The iPhone 4S is the best selling smart phone of all time. Chances are high that at least one person on your gift list is an enthusiast of Apple’s multi-purpose device. But how to find a gift that taps into that enthusiasm? Here’s our choice of eight creative iPhone-related ideas:
iPower Battery Case
Spot Cool Stuff has tested nearly a dozen iPhone battery cases. The iPower (formerly called the PwrVault) is the only that hasn’t disappointed. Unlike others we’ve tried, the iPowerUp battery case significantly extends the amount of time you can use an iPhone between charges—the 1700 mAh battery built into the iPowerUp more than doubled the battery life of our latest model iPhone 4S.
In addition to its battery-extending properties, the iPower looks good and provides protection against scratches and drops. At 3.1 ounces (88g), it weighs more than your typical case but less than other battery cases. Works with both iPhone 4 and 4S models; available in black or white. $37
WaterField Designs iPhone Wallet & iPhone Hint
The new iPhone Wallet from WaterField Designs (aka SF Bags) is a soft leather wallet and iPhone case in one. Inside there’s a padded wall keeping the iPhone next to the wallet’s clear plastic window and apart from the pockets for cash and cards. The whole thing zips closed but we found that items tend to stay inside the wallet even when it is open. Available in brown or black. $39
For a more minimalist take on the same concept, check out the iPhone Hint (photo to right). Like the iPhone Wallet, the Hint comes in high quality brown or black leather and features a clear plastic window through which you can operate an iPhone. But the Hint isn’t a wallet for everyday use. It’s a pouch that holds an iPhone with a spandex pocket in back large enough to hold a few bills and cards—perfect for a night out when all you want to bring is your iPhone, cash, ID and credit card. $25
Agloves iPhone Touch Screen Gloves
Anyone’s who has ever tried to operate an iPhone with gloves on knows that it doesn’t work. Not unless you have gloves especially made to work with a touchscreen like the Aglove Originals. Theirs aren’t the only touchscreen-friendly gloves but they are our favorite 1) because they look like regular gloves (versus other iPhone gloves that have special tips) and 2) they are warm and washable. $19
StrapyaNext Japanese iPhone Food Cover
People love iPhones. And people love food. So, of course, several designers decided to combine the two by creating food-themed iPhone covers. Our favorite among them are the iPhone food covers from StrapyaNext.
Being a Kanagawa-based firm, StrapyaNext has a decidedly Japanese bent to their food choices. They offer a selection of cases with different kinds of sushi. Other StrapyaNext iPhone covers feature bacon & eggs and chocolate cake (no, not together—on two separate cases). Makes for a whimsical gift, albeit one that’s likely to make the recipient hungry. $38
Flip-Out iPhone Keyboard Case
Does your shopping list include a former BlackBerry user who reluctantly gave up a tactile keyboard to get an iPhone? This flip-out keyboard case is the perfect gift.
The keyboard links up to an iPhone via a Bluetooth connection, leaving the phone connector slot free for charging and synching. The keyboard is quality, too, with big clickable keys. Available for the iPhone 4, 4S and 3S. On sale now for $30.
Jaguchi Water Faucet iPhone Stand
Imported from Japan via the cool Japan Trend Shop, the Jaguchi Water Faucet iPhone Stand combines an optical illusion with an iPhone desk stand. Works with iPad too. Available in white, blue, black or clear. $60
Out of the box, an iPhone looks exactly like millions of others. Outfitted with a Gelaskins protective coating it can look like absolutely no other.
Using the easy-to-navigate tool on the Gelaskins website you can design a personalized skin for an iPhone (or iPad or Kindle or for any number of other gadgets) with your own photos or artwork. Or you can choose from among the many dozens of pre-designed skins. Gelaskins are easily removable (and then reattachable) so your giftee won’t be stuck with your skin on their phone—unless they want to be. See more in our full Gelaskins review. $15
Helo TC Helicopter
So, you are shopping for some one who already has an iPhone outfitted with every possible case, stand, speaker set and other accoutrement. How about a helicopter?
The miniature Helo TC is addictively fun to fly. (It’s the reason we’re publishing this post late, because the Helo is sitting right here next to our computer and who can resist?) The Helo comes with an adapter that clips onto an iPhone (or iPod touch or iPad) and plugs into its audio jack. With that—and the free Helo app—you can control the Helo directly from an iPhone. The controls are straightforward and basic flying is easy. More advanced flying like, say, navigating an office obstacle course can take some practice. Not that your gift recipient will mind putting in the time. $45
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