Monday, November 22, 2010

Accessorizing Your iPhone

The iPhone accessory business is a huge and thriving economy. A visit to the iPhone accessories pages on the Apple online store shows a fraction of the iPhone cases, cables, docks, and other accessories that have been developed. If you purchase your iPhone in an Apple Store, your Apple sales associate will show you many accessories that are available for it. These accessories are from Apple and third-party sources, and they provide your iPhone with protection and added functionality. Let’s talk about some of the accessories that can make your iPhone experience more pleasant and fun.

iPhone Bumpers and Cases
One of the most popular categories of products for the iPhone consists of cases or, in the case of the iPhone 4, bumpers. A case is exactly what it sounds like—something that encases the iPhone in fabric, plastic, carbon fiber, or metal to protect the phone from scratches or accidental damage because of a drop.

The phone-surrounding metal antenna of the iPhone 4 caused a stir when initial buyers of the phone complained of issues with signal strength. Apple responded shortly with an acknowledgment that most cell phones exhibit the same loss of signal when held a certain way by offering initial buyers a free iPhone 4 Bumper. The Bumper ($29) is an attractive two-tone band that wraps the external stainless steel antenna in hard plastic.

The iPhone 4 Bumper does not protect the screen or back of the iPhone 4. It’s made of a hard aluminum-doped glass that is almost metallic in strength. The material can withstand impacts, can withstand drops, and is virtually scratch-proof, but that doesn’t keep iPhone owners from wanting to protect their devices.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of cases made for the entire family of iPhones. Some popular models are made by OtterBox (, Case-Mate (, Incipio (, Griffin (, and Marware (

iPhone Skins
Skins are another popular form of protective gear for the iPhone. Instead of a thick shell of some other material encasing the device, skins literally stick to the iPhone like a second skin. Some are brightly decorated, while others are completely transparent.

GelaSkins ( makes colorful designs from a number of artists, and you can also create your own designs from photos or original artwork. The skins are inexpensive, provide protection against scratches, and turn your iPhone into a movable feast of art.

Two other manufacturers make very popular skins for iPhone. Zagg (, makers of Invisible Shields, can send you a kit to install your own iPhone skin, or you can have one installed at thousands of retail locations. We’re also fond of StealthArmor (, which comes in both transparent and patterned materials.

Power Adapters
Even though newer iPhones tend to get better battery life than the older models did, you still need to keep your battery charged. Apple sells the $29 USB Power Adapter, which is exactly what comes with your new iPhone. Why would you want another one? It’s always nice to have an extra to keep in your office for away-from-home charging or to take with you when you travel.

Speaking of travel, you’ll want to keep your iPhone charged when you’re in the car, so why not consider a car charger? Several models are popular, including the Griffin PowerJolt ($24.95) and the Belkin Micro Auto Charger ($24.95).

Your computer can also charge your iPhone through the regular Dock Connector to USB cable that comes with the device. However, some people prefer the vertical orientation and ease of plug-in that comes with a dock.

Docks come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and capabilities. The most bare-bones dock that you’ll find is the $29 Apple iPhone Dock, which allows you to place an iPhone onto the dock connector for charging and syncing while putting the device into a portrait orientation for easy viewing.

From there, your imagination and wallet are the limit. Higher-end models are equipped with speakers to turn your sleek little iPhone into a loud “clock radio” or boom box. The latter category is well represented by the $300 Harmon Kardon Go + Play Micro Portable Loudspeaker Dock for iPod and iPhone, while the former category is described by the iHome iP42 Dual Alarm FM Clock Radio for iPhone and iPod (; $100).

Although the only cable you may ever need for your iPhone is the included Dock Connector to USB cable, there are other cables that can provide video-out functionality—perfect for watching photo slide shows or video stored on your iPhone on a big-screen TV.

Apple makes the Component AV Cable ($49) and Composite AV Cable ($49) for connecting an iPhone to either Component (Y, Pb, and Pr video and red/white analog audio ports) or Composite (composite video, red/white analog audio cables) television inputs.

The $29 Apple iPad Dock Connector to VGA Adapter also works with the iPhone 4 and newer models to provide a VGA attachment to a television, projector, or VGA display.

CAUTION: Not all applications support these connection cables, so be sure to contact app developers for assurance that their app will drive your TV, projector, or display prior to purchase.

Source of Information :  Taking Your iPhone 4 to the Max
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