Useful iPhone Accessories
Posted: 2011-03-05. Categories: Big Ticket, Holiday shopping

When my husband suggested we order a new iPhone accessory called, “In Your Face,” I really didn’t think too much of it. He is always finding accessories and tools that he believes we will find useful in our everyday lives.

In Your Face -- iPhone AccessoryAt $29.95, the In Your Face view-base flexible holder for the iPhone certainly couldn’t be called cheap, but would it prove to be a useful tool we would actually use? That was what we hoped to discover.

Our first purchase was made well over a year ago, we found so many uses for it that we finally bought two more as well. My son loves to post videos on YouTube.com and this amazing clip-on holder is perfect for the job. For the past few months I’ve had to share it with him — finally it just made sense to get him his own In Your Face flexible holder.

The rest of the family switched over to the iPhone sometime last year. I was the lone holdout, simply because I didn’t think the iPhone would work well for me, since I don’t normally do well with touch screens. I tried out the HTC Tilt 2 phone but found that due to the Windows operating platform and generally less than optimal touch screen performance, it had to be rebooted often because it would tend to lock-up at the most inopportune times. One of my biggest complaints was that navigating the behemoth of menus, icons and options was truly overwhelming. After all, it really is a just a phone.  How difficult could it be?

Image:IPhone_Release_-_Seattle_(keyboard) crop...

While I loved the keyboard and the way it sat up like a miniature computer, it simply didn’t have the applications available for it that the iPhone has and it was pretty complicated to operate. I eventually sold my HTC Tilt 2, in favor of the iPhone 4.

For some reason though I have trouble texting using the iPhone, my fingers don’t ever seem to find the right letters on the keypad — I have a strange love-hate relationship going on with the auto correct function. I find it useful much of the time but the auto correct feature leaves a lot to be desired as you can see here. This problem isn’t exclusive to the iPhone, but the iPhone sure does appear to have a dirty mind.

Chargers? The USB cable that comes with the iPhone is sufficient to charge the phone regularly, but if you’re charging through your computer you’ll find that it’s slow to charge (can take 3+ hours sometimes). To that end, whenever possible you should charge it through a charging station or directly through a surge-protected outlet. We use a Bose SoundDock. It charges in 40 minutes or less every time, and the sound (mp3’s rock!) is truly amazing.

Apple Wireless Keyboard - second generation, a...

Apple Wireless Keyboard – (Works well.)

I’ve tried several different options to make the iPhone more user friendly for me. The first thing we tried was purchasing a stylus made especially for the iPhone, it worked okay but I found myself tapping each letter twice. It came with a clip that attached to the iPhone to hold the stylus, which held it pretty securely but it did mess up my InvisiSheild a little bit.

The next thing we ordered was a bluetooth keyboard similar to this one. The one we purchased didn’t slide out it swivelled around but one side was very heavy, so it worked well, if you sat it on the edge of your desk but it was uncomfortable to use otherwise. Texting with it in your hands was simply not comfortable and often would leave the phone leaning away, as though it would fall to the ground.

Currently, I have been using my iPhone with the In Your Face clipped to my desk with the Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard (that I stole from my husband’s Mac Mini). They work well together, the only issue I have discovered is that the “enter” key on the keyboard, will not allow me to send my text messages, I must still press the “send” button on the phone itself. We are hoping the Apple Wireless Keyboard will provide the solution to this issue.

The completely cable-free Apple Wireless Keyboard uses Bluetooth technology to connect with your Mac or iPad. So you’re free to move the keyboard just about anywhere within range and wirelessly type away. And it is slim, compact design takes less space.

Bose SoundDock System in Black

Bose SoundDock System

Since this keyboard is made specifically for and by Apple, it should provide the ability to “send” directly from the keyboard.

I really had my doubts about purchasing the iPhone but with all the tools, applications and really neat features available for the iPhone, I shouldn’t have worried. I’ve had my iPhone for roughly six-months now and I must admit, I really do enjoy it. While I’m certainly not what I would call a power user, my needs barely scratch the surface of taking advantage of the iPhone’s capabilities, it more than meets my needs.

I think the best thing about the iPhone is the ability to customize it, to meet the needs of almost any user. Applications are constantly in development for the iPhone that will allow you to carry your grocery list with you to the store. I can even prepare my list on my computer and transfer it — taking only seconds to move the data.

If you ask me, purchasing the iPhone was one of the smartest investments we’ve ever made. My husband even tracks the business usage of our new Tribeca with his iPhone, maybe I can get him to share the program with you.  🙂

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4 Comments to "Useful iPhone Accessories"

  1. […] Annette put together a great article about our various iPhone accessories over the weekend, when we weren’t travelling to Auburn or Galt to visit family. The beauty of something as beloved as the iPhone is that it generates a lot of accessories – devices and features specifically designed to work with it and extend the existing capabilities. One of her favorites? In Your Face! Read more:   http://retailbandit.com/2011/03/useful_iphone_accessories/ […]

  2. Retail Bandit says:

    I’ve been playing around with the new Apple Wireless Keyboard for a couple of days now. I still have no found a key combination that will allow me to send using the keyboard. Everything else is working nicely. I love the larger keys — it helps me to make fewer mistakes.

  3. Retail Bandit says:

    The iPhone app for tracking car expenses is KB Car Care ($5 on the App Store). This is an excellent buy – though I have to admit to being a little dismayed by how some of the menus operate. 🙁

    For our business, I’ve found that RoboForm, LogMeIn, Google Voice, Net Status, Speed Test, Good Reader, IntelliScreen, MyWi and WiFiPass are absolutely indispensable.

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