Ally's new series of weekly iPhone and iPad mods and repairs inspired me to try and see how well a total beginner like myself could tackle her projects. So, playing n00b to her ninja, the first thing I thought I'd try was a simple backplate swap.
And the folks at unyousual.net were kind of enough to supply me with a custom backplate to get me going. I picked the classic 6-colors Apple logo on a nice, dark wood textured background, uploaded it to their site, submitted it, then waited by the mailbox for it to arrive.
The iPhone 4S has been on the market for two months now so it's time for us -- your TiPb and Mobile Nations editors, writers, and podcasters -- to take a second look at it. Has it lived up to our expectations? Has our appreciation for the iPhone 4S grown deeper with time, or is the honeymoon over and the initial sheen long since worn off? Apple typically only releases one new iPhone a year, so how it holds up over time -- especially when competing devices seem to drop daily by the dozen -- is an especially important consideration.
If you're still the considering the iPhone 4S, if you're still on the fence, check out the material below and then read on for our re-review, 2 months later.
The Qmadix Dual Mobile Charging Kit for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch lets you charge two iOS devices -- even the power-hungry iPad! -- at the same time. If you're going on a long family trip, or even an extended drive for the holidays, this can make all the difference between peacefully playing children and happily tapping significant others, and the agony and pain of bored passengers with dead devices turning their angry gazes in your direction.
The For iPhone Lens for the iPhone 4S and the iPhone 4 comes with a tripod, a holder, a case, and large zoom lens that can take your photos all up close and personal.
Assembly is easy and the results are good. It's not priced in the thousands like Nikon or Canon lenses, so set your expectations according, but it does exactly what it claims -- adds an 8x optical zoom to your iPhone photography.
I tried it out on both an iPhone 4 and and iPhone 4S. Both take good photos and the iPhone 4S takes great photos for a phone, but the built in digital zoom is... really not great. So, my primary concern here was for something affordable that handled optical zoom but otherwise got out of the way and let the iPhone camera do the heavy lifting. And that's what I got.
If you don't want to lug around a DSLR or even a pocket camera, but still want something to help you take pictures of your kids soccer game, your favorite band in concert, your special someone accepting an award, wild life on your nature walk, or anything else you need to get a closer look at but just can't get closer to, the For iPhone Lens is definitely something to consider.
The DracoDesign DRACO IV is an absolutely stunning aluminum bumper for the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S. I tested a limited edition Jewel Beatle on both the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 for a couple weeks and came away impressed.
It does take a little bit of work to get the DRACO IV installed. It comes in two solid pieces. You need to properly place all the button caps into the proper cutouts and angle the larger of the two pieces so they don't fall out while you slide your iPhone into place. (Yes, it took me a couple of tries!) You can then slide on the other piece and secure it into place with two screws. Of course, that also means if you want to take it off you need to remove the screws, so it's not as convenient as a slide on case if that's important to you. But oh, the look!
The Jewel Beatle has an opalescent finish that alternates from blue to green to purple. It looks terrific. It also has nicely designed curves and angles that make it easier to grip and hold onto.
All the ports are accessible and widely cut, and fit Apple and most 3rd party dock and 3.5mm cables well. I did have a problem with a few extra thick cables, including a car charger and the POP phone receiver. So while you shouldn't have any trouble, do check your accessories if they tend towards the large size.
With aluminum bumpers there are always questions about what, if any, effect they may have on reception. In two weeks of use on two devices, iPhone 4S and iPhone 4, I did notice a drop of about 1 bar on average, on a few occasions, 2 bars. That's compared to other iPhones on the same network at the same time and place. It never caused any dropped calls or loss of data, but if you live or spend time in an area of really poor reception, it's something to keep in mind.
Overall, the DracoDesign DRACO IV is one of the most gorgeous cases I've used on my iPhone. It has a beautiful, sculpted look and the finish of the Jewel Beatle in particular is just fantastic.
If you're the type of person that doesn't like to put a physical case on their iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S, the Golla line of pouches may be more up your alley. While you aren't using your iPhone they'll do a great job of protecting it as well as giving you a bit of storage space for things such as credit cards or an ID.
Here it is, the Native Union Moshi Moshi Retro POP Handset for iPhone! In case it isn't completely obvious by the video up top or the picture below, the POP is a really cool, really retro receiver that plugs right into the iPhone's -- or any device's -- 3.5 mm headphone jack.
If you're looking for a stylish pair of headphones without a hefty price tag - the RF3 LIVE natural wood stereo earphones may be worth taking a second look at. Everything from the design of the actual earbuds down to the elegant packaging makes these headphones stand out from a lot of others in the same price range. But what about the most important feature of a good pair of headphones? Sound quality. Follow along to see how we felt they performed.