Digital Crave

Eight hot smartphone, tablet accessories for summer

Digital Crave

View gallery

.

If you think smartphone accessories are limited to Bluetooth headsets and fitted cases, in the immortal words of '70s rockers Bachman-Turner Overdrive: Baby, you ain't seen nuthin' yet.

Thousands of smartphone and tablet add-ons are now available, designed to add some extra functionality, protection or style — or a combination of the three.

But with so many products competing your hard-earned dollar, it could be tough to know which ones to invest in — not to mention if they're compatible with your Apple iOS, Android, Blackberry or Windows Phone device.

Some, like smartwatches that wireless communicate with your smartphone, aren't quite ready for primetime just yet.

And so the following is a look at a few currently-available recommendations for those looking to expand the capabilities of their mobile machine.

Jam Wireless Portable Speaker

If you don't have the cash for a premium speaker solution -- such as a Bose, Sonos or Bower & Wilkins product — HMDX's Jam Wireless Portable Speaker, at just $39.99, will no doubt impress your ears. Available in multiple "flavors" (colors), this small (2.8 x 2.8 x 2.5-inch) speaker wirelessly pairs with a nearby smartphone or tablet, so you can hear your music up to 30 feet away. Any smartphone platform or model will work, as long as it's Bluetooth-enabled. And you won't believe how loud this sucker can get — especially out of such a small form factor. Included in the Jam jar (yes, clever packaging) is a small cable to charge up the device via a computer's USB port; battery life tops 4 hours on a single charge. A mini (3.5mm) headphone jack is also on the unit for non-Bluetooth devices.

Solar Keyboard Folio

Logitech's new Solar Keyboard Folio ($129.99) has four things going for it: it's a durable case that protects both the front and back of the iPad 2 or new iPad; it houses a Bluetooth keyboard for more comfortable long-form typing (including media keys to control your tunes); it converts into a stand that can prop up the tablet for typing (angled) or video (upright); and this accessory is solar- and lamplight-powered, therefore you don't need to hunt for an AC plug to charge it up. In fact, Logitech says fully powered, you can type on it for two years, for two hours a day -- even in complete darkness. Along with a small On/Off switch, the Folio can automatically wake up or power down the iPad when you open or close the folio, respectively. Own an Android? The $80 ZAGGkeys Flex keyboard ($80) also doubles as a protective cover and stand for Android phones or tablets.

View gallery

.

Cobra Tag Universal

Keep losing your keys or misplacing your smartphone? Perhaps you need the Cobra Tag Universal ($49.99). This second generation product — which works with free apps for iPhone, Android or BlackBerry 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. My favorite feature, however, is your Cobra Tag will sound its alarm if it loses a connection with you device — such as accidentally leaving your iPad in a coffee shop. 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.

Griffin: Crayola Case Creator

Protect and personalize your tech at the same time. As the name suggests, Griffin's Crayola Case Creator ($29.99) lets kids or kids at heart create a one-of-a-kind case for iPhone and iPod touch. The product includes a hard-shell case that snugly fits your mobile device, with a transparent backing to showcase your custom artwork or photo. The case works with the free Case Creator app for users to decorate photos with digital stickers or free-draw (in Doodle mode) with the available crayons, paints and pens; all artwork can be printed out on the included perforated inserts, each of which are sized to fit the clear iPhone or iPod touch case — plus custom creations can be saved to a gallery, emailed or uploaded to Facebook.

Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation Pro

There's nothing worse than being away from home and the gadgets you rely upon while traveling -- such as a smartphone, media player, tablet or camera -- run out of power, just as you need them. Instead, be prepared with the Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation Pro ($129.95), a top-of-the-line 6,000 mAh rechargeable battery you can use to juice up portable devices via USB. In plain English, a 6,000 mAh battery is roughly 350 percent of an iPhone 4S or Samsung Galaxy S2's battery life. About the size of a deck of cards, the Powerstation Pro also has LED lights to show you the status of the battery and is IP-65 rated for protection against water, dust and sand.

View gallery

.

Cosmonaut Stylus

Love the game Draw Something but need a little help? Have long nails, so find it difficult to use fingertips on portable devices? Prefer to kick it old-school while taking notes during boardroom meetings? Wear gloves in the winter? Whatever your reasons may be, many prefer to use a stylus with touchscreen tablets and smartphones. Consider the Cosmonaut wide-grip stylus ($25), a comfortable accessory with a thick, soft tip that lets you write, draw or tap on capacitive touchscreen devices. The folks at Studio Neat say their secret sauce is a stylus that feels more like a smooth and fast dry erase marker and less of a traditional pen.

iCade 8-Bitty

Seasoned gamers with a nostalgic leaning towards the golden age of consoles might consider picking up the iCade 8-Bitty ($24.99), a Bluetooth-enabled gadget designed to work with an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or Android device. The wireless game controller sports a vintage D-Pad and button layout reminiscent of retro 8-bit game consoles '90s, such as the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and Sega Master System. The battery-powered device works with many hundreds of games, with a full list available at thinkgeek.com/icadegames. You game?

View gallery

.

Seagate GoFlex Satellite

Featured in Yahoo! Shopping's A Hard Drive is Good to Find round-up, the Seagate GoFlex Satellite ($199.99) is a portable, wireless hard drive. What does that mean? This handy smartphone or tablet accessory is battery powered if you want to take it on the go, and it can wirelessly beam movies, music, photos and documents to any nearby Wi-Fi enabled devices. That way, three kids in the backseat can all watch something different at the same time on a family road trip. This 500GB drive (roughly 300 HD movies) makes its own Wi-Fi hotspot to join and once you do that, simply, open your browser you can select what to watch or listen to, or use one of the many free apps available.

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

    • Julie Bowen Faces Criticism for Joking About Barron Trump During Inauguration

      Julie Bowen has come under fire for her comments about Barron Trump. Julie Bowen made Donald Trump’s inauguration more fun to watch, but not everyone appreciated her witty banter. The Modern Family star, who often details the funny antics of her own three sons, posted a few Instagram photos during the ceremony focusing on Barron Trump, the 10-year-old son of the new president and his wife, Melania.

      Yahoo Celebrity
    • Flight attendant shouts out all the 'nasty women' headed to the Women's March on Washington

      As hundreds of thousands of women head to Washington, D.C. ahead of Saturday's Women's March, shows of solidarity are making the rounds on the internet. Twitter user @FlorBlake shared a clip from her Spirit Airlines flight to Baltimore, where a flight attendant on board offered a show of solidarity for passengers headed to the march. SEE ALSO: How to get involved with the Women's March on Washington if you're not in D.C. Love a nasty woman flight attendant  Starting our wknd of amazing women because we can't give up! @SpiritAirlines #WomensMarchOnWashington pic.twitter.com/bWj89inKtJ — Flor Blake (@FlorBlake) January 20, 2017 "I just want to know, how many of you are going to the March on Washington?" the flight attendant asked to a show of hands and erupting cheers.  "You guys are going to the Women's March, right? Let's get a round of applause for all the nasty women on board," she said. "Stay safe, stay hydrated, have a good time, watch out for your fellow sisters. Just remember, we don't take no 'ish' from no man." On Thursday, a Southwest Airlines crew made a similar show of support when it turned on pink cabin lights for a plane full of women headed to the march. March organizers expect about 200,000 people to attend the march, while local law enforcement plans for up to 400,000, according to the New York Times . DCist reports that there are 2,066 buses registered to bring marchers to D.C. for Saturday, while 435 buses had permits to park in the city for Friday. Mashable has reached out to Spirit Airlines for comment. BONUS: Michelle Obama tears up during final speech as First Lady

      Mashable
    • Is There a Hidden Meaning Behind Melania Trump's Tiffany & Co. Inauguration Gift?

      On Friday morning during the traditional welcoming to the White House of the incoming president and first lady by the outgoing president and first lady before the inauguration, Melania Trump presented Michelle Obama with a gift from Tiffany & Co.

      Yahoo Style
    • Piers Morgan Is Getting Ripped Apart For Making The Women's March On Washington All About Him

      Tens of thousands women and men alike are expected to participate in the Women’s March on Washington and more than 600 sister marches planned across the country on Saturday. The march, scheduled to coincide with Donald Trump’s first full day as president (although he’s taking the weekend off) aims to “send a bold message to our new government… and to the world that women’s rights are human rights. Piers Morgan — who should probably stay off Twitter altogether — will not be walking with the Women’s March, but he will plan a Men’s March.

      UPROXX
    • ICYMI: Cowboys offseason races out gates with Romo trade, salary talk

      Even though it was nearly a week ago, the Cowboys divisional round loss to Green Bay still stings. It’s hard to close the door on a season that had so much promise, but there’s still much work to be done to improve on last season’s results. The offseason for Dallas has already started, as a To-Do list is quickly taking form. Already, the major question of what will happen to Tony Romo stares the Cowboys squarely in the face, as that decision will surely linger over this team until 2017 begins. In the meantime, catch up on anything you may have missed from the world of the Dallas Cowboys. FRIDAY, JANUARY 20 Tony Romo’s fate and ultimately trade value will be hotly contested all offseason, but

      Cowboys Wire q
    • President Trump’s Inauguration Crowd Doesn’t Look Like Barack Obama’s Did in 2009

      A side-by-side comparison of the crowds at former President Barack Obama and President Donald Trump‘s respective inaugurations reveals that Trump’s crowd isn’t as large as he boasted it would be. Two aerial photographs of the National Mall from the two historic days reveal large patches of white ground exposed during Trump’s ceremony, spaces crowds had filled during Obama’s 2009 inauguration. Federal and local agencies estimated 700,000 to 900,000 people would be in Washington, D.C. for Trump’s inauguration on Friday, roughly half the number of people who attended Obama’s first presidential inauguration.

      People
    • Mariah Carey Feels ''Bad'' After James Packer Abruptly Leaves Her Tour

      "I don't know because I asked him if everything was good…I think he had to get back to deal with his own business," Mariah explains. "I just wish I had more time to give him, like more quality time to be with him but I really don't have that right now." Mimi is currently on tour with a demanding schedule and at the same time James has many work responsibilities of his own. So Mariah explains, "It's not really easy for us to spend time together."

      E! Online q
    • Smith & Wesson Big Loser as Army Picks Sig Sauer Pistol

      The U.S. Army awarded a contract valued at $580 million to Sig Sauer to purchase up to 500,000 new service pistols to replace the Beretta M9, which has been the Army's handgun of choice for 30 years.

      24/7 Wall St.
    • Sears is dying, and now it's running out of stuff to sell for cash

      At the rate it's going, Sears Holdings Corp. (SHLD) won't have anything left to sell to keep the lights on.  On Friday, ratings agency Moody's downgraded its credit rating on Sears to Caa2 from Caa1. The downgrade reflects the accelerating negative sales performance of Sears' business, Moody's said.  "Although Sears has been able to fund its continued cash shortfalls through planned asset monetization, and additional financings, a meaningful business turnaround in fiscal 2017 is critical given the continued reduction of its asset base", said Moody's Vice President, Christina Boni. "We expect operating cash flow to approach a disappointing loss of $1.5 billion for fiscal 2016." On the positive

      The Street q
    • The Fried Chicken Everyone Is Talking About In Your State (52 photos)

      With help from our friends at Foursquare , we found the best-rated fried chicken spots across America. Did we get your state right? From Delish

      Delish
    • Trump's First Executive Orders: Attacks ObamaCare, Raises Taxes

      Donald Trump signed several executive orders just minutes after the end of his inaugural parade. The earliest of them were designed to remove protections for middle-class homeowners, appoint people to his cabinet in contravention of law, freeze regulation of businesses, and make a symbolic gesture against the Affordable Care Act. So far, he has not yet begun construction on his border wall or begun to deport undocumented immigrants. He had previously promised to do both things in the first hours after taking office. Chief among the orders was one that allowed confirmation of Trump's nominees for defense secretary and homeland security secretary. James Mattis and John Kelly, respectively, were

      refinery29.com q
    • Ivanka Trump Has a Princess Moment in Carolina Herrera at Inaugural Balls

      For inauguration events, Ivanka Trump wore three Oscar de la Renta ensembles. But for the grand finale, the first daughter switched things up and opted for a piece from Carolina Herrera.

      Yahoo Style
    • Bella Hadid Wears Totally Sheer Shirt Without a Bra -- See the Daring Pic!

      The 20-year-old model was spotted out in Paris on Friday.

      Entertainment Tonight
    • Michelle Obama was given a gift and didn’t know what to do with it and we’re like “girl, same”

      If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of a gift, you know it can sometimes be kind of awkward. Don’t get us…

      Hello Giggles
    • Double Murder Suspect Shoots Himself After Police Standoff on Bridge

      A Louisiana man shot himself Friday evening following an hours-long standoff at a New Orleans bridge as he was sought in connection with the double killings of a police officer and a woman earlier that day, police say. Sylvester Holt shot himself on the Crescent City Connection bridge, over the Mississippi River, according to Louisiana State Police trooper Melissa Matey. “After hours of negotiation with the Louisiana State Police crisis negotiation team, he refused to surrender and he shot himself in the chest,” says Matey.

      People
    • Trump Already Suspends Obama-Era FHA Mortgage Insurance Cut

      The contentious cut would have saved the average borrower about $500 per year and cushioned the market against rising rates. The post Trump Already Suspends Obama-Era FHA Mortgage Insurance Cut appeared first on Real Estate News & Advice | realtor.com®.

      Realtor.com
    • Ranking the 11 Greatest College Football Programs of All Time

      College football is full of tradition and history. Here is a look at the 11 greatest college football programs of all time.

      The Cheat Sheet q
    • Danny Garcia's father continues to drag family name through mud with profane, racially charged rant

      In one of the most despicable, outrageous displays at a boxing event in years, Angel Garcia went on a vile rant in which a riot was prevented only because Keith Thurman is such a classy, decent human being. Thurman will fight Danny Garcia in a WBA-WBC welterweight title unification bout on March 4 on CBS in what should be one of the best fights of the year. Kudos, though, to Thurman for having the type of self-restraint that enabled him to remain cool despite Angel Garcia calling him all manner of racial epithets.

      Yahoo Sports US
    • Even at his inauguration, Trump continues to make one of the worst men's style mistakes

      Donald Trump, who is now the 45th US president, continues to make one of the most egregious...

      Business Insider