TouchMyApps » Dock http://www.touchmyapps.com All Things iPhone and iPad for those who like to Touch. iOS App reviews, News, New Apps, Price Drops and App Gone Free Thu, 20 Nov 2014 21:22:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.7.5 Zyroshell: A sleek cradle for Smartphones http://www.touchmyapps.com/2013/07/17/zyroshell-cradle-for-the-iphone-and-other-smart-phones/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2013/07/17/zyroshell-cradle-for-the-iphone-and-other-smart-phones/#comments Wed, 17 Jul 2013 19:44:31 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=72852 If you’ve ever gone shopping for a car cradle/holder for your phone, chances are you’ve come across plenty of the same old designs with the arm grip and suction cup. Thankfully, there are those that look way more sleek and stylish – as evidenced by the Zyroshell, which was successfully funded on Kickstarter back in … Read more]]>

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If you’ve ever gone shopping for a car cradle/holder for your phone, chances are you’ve come across plenty of the same old designs with the arm grip and suction cup. Thankfully, there are those that look way more sleek and stylish – as evidenced by the Zyroshell, which was successfully funded on Kickstarter back in October of 2012. Made out of aluminum, the MacBook-inspired Zyroshell can be used just about anywhere, be it your car, office desk or home.

Based on a minimalistic (yet highly attractive) design, the Zyroshell complements a MacBook or iMac nicely with its anodized aluminum body. Essentially built like a flip open stand, the cradle is able to tilt 180 degrees, and even rotates 360 degrees. Beneath the circular dust cap found on the front is an equally large gel pad that is strong enough to hold an iPhone or Smartphone. Using non-adhesive sticky technology, the gel pad is reusable and washable with water and soap.

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The Zyroshell also comes with a separate “baseplate”, which is a larger gel pad with a magnet attached to it. Once the baseplate has been applied to the desired spot (windshield, dashboard or desk), the Zyroshell can then be placed right above it, and the magnets will securely click it in place. It is this action that allows the cradle to rotate 360 degrees, as the magnet and bottom cutout are both circular.

Throughout the past several weeks, I’ve really come to enjoy using the Zyroshell, particularly on my home office desk beside my iMac. The generous 10 viewing angles is great and the gel pads have held my iPhone 5 in place – even when I’m driving. Once stuck on properly, I haven’t had my phone inadvertently fall off. To be on the safe side, you’ll want to push your phone firmly against the gel pad and hold it there for a second or two, otherwise it might not give it a real strong grip.

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What I’ve ended up doing is leaving the the base gel pad in the car, as I’ve found that the Zyroshell works perfectly well without it on my desk. Sure I don’t get to spin it around, but it’s just as easy to reposition the base however you see fit. And when I need to get in my car to drive somewhere, I simply bring my iPhone 5/Zyroshell and plop it onto the gel pad’s magnet on my windshield.

Even smaller tablets work with the stand. I’ve tested it with my iPad mini and the gel pad can hold it up just fine either horizontally or vertically. As for bigger tablets, I’ve tried it with the original iPad and that is just too heavy for the hinge to stay up.

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The weakest link to the whole Zyroshell equation is the actual baseplate. The issue I have is that the magnet is attached to the gel pad via an adhesive tape of sorts; it just doesn’t seem all that secure in the long run. The other thing I’ve noticed is that the base gel pad doesn’t stick as well to my dashboard as other surfaces. This could be due to the fact that I’d waxed it before, but after scrubbing it down with some soup/water, it still doesn’t stick like it does on glass or a desk. Even so, depending on your vehicle there are still several other locations the cradle itself can go (with or without the baseplate), like on the windshield, tucked into the top of the visor or on the console area near the gear shift. A word of caution though: the combination of the aluminum and sun during a really hot day will heat up your phone and Zyroshell quite a bit. So it’s probably advisable to keep it out of the sun when it’s crazy hot.

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The Zyroshell is certainly one of the sexier and more versatile cradles out there for the iPhone. The fact that you can use it either at home/the office or in the car is an added bonus. It is also worth noting that the unit I received is among a new batch that have been improved with bigger gel pads and baseplates that provide more grip.

It’s available in both matte silver or black for $39.95 and can be purchased directly from the Zyroshell website.

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ZAGGfolio Keyboard Case for new iPad in Review – To Type ‘n Protect http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/04/26/zaggfolio-keyboard-case-for-new-ipad-in-review/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/04/26/zaggfolio-keyboard-case-for-new-ipad-in-review/#comments Thu, 26 Apr 2012 23:21:53 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=67897 Sometime ago, I’d reviewed a keyboard/case combo from ZAGG – the ZAGGmate – for my iPad 1. Thanks to its slick and slim design, along with the capable bluetooth keyboard, it became a constant companion whenever I traveled with the iPad. The one downside was that the tablet’s back was left exposed to potential drops … Read more]]>

Sometime ago, I’d reviewed a keyboard/case combo from ZAGG – the ZAGGmate – for my iPad 1. Thanks to its slick and slim design, along with the capable bluetooth keyboard, it became a constant companion whenever I traveled with the iPad. The one downside was that the tablet’s back was left exposed to potential drops and falls – a trade-off for its sexy form factor. So as an alternative, ZAGG introduced the ZAGGfolio, a folio-styled case that not only houses a much improved keyboard, but also offers front and rear protection for the iPad when closed.

Seeing how I’d become quite reliant on the ZAGGmate, I was eager to pick up a case with similar functionality for my new iPad. And now that I’ve had 3 weeks of hands-on time with the ZAGGfolio, I’ve once again found myself growing very fond of this combo case, thanks in large part to the drastically improved typing experience offered over its predecessor.

Design and specs

The ZaggFolio is essentially a hard-shell wrapped in either authentic leather ($129) or polyurethane ($99), lined with a soft microfiber lining. The “skin” comes in a variety of colors: 3 for the leather and 7 wide range of colors for the polyurethane. As for the keyboard, you can choose from silver, black or white. One side of the folio case houses the wireless bluetooth keyboard, while the other has room for the iPad to slide into. Here are its official dimensions and weight:

SIZE & WEIGHT

  • Weight: 19 ounces (539 grams)
  • Keyboard only: 11.5 ounces (326 grams)
  • Folio only: 7.5 ounces (213 grams)
  • Length: 9.75 inches (247 mm)
  • Width: 7.625 inches (193 mm)
  • Depth: .9 inches (23 mm)

3" slot that securely holds iPad in place

Installing the iPad is as easy as sliding it into the groove that’s approximately 3 inches deep, and once completely in, you won’t have to worry about your precious tablet accidentally slipping out. When the case is closed, it’s designed so that the screen doesn’t touch the keys on the keyboard, a big plus for those who don’t plan on using a screen protector (like ZAGG’s invisbleShield). The only areas that do come in contact with the Retina display are 3 rubberized protectors strategically placed on the keyboard: two that act as hinge-like cushions at the top and a long horizontal strip found just above the top most row of keys.

Simple latch keeps cover closed

A simple latch mechanism keeps the folio case securely closed. Once snapped properly into place, it does a good job of staying closed, though I have found that at times you have to manually push the latch further in for a complete lock and seal.

The back side of the case is made to fold inward, so when opened, the iPad can rest right into the keyboard’s horizontal docking area. There’s only one viewing angle available, but it’s comfortable for the most part (essentially the same angle as ZAGGmate).

And as you’d expect, the case has all the cutaways precisely made for all the iPad components – dock connector, rear camera, sleep button, headphone jack and bottom right speaker.

ZaggMate meets ZaggFolio

Keyboard Overview and Features

The ZAGGfolio’s keyboard is nearly the same size as that of the ZAGGmate, though it’s been completely redesigned to make better use of the limited real estate. As a result, the keys are all evenly spaced out and even the up/down/left/right arrow keys found at the bottom right corner are identical in layout as the Apple Wireless Keyboard (the same can’t be said with the ZAGGmate). Special function keys are also built in and they work specifically with the iPad. Some of them include “Home”, volume controls, cut/copy/paste and sleep/unlock. Here’s the full list of these handy function keys:

By far, the function key I use most is Home, located at the top left corner of the keyboard. When working on documents/articles, I can quickly exit an app with a single press of the key, or double tap it to bring up the multitasking tray to easily switch between apps – all the while keeping my hands on the keyboard and not having to reach for the actual home button on the iPad.

Zaggfolio with Keyboard removed

Using the ZAGGfolio

The ZAGGfolio is quite versatile, allowing for 3 different ways to make use of the case and keyboard. The first and most obvious is to simply prop the iPad up and into the keyboard’s horizontal groove/slot. This lets users jump right into their work after opening the case. The other way is to remove the keyboard from the case (simply slide it out), while leaving the iPad in its place (the case is designed so that the iPad can still be propped up even without the keyboard). As such, you can now type with the screen further back if you wish, allowing for much more freedom with regards to where the keyboard sits on your working area. Finally, the last method involves removing both the iPad and keyboard from the case and using them in a “standalone” mode. This is great for times when you’d like the option of being able to pick up the iPad (sans case and keyboard) for casual use on the couch or bed, and just as quickly place it back in the keyboard to resume your work.

Keyboard and iPad without hardshell case

The ZAGGfolio can technically be used like any other folio-style case with the keyboard removed, but it’s not something I’d recommend. When closed, the case feels awkward due to the extra space created from the missing keyboard. And when open, there’s no real comfortable way of holding the iPad. To be fair, it was probably never designed nor intended for such use.

One of the highlights of the ZaggFolio is without a doubt its keyboard. Unlike the ZAGGmate (where its keys are bunched up right next to one another), typing with the ZAGGfolio feels like you’re using a quality laptop thanks to its responsive and spacious keys. It’s well made, has a premium feel to it and I’d even go so far as to say that it’s right up there as one of the best portable keyboards I’ve used to date. Needless to say, I’ve found that typing with this bluetooth keyboard is much, much faster (and with significantly less mistakes) than that of the virtual keyboard on the iPad.

Keys more spaciously spread out on Zaggfolio

Battery

The external keyboard comes with a 510 mAh rechargeable lithium polymer battery that’s supposed to last up to several months on a full charge, which is quite impressive. I haven’t had it that long to test out the claim, but I’ve been using the keyboard quite heavily over the past several weeks and have yet to charge it. To help conserve power, there’s an on/off switch so you can completely turn it off whenever it’s not in use. And included is a micro USB cable for charging the keyboard.

Is it for you?

Retailing for $99, the ZAGGfolio isn’t exactly a budget accessory for your iPad. You can buy cases and even individual bluetooth keyboards for much cheaper, though not many come integrated into one package that is as capable and versatile. For those who are constantly on the road and/or use the iPad primarily for work (i.e writing reports and creating spreadsheets), the ZAGGfolio makes for a great travel companion and will undoubtedly give users a boost in productivity. Once you’ve used a keyboard-case combo, it’s quite difficult going back to the ways of carrying both separately (at least for me anyway).

But for iPad users who don’t wish to ditch their Smart Cover/favorite case and aren’t all that concerned with having an all-in-one product, ZAGG also offers the keyboard on its own – the ZAGGkeys SOLO ($69.99). For an extra $10, the ZAGGkeys Flex ($79.99) features a similar but more compact keyboard that includes a nifty keyboard case/stand.

It’s not all perfect of course. There’s only one viewing angle available, the case is basically a hard plastic shell wrapped in a leather or polyurethane skin and there’s no comfortable way of holding the iPad while its in the case for reading/surfing/gaming etc. But these are things I can live with, especially when you consider that it does what it was primarily intended for (typing) very well.

Final Thoughts

As I’d said in my review of the New iPad, I’ve finally been able to leave my MacBook at home when I’m on the road and solely rely on the latest Apple tablet. And to now be able to use it with the ZAGGfolio has made things even easier for me, especially with all the travelling I have to do for my other job. Seeing how I’d come to love the ZAGGmate, I definitely appreciate the fact that the ZAGGfolio protects not just the screen, but the entire iPad as well. With regards to what essentially is its most crucial element, the keyboard is the star of the show. To top it off, the fact that it can be used in a variety of ways should make it even more appealing to those want to get more done on their iPad. If you’re in the market for a bluetooth keyboard for your iPad and want the added convenience of an integrated case, the ZAGGfolio is a fine choice.

Grab It Rating - 4/5

App Summary
Product: ZAGGFolio Keyboard Case for new iPad Manufacturer: ZAGG
Price: $99 (MSRP)
  • All-in-one design makes it easier for travel
  • Keyboard is spacious and responive
  • 3 different ways to use case/keyboard
  • Good battery life
  • Handy function keys on keyboard
  • Case made of plastic and it feels like it, even despite the outer skin
  • No comfortable way to hold iPad for reading/surfing etc. when in its case
  • Only one viewing angle
Purchase Links:

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A Smarter Smart Cover: The Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/04/18/a-smarter-smart-cover-the-logitech-ultrathin-keyboard-cover/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/04/18/a-smarter-smart-cover-the-logitech-ultrathin-keyboard-cover/#comments Wed, 18 Apr 2012 15:58:36 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=67695 Likely the first of its kind, Logitech has revealed an upcoming external keyboard for the iPad that attaches itself to the device much like Apple’s Smart Cover – via “clever” magnetic strips. Dubbed the Ultrathin Keyboard Cover, this bluetooth keyboard has an instant on/off feature, a 6 month battery life (based on 2 hours of use/day) and is … Read more]]>

Likely the first of its kind, Logitech has revealed an upcoming external keyboard for the iPad that attaches itself to the device much like Apple’s Smart Cover – via “clever” magnetic strips. Dubbed the Ultrathin Keyboard Cover, this bluetooth keyboard has an instant on/off feature, a 6 month battery life (based on 2 hours of use/day) and is compatible with both the iPad 2 and new iPad. Similar to the ZAGGmate, the iPad will slide into a groove for both horizontal or vertical use, though with only one viewing angle. The Ultrathin Keyboard Cover will be available later this month in both the US and Europe and will retail for $99 (pre-orders can now be made online). Promo video and press release after the gap.

Press Release

Logitech Delivers Protection with Style for the New, Third-Generation iPad
Ultrathin Keyboard Cover Helps You Make the Most of the iPad Experience

NEWARK, Calif. – April 18, 2012 – Logitech (SIX: LOGN) (NASDAQ: LOGI) today extends its tablet lineup with its latest keyboard accessory – the Logitech® Ultrathin Keyboard Cover – made for the new, third-generation iPad® as well as the iPad 2. Leveraging Logitech’s extensive heritage of high quality, reliability and design, this all-in-one solution provides an ultrathin screen protector and built-in keyboard so you can type easily and travel without worry.

“The third-generation iPad and its apps are designed to give you more control and creativity, whether you are editing photos and movies, making music or writing a novel,” said Alexis Richard, director of product marketing at Logitech. “The new Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover – with its ultra-sleek, smart design and extended keyboard battery life – provides a convenient way for you to make the most of your iPad no matter what activity you are using it for.”

The perfect partner for your iPad, the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover protects your screen with a stylish, slim aluminum cover that adds minimal weight to your tablet, and features a built-in keyboard that pairs through Bluetooth. When you’re ready to type an email or watch a movie, the keyboard’s built-in stand holds your iPad at the best angle.

Similar to a Smart Cover, the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover attaches quickly and securely to your iPad with a magnetic clip. It has an instant On/Off feature, which means your iPad automatically wakes up when you open the cover, and switches to standby when you close it. And with a six-month battery life (based on two hours-per-day usage), you can spend more time typing and less time worrying about your keyboard losing power.

With function keys for enhanced navigation, and a piano-black finish, this keyboard cover adds both functionality and style to your iPad.

Logitech also confirmed that the Logitech Keyboard Case for iPad 2 and the Logitech Tablet Keyboard for iPad from its current tablet accessories lineup are compatible with both the iPad 2 and third-generation iPad.

Pricing and Availability
The Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover is expected to be available in the U.S. and Europe beginning in April 2012, for a suggested retail price of $99.99. For more information please visit www.logitech.com.

[via Engadget] … Read more]]>
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Magnus Magnetic iPad 2 stand now shipping http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/01/25/magnus-magnetic-ipad-2-stand-now-shipping/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/01/25/magnus-magnetic-ipad-2-stand-now-shipping/#comments Wed, 25 Jan 2012 19:39:10 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=65734 The Magnus Magnetic Stand for the iPad 2, first announced last week, is now available for shipping. Created by the masterminds at Ten One Design – makers of the Fling Game Controller and Pogo Sketch Stylus - the gorgeous and unique stand holds the iPad 2 in place using magnets, resulting in a low-profile and aesthetically pleasing design. Magnus is first machine-crafted … Read more]]>

The Magnus Magnetic Stand for the iPad 2, first announced last week, is now available for shipping. Created by the masterminds at Ten One Design – makers of the Fling Game Controller and Pogo Sketch Stylus - the gorgeous and unique stand holds the iPad 2 in place using magnets, resulting in a low-profile and aesthetically pleasing design.

Magnus is first machine-crafted from pure aluminum and then hand-finished using the latest manufacturing techniques. After that, customized magnets are installed into the base, and rubberized feet are fitted to the bottom surface.

Our designers targeted a reduced silhouette. Viewed from the side, you see only the iPad’s tilt, and a flat plate on the desk. From there, the engineering took over. Magnus may look like it’s defying gravity, but it feels like a permanent attachment. You may need two hands to separate Magnus from your iPad.

The one downside to the stand is that it only works in landscape orientation (due to location of the iPad 2′s magnets), but if you can live with that, the Magnus retails for $49.95. Basic shipping (First Class Mail) in the US starts at $4.99, and International orders will set you back another $29.99 for Fedex priority shipping. More images of the stand in various angles after the break.

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Stem Innovation introduces the Time Command Mini dock for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/11/21/stem-innovation-introduces-the-time-command-mini-dock-for-the-iphone-ipod-touch-and-ipad/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/11/21/stem-innovation-introduces-the-time-command-mini-dock-for-the-iphone-ipod-touch-and-ipad/#comments Tue, 22 Nov 2011 01:52:46 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=61117 Stem, a tech company specializing in gadgets and accessories for iOS devices, has launched the Time Command Mini, one of the smallest (and smartest looking I’ve seen) alarm clock docks for the iPhone, iPod and iPad. Aside from being able to playback music from your own library, the Mini can be used together with the … Read more]]>

Stem, a tech company specializing in gadgets and accessories for iOS devices, has launched the Time Command Mini, one of the smallest (and smartest looking I’ve seen) alarm clock docks for the iPhone, iPod and iPad. Aside from being able to playback music from your own library, the Mini can be used together with the free Stem:Connect app to offer a host of alarm based features. Users can set calendar-based alarms with repeat functionality, check out local weather info, and choose custom alarm tunes or music from your device. For added convenience, app-set alarms are automatically transferred from the iDevice to the Mini upon docking. There’s even a unique dock pivoting connector that supports iPhones or iPads regardless of whether they’re in a protective case or not (most cases are supported).

The Time Command Mini is available now at Apple retail stores (US & Canada) or it can be purchased directly from Stem. Full press release after the break.

Press Release

PEMBROKE PINES, FL – NOVEMBER 17, 2011 - Stem Innovation, LLC today announced its new Time Command Mini, a compact alarm dock and precision audio system enhanced with features from the free Stem:Connect App, is now available for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch users. Time Command Mini offers surprisingly big sound in  a small footprint as it plays audio from and charges iPad, iPhone or iPod. The Stem:Connect App, available now from the App Store, provides calendar-based alarm scheduling, LED display brightness controls, local weather and forecast information and much more. Time Command Mini and the Stem:Connect App provide SafeWake features to ensure that you wake on time. Time and app-set alarms are automatically transferred from your iPod touch, iPhone or iPad to the hardware when you dock. The unique, pivoting dock connector supports devices in or out of most protective cases to make docking easier than ever. The curved LED is fully dimmable using buttons on the clock or within the app.

Time Command Mini is a precisely tuned audio system with proprietary Sonic iQ technology. Play audio from your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch, listen to free Internet radio stations, wake to your choice of alarm tones or drift off to sleep while listening to the included relaxation sounds. “Alarm clocks don’t have to be big.” says Gary Bart, President and CEO of Stem Innovation. “Our customers have asked for a clock that takes up less space on the nightstand, without sacrificing audio performance. Time Command Mini is the perfect balance.” Time Command Mini is available today at www.steminnovation.com and in Apple retail stores across the U.S. and Canada. The suggested retail price is $79.95.

Stem Innovation is a Florida-based company created in July 2010 by product designer and consumer electronics industry veteran Gary Bart. Stem is focused on the development of cutting-edge, app-based accessories. For more information about Stem Innovation and its products, please visit them online at www.steminnovation.com or email info@steminnovation.com.

Stem Innovation, Stem, the Stem logo, Time Command Mini, and Stem:Connect are trademarks of Stem Innovation, LLC. Apple, iPad, iPhone and iPod touch are registered trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. The App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc.

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ZAGGkeys SOLO iPad Keyboard now available for Pre-order http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/08/10/zaggkeys-solo-ipad-keyboard-now-available-for-pre-order/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/08/10/zaggkeys-solo-ipad-keyboard-now-available-for-pre-order/#comments Wed, 10 Aug 2011 13:37:49 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=56152 ZAGG, makers of the popular invisibleShields and ZAGGmate case/keyboard accessory, is now taking pre-orders for their new ZAGGkeys SOLO iPad Keyboard. The SOLO, as the name implies, is essentially the keyboard piece found in the recently released ZAGGfolio. Priced at $69.99 instead of $99 for the added protection of the carbon fiber design found in the … Read more]]>

ZAGG, makers of the popular invisibleShields and ZAGGmate case/keyboard accessory, is now taking pre-orders for their new ZAGGkeys SOLO iPad Keyboard. The SOLO, as the name implies, is essentially the keyboard piece found in the recently released ZAGGfolio. Priced at $69.99 instead of $99 for the added protection of the carbon fiber design found in the folio, the standalone bluetooth keyboard is sleek, lightweight and made to accompany not just the iPad, but a number of other tablets as well. It’s compatible with the HTC Flyer, Samsung Galaxy 10.1, Motorola Zoom, Asus Eee Pad and more, though the experience will differ depending on whether you use these other tablets in the portrait or landscape modes.

You can pre-order the SOLO Keyboard on ZAGG’s website, and the estimated shipment date is today, August 10th. Video of the ZAGGfolio (the SOLO can be seen when it’s removed from the case) and more product screenshots after the gap.

 

 

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VentureCraft GoDAP in Review – audio and power for the people! http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/12/02/venturecraft-godap-in-review/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/12/02/venturecraft-godap-in-review/#comments Thu, 02 Dec 2010 16:10:07 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=44041 Firstly, I’m not dead. Now with that out of the way: What do you get when you combine the audiophile heart of the iPhone with a juiced-up ad-hoc power supply? Or, perhaps I should ask it this way: what made VentureCraft, maker of car-mounted cameras and creative telegrams, shoot for the moon and create an … Read more]]>

Firstly, I’m not dead. Now with that out of the way:

What do you get when you combine the audiophile heart of the iPhone with a juiced-up ad-hoc power supply? Or, perhaps I should ask it this way: what made VentureCraft, maker of car-mounted cameras and creative telegrams, shoot for the moon and create an audiophile iPhone battery jacket? My guess is a pioneer spirit. VentureCraft are the first company to build such a combination. As off-beat as the GoDAP battery jacket and headphone amp combo unit may sound for a company like VentureCraft, it is certainly worth the raised eyebrows and facepalms. It’s just so ingenious and geekily disturbing that it’s worth a perfectly long review!

Feel free to discuss VentureCraft’s GoDAP in our forums.

Specifications
Output Power: 300mW (16Ω)
Signal-to-Noise Ratio: 95dB
Klirr Factor: <0.009% (10mW)
Frequency Response 10Hz – 120KHz
Impedance: 16Ω – 300Ω
Output Terminal: Headphone Output (3,5mm)

Battery Specifications
Battery Type: Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery
Capacity: 1450mAH

Ergonomics
VentureCraft obviously made the GoDAP for the iPhone 3G and 3GS. Both fit snug as a bug in a rug, sliding smoothly into place. This perfect fit means that the 30-pin dock remains stress-free, something that no other line-out or sync dock can boast. Now, I borrowed iPhones for this review, but in the main, stuck it out with my iPod touch 2G. Of course, not made for the iPod, I had to add a whack load of electric tape and velcro. The end result? Nothing strikingly attractive, but a fine compromise that oozes my inner audiophile geek. This brings me to the major drawback with VentureCraft’s design: it can only be used perfectly with outgoing iPhone models. The next iteration is scheduled for Spring 2011, but again, for the iPhone 4, which will head out of Apple’s current product portfolio just a few months later.

What would be nice is VentureCraft made swappable plates that snapped into place at the base of the GoDAP so that any iPod/iPhone could be used comfortably. As it is, just about any 30-pin iPod/iPhone works – Hell, even the iPad works with an extension cable -, but each require creative workarounds.

The GoDAP is a fine enough unit that I would love to use it with my other iPods. Considering that audiophiles can forgo expensive and awkward third-party line out cables and get a great amp thrown in with battery power, the GoDAP is the most cost effective method to increasing sound enjoyment with an iPod or iPhone. In fact, when out with Nick Cave or The Cure, I simply can’t part with the GoDAP. Ho hum.

Build Quality
Overall, VentureCraft have struck a fine position between affordability and quality. The amp is sandwiched between a plastic sync butt and a cute control head in a metal case that doesn’t seem to pick up outside interference.

The headphone out port is metal and grips headphones firmly. The volume pot, too is metal. On the butt, ports for the speakers are cut so that you can get that call. Overall, the GoDAP is a well-made device despite creaking a bit here and there. Considering its competition (none at all), the GoDAP is riding very high.

VentureCraft packed their first iPhone accessory with another trump: iTunes sync. Plugging the mini USB into the GoDAP’s butt and switching to ‘sync’ allows your iPhone/iPod to download and sync with iTunes. Great, so this battery jacket/headphone amplifier is also an iPhone/iPod dock, you say? Yes, and it is pretty good at it, too. Actually, syncing from power accessories is vital considering that the 30-pin port is the most prone part of the iDevice.

As a battery pack
Most evidence points to Apple’s portable audiophile market shrinking. The iPod is no longer the market leader; iOS has replaced it. The iPod touch is as close to the old iPod as we get in this new age, and that market is driven not by music playback, but by apps. So, while the GoDAP may be a fine audiophile product, the fact that it has a decent battery packed in feels sort of like a backup plan.

As a battery jacket, it does thing well – enough. There are three settings selectable by the top-mounted translucent toggle: off, charge-i, and sync. OFF charges the GoDAP’s internal battery. Sync extends your iPhone’s battery and allows you to sync it with your computer. Charge expends the GoDAP’s battery to charge your iPhone.

Using sync or charge can extend your iPhone’s battery by up to ten hours of music and little less for video. Not bad, but considering that even my abused 2G iPod touch still gets over a day of music playback, it feels chintzy. The reason for this is that the GoDAP’s internal headphone amplifier is constantly engaged. In some ways, this limits the functionality of the unit. On the other hand, it proves that VentueCraft had the movie/music lover in mind when creating the GoDAP.

Ten hours is still a long time. You can get through several movies and more music than it took to split the skulls of zombie neighbours in Sean of the Dead. And, when the GoDAP finally gives up the ghost, your iPhone is still ready to go. Speaking of which, you should be able to extend your iPhone’s talk time by up to about 5 hours with the GoDAP attached.

The problem with using it as an add-on battery, of course, is that it is bulky. Thankfully, VentureCraft cut out a nice spot for the iPhone’s camera for high quality images.

As a headphone amp
Being an unerringly silly audiophile, the GoDAP’s integrated headphone amp intrigued me from the first. I constantly have my iPod connected to a computer downloading new music, or transferring notes, so battery life isn’t a problem for me.

What is a problem is my favourite earphones, the Audio Technica CK10, accurate little buggers that never leave my ears. Well, their linear playback combined with the neutral/accurate signature of the iPod doesn’t always make for friendly bedfellows. Rather, the two roll around a bit and discover that neither wants to give up the comfy pillow.

Enter the GoDAP headphone amplifier. While not overly warm, it certainly adds a wonderful sheen to certain parts of the audible spectrum. The lower midrange in particular, is smoother and more pleasing than the stock iPod sound particularly with accurate/sharp earphones like the CK10.

In fact, with a smooth flowing from under the bonnet, I’ve found that a lot of my old acoustic favourites – David Bowie, Iggy Pop, the Eagles, Van Halen, Duran Duran, The Cure, Depeche Mode (the list of embarrassing pre-emo music goes on), has taken centre stage. The iPod touch is a fine sounding device, but when vocals cut into the music, I often reach for another player.

Vocals and percussion are ‘better’ textured. Characteristic tinniness from the CK10 is traded for emotion and shoulder-shrugging groove. The changes aren’t entirely dramatic, though. But they are enough to bring me out of my trance (snigger snigger), which I think is a good thing – especially when talking with other audiophiles who, for some reason, are as stuffy as Olde English libraries about things like rock and jazz music.

No, we can go gaga googoo about age-old music on the bleedingest edge of portable technology. Technically, the GoDAP doesn’t outperform the internal iPhone/iPod touch amplifier, it just sounds ‘better’ for a number of genres. There is slightly more distortion in the signal and less stereo separation: no wonder it sounds great with acoustic music. With fast, deep genres such as trance and metal, the GoDAP stays sure-footed, but its midrange sweetness borders on too sweet. Not sappy, mind you, but just soft enough to wisp me out of my hard, metallic trance.

Hiss levels are just above that of an iPhone 3GS or iPod touch, which means that you can plug in just about any earphone without annoyance. And, if you have hungry monster headphones like my lovely Beyerdynamic DT880 600Ω, you’ll still be able to split your eardrums past 80dB at perfect definition through the frequency spectrum. Right, read below for a disclaimer on that front!

Now, VentureCraft have engineered the GoDAP with a high pass filter in the signal. It is not a load-induced signal roll off – it is an intentional high-pass filter. The net effect is that bass-monster headphones are tamed, slightly, and that bass-shy headphones enjoy new severity, though again, only slightly. My lovely Audio Technica ES7 is such an example. Its throaty nature is even and clean with the GoDAP, but can be a bit too intense with a stock iPod touch and sounds absolutely confused with the Hifiman. The purist in me hates the idea of a high pass filter, but the GoDAP implementation doesn’t degrade the signal, and in fact, mates lovelily with about 95% of the music I listen to.

Now, if VentureCraft hadn’t engineered the GoDAP with a built-in high pass filter, I’d be miffed. If it was a load-induced roll-off, I’d deride this ‘headphone amp’ as shortsighted, much like HiSound’s AMP3 Pro 2 portable headphone amp/music player. The truth is that the GoDAP has no more trouble driving a 16 ohm load than it has driving a 100 ohm load.

I suppose the proof is in the pudding, and since my Windows is broken, I’ll have to publish the RMAA results in a few days. Scientific tests aside, though, the GoDAP sounds fine – very fine. I don’t listen to a naked iPod touch anymore. The good ol’ midrange, perfect percussions, and smooth vocals are just so much more emotive. Like the iPod touch sound I do, but I relegate its use to hard electronic and trance. The GoDAP has me reliving my latter teenage years, and then the first couple years of university. Considering that I just ‘celebrated’ my 31st birthday, I consider that a good thing!

Conclusion
I’d love to award the GoDAP with a perfect kiss. It sounds great with a large variety of music and pairs well with my favourite headphones. It’s also helped put old purchases back in the listening queue. But, there are a few short sights that have gotten in the way. Namely, the fact that the iPhone 4 and a range of iPods can’t be used without a lot of brutal masking, and the fact that there doesn’t appear to be a way to use the GoDAP battery without the internal amp blazing away. Still, the GoDAP flies above all my expectations as a cost-saving, space-saving hybrid device. It will find a lot more use than other dedicated amps. All in all, the GoDAP is worth every single penny of its 199$ price.

Acc-VentureCraft-GoDAP-EM3Pro Acc-VentureCraft-GoDAP-glamour Acc-VentureCraft-GoDAP-glow Acc-VentureCraft-GoDAP-overview Acc-VentureCraft-GoDAP-side-electrica-tape Acc-VentureCraft-GoDAP-standRead more]]>
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Meet the Neo-i, the first all-in-one iDevice sound dock with built-in Pico projector http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/11/17/neo-i-all-in-one-idevice-sound-dock-with-built-in-pico-projector/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/11/17/neo-i-all-in-one-idevice-sound-dock-with-built-in-pico-projector/#comments Wed, 17 Nov 2010 15:55:05 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=42965 Going on sale in mid-December (just in time for Christmas) for a recommended retail price of $449, the Neo-i by Optoma delivers onto the consumer the first plug ‘n’ play sound dock with built-in Pico projector for your iPhone and iPod Touch, giving you the opportunity to enjoy your audio and video content in one transportable, tabletop … Read more]]>

Going on sale in mid-December (just in time for Christmas) for a recommended retail price of $449, the Neo-i by Optoma delivers onto the consumer the first plug ‘n’ play sound dock with built-in Pico projector for your iPhone and iPod Touch, giving you the opportunity to enjoy your audio and video content in one transportable, tabletop device. The Neo-i comes complete with a 16-watt built-in stereo speaker system and additional inputs to accommodate just about any source component.

Sporting a modern, graceful design that blends easily into any environment, the Neo-i combines a 50 ANSI Lumen Pico projector delivering an image of up to 120″ in native WVGA (854 X 480 pixels) resolution in 16:9 format, with a full-bodied 16-watt stereo system. Thanks to its utilization of Apple’s patented 30-pin connector, the docking station accommodates all iPod, iPhone and iTouch devices. Additionally, the 2.5 lb projector has a contrast ratio of 2,000:1 and a bulb life of over 20,000 hours, as well as VGA and HDMI 1.3 ports that will allow users to hook up other gadgets and video sources.

If you’re looking for a last minute gift idea for the techy in your life or you are the techy looking to pick up the latest and greatest, keep your eyes peeled for the Neo-i’s arrival this December. There’s just something really cool about projecting pictures and movies in your iDevice onto just about any surface. And if you can’t wait to get your hands on a gadget with similar technology (and one that’s much more portable), Optoma has already released the Pico PK-101 Pocket Projector for the iPhone/iPod, which sells at the Apple Store for $199.

Press Release

FREMONT, Calif. Nov.1, 2010 Optoma, the world’s best-selling brand of DLP projectors and leader in Pico projection technology, announces the Neo-i,the first all-in-one iPod® sound dock with built-in Pico projector that gives digital media device users plug ‘n’ play compatibility to enjoy their audio and video content projector in one transportable, tabletop device. Complete with a built-in 16-watt stereo speaker system and additional inputs to accommodate just about any source component, the Neo-i combines the best of both portable digital technologies providing users with a simple, unique audio/video solution. The Neo-i goes on sale in mid-December with an end user price of $449.

“The Neo-i offers a unique solution to a marketplace that is increasingly dependent on portable devices for both audio and video content,” said Jon Grodem, Optoma’s senior director of sales & marketing. “This gives them a simple, all-in-one solution for sharing that content.”

Built on the award-winning designs of Optoma’s Pico projectors and incorporating the latest audio and amplifier technologies, the Neo-i offers consumers an elegant, innovative product with a unique set of qualities and features. Sporting a modern, graceful design that blends easily into any environment, the Neo-i combines a 50 ANSI Lumen Pico projector delivering an image of up to 120” in native WVGA (854 X 480 pixels) resolution in 16:9 format, with a full-bodied 16-watt stereo system that employs a bass reflex design within the 2-speaker system that increases the effective displacement of air, resulting in a louder, fuller sound with greater frequency range. The effective dynamic range of the audio was also increased using unique digital signal processing techniques, resulting in a listener perception of greater bass and dynamic range. And because The Neo-i also incorporates Class D amplifiers for maximum efficiency, it can be also be run using an optional battery pack.

Utilizing Apple’s® patented 30-pin connector, the docking station accommodates all iPod, iPhone® and iTouch® devices. Users will have three options for accessing and controlling their media selections: From the control interface of the iPod/iPhone device; the included IR remote control; or through the backlit control panel on the Neo-i, itself. Metadata, such as song and video titles and artist names, can be displayed by the projector to make playback management easier. And the Neo-i also charges the iPod/iPhone while docked in the unit.

The Neo-i also incorporates A/V inputs for external devices that expand its usability beyond the iPod or iPhone. HDMI and VGA ports allow connection to laptops, Blu-ray players, and Apple TV. In addition, an optional accessory kit provides connectivity to the iPad.

While not categorized as a portable device, the Neo-i’s small size (12.8” x 8.9” x 3.1”) and light weight (less than 2.5 lbs) make it easily transportable. And its low operating temperature and instant on/off feature enhance its portability. Additional product details and specifications are available at www.optomausa.com.

Complete Neo-i Specs

General

Native Resolution: 854 X 480 (16:9)
Panel: 0.3” WVGA DLP
Brightness: 50 lumens Bright mode
Contrast Ratio: 2000:1
Uniformity: 60% (JBMA Standard)
LED / Life: RGB LED, >20,000hrs
Dimensions: 12.8” x 8.9” x 3.1”
Weight: < 2.5 lbs

Lens & Throw Distance

Image Size: 5”~120” (16:9 native)
Projection Lens: Fixed Focus Lens, F/1.8
Throw Ratio: 1.8
Off-set: 100%

Compatibility

Video/Audio In: 2.5 mm A/V jack, Composite
VGA CNNT: PC in (WXGA max)
HDMI in: HDMI 1.3 (1080i 60)
Audio Out: 3.5 mm audio out jack
Speaker: 8W x 2

IO Terminals

Sockets (iPod Dock, VGA, A/V Jack, Audio Out, HDMI, DC Jack)

[Optoma USA] … Read more]]>
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Griffin introduces the PowerDock Duel and AirCurve Play for your iDevices http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/11/15/griffin-introduces-the-powerdock-duel-and-aircurve-play-for-your-idevices/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/11/15/griffin-introduces-the-powerdock-duel-and-aircurve-play-for-your-idevices/#comments Mon, 15 Nov 2010 18:16:03 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=42627 Started in 1992, Griffin Technology has grown to become one of the largest providers of accessories for your digital media. With their latest releases of the PowerDock Duel and AirCurve Play they continue to improve upon and accessorize your favorite electronic gadgets. The PowerDock Duel is built around the concept of placing everything you carry … Read more]]>

PowerDock Dual

Started in 1992, Griffin Technology has grown to become one of the largest providers of accessories for your digital media. With their latest releases of the PowerDock Duel and AirCurve Play they continue to improve upon and accessorize your favorite electronic gadgets.

The PowerDock Duel is built around the concept of placing everything you carry in your pockets or hold in your hands in one convenient location when coming and going from a single destination. Carrying both an iPad and/or iPhone/iPod with you? Simply plug it into the dock and charge both simultaneously. Access to your iDevice’s screens and sounds are left unobstructed while you store your keys, wallet or gum in the valet dish. The PowerDock Dual is now available and can be yours for $59.99.

AirCurve Play

Griffin’s AirCurve Play is an Acoustic Amplifier built specially for your iPhone 4. Its clever design collects the sound from the built-in speaker of your iPhone and amplifies it with the AirCurve’s built-in coiled waveguide and projects it into the room, thus making your iPhone speakers louder by 10 decibels. The “Play” was also engineered so that it works without batteries or power adapters.

Built out of transparent polycarbonate, you’re able to view see your iPhone 4 from a 360 degree angle in either landscape or portrait mode. AirCurve Play is also now available and priced at a reasonable $19.99.

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Pioneer Audition XW-NAS3-K – iPhone/iPod touch audio/video – kitchen sink included http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/07/07/pioneer-audition-xw-nas3-k-iphoneipod-touch-audiovideo-kitchen-sink-included/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/07/07/pioneer-audition-xw-nas3-k-iphoneipod-touch-audiovideo-kitchen-sink-included/#comments Wed, 07 Jul 2010 12:24:47 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=35718 Pioneer are the latest in a long line of well-known audio/video companies to release a fully iDevice-integrated speaker dock. “Been there, done that”, you say? Think again. Pioneer’s Audition may be another 2.1 device, but comparisons can stop there. Once plugged in, the Audition strips the iDevice’s cheap DAC, processing music digitally instead. Users can … Read more]]>

Pioneer are the latest in a long line of well-known audio/video companies to release a fully iDevice-integrated speaker dock. “Been there, done that”, you say? Think again. Pioneer’s Audition may be another 2.1 device, but comparisons can stop there. Once plugged in, the Audition strips the iDevice’s cheap DAC, processing music digitally instead. Users can also enjoy A2DP Bluetooth audio from their iPod touch 2-3G, iPhones, and other mobiles. That, my friends, is a step up from both the Bose SounDock and the now legendary Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin and the Zeppelin Mini. It’s also got component and composite video outputs and a Bluetooth adapter port.

At 449$, it certainly isn’t cheap, but Pioneer’re obviously aiming pretty high with the Audition’s long feature list.

It is compatible with the following iPods and iDevices:

iPod Classic, iPod Nano (2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th Generations), iPod Touch (1st and 2nd Generations), iPhone, iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS

Full spec and more piccies after the gap:


Pioneer Audition XW-NAS3-K details:

Pioneer® XW-NAS3-K Dock for iPod® and iPhone®: Don’t Compromise Your Portable Music

You’re an audio perfectionist. You don’t want to compromise your sound, even–perhaps especially–when it comes to your portable digital music. You love the convenience of carrying your favorite tunes everywhere on your iPod® or iPhone® device, but when you’re ready to take out the earbuds, do you really want to settle for the poor performance of a wimpy speaker system?

Pioneer’s Audition Series is the answer. You don’t have to compromise audio quality when it comes to reproducing your digital music files. With its clean, modern styling and rich 2.1-channel sound with a dedicated built-in subwoofer, your portable music has never sounded so good on a compact unit. And with an optional Bluetooth® adapter, any one of your portable A2DP profile Bluetooth-enabled audio devices can benefit from the Audition Series’ incredible sound.

“Made for iPod” and “Works with iPhone” Certified
The Audition Series is “Made for iPod” certified on all recent models of iPod: iPod Classic, mini, nano®, and iPod touch®. But it’s also “Works with iPhone”-certified, so you have maximum ease of use with all your favorite Apple® products. And unlike other docks that use analog, the Audition Series features a true digital connection with your Apple media player, ensuring bit-perfect audio.
Expand Your Connectivity with Optional Bluetooth
For total flexibility, the Audition Series offers Bluetooth connectivity with an optional adapter (sold separately). Models with the optional Pioneer AS-BT100 adapter installed allow you to pair your iPhone, BlackBerry®, Android or other smartphone, as well as your PC, laptop or other A2DP profile Bluetooth-enabled source to enjoy pleasing stereo sound from the dock, wirelessly. If you already have an AS-BT100 adapter for use with your compatible Pioneer home theater system, that adapter is also compatible with the Audition Series–just plug the adapter into the dock’s adapter port.

Dedicated Subwoofer for Rich 2.1-Channel Sound
The Audition Series features two 52mm full range speakers as well as a separate down-firing subwoofer, giving you unimaginably rich sound from a dock with a small footprint. You don’t need to lug around a huge dock to get portable sound that’s comparable to your home stereo–the Audition Series delivers an immersive audio experience with custom-tuned design by Pioneer’s EX Speaker engineering team.

Double-Isolated Cabinet Eliminates Resonance
Conventional docks typically can’t withstand loud volumes; even if the wattage can deliver it, a weak cabinet design often results in shaking and unpleasant “buzzing” or resonance at high volumes that dilutes the listening experience. But the Audition Series features a double-isolated enclosure that virtually eliminates cabinet resonance, meaning you can get a clean, accurate sound response.

Component and Composite Video Output Lets You Share Video on Your HDTV
The Audition Series features component and composite video outputs, meaning you can share stored movie and TV video files from your iPod or iPhone, or stream directly from YouTube® to your HDTV.

There’s more on Pioneer’s Audition page.

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Maker turns old Macintosh computer into iPad dock http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/06/10/maker-turns-old-macintosh-computer-into-ipad-dock/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/06/10/maker-turns-old-macintosh-computer-into-ipad-dock/#comments Thu, 10 Jun 2010 15:14:57 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=34345 YouTube user site hirac, has been up to a load of good: his latest project is this lovely Macintosh-to-iPad dock. The 30-pin cable (which enables the media-centric Camera Connection Kit) and speakers remain exposed, but as of yet, a classic keyboard misses out on the fun. For now, DIYers have won the game with the sturdiest … Read more]]>

YouTube user site hirac, has been up to a load of good: his latest project is this lovely Macintosh-to-iPad dock. The 30-pin cable (which enables the media-centric Camera Connection Kit) and speakers remain exposed, but as of yet, a classic keyboard misses out on the fun. For now, DIYers have won the game with the sturdiest iPad dock/stand.

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The do-it-all iPhone Spiderpodium Dock http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/06/04/the-do-it-all-iphone-spiderpodium-dock/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/06/04/the-do-it-all-iphone-spiderpodium-dock/#comments Fri, 04 Jun 2010 14:59:11 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=34048 Get a grip. Walk your iPhone. iCatch your iPhone …or something like that. I’m not a marketer, but I wonder what sort of marketing campaign breffo launched or will launch for the intriguing Spiderpodium Dock. It’s basically a foldable seat/cradle/carriage/jail cell for any of the iDevices and I’ve my eyes set on this accessory. And, … Read more]]>

Spiderpodium Dock with a nice catch

Get a grip. Walk your iPhone. iCatch your iPhone …or something like that. I’m not a marketer, but I wonder what sort of marketing campaign breffo launched or will launch for the intriguing Spiderpodium Dock. It’s basically a foldable seat/cradle/carriage/jail cell for any of the iDevices and I’ve my eyes set on this accessory. And, its shower stool-like tail end has got a 30-pin connector-shaped port. Yep, you can plug your lappy, line out, headphone amp, and even DAC into your iDevice without breaking the spider’s scary death grip.

Actually, TMA should be reviewing it in the next month or so, so hang on. The best part, especially after getting used to many overpriced options is that its 1995 pennies are shy of so much of the competition.

Lots of photos and info after the gap:

Spiderpodium !! Your configurable portable hi-fi helper

The Spiderpodium is the ideal travel companion for your portable devices. Imagine your very own personal in dash GPS and movie player console! Holster your SatNav GPS on the dash of your car, hook in your charger, then just grab it and go when done!

Not just for commuter travel, for holiday travel too! Perfect on a seatback for long train and plane journeys or commutes! Hang your smartphone or movie player on the back of a train seat, holster your mp3 player on a plane tray table. On arrival, just pop it back in your bag or pocket! Then dock it in your hotel, on your desk, even take it on the beach. Easy peasey!

The Spiderpodium also was a great way to keep your amp and iPhone / iPod in one easy carrying unit.

More details at breffo.

You can buy it from ALO Audio, maker of the great headphone amp, ALO Rx.

Spiderpodium Dock with a nice catch Acc-dock-spiderpodium-02 Acc-dock-spiderpodium-03 Acc-dock-spiderpodium-04 Acc-dock-spiderpodium-05 Acc-dock-spiderpodium-06 Acc-dock-spiderpodium-07 Acc-dock-spiderpodium-08Read more]]>
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