I first posted this roundup not long after the iPhone 4 hit stores and it's been through several updates, and now only includes cases that fit both the iPhone 4 and 4S and carry the "universal fit" tag.
Update, May 15, 2012: Added Griffin Survivor and Gumdrop Drop Tech Series.
As I've said before, how you choose to protect -- or not protect -- your iPhone is a matter of personal preference. But if some heavy-duty shielding is what you're looking for, this is the list for you.
While I tried to pick tough, protective cases that look good and don't make your iPhone too bulky, a few of the cases have more extreme designs that aren't necessarily intended for everyday use. I should also note that some of the more rugged cases can be a bit of a chore to remove and aren't friendly toward iPod docks and certain charging accessories due to how recessed the ports become when the case is on.
Does the iPhone obviate a standalone digital camera or the need for a landline phone? How fungible is a MacBook or GPS device? Those are questions I wrestle with, and they are questions that a recent survey provide some feedback on.
It is almost axiomatic now to say that smartphones have become the digital equivalent of a Swiss Army Knife. And like that venerable knife, a smartphone fits in your pocket and goes with you anywhere. That combination of instant accessibility and utility means it replaces the standalone digital and video camera in many instances.
Not too long ago I wrote a post about the iPad 2 as an e-reader. Recently, I read through some of the comments and noticed one that caught my attention.
"I refuse to buy books from Apple that can only be read on Apple devices," declared a CNET reader who goes by the handle GSOgymrat.
I pulled that quote out from a longer comment (see full version here), but I thought it was pretty telling. One of the big things that Amazon and Barnes & Noble have been playing up is the fact that their apps--and your digital … Read more
Let's get something out of the way right off the bat. I have an iPad. The original. I use it as an e-reader. I like it as an e-reader. I consider it a very good e-reader. But it's not perfect.
Like a lot of other people, after the lines died down last Friday, iPad 2 launch day, I took a trip to my local Apple store to mingle with the crowds and handle the object that has been getting so much attention. My mission, however, was a little more focused than some people's. Sure, I took the Web browser for a spin and tried to get a feel for how much zippier the thing might be. But I largely ignored the built-in front and back cameras and other new features such as the Garage Band app because plenty has already been written about that stuff.
What I was most curious about was how the iPad 2 performed as an e-reader and whether Apple had done anything to the screen to make the reading experience better. … Read more
I won't name names, but we have an editor here in the office, who, every time a new Apple product comes out, says he isn't going to get it. He had the iPhone 3GS and said he was going to wait for the iPhone 5 and not get the iPhone 4. Two weeks later, he had the iPhone 4 and had given his 3GS to his wife.
I said, "Dude, where's your discipline?"
"I know, I know," he replied sheepishly. "But I wanted it. I couldn't resist."
He's got an iPad, the original. I know he's going to get an iPad 2, even though he says he isn't. How do I know? Because the moment Steve Jobs got up on stage and showed his first slide, he said, "Gee, that looks pretty nice." He had him at hello.
The iPad 2 didn't look any different from what we expected it to look like--and it didn't look all that different from the original iPad. But suddenly there on stage in the flesh it had taken on a new, irresistible sheen. Not the Charlie kind of Sheen. Just the Apple kind. … Read more
We've all known more or less what was coming for a while. The iPad 2 was going to get slimmer and lighter, have a faster processor and better graphic engine, as well as sport cameras in the front and back--oh, and the already impressive battery life would be about the same. We also knew that if past Apple product upgrades were any indication, the new, improved iPad was going to be the same price as its predecessor. And it is, with the Wi-Fi-only version of the iPad 2 (16GB) starting at $499.
Update, February 26: to reflect the announcement of the iPad 2 on March 2.
Weight. It's something our society tends to dwell on when it comes to physical appearance, but it's also a big factor in today's mobile products.
Like a lot of people, the first time I saw the iPad my eye was drawn to its vibrant screen and those sleek lines that are the signature of Apple products. Yet the one overwhelming thought I had when picking it up for the first time was, "Damn, this is kind of heavy."
No, at around 1.5 pounds, it's not that heavy. And it's obviously lighter than every laptop on the market, including Apple's own MacBook Air, which comes in at 2.3 pounds for the 11.6-inch model (the new $299 HP Mini 1103 Netbook weighs 2.8 pounds). But the iPad ostensibly is a handheld device, and for a lot of folks, holding up a 1.5-pound weight for extended periods is a challenge.… Read more
For years, Verizon customers were clamoring for the iPhone, but now that the phone is here, evidence is mounting that it's more of a dud than a hit.
First, there were those short, almost nonexistent lines on launch day. Then Boy Genius Report got its hands on some "sensitive information" from a source that indicated sales numbers for the new iPhone were lower than expected (according to those numbers, the Verizon iPhone 4 was barely outpacing its AT&T counterpart four days after launch). Next, Marco Arment, the app developer behind Instapaper, reported that he didn'… Read more
The blogosphere was buzzing yesterday with rumors that an iPad 3 might be on the way in September. That's right, the iPad 2 hasn't officially been announced (though it is reported to be in production), and already people are talking about an iPad 3.
It all started with a blog post by John Gruber, who writes the popular Daring Fireball blog. In discussing Hewlett-Packard's launch of its iPad competitor, a WebOS tablet called the TouchPad that's scheduled to arrive this summer, Gruber wrote: "Summer feels like a long time away. … Read more