Otterbox Commuter Case for iPhone 3GS strikes the perfect balance between convenience and protection. If you're rocking Apple's other big smartphone release this year, the $99 iPhone 3GS (or the unlocked iPhone 3GS, depending on where you live), or still lucky enough to have a 16GB or 32GB iPhone 3GS from last year, this case should be on your radar. (It also fits the iPhone 3G.)
Confession: I thought I'd hate it when it first arrived. I don't know why exactly, maybe it was fear of layers bulk, uncertainty about dual color schemes, dunno, but I was not looking forward to testing out the Otterbox Commuter. Then I put it on.
AD&D analogy time -- If skins are the chainmail of the case world and the Otterbox Defender is the full plate armor (yes, even the pink one), the Commuter is the in-between, plate-mail option. It's strong but still a but flexible, solid and secure but still snug and light.
Like plate-mail it comes in two layers, the silicone that you slip on first, and that has covers for the 3.5mm headset jack and 30-pin dock connector, and the plastic shell that goes over it. Together they provide protection against scrapes and scuffs and minor impacts.
The Otterbox Commuter also comes in a ton of colors -- yellow, white, blue, green, brown, burgundy, and black. (Yes, I'll spare you the strained surcoat analogy).
Again, not as big as the Defender, not as thin as a skin, I found myself leaving it on even after my typical week-long review period was over. Since I've been carrying an iPhone 4 around as well, maybe I was a little more concerned about my iPhone 3GS getting damaged, maybe I started to like the look, or maybe I wanted my fellow SPE editors to think I had an imaginary, super-secret iPhone 5 prototype hidden in a fancy camo case (I'll never tell!)
If you update to iOS 4 on an iPhone 3G the performance, to but it mildly, will be poor to the point of frustration. When I first updated mine it was so bad I didn't want to use it -- though admittedly I'd gotten used to an iPhone 3GS, then iPhone 4, and it's never easy to go back.
iPhone Forums and stoovie to the rescue. Turns out there are a few things you can do to make it faster to the point of livable:
When it was subtly footnoted that iPhone 3G and iPod touch G2 wouldn't be getting iOS 4-style wallpaper, our only guess as to why was CoreAnimation performance -- Apple couldn't do their transitions over the textured background at levels that met their auteur standards.
With just two weeks to go before WWDC, Boy Genius Report is reporting that Apple has ceased shipments of the iPhone 3G to AT&T stores. Now throw in the fact that new orders for the device are not being accepted and it's a pretty good sign the iPhone 3G's days are numbered.
"Could this mean we might see the iPhone 3GS drop to $99 and make way for a new model? Or maybe the 3GS would disappear altogether? We're not sure, but we're about to find out."
Big week for Apple patent pr0n, as in addition to getting a patent for the original 2007 iPhone 2G design, Steve Jobs, Jonathan Ive, et al are not being granted a patent for the 2008/2009 iPhone 3G/iPhone 3GS design as well. And not content with hardware alone, Apple has filed for patents on almost all their Home Screen and App Store icons (we couldn't find Calendar, which means its either too generic or we just couldn't find it).
So fair warning to all the iClone manufacturers without prior art or $40 billion in the bank -- start visual differentiation plans now.
As to the icons, at almost 1000x1000 pixels and with detail to match, it shows just how obsessive Apple is when it comes to their products and while other OS and devices may use the same app-launcher paradigms, they don't seem to be slaving over every last detail -- in art, consistency, multitouch panel quality, and touch detection software quality -- Apple is putting in. Just amazing. (Except for those diagonal stripes).
If you have been in search of a tough case that offers dual layer protection while keeping a slim profile the Case-Mate Hybrid Case for iPhone 3GS and iPhone 3G [iMore Store Link - $29.95] may just be the case you have been looking for. For the full review follow us after the break!
Tired of your iPhone slipping out of your hand or off of your desk? Looking to add a little color and grip to you iPhone? If so the Case-Mate Vroom for iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS [$12.95- iMore Store Link] is one to consider. For the full review follow me after the break!
Qik Video Camera for the iPhone, from Qik [$0.99 - iTunes Link] finally brings 15 frames per second video recording to the iPhone 3G. It also supports zoom, has some fun filters, and adds an easy system for sending your videos via e mail.
For the complete rundown, and pictures of Qik VideoCamera's effects, stay with us after the break.
Marware's C.E.O. Premiere for iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS. [$34.95 - iMore Store Link] is a horizontal case with a belt clip and top flap. Either you love that style or you hate it, but there is no denying their popularity among iPhone owners. Marware has been making iPhone cases since day one and some pretty good ones at that. What did we think of the Marware C.E.O. Premiere?