If you have an iPhone or an iPod touch, the XM Skydock easily transforms either device into an XM satellite radio for your car or truck.
The XM Skydock gets its power from a car’s cigarette lighter adapter and charges while you listen. You can listen via FM radio with the built-in FM transmitter, or if your auto has an AUX-in port you can connect via the included patch cable. The XM Skydock app [iTunes link] work with the dock and lets you tag music for purchase in iTunes, set favorite channels and track artists and songs.
Works with any iPhone or iPod touch running the iPhone OS 3.x. Includes a magnetic mount antenna.
Amazon.com has the XM Skydock for $35 less than MSRP.
If you’ve ever seen someone wearing iPod or iPhone video eyewear (a.k.a. Head Mounted Displays, or HMDs), you know they look… to put it in the kindest possible terms… screwy. Still, to be able to enjoy a more natural video viewing experience, some users are willing to endure the chuckles. But two upcoming models from Vuzix aim to take a little social sting out of HMD use by disguising them as sunglasses.
The Vuzix Wrap 310 and Wrap 920, while differing slightly in their feature sets, each share the same traditional eyewear camouflage. And while they’ll obviously be bulkier than the sunglasses most of us own, at least they don’t look as bad as some of the actual sunglasses being sold today.
This isn’t the first attempt at using the “sunglasses look” to make HMDs more palatable to users; the MyVu Shades have been around since 2008, and while they’re more attractive than other HUDs on the market, they don’t actually look anything like sunglasses.
The Vuzix Wrap 310 and 920 models will be available later this year.
There are several desktop cradles and docks available for the iPhone, but there’s another often overlooked category of useful iPhone holders – stands.
iPhone stands (like the Satechi iClooly shown left) allow you to watch movies, browse the web, etc., with a natural monitor-type setup perfect for desks and table tops. Most also make it very easy to use a sync cable with your iPhone while it’s hanging out.
We’ve put together a page with our favorite iPhone 3G & 3GS Stands, so if you’re interested, have a look.
iPhones ship with a USB Power Adapter that transforms the included sync cable into a wall charger. And, if you want to keep more than one power adapter around (one for the bedroom, another for the office, etc.), Apple will happily sell you additional adapters at $29 a pop.
But dropping $30 on a charger is highway robbery; we have a much better solution.
eBay is filled with auctions – and BuyItNow sales – for iPhone Wall Chargers for much, much less: $2 -$4. True, they’re not as cute and cuddly as the tiny Apple USB Power Adapter, but if you’re willing to spend a bit more, say $4-$6, you can nab an OEM version of the USB Power Adapter and never know the difference. It might not hurt to pick up some additional cables as well.
As always, we recommend looking for new, unopened products on eBay. And check out seller ratings to be sure you’re buying from someone with a great track record.
The FastMac iV Extended Battery & Charger promises to give your iPhone or iPhone 3G a real longevity boost. The new snap-on promises up to 24 hours of talk time, over 70 hours of audio playback, 20 hours of video playback and up to a month standby. In addition to its onboard 3100mAh battery, the iV also has a standard USB port for on-the-go charging of other devices like Bluetooth headsets, and an LED which can be used as a flashlight or as extra lighting for photos.
The FastMac iV is available now for $79. We’ll try to get one of these in for review.