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

    • Entertainment Tonight
    • Trump just made his most appalling claim about China yet

      Donald Trump already has a tenuous relationship with the truth, but he may have just outdone...

      Business Insider
    • After the Fyre Festival disaster, maybe don't trust models like Bella Hadid when they sell you things

      Now that the complete disaster that was Fyre Festival is over, it's time for the very attractive people who promoted the event to apologize.  On Saturday, model Bella Hadid let her fans know she was sorry about what went down.  SEE ALSO: Here's the official postmortem statement from Fyre Festival organizers ❤️... pic.twitter.com/5XqHXBGIn9 — Bella Hadid (@bellahadid) April 29, 2017 That's an apology, sort of. I mean, maybe don't promote some totally random thing that you've never experienced or barely know about next time. SEE ALSO: Instagram influencers are utter nonsense, and Fyre Fest proves it Hadid was one of the models—along with Elsa Hosk, Emily Ratajkowski, Lais Ribeiro, and Hailey Baldwin—who hyped up Fyre Festival on Instagram.  @rose_bertram: "Make sure to get your tickets for @fyrefestival 珞weekend two still available! #fyrefestival". #haileybaldwin #bellahadid #rosebertram #HaileyUpdates A post shared by Hailey Baldwin Updates (@baldwinsupdate) on Apr 4, 2017 at 6:43pm PDT In case you were wondering, Fyre Festival did not look like this. Instead, it was filled with disaster relief tents, gourmet meals consisting of cheese slices on bread, and fleeing festival-goers—many of whom paid thousands of dollars for the privilege.  Hadid and pals weren't the only models promoting the festival. The organizers also invited less famous models and "influencers" to attend for free if they posted about the event on Instagram.  Amanda Riley told her tragic story to The Hollywood Reporter .  "I was in L.A. about six months ago when I was offered these tickets — everything paid for. The organizers were trying to get a lot of promotion from models. A couple of friends and I were going to go; everything was paid and comped in exchange for a couple of posts to help them with marketing." Which she did! Packing to leave my home in Los Angeles to head back east to my home and my @wilhelminamodels family in NYC for 24 hours before heading to FYRE festival in the Bahamas for the weekend. Los Angeles will always be my home and this is probably the hardest it's ever been to leave but I'll be back soon (hopefully) Until next time LA xo  #LifeOfAmandaRiley A post shared by Amanda Riley Ferree (@lifeofamandariley) on Apr 25, 2017 at 6:41pm PDT It turns out she got stranded in Miami, so she didn't get to witness the horror in the Bahamas for herself.  "I got lucky since I didn't pay upfront for anything," she wrote. "Worst case, I have to buy one flight back to New York." Um, sad? Anyway, she ends her story with this: "I’m staying out of it because I’m kind of complete with it. My friends and family are safe. And I didn’t pay for anything. So I just don’t want anything to do with that company anymore or deal with these people." Unlike Hadid, she doesn't even apologize for shilling for Fyre Festival—although, to be fair, she didn't promote it as hard.  The lesson here: Don't do things just because models tell you to. Because there's a pretty good chance they'll keep promoting things they know nothing about for cash and free stuff.  WATCH: This electric surfboard can move without the waves

      Mashable
    • A Massive Lake Of Molten Carbon The Size Of Mexico Was Just Discovered Under The US

      A recent scientific discovery has drastically changed our view of the global carbon cycle and identified a new significant risk. Researchers have discovered a giant lake or reservoir made up of molten carbon sitting below the western US. The molten carbon (primarily in the form of carbonate) reservoir could drastically and immediately change the global climate for over a decade if it were to be released. Thankfully there is little risk in the near future of this happening. The carbon sits 217 miles beneath the surface of the Earth in the upper mantle and has no immediate pathway to the surface. In total the lake covers approximately 700,000 square miles, approximately the size of Mexico. This

      Forbes q
    • Raleigh police outraged after restaurant employees sing "F the Police," officers say

      Several members of law enforcement are disappointed and disturbed by what happened to the police officers at a Garner restaurant.

      WTVD – Raleigh/Durham
    • In pictures: Saturday's Premier League action (52 photos)

      Best of the action from all five Premier League games on Saturday.

      Yahoo Sport UK
    • Three massive tornadoes have hit Texas this weekend, and the videos are absolutely terrifying

      Natural disasters can be terrifying. And now, three massive tornadoes have hit Texas this weekend, and the videos are really scary. While…

      Hello Giggles
    • Journalist Tweets Photos Of Empty Seats From Trump's 'All-Time' Record-Breaking Rally

      President Donald Trump said that the crowd at his Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, rally Saturday broke the “all-time” record for the arena and that people were lined up outside hoping to get in.

      The Huffington Post
    • A doctor called his broker during a delivery. It will cost $33.8 million.

      Marla Dixon was in the final stage of labor and ready to deliver a baby boy when the obstetrician arrived at her bedside at North Shore Medical Center in Miami. The doctor ordered nurses to restart a drug to strengthen contractions, failed to perform a Cesarean section — and walked away from Dixon’s room for long periods, once for an eight-minute phone call from his stockbroker, the verdict said. By the time the baby was delivered on Dec. 2, 2013, he was blue in the face and his limbs were limp, according to the verdict handed down by U.S. District Judge Robert Scola. It took a medical team to revive the infant, named Earl, Jr., and by then he had severe brain damage from lack of oxygen, according to the lawsuit filed by Dixon and the boy’s father, Earl Reese-Thornton, Sr.

      The Charlotte Observer q
    • Kim Kardashian's (Rumored) Plastic Surgeon Says Her Butt is 'Too Big' and Should Be a Warning

      The plastic surgery doctor who is rumoured to be man who created Kim Kardashian's famous bottom has compared it to a balloon which has been blown up and then deflated. Dr Aardon Rollins of Elite Body Sculptures – the website of which describes him as "the liposuction doctor to the stars" – also said that recent unairbrushed snaps of the 35-year-old Keeping Up With The Kardashians star should serve as a warning to women looking to emulate her.

      International Business Times
    • Trump splits from the GOP and says Trumpcare 2.0 will guarantee pre-existing protections nationwide

      President Trump appeared to suggest on Sunday that the GOP's new iteration of its healthcare...

      Business Insider
    • White House Correspondents Dinner host blasts Trump, despite being asked not to

      How do you hold the White House Correspondents Dinner, a long-running tradition of roasting the president, when the president is so famously bad at taking a joke?

      The Independent
    • Bills fire general manager Doug Whaley one day after draft

      The Buffalo Bills are starting over in their front office.

      Shutdown Corner
    • The Worrisome Reporting on Aaron Hernandez’s Sexuality

      Two days before the April 19th suicide of Aaron Hernandez, the former star New England Patriots tight end who had been serving a life sentence for the murder of his friend Odin Lloyd, the investigative journalist Michele McPhee appeared on a Boston sports radio show. It was “Marathon Monday” in Boston. McPhee, an ABC News producer, formerly a New York Daily News bureau chief, and an author of true-crime books, had been invited on WEEI’s “The Kirk & Callahan Show” to talk about her new book, “Maximum Harm,” which investigates the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. Hernandez had just been acquitted of murder the previous Friday, in a separate case. But McPhee’s friends Kirk Minihane and Gerry Callahan

      The New Yorker q
    • Kendall Jenner just blew our minds with waist-high boots

      We love a wild fashion statement, especially when it allows us to skip a getting-dressed step. This is even better as the temperatures…

      Hello Giggles
    • Wladimir Klitschko got punched in the face really hard

      Anthony Joshua delivered a stunning knockout of legend Wladimir Klitschko is a heavyweight title bout on Saturday. Wladimir Klitschko is one of the most legendary boxers to ever compete in the heavyweight division and on Saturday he found himself on the receiving end of a brutal knockout loss to Anthony Joshua. It was the biggest step up in competition for Joshua, who came into Saturday’s fight with 18 fights, all wins and all by knockouts, ever for his career.

      SB Nation q
    • Trump Calls Schumer an Incompetent ‘Fool’ Just When Need Him the Most

      There was plenty of chest thumping by President Trump and his staff on his first 100 days in office with appearances on weekend talk shows and during Trump’s Saturday night rant against his critics during a rousing, campaign-style appearance in Harrisburg, Pa.

      The Fiscal Times
    • Pastor admits impregnating teen, gets 3-6 year prison term

      WEST CHESTER, Pa. (AP) — A suburban Philadelphia pastor accused of sexually assaulting and impregnating a teenager has pleaded guilty and been sentenced to three to six years in prison after a judge rejected an earlier plea agreement as too lenient.

      Associated Press
    • Trump hints that the US may be sabotaging North Korea's nuclear program

      It happened again — a North Korean missile launch exploded in the air, over land, just a few...

      Business Insider