I've identified some cool accessories I think will be useful for people wanting to get the best from their iPhone or iPad while on the move.
Livescribe 3 Smartpen and Moleskine notebook
Livescribe is the best way I've found to sketch and take notes using iOS. It's a real pen that writes real ink on a real Livescribe notebook -- which also communicates what you write or draw to an app on your iOS device, creating an instant and immediate digital copy that can be archived, edited and shared. The Moleskine notebook (c.$16)just adds a touch of rather nice luxury. I really like these things and find them invaluable when sketching art ideas for various projects -- and set-up and reliability are a breeze, as you'd expect from a premium product of this kind. If you simply want to input notes into your iPad you might also try Wacom's Bamboo series of styluses and iOS apps. (Livescribe, from $149; Wacom Bamboo stylus from c.$30)
Kingston MobileLite Wireless Media Reader
Do you want to stash music, movies or other data on external storage while you travel, and want that storage to be accessible to your iPhone or iPad? Then this Kingston product is for you. About the size of an iPhone it hosts USB and SD card slots, Wi-Fi and an Ethernet connection. You can use your external storage with your iOS device using Wi-Fi and an app. You can also plug the device in (using Ethernet) to a router in order to create an ad-hoc Wi-Fi network. This affordable system also includes a battery capable of recharging your iPhone twice. If you're someone with a huge movie collection you'll like that you can stream movies held on external storage using this. It's a really good solution if you travel a lot and need the flexibility/security of external storage and the occasional battery power up. (From $50, SD/USB cards extra).
Twelve South PlugBug
PlugBug is a 2.1-Amp USB wall charger that piggybacks onto your MacBook Power Adapter to create a dual charger for MacBook + iPad or iPhone. This means you can charge all your devices at once using one wall outlet. Granted, you could simply plug your iOS device into your MacBook, but using this solution means you don't have to think about syncing or unsyncing and all that ballaver. You can use it on its own to charge an iOS device (it is rated for 10 Watts of power and 2.1 Amps of current, so it's a rapid charge). This is a handy solution you can tote around with little thought. (From $34.99).
Logitech Type+ Keyboard Folio Case
Twelve South Book Book Case
Two different products for two different formats: iPad owners will need the Logitech Type+ Keyboard Folio Case which protects your device while you lug it about, but doubles as a nice, smooth-acting keyboard when you need to type (from $75). iPhone owners will want to take a look at Twelve South's latest range of cases for their breed of iPhone -- I like the Book Book Case (from $59) because it's also a useful wallet, but let's face it -- choosing iPhone cases is a blog item in itself. Take your pick.
Three super-useful apps
Of course you use Apple's free apps, iCloud, Dropbox and/or Evernote. Now you should add these three apps that between them will enable you to print using almost any printer; scan incoming paperwork and read, annotate, sign and fill PDFs the easy way.
- Scanner Pro
- PDF Expert 5
- Printer Pro
All three come from Readdle and are currently available at the discount price of $14.99.
I understand that some of these products may not yet be available for the latest iOS models, but that will change. I do however think each of these accessories will be devices you use, rather than lose.
- 9 cool iPhone 6 accessories you'll use
- 8 ways you'll use Apple's iOS 8 HealthKit every day
- 5 iOS wearables for sporty types
- 'Siri, cook my lunch': 8 iOS solutions for smart homes
- 7 tips for the travelling Mac
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