10 Pointless iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad Accessories
There's a huge, lucrative accessories industry based on tricking out Apple's iPhone, iPod, and iPad. Some of the accessories are genuinely useful--or at least undeniably cool (such as Parrot's AR.Drone iPhone-controlled quadricopter)--but others look dumb and serve no discernible purpose. In this slideshow we gravitate toward the latter, spotlighting accessories that are, at best, pointless money wasters and, at worst, awkward destroyers of the user's social life.
You can thank us later for preserving your bank balance and your contact with other people.
Sausage iPad/iPhone Stylus
"Sausage fingers" gets a whole new meaning with this weirdly shaped stylus. The stylus's makers, CaseCrown, say that the tube steak design makes the stylus "perfect to use when you want to keep your gloves on during cold weather," that the stylus is "compact and slim to fit in any pocket," and that it's "not for consumption." Okay...but why is it shaped like a sausage? (Apparently, it's a big thing in Korea.)
You can pick up one of these strange styluses for $7 (large stylus) or $5 (small stylus)--just don't use them when you're hungry, because they aren't suitable for grilling.
iPhone/iPod Speaker Towel
The Hi-Sun towel comes with built-in speakers for your iPhone or iPod Touch--a great, useful idea, right? Except for the fact that you already have two mini-speakers on either side of your head--they're called "headphones." The only time full-on speakers are useful on either side of your head is if you're playing an arcade racing game. But maybe the point is to help you avoid getting tan lines from your ear buds?
You can grab the Hi-Sun towel for just $80. Warning: The model in the picture is NOT included with the towel.
Fat-Free Bacon Case
Apple trimmed all the fat off of its iPad and presented us with a sleek, attractive tablet. If you'd rather put that fat back on, however, you can pick up this tasty layer of protection from Etsy user Antjes.
For just $59, your iPad can resemble a greasy slab of uncooked bacon. You can complement your iPad cover with other bacon-themed accessories, too: a $39 iPhone case, a $19 iPod Nano/Shuffle case, and a $79 MacBook Air case. Antjes also offers covers with fried-egg and Swiss cheese motifs--but nothing in sausage.
iPhone TV Hat
Is this iPhone-connected sun hat the future of portable movie watching? We hope not, because it looks ridiculous--even if you don't go with the camo color option. Having your own personal theater at the beach (or on a plane) may sound tempting, but trust us on this: Wearing a $30 miniature darkroom that looks like half of a horse's feedbag will ruin your social life.
The iPad Chair
The iPad can be difficult to use comfortably--it's a tablet, after all--so a lot of iPad cases feature built-in stands and docks. But why settle for sausage when you can go whole hog? Instead of buying a dock/stand and sitting on your old sofa, you can take the advice of Elite Home Theater Seating and purchase an entire chair that's equipped with its very own built-in iPad dock. Prices range from $2500 to $6000.
The iPod holder is located on one arm of the chair, and it takes two hands to use the iPad, so we're not sure how ergonomically correct your posture will be as you swipe and pinch away in this chiropractor-approved chair. But all the ingredients for bliss are there: an iPad holder, a cushiony ride, and what looks to be a drink holder in the other arm rest. You may never get up again!
If you want to "git 'er done," check out the Griffin Standle iPad case. Besides being shaped like a cheap, plastic toolbox--but without the benefit of containing useful tools--it's thick. Its only practical feature (other than, arguably, the foldaway carry handle) is a built-in kickstand--but of course you could just prop up your iPad on your legs for free.
You can grab the Standle at your local
hardware electronics store for $50--less than you'd pay for a new leaf blower, which you shouldn't buy anyway.
iPhone Leg Strap
Thiphone's pitch sounds pretty good, at first: Strap your iPhone to your thigh, instead of holding it with one hand. It will never fall off, and, oh yeah, you'll look like a complete loser. Honestly, why would you pay $30 to strap your iPhone to your leg--especially since it puts your iPhone too far away for you to type on it accurately? On the plus side, you can probably reduce the level of ridicule by tucking a hunting knife into the Thiphone--and if you cut yourself, the strap will double as a disappointingly ineffective tourniquet.
iArm Forearm Mount
From the "I can't believe this exists" category: the iArm Forearm Mount--great for those moments when the need for unencumbered thighs renders the Thiphone impractical. Okay, the iArm really doesn't exist: This is just a prank gift box that purports to give you an extra arm by shackling an iPad (or other tech accessory) to your forearm. But the product is strictly imaginary, though you can pick up the gift box for $8.
iPhone Stylus Case
Ten One Design's Tango Case is not a bad-looking case for your iPhone, but it defeats the entire purpose of having a multitouch screen. The case features a clip on the side that holds a stylus (sold separately for $15). Sure, this feature is cool...if you're back in the PDA era.
Show your colleagues how retro-cool you are by picking up a Tango Case for $40. And while you're at it, be sure to snap up iSlideRule, an iPhone app that will make your case seem positively modern.
Does this item look like something you'd want to haul around with you, just in case you encountered the perfect Kodak moment while carrying your iPhone 4? For a mere $70 you can tote some seven extra pieces of photo gear everywhere you go. These iPhone lenses--wide-angle, fish-eye, and 8X telephoto--will ensure that you are never mistaken for someone local. It's almost like being a professional photographer (with a 5-megapixel camera).
Just one thing: This collection of doodads pretty much torpedoes the whole idea of being able to put the iPhone in your jean pocket.