android phones and tablets. Type away!
Nest Thermostat – Imagine waking up on a bitter winter morning. The temperature has dropped overnight, and the house is freezing. Time to “tough it out,” throw off the covers, and run—or you can warm up your house remotely with your iOS device and the Nest Thermostat. Plus, the Nest Thermostat app helps you monitor your household’s energy use, which should help you initiate a conservation push.
Jawbone Up – Sounds like the kind of message you’d receive after leveling up your stats in a role-playing game, doesn’t it? However, the Up accessory from Jawbone is all about helping you live an active, healthier life. It’s a bracelet that works in tandem with an app that tracks your exercise, meals, and sleeping patterns. When it’s time to get moving, the bracelet vibrates as a reminder.
For more great iPhone/iPad accessory suggestions, visit:
Best iPhone 4S Accessories at CNET
Best iPhone Apps, Accessories and Tips at Engadget
Best iPhone Accessories at Geeky Gadgets
You’ve tinkered with your compact point and shoot digital camera, and while it’s great because it can fit in your pocket and even take some basic HD video, you’ve noticed that the pictures don’t contain the same visual quality as those of your friends with a fancier camera. If you’re ready to take the next step beyond your basic point-and-click camera, here’s information to help answer the question of when you should upgrade to a DSLR camera.
What is a DSLR camera?
SLR stands for Single Lens Reflex, referring to the fact that SLR camera uses only one lens that can be changed for different purposes. Because of the use of a single lens, the camera doesn’t need to adjust your view to sync it with the camera’s view – you are seeing what the camera sees. This also allows for larger photo sensors and the ability to take many pictures rapidly.
The D simply stands for Digital, meaning that instead of using film, the camera creates digital images.
Why is a DSLR camera considered better?
One of the mainstream appeals to DSLR is the speed with which you can take pictures. Because there is only one lens in the camera and a physical mechanism to open to open the shutter as soon as you push the button to take a picture, it moves much quicker than cameras that rely on a sequence of electronic events once you push the button.
The other main advantage of DSLR camera is the ability to switch to different lenses. Here you can see that upgrading to DSLR is going to require a bit of a chance over the standard compact digital camera in which you have to not only buy separate lenses, you also have to have a way to carry and store them.
A third advantage of DSLR camera is that they are built to be able to take better pictures in low light situations, even without the flash.
How much more does a DSLR camera cost?
Although the price of DSLR’s continues to come down, they are still decidedly more expensive than a standard compact camera. For around $600, you can get an entry-level model from Nikon, Canon or Sony, which provide the camera body and usually one lens. More feature-rich camera will cost around $1,000 or more, and then you still need to buy lenses which can start at $200 and also be even more expensive. The move to a DSLR camera is not a cheap one.
When is it time to upgrade to a DSLR camera?
Here are a few times when you may know you’re ready for a DSLR camera.
– If you find yourself more than just casually taking photo, or are focusing more on specific subjects or action-oriented events, you may want to consider a DSLR camera.
– If you’ve ever wished your camera would move faster, both when taking a picture and getting ready for the next one, you may be ready for a DSLR camera.
– Additionally, if you have ever wanted to get a wider field of view, or zoom in very far to capture a faraway shot, you may ready for a DSLR camera that lets you switch lenses on the fly to accomplish these two very different tasks.
From the humblest lemonade stand to the largest multi-billion dollar international corporation, a business needs accessories to help it along. Luckily, we’re living in an age where businesses of every size can access all manner of affordable tech and gizmos to help make tedious and repetitive jobs that much smoother and easier. If you’re an entrepreneur, here’s a sampling of the best gadgets for business owners, including a variety of recommended mobile devices, accessories and technology tools available to you:
iPhone 4S – What can be said about the iPhone that hasn’t been said already? Smartphones, particularly iPhones, are celebrated pieces of technology, and for good reason: their power and versatility make them the equivalent of pocket-sized computers that can accomplish just about any task you set them to. Best of all, you can download apps (many of them free) to perform every conceivable function associated with running a business. Oh, and iPhones can also make phone calls.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 – Tablets are fast becoming a hardy and affordable alternative to laptop computers. They’re lightweight and as versatile as smartphones, making them perfect travel companions. While the iPad is always an excellent choice for a tablet, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 2 is certainly no slouch. Its 7-inch screen makes it easier to tote around, and with a price tag of $250, it’s far more affordable than the iPad.
Swivl – If you produce a lot of video for your business, the Swivl is a must-have piece of tech. True to its name, the Swivl swivels your iPod in place and follows/records your movements as you give lectures, demo products, and more.
PowerTech EZ Go Portable Travel Outlet – If you take a lot of tech on the road with you, then you’re already painfully aware of how few electrical outlets a single hotel room provides. The EZ Go Portable Travel Outlet is a docking station that charges several electrical and USB-powered devices with a single socket. It also protects your electronics against surges. If you love pulling out hotel TV stands to access the plug that it hides, though, go ahead and skip the Travel Outlet.
TripButler – Quickly: name the most dangerous activity you can engage in while travelling. Running with the bulls in Spain? Petting lions in Africa? Nope. It’s enabling data roaming on your smartphone. If you wander outside your home borders and check your email, you may well come back to a phone bill that equals the price of a heart transplant. Consider getting your hands on a TripButler. It’s a small, lightweight device that lets you use the Internet at the rates you pay back home. Up to five Wi-Fi devices can connect at once.
For more cool gadget recommendations that will help you run your business smoothly, check out:
The Best Business Gadgets of 2012 (So Far) at Business Insider
Our Picks for the Best New Business Gadgets at Entrepreneur
Best Wearable Gadgets at Business Insider