Xmas Gift Guide As Apple's advertising points out, when it comes to most activities, there's usually an app for them. But not every task can be performed with a handset alone. Sometimes hardware is required to utilise the brains of a smartphone and take functionality further.
Whether you seek solution for better typing, improved battery life or something to turn your handset into a Swiss Army-style gadget, there is usually an accessory to cater.
Here's a handful of options that'll give your blower additional features. Alternatively, especially if you already bought them a pair of smartphone-compatible gloves last year, the following gadgets could be the perfect filler for a fellow-smartphone user's stocking this Christmas. Depending on how generous you feel, that is.
Celluon Magic Cube
This beast rocks up looking like the daddy of Bluetooth keyboards and claims to work across the board on a range of connected devices.
The Magic Cube projects a full-sized layout onto most flat surfaces, which can then be used to type button-free, removing the need for clunky pads while apparently reducing strain on the wrists.
The lighter-sized accessory first creates the keyboard outline with a red laser. An infrared beam then picks up when a punter pushes each letter and relays information back to the box, which is subsequently transmitted to the mobile device in use.
As well as being an über-cool futuristic bit of kit, the Magic Cube doubles up as a multi-touch mouse and a hand-writing recognition device. Minority Report, eat your heart out.
More Info Celluon
MicroVision ShowWX+ HDMI
While the future calls for smartphones with integrated Pico projectors, there are various beaming accessories already available that'll perform the same task.
The ShowWX+ HDMI is compatible with any mobile device that rocks an HDMI port, as well as a host of other hardware through various adaptor docks. Plug and play functionality makes it simple to project content, which the company claims will remain constantly in focus too.
Alas, the projector is a little on the pricey side, but it does create a display up to 6m wide with a resolution of 640 x 480. The battery has an expected life of roughly two hours, though, so anyone looking to sit through a Lord of the Rings marathon will probably want to carry a spare.
More Info MicroVision
Next page: Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation
That bottle opener case is so superb I momentarily considered getting an iPhone just so that I could get the case. The insanity passed...
And the point of this article is?
Sorry to be picky - but how well did the keyboard work? Can you sort-of touch type or does it need to be finger-down,finger-clear? Is there a quick gesture (hand swipe, say) for deleting etc?
What's the projector like? Does it look good? Can you project an image onto a rough crepé wall and have it look okay? Shame the resolution is low. But it is an interesting gadget.
The bottle opener. Well, you'll need a metal thing to stand up to any reasonable amount of beer-top cranking, which means a fairly thick metal object in real close proximity to the back of your phone. Okay, so how does THAT affect reception?
See what I'm getting at here? Where's the review? Where's the "this is cool because..." and "well, it looked better on the back of the box"?
I have an 11x1x2" (ish) 20-sheet overpriced battery powered A4 thermal printer arriving any day now - like an old fax without the guff - an actually portable printer for true road warriors (who prefer the train so travel light!). Also have a polaroid pogo/zink colour printer for photos - very clever bit of kit and cheap. Wish there were more options, but anyone wanting to print on the go, there are options.