This week's Best Case Scenario takes a different spin on things: cases that add a bit of extra functionality to your already super duper iOS devices. Need a keyboard for you iPad? No problem. How about one for your iPhone? Stop your bellyachin'--they make those, too. We've even got cases to open beer bottles and carry your credit card. Read on to find out if these kitschy cases are really worth your cash.
If you just returned from your local Apple or Verizon Wireless store with a shiny new iPhone 4 in your hand, you may be planning to buy a case next. This has become a particularly thorny problem, since the AT&T and Verizon versions of the handset feature a slightly different button arrangement and cases made for one may not work with the other. Never fear, MacLife.com is here to help!
It's a terrible thing, it truly is. The "racing" stripes on the new Verizon iPhone 4 are there for a reason, but they change the design of the phone so that your traditional AT&T iPhone 4 case won't fit. In most cases, the mute switch is the one that suffers. We checked out a few cases to see which ones worked and to give you a better idea of what kind of protection you should purchase for you iPhone 4.
Like the regular Candyshell, the Candyshell Card for iPhone 4 is heavily padded in shock-absorbing rubber to protect your iPhone from the most unexpected falls. If you're going out for a night on the town, stuff your three most essential cards in the back of this case and there's no way they'll fall out while you're stumbling through VIP lines. However. if you're planning on taking this case off when it's not in use, think again--we had such a hard time prying this thing off when we tested it, that the mere thought of putting it back on made us sort of avoid having to ever do so. And compared to other cases + card holder hybrids, this one is too bulky to keep in your pocket for the night.
Yes, this iPhone 4 case opens beer bottles, and it doesn't make such a bad case either. This seemingly odd, but totally useful case protects your phone from falls and helps contribute to the party with the built-in steel bottle opener. While the case is sort of awkward for serious iPhone users (the bulky backing prohibits your phone from laying flat), the party animal in you will appreciate the added convenience of never having to open your own bottles or cans ever again. There's even a app that counts how many bottles you've opened and plays a custom sound. And as a case, it's actually pretty rugged if you plan on bringing your iPhone with you to a few massive keggers. Just be careful not to drop your phone in the beer there, bro.
Physical keyboards are handy to have for your iOS device, and this nifty contraption from ThinkGeek actually has the keyboard tacked on to an iPhone case. It slides out when you need it and stays put when you don't. The keyboard itself is responsive and easy to get a hang of, and it's powered by a built-in rechargeable battery that you'll -- unfortunately -- have to charge separately from the iPhone via a microUSB cord. Also, the addition of a physical keyboard on your iPhone means added bulk and weight, which is apparent when you're holding it up to your ear--especially the few of us that use our iPhones for phone calls.
The idea of anything happening to our Macs or iOS devices sends us into a frenzy. Personally, this editor would rather not ever take her Mac products out of the house, lest they get a few scratches on their chassis or fall to their deaths. Fortunately, for us co-dependent computer and mobile device owners, FastMac's family of Impact Shield impact resistant cases prevent anything awful from happening to your precious gear. In fact, they'll even protect your precious candy-coated M&Ms. Take a look at the video for a demo.
This week's Best Case Scenario is doing something a little different. Instead of individual reviews, we picked out some of the more interesting iPad and iPhone cases showcased on the Macworld Expo 2011 showfloor and put 'em into a nifty gallery. Click through to get a glimpse at some of the cases coming out this year, and make sure to tune in to Maclife.com, and our Twitter and Facebook feeds, for more Expo coverage.
Associate Editor Nic Vargus moseyed on over to the Speck booth earlier today for a quick look at some of their new cases for the iPhone 4. And when he got there, he came across a very important, very hard rocking person. Take a look at the video--you might recognize him. He was even nice enough to point and smile at the camera.
Someone must love you very much. How else to explain the fact that you were given an awesome new iPhone or iPod for the holidays? You must have come out well on the "nice" side of the whole naughty/nice continuum. Congrats!
But now what? You've got this highly advanced device that you've heard so much about--how are you ever going to get up to speed? Don't worry, we're here to help, with 10 simple activities designed to get you comfortable with your new acquisition.