Digital Crave

Accessorize it: Hot smartphone, tablet add-ons for summer

View gallery

zooka Bluetooth speaker

Friends don’t let friends use an unprotected smartphone. They also don’t let them listen to music through the phone’s tiny speakers, type for extended periods of time on the touchscreen or leave the house without a back-up power solution.

Accessories – such as protective cases, Bluetooth speakers, portable keyboards and battery boosters – can all help add some functionality and longevity to your beloved (but limited) device.

Now that summer is officially in our sights (June 21), consider one of the following add-ons to help you get more out of your smartphone or tablet this season.

View gallery

Logitech wireless solar keyboard

Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard K760

Smartphones and tablets have a number of benefits over personal computers – they’re more portable, affordable and last all day on a single charge – but smaller screens and an all-touch interface mean they’re not as conducive for taking notes, writing lengthy emails or cranking out essays or reports.

Logitech’s Wireless Solar Keyboard K760 ($89.99) is a powered by any light – be it a small lamp, overhead light or the sun’s rays – and fully charged it’ll work for at least three months, even in total darkness. This Bluetooth keyboard works specifically with Apple’s iOS devices (iPhone, iPad or iPod touch) as well as Macs, but Logitech also has Android and Windows 8-based wireless keyboards, too.

View gallery

zooka Bluetooth speaker
Carbon Audio Zooka

Whether you’re hanging outside with friends or want to add more boom to your room, a Bluetooth speaker like Carbon Audio’s Zooka ($89.99) is an ideal companion to your favorite mobile device. Like other products of this kind, you can wirelessly play music from your smartphone or tablet without having to dock it – therefore you can use it while it streams audio to the speaker – but the Zooka also has a built-in slit to insert your tablet and a stand to prop it up.

Also ideal for watching video and playing games, the silicone-covered Zooka houses dual speakers (each with 30mm drivers), a built-in microphone (in case a call comes in) and integrated rechargeable battery (that lasts up to eight hours per charge). The Zooka is available in eight colors.

View gallery

otterbox smartphone case

OtterBox Defender Series

Whether you're a klutz or work in harsh environments, a rugged smartphone case is the best way to protect your investment. While many have tried to take ownership of the category, OtterBox is still the king of cases -- including the company’s line of Defender Series (from $39.95) products that safeguard your phone in three ways: a clear membrane that covers the screen, a hard polycarbonate skeleton that surrounds the smartphone and a wrap-around silicone skin that absorbs bumps. Available for Android, iPhone, Windows Phone 8 and BlackBerry 10 devices, these super-durable cases also include a swivel belt clip that doubles as a small stand for viewing video.

View gallery

Seagate wireless plus hard drive

Seagate Wireless Plus

Have a couple of bored kids in the backseat on a road trip? Eliminate the “Are we there yet?” with the Seagate Wireless Plus ($199.99), a pocket-sized hard drive with a unique trick up its sleeve.

Like any other portable drive, you’ll first connect it to a PC or Mac and drag and drop files onto it for safe keeping – this 1-terabyte drive can store 500 HD movies, for example -- and when you take it to go, press a button to turn it on and it creates a wireless hotspot; now up to seven people can stream content at the same time – via a smartphone, tablet or laptop – and even one can watch something different. You can also use this drive to stream music, photos, documents and more. Another feature is the ability to wirelessly save photos and videos from a smartphone or tablet to the drive, to free up more space on your portable device.

View gallery


Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation Duo

There’s nothing worse when you’re enjoying yourself out of the home and the gadgets you rely on start to run out of juice. Instead of a bulky battery case that weighs down your mobile phone – even when you don’t need it – consider an external power solution you can plug in, as needed. About the size of a deck of cards, the Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation Duo ($99.99) is an all-black 6000 mAh battery that can charge up a typical smartphone roughly four times. In fact, as the name suggests, you can charge two devices at the same time via its full-size USB ports. Four small LED indicators show you when it’s time to charge up the Mophie, as well, which you can do by plugging it into a computer or AC plug, before tossing it in your backpack, purse or carryon bag.

View gallery

fitbit flex bracelet fitness
Fitbit Flex

We can also use a little extra motivation to get fit and lose weight. The Fitbit Flex ($99.99) is a wearable wristband that first asks you to set a daily goal – such as a certain number of steps taken, distance traveled or calories burned – and then you can glance at the LED lights to see how close or far you are to reaching it. Along with its built-in accelerometer, this water-resistant band also has integrated Bluetooth to wirelessly sync your data with Android and iOS smartphones, as well as PCs and Macs. Available in four colors, the Flex can also give you challenges and rewards; let you compete on an opt-in leaderboard; and can also help monitor how long and well you sleep (and can wake you up with a silent alarm so it won’t bother your partner).

cobra tag universal

Cobra Tag Universal

Keep losing your keys or misplacing your smartphone? Perhaps you need the Cobra Tag Universal ($33). This second generation product — which works with free apps for iPhone or Android devices -- clamps onto your keys, purse, luggage or whatever else you don't want to lose. Simply open the app, tap the scree and you'll hear a loud chirping noise to help you locate your stuff. Or press the button on the Cobra Tag Universal and your Bluetooth-enabled smartphone or tablet will chime or play as song from your collection. The most underrated feature, however, is your Cobra Tag will sound its alarm if it loses a connection with you device -- such as accidentally leaving your Android tab in a café. The app can also send you a text, email, tweet or post that your phone or tablet can't be located and show you a map where it is.

Any cool gadgets you'd like to share with us? Please let us know in the comments below!

*Yahoo! Shopping is not compensated by any of the brands listed in this article.

Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.

    Recommended for You

    • Celine Dion Celebrates Twins’ Birthday at Disneyland: They’re ‘Trying to Make the Best’ of Life, Says Source

      Vocal powerhouse Céline Dion took her sons to Disneyland on Saturday to celebrate the sixth birthday of her fraternal twin boys Eddy and Nelson, with big brother René-Charles, 15, along for the fun. The whimsical trip comes nine months after Dion’s husband of over 20 years, René Angélil, died from throat cancer at age 73. “Family time in Disneyland for the twins’ 6th birthday!” the five-time Grammy winner captioned a snap in both English and French of the family smiling for the camera while enjoying a ride on Pinocchio’s Daring Journey.

    • General is most senior Army officer to kill self

      WASHINGTON  — The Army acknowledged Friday that Maj. Gen. John Rossi committed suicide on July 31, making him the highest-ranking soldier ever to have taken his own life. Rossi, who was 55, was just two days from pinning on his third star and taking command of Army Space and Missile Command when he killed himself at his home at Redstone Arsenal in Alabama. Investigators could find no event, infidelity, misconduct or drug or alcohol abuse, that triggered Rossi's suicide, said a U.S. government official with direct knowledge of the investigation. It appears that Rossi was overwhelmed by his responsibilities, said the official who was not authorized to speak publicly about the investigation.

      USA Today q
    • Three in Florida, Virginia charged with criminal voter fraud

      The charges targeted a Florida woman and a Virginia man accused of filing bogus voter registration forms and a Florida woman alleged to have tampered with absentee ballots she was opening at the Miami-Dade Elections Department. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has charged in recent weeks that the election will be rigged in favor of Democrat Hillary Clinton, though he has shown no proof for these claims and many Republicans have called them unfounded.

    • Mariah Carey is seeking support from Nick Cannon after split from James Packer, says rapper's father

      Following the much public split of Mariah Carey and James Packer, the All I Want For Christmas Is You singer is reportedly leaning onto ex-husband Nick Cannon for support, according to his father, James Cannon.

      International Business Times UK q
    • Jets' Darrelle Revis admits 'Revis Island' is closed

      The aging Jets cornerback is willing to acknowledge he's no longer the star he once was.

      Sporting News
    • New DNA twist in JonBenét Ramsey murder

      DNA evidence in the killing of JonBenét Ramsey does not support a former prosecutor’s decision to clear the girl’s relatives in her death, according to an explosive new report revealing new information to the public for the first time in the 1996 killing. A joint report by the Boulder Daily Camera and 9NEWS analyzed exclusively obtained lab test results and reports in the homicide that remains Colorado’s most closely followed unsolved murder two decades after the 6-year-old beauty queen was found dead in the basement of her family’s home. Forensic experts who examined those DNA tests disputed former District Attorney Mary Lacy’s conclusion that a DNA profile found in one location on the girl’s underpants and two spots on her long johns necessarily belonged to the killer, which Lacy asserted when clearing the girl’s family of suspicion in 2008.

      New York Post q
    • Alien: Covenant Leaked Set Photos Reveal New Xenomorph

      Director Ridley Scott returned to the world of Alien in 2012 with a quasi-prequel/spinoff titled Prometheus – but with his next installment in the franchise, Alien: Covenant, Scott aims to tie the events of Prometheus in more closely to those from his original 1979 Alien movie (before more properly bridging the gap with a potential third Prometheus film). Michael Fassbender, who is reprising his role as the android David from Prometheus in Covenant, has indicated that Covenant is more of a full-blown sci-fi/horror flick in the vein of Alien than Prometheus, too. That could mean that more creepy and/or otherwise freaky extraterrestrials will be popping up along the way in Covenant. Fassbender alluded

      Screen Rant q
    • This is what Tesla will unveil tonight

      Tesla will lift the lid Friday on its "solar roof," which Elon Musk says could make customers their own utilities.

    • Charlize Theron Wears Flowy Gown After Gaining 35 Lbs. for New Film, Jokes, ‘I’m Very Fat Right Now’

      Charlize Theron usually wows on the red carpet in super-sparkly, super-plunging, body-hugging gowns but on Thursday night she attended the amfAR Inspiration Gala in L.A. in something very un-Charlize-like — a loose-fitting black ensemble. “It wasn’t long after I gave this speech talking about how we couldn’t forget the most vulnerable among us that I realized I had forgotten someone.

    • Stephanie McMahon Has Signed An Extension With WWE, Which Was Apparently Necessary

      YouTubeStephanie McMahon has been an onscreen character on WWE television since 1999, with a few years mixed in there of only making sporadic appearances. Nevertheless, the daughter of Vince McMahon and the wife of Paul “Triple H” Levesque has been a fixture of WWE programming nonstop since 2013, and she currently serves as the grand poobah of Raw. Get excited, because she’s planning on staying in the company in perpetuity. You would too, if you were her.

    • 10 Best Celeb Quotes This Week (10 photos)

      Lady Gaga gets real about ex-fiancé Taylor Kinney. Plus, Naya Rivera, Ryan Reynolds and more

    • Miami-Dade busts 2 women for election fraud

      A 74-year-old woman tasked with opening envelopes sent by Miami-Dade County voters with their completed mail ballots was arrested Friday after co-workers caught her illegally marking ballots, resulting in an unknown — but small — number of fraudulent votes being cast for mayoral candidate Raquel Regalado. Investigators linked Gladys Coego, a temporary worker for the county elections department, to two fraudulent votes, but they suspect from witness testimony that she submitted several more. Coego, of Westchester, turned herself in to the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center on Friday morning. The Miami-Dade state attorney’s office plans to accuse Tomika Curgil, 33, of filling out forms for five people without their consent.

      Miami Herald q
    • 'I messed up' – man shot girlfriend in head after rejected marriage proposal say police

      A man from Indiana shot and killed his girlfriend just moments after she rejected his marriage proposal, police have said. Jason Eaton, 43, allegedly told officers he approached girlfriend Wendy Sabatini with an engagement ring in the bedroom of her house in Greensburg, south-east of Indianapolis. Eaton then grabbed a gun from a nightstand and shot the mother-of-two in the back of the head, police said.

      International Business Times UK q
    • Teyana Taylor Gets Her Own Workout Plan

      Teyana Taylor is turning the "Fade" video into her very own workout.

    • Daylight Saving Time

      Many countries observe Daylight Saving Time, meaning this weekend they will put back their clocks to "shorten" the dark winter evenings. VIDEOGRAPHICS

      AFP Videographics
    • The Sixers Fan Who Flipped Off Russell Westbrook Is A Doctor Who Claims He Was Provoked

      Immediately after this happened, everyone wanted to know this dude’s identity (and, if you’re Jeff Van Gundy, why Westbrook wasn’t allowed to go into the stands and beat the hell out of him). As it turns out, learned that this Sixers fan is named Richard Harkaway, and when he’s not trying to get a rise out of All-NBA guards, he’s a urologist in Philadelphia. In this instance, after standing up to boo and being provoked by Russell Westbrook calling attention to my being overweight, my action in response was clearly inexcusable and I am embarrassed.

    • Kelly Clarkson Reveals the One 'American Idol' Competitor That Could Have Beat Her

      The 34-year-old singer makes an admission to Harry Connick Jr.

      Entertainment Tonight
    • ‘Walking Dead’ Creator Robert Kirkman Explains Why Negan’s Victim Had to Die

      “The Walking Dead” creator Robert Kirkman is no stranger to killing off characters, but the death of a major character in the Season 7 premiere that has rankled fans had to happen. “It’s just that there’s a lot of material that comes from Glenn’s death in the comics,” Kirkman told Entertainment Weekly. Both Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) and Glenn (Steven Yeun) were murdered by Negan with his barbed wire baseball bat, Lucille.

      The Wrap
    • A new Fox News poll out on the race

      'The O'Reilly Factor': Bill O'Reilly's Talking Points 10/26

      FOX News Videos