Best of iPhone Cases at Macworld 2008
Besides Google (much more on that tomorrow, stay tuned!), there weren't a lot of "iPhone Web Apps" booths. Actually, none that I can remember. What there are a ton of at Macworld are accessories booths. Clearly the accessory market for the iPhone is ramping up quickly and may even near iPod accessory market status sometime soon.
...But it's not there yet. Case in point, I saw probably a dozen different iPod speaker docks -- all of which were "compatible" with the iPhone in flight mode only. Apple is requiring (and rightfully so, I suppose) that accessory makers submit their accessories for their seal of approval, iPhone-wise, so that the dreaded GSM-interference issue is taken care of. I personally wish Apple had managed to handle that on the device rather than forcing companies trying to interact with the Dock connector to re-make their products, but c'est la vie.
Otherwise, the thing to see, iPhone-wise, is cases. There are more skin cases here than you could shake a stick at, but there are some other gems as well. After the break, our three favorite cases at Macworld 2008.
Best case of the show has to go to Bodyguardz. Their booth was small, but it was absolutely mobbed. Probably because they were offering a Macworld-only special. Bodyguardz are simple, transparent films pre-cut to fit your iPhone. There are others like them, of course, but these seem quite a bit better than the competition. iLounge agrees, they named Bodyguardz the best of '07.
First off, each package comes with two sets of films for your iPhone, in case you muck up the application or if you want to replace your films later. They also come with a decent set of instructions, the application solution spray bottle, and a squeegee to apply the film.
The iPhone may be durable, but it's not invincible. The Bodyguardz makes your iPhone absolutely key-proof without adding any bulk at all. It also is a sight less slippery than the iPhone itself, to boot.
...and yep, the Phone different store sells 'em for $24.95.
When I die, it's highly likely that I'll want to be buried with my Timbuk2 Commute Messenger Bag. The thing is attached to my shoulder pretty much any time I'm standing up. So when I was perusing the gobs of iPhone cases at Macworld, I was keeping a special eye out for something I could attach to the shoulder strap of my messenger bag. Speck came to my rescue - their TransPort get the #2 in our Best-Of-Macworld.
They announced the TransPort iPhone case at Macworld. Awkward capitalization aside, it's a great case. It's designed to fit on any shoulder strap by way of large velcro flaps. The iPhone itself slides into a hard plastic holder that firmly keeps the iPhone in place, facing out.
The case also has a removable front-flap that flips down to use the iPhone but generally is meant to protect it from the dangers of urban life. Basically it's the perfect bike-rider's iPhone case.
The downside to the case is that it's not very useful away from a messenger bag, but that didn't really bug me too much -- as I said, my bag is always so close at hand that it's not a big problem for me.
The TransPort case isn't available for purchase yet and Speck couldn't comment on pricing.
Rounding out our Best of Macworld is Seidio's Inno.Case -- Speck may randomly capitalize letters inside words, but Seidio one-ups them by adding a period inside words. Take that!
Ahem. The Innocase is a very neat little plastic hard case for the iPhone and the iPod Touch. I like it because it features the ever-popular "rubberized soft touch" feel that makes it very grippable. The Innocase adds very little bulk to the iPhone, but enough that it wouldn't fit in the standard iPhone dock. Seidio handily solves that problem by making the portion on the bottom snap off, as you can see in the first picture below.
Really, though, what caught my eye were the colors - the red and the blue versions are very slick. You can't tell from the pictures below, but the red and blue are a little "metallic" and have the sort of "depth and complexity" of color that make me wish I could actually write about color intelligently. Kudos, Seidio.
The Innocase is also not available yet, but should be in February.