The 14 Silliest Smartphone Accessories: How to Humiliate a BlackBerry, Embarrass an iPhone
You'll find no shortage of lists of the best BlackBerry, iPhone and other smartphone accessories. Here's a list of the rest. We've rounded up the most ridiculous accessories, and they sure are fun to gawk at.
"CrackBerry" addiction affects everyone in the tech community; if you're not hooked yourself, you likely know someone who is. One clear sign that an intervention's in order: BlackBerry-inspired fashion of any sort. Earrings, for example. Should a BlackBerry-addicted coworker or friend ever show up to work or dinner sporting tiny, Curve-like ear ornaments, or any such jewelry, its time for the dreaded powwow. Especially if that friend happens to be male...
The Swiss army knife crowd sometimes goes to extremes. Case in point: Brando's Stylus/Hanging Bluetooth Headset is not only a text input tool, but also a Bluetooth headset and hands-free unit, wrapped up in one tiny package. Why anyone would want to hold a stylus up to their head instead of a phone, real earpiece or headset is a bit of a mystery, but folks seeking an all-in-one Bluetooth companion are in luck. Oh yeah, it's a stylus, too, though there doesn't appear to be any way to connect it to a device for transport.
What's the best way to avoid leaving fingerprints and smudges on that snazzy new iPhone 3G? Why not cover all your digits in rubber sleeves? Never mind that fact that Phonefingers look like miniature prophylactics and users may resemble crazed janitors while wearing them. Function over form, right? Phonefingers even come in black, white, blue and pink, so they can be matched to users' outfits. (Note: Phonefingers may lead to increased targeting by bullies and, eventually, lowered self esteem.)
Dr. Dre and Jay-Z are to hip hop music what Gates and Jobs are to computing technology. So it's only fitting that the first high-end headphones aimed at urban audiophiles be named after the good doctor and the Jiggaman. For only US$350, you can pimp out your smartphone with Beats By Dre headphones. And though pricing details on the as-of-yet unreleased Jay-Z Bluetooth earbuds are sparse, you can bet they'll be popular with lyricists, DJs and geeks who prefer the in-ear style to Dre's old school, donut-looking rig.
Okay, so this one's not exactly a smartphone accessories—it's an application. It's also, however, one of the most useless, yet amusing, mobile apps on the market. Available via Apple's App Store, iBeer is exactly what it looks like: A program that simulates drinking a nice, foamy ale and turns the iPhone into a rather pricey pint glass. And because the iPhone's accelerometer detects motion, the "beer" swishes back and forth as the iPhone moves and drains when it's tipped upside down. iMilk and iWater are also available for underage iPhoners.
Among the interesting—read: strange—Bluetooth gadgets on the market, Oakley and Motorola's Razrwire sunglasses just might take the cake. First, users look like just Blade, the vampire hunter, while wearing them. Then they also have a clunky headset jammed in their ears whenever the shades are on, even when phones are deactivated or in another location entirely. And don't forget those nighttime calling sessions: wearing Bluetooth-enabled sunglasses in the dark just to make a phone call's cool... right?
A diamond bracelet from Tiffany's it ain't, but who needs that tiny blue box when you've got Bluetooth? LM Technologies' Bluetooth bracelet vibrates whenever you get a call or move more than five meters away from your mobile. Simply clip the bracelet around your wrist and you'll never miss a phone call in noisy environments or misplace your smartphone again—and you'll know your real friends, because the bracelet will likely send the fair-weather folks running for the hills.
Since touch screen technology is the new hot thing in mobile devices, it's no surprise that accessories makers are targeting touch users. Krusell's Touch Screen Pointer, which is meant to replace traditional styli, works just like a standard stylus, but its bizarre two-prong shape keeps it from fitting into normal stylus slots. Instead, it comes with a lanyard that can clip onto phones. Only Krusell seems to have forgotten two important facts: Most smartphones don't have lanyard hooks and a regular stylus works just fine.
In the now burgeoning market for smartphone cases, it's impossible to pinpoint the "silliest," but the aptly-named Rocker case from Krusell deserves some consideration for that title. Designed for hipsters, motorcycle gang members and wannabes, the studded leather case is also a holster that can be clipped onto spiked belts. Best of all: It's not made for any particular smartphone so BlackBerry, iPhone and Treo owners alike can enjoy the case's "studded-ness." Hell Angel's winged skull patches sold separately.
Customizing and personalizing a smartphone is one thing, dressing it up like a Christmas tree's a different beast entirely. Mobi Products' smartphone charms don't really serve any purpose beyond signifying that a mobile device belongs to a 13-year-girl—or an irreparably confused adult—but sequin-studded sweat suit types could value them as matching accessories. Thankfully, the majority of high-end smartphones don't have lanyard hooks, so charms can't be easily attached.
It's last call after a night on the town. Your designated driver left with a date hours ago, but there's nothing to fear, you've got iBreath. Simply plug the breathalyzer into the standard iPod port on your iPhone, blow into the tube, note your blood/alcohol level and pass it to the next potential driver to see who's least inebriated. Of course, a taxi's the smartest route if everyone's been drinking, but if you use an iPhone breathalyzer, intelligence isn't likely one of your defining traits.
"This trendy new 'Petberry' will make your dog look as important to his friends as he is to you," reads the text that accompanies the five-inch, rubber dog toy on Dogstuff.com. And what self-respecting BlackBerry-user and dog-owner could live without one? With the competition between RIM and Apple heating up in the both the consumer and enterprise smartphone markets, don't be surprised if you see Jobs and Co. release their own Petberry rival aimed at the canine masses: the iPooch, perhaps.
Smartphones and water just don't mix. But everyone knows how to keep electronics dry: Enclose them in some sort of plastic bag, of course! Aquapac International is taking common sense to the commercial level with its PVC-free electronics cases. You can even use your smartphone while it's inside the Aquapac. Unless you're a shark hunter, it's unclear who exactly would need a BlackBerry underwater or why you couldn't wait until you're out of the tub to text, but at least Aquapacs are environmentally friendly...