As much as we love our mice and trackpads, Apple’s marketing has made us a bit jaded about anything with “magic” in its name. So, when Mimo Monitors’ Magic Touch landed on our doorstep, we were appropriately skeptical.
For years, gadget-makers have been hailing wireless charging. But there's a dirty little secret: it's not really wireless. Since we can't yet efficiently transmit power through thin air, there are still wires involved in all those "wireless" charging devices. To its credit, BuQu Tech's Magnetyze doesn't actually claim to be a wireless charging system, and the case/charger combo has its own attractive qualities.
Garmin is a heavyweight in the navigation space, with a plethora of GPS-enabled mapping apps for all sorts of uses -- which is great as long as your device has a GPS receiver. But what about owners of the iPad mini, or iPod touch? Now they're covered. Garmin's GLO is a stand-alone GPS receiver that connects to your iOS device via Bluetooth, giving your GPS-less iPad or iPod navigational capabilities.
Need a stylus? If your answer is "meh, not really, but sort of, I guess," let me submit that maybe you'd get some good use out of a stylus, but you're probably not gung-ho enough to drop $30 on one. Luckily our favorite destination for dirt-cheap cables-n-more, Monoprice.com, sells this great pen-slash-stylus for under $7.
Milo is a great little stand, with a microsuction pad to hold your iPhone or iPod touch (or other smartphone, I guess, if you gotta play it like that) in either portrait or landscape orientation. Bluelounge has a newer aluminum version for $29.95, but the original plastic version is just as good -- and only $14.95.
Studio Neat's clever Glif looks like a musical note from the side, hence its name. But that's not the cool thing about it -- Glif snaps onto your iPhone, then lets you securely screw that device onto a tripod or other camera-mounting system, so you can take better photos.
Griffin's low-cost Bolts Talk won't break the bank if you need replacement earbuds. They even have a tiny mic and a button that lets you answer the phone, play/pause your music, or summon Siri. But the sound quality is underwhelming, and our test pair didn't last very long.
Apple includes a USB power adapter with every new iPhone, iPod, and iPad, so in theory I should have...oh, at least 9 (no kidding) in my possession. In reality I am always looking for one. This is probably because I leave them behind in hotels or let friends borrow them, but how they disappear isn't the issue. The issue is how much I hate paying Apple for a new one. Luckily, RadTech's ACpower is cheaper than Apple's power adapters, and it can charge two iPads at once.
Cleaning supplies for your iPhone, iPad, and Mac: Not the most exciting topic. On the riveting scale, it's up (OK, down) there with keeping your software updated and your data backed up. Except those other things can be shoved to the back of your mind (or automated), while letting your touchscreen devices and Mac display get all grimy and fingerprint-covered is a little harder to ignore. Moshi's Teraglove improves on a normal cleaning cloth because it's machine washable, and it can double as a soft pocket to stash your earbuds.
Until Apple starts cranking out iPhones in colors other than black and white, cases are the best way to add a splash of color, and low-cost cases like Cygnett's $19 Vector (which comes in purple or black) let you change up the color as often as you change your shoes.