Roundup: Our Favorite Mobile Accessories

Roundup: Our Favorite Mobile Accessories

Nov 23, 2016

We love our gadgets.

There’s no way to get around it. All those circuits and such. And LEDs. We really, really like LEDs. We especially love our smartdevices, those svelte packages of mobile goodness.

And we do love those lovely doodads that make our smartdevices more useful.

We are lucky bunch, in that we get to try out tons of new accessories just about everyday. Some are more useful than others, yes, but each has its own individual charm. Here is a list of some of our favorites… the ones we refuse to leave home without (extra emphasis on the “mobile” aspect of “mobile accessories” here):

Jabra Eclipseje2

Yes, we love our audio accessories, and Bluetooth resources are a dime two dozen, but the Eclipse is one of our favorites.

Sleek form, incorporated charging solution, Google Now functionality, companion apps, Find My Car/Device… this earpiece does the deed, and does it very well.

pm4Polar M400 Fitness Watch

This one is a fitness device first, and a smartwatch second. It’s durable, far from geeky, and its Bluetooth connectivity is just what the doctor ordered. Whether updating fitness data to the MapMyRun app or discreetly showing ones latest email invite, it’s an infinitely fun, useful piece of technology.

WHOOSH! Screen Cleaner Systemwhoosh2

We admit it: we didn’t expect to be as impressed by WHOOSH! Cleaning System as we were, but this stuff just works. It almost literally breathes new life into hitherto grimy smartdevice screens.

The coolest part? It can be used on a host of products: TVs, keyboards, docks and more. WHOOSH! is the cleaning gift that keeps on giving.

bsfiSeagate Backup Plus Portable Drive

Got an angry spouse that’s irate your lost all the Yuletide photos due to an errant SD card? Indemnify yourself with this multipurpose hard drive.

The Seagate Backup Plus is the perfect smartphone complement, as it is small, portable and easily manipulated via companion app. It ain’t no one trick pony neither — it can double as a networked hard drive at home or at work.

Travel with a Chromebook, Macbook or laptop in addition to a smartphone? This baby works with them all, making it even more valuable. By the way, it doesn’t need charging.

Kingston DataTraveler microDuo kmdfi

Speaking of backing stuff up, one thing that makes a lot of sense is an OTG jump drive.

What about an OTG/USB combo unit? Small enough to ride round in your wallet or on your keychain? 16GB? 32… did you say 64?

Now you know why we love the Kingston DataTraveler microDuo; Pictures, movies, ROMs, backups… whatever a smartdevice user could look to use by way of portable data, right on the keychain. It also makes transferring data from a computer to a micro USB device simple, since it has both relevant ends.

Pair this up with the Kingston MobileLite below… yessir.

lime1Limelens Lenses

Good smartdevice cameras aren’t just a cool extra nowadays; they are important components of the perfect device.

Limelens is a dual lens systems that looks to improve camera options from a hardware perspective.

The lenses come with a nifty carry case, and an extra bonus are the cases that work with the lenses, such that one can make a ready-to-go system that can be activated by swapping out a case.

TYLT Energi 10K Portable Chargeren2

TYLT does make stylish accessories, and while there are smaller, handier options (even in TYLT’s own stable of products), but this one stands out because of its raw power.

The Energi 10K can output 2 amps (plus two extra 1 AMP outlets), suitable for the hungriest of current devices. The multiple charging ports are also pretty valuable as it allows one to juice multiple devices across platforms simultaneously.

Its standby ime is pretty commendable too.

lsfiLivescribe Sky Wi-Fi Smartpen

This one is a bit of a novelty, yes, but it can be useful, especially with regards to taking and managing important notes. The optional Evernote functionality helps it to really shine when one has a flash of brilliance that must be recorded.

The wireless functionality is an added plus, as is the on-board voice recorder.

It is fairly durable, and doesn’t mind being used outdoors.

Livescribe has newer (and arguably better) products available, but this one is still very much relevant, and quite affordable.

Logitech Keys-To-Go Bluetooth Keyboardlktg5

Keys-To-Go is a nifty, ultra-lightweight keyboard that is almost thin enough to fit in one’s pocket. In a messenger bag, it could get lost it’s so thin. It comes with a device stand, and the standby time is to die for.

It can be used with any number of bluetooth devices, and is quite cross-platform in nature, meaning one device for all (Windows, iPad, Android, et al).

ken4Kingston 5-in-1 Mobile Companion

Let’s count the ways that the 5-in-1 Mobile Companion warms our hearts: expansive card reader, portable battery, media streamer, private wi-fi router. More. This thingie is the perfect travel companion. Load a movie to USB drive and/or SD card, and folks within range can watch movies.

Perfect for long family drives, as different folks can watch/listen to different media at the same time.

Multipurpose units always find a place on our love lists.

Juice Defender App Review

Juice Defender App Review

Mar 1, 2012

Juice Defender Ultimate is one of the more popular batter life saving apps on the Market today. My biggest problem with apps like these is that often times the statements are mere posturing when just a few simple preventive steps by the user would do the same job. Don’t get me wrong, Juice Defender Ultimate is an incredibly intelligent app that allows for an insane amount of customization over the smallest aspects of the phone. I just feel the largest ways Juice Defender saves battery life are just as simple as turning off the wireless functions when not in use. There really is no hidden secret here, only have the GPS active when it is needed, don’t enable WiFi when the phone is in a back pocket between classes, and keep the screen brightness at a reasonable level. This can all be done with a simple widget or notification widget like Widgetsoid 2.x, which allows for quick and easy toggling of various phone functions.

I am not usually craving phone battery, and my EVO 4G seems to do alright through the day, assuming I don’t spend my hour between classes looking at cat videos on YouTube over Ohio State’s WiFi. So the supposed 1.38x battery life bump I received was not as noticeable as the 4x claims made on Juice Defender Ultimate’s Market page. I can see where this is coming from, however, users who do not know to disable specific wireless connections are sure to see a massive bump in battery life when their GPS isn’t constantly activated. Juice Defender is nice for when these functions have been accidentally left on, and a good option is to automatically disable all wireless data connections when the screen is off. This does conserve some battery, but a problem occurs upon unlocking and immediately utilizing an app that requires an internet connection because there is about a 15 second delay as the phone connects to a data network. The same applies for the option to keep data off unless specific apps are opened. It is a great theory, but in practice, there, again, is a long delay between when the app is opened and when the data connection is finally established.

One final problem I had with Juice Defender is that a few days after installing it my home screen really started to bog down and become sluggish. Individual apps did not seem to be affected other then in the initial launch. I do not have any hard evidence that Juice Defender is the red-handed culprit but I do know that as soon as I disabled it everything resumed normal function and I didn’t experience any more problems.

Overall, Juice Defender Ultimate is best for those who have trouble regulating their connections by themselves or for those with older batteries and need every last percent. For most everyone else, however, Juice Defender Ultimate may just become a superfluous app that will benefit marginally with the chance of compromised performance.

Theme Thursday – SpaceBound

Theme Thursday – SpaceBound

May 19, 2011

Prepare the hyperdrive and get ready to touch the stars! This week’s theme is SpaceBound, and I am really digging it.

SpaceBound is another theme by ADDesigns, the same people who created BlackGold, a theme I featured last week. I really admire the work they do and the daring risks they seem to be willing to take. SpaceBound is a great example of that. It’s so crazy and different that it really grabs your attention.

Like all of the themes featured on Theme Thursday, SpaceBound is a theme for ADW Launcher, a highly-customizable home replacement for Android. Using ADW Launcher, you can quickly install any of the themes featured here on Android Rundown and our “Theme Thursday” feature and switch between them with just a few button presses.

SpaceBound features 7 amazing wallpapers splashed with bright colors that seem to clash with everything, yet complement each other in such a way that they become uniform. It’s a psychedelic look at the planets, and beyond. In addition to the wallpapers, you get over 300 custom app icons and more than 150 extra icons for use with ADW’s shortcuts.

As you can see from the screen shots below, the orange icons all share a circular shape to go along with the wallpapers. Of course, while it does a great job of pulling the theme together and keeping a consistent look, it might get a little confusing as to which icon is which unless you pay closer attention to the image or choose to turn labels on.

If you like the look of SpaceBound as much as I do, the theme costs US$1.49 and is available to purchase right through the Android Market. Also, note that the clock in the screen shots is a free widget called SiMi, which is also available in the Android Market.