Yes, we know – Apple Watch isn’t even up for preorder yet let alone close to release. But you’ll still need a place for it to rest at night when it isn’t glued to your wrist, so pony up a small deposit now for this elegant wood charging stand from Dodocase. Made from reclaimed California Orchard Walnut and American tanned leather, it sports a magnetic inductive charger housing that’s fed a not included Apple charging cable via a special carved channel to keep things nice and neat. A built-in suction cup adhesive on the bottom keeps it well grounded, ensuring your watch investment rests securely until you’re ready for a new day of pounding the pavement.
Find it at DODOcase – $TBA
Apple’s full-sized iPad wasn’t exactly cumbersome or heavy to begin with, but we’ll welcome a slimmed waistline and reduced weight any day. The aptly named iPad Air features a 7.5mm thin unibody design, weight of just 1 pound – down from 1.33 – plus a pared down, modernized frame, coupled to updated internals including a 64-bit A7 processor, M7 coprocessor, Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, and twice-as-fast WiFi thanks to MIMO technology (Multiple-In-Multiple-Out). It also maintains the same 10 hours of battery life managed by its predecessor and comes in Silver and Space Gray flavors with up to 128GB of storage.
Concrete’s the stuff of nightmares for polished tech devices: unintended contact can scratch, chip and dent your gadgets six ways to Sunday. But if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em, and slap a Luna Concrete Skin onto the back of your iPhone. Made from real concrete, Luna is thin, flexible, and features unique, pseudo-random craters and texture that evoke the moon’s surface. And anyway, we needed a break from those now-overdone wooden skins.
Learn more at Posh Project (Korean page) – $TBA
Looking for a smartphone case that’s less plastic and more fine luxury? You’ve just found it. Truffol’s new line of iPhone cases merge precision-milled brushed stainless steel with fine Italian leather, and even a 16-karat rose gold ion plated brass lock button on the Black series. Moreover, they install in a snap, are available in a variety of color combinations, and add just a hair of thickness (0.9-millimeters) while giving your device a more rectangular shape.
Read more at Truffol – $60 to 75
Choosing between an on-screen musical keyboard and a tactile one is an easy decision, and one that’s made even easier with Miselu’s C.24 Music Keyboard. This two-octave wireless device transforms from a magnetic protective cover into a musical keyboard at the flip of a switch, with keys that pop up to replicate the look and feel of a standard piano. The keyboard works by employing an infrared emitter that tracks key presses to provides real time position data, and simulates a semi-weighted key feel by using anti-polarity magnets underneath each one. Else, C.24 features two capacitive strips – one for quickly changing octave and the other for analog expression (such as pitch bend), each with 32 LEDs for feedback – a hardware expansion module, compatibility with CoreMIDI-supported apps, a groove for supporting an iPad, and Bluetooth Low-Energy connectivity.
Learn more at Kickstarter – $100
Apple’s obsession with thin-as-a-dime devices is a good thing in our books – most of the time, anyhow. One consequence of their new thinner MagSafe 2 charge cable is that it’s a little easier to accidentally disconnect when working on irregular surfaces like beds, beanbags or messy desks, and that’s where Snuglet comes in. This diminutive, gold-plated stainless steel ring fits inside the MagSafe 2 connector on your MacBook Air or Retina MacBook Pro, greatly boosting magnetic attraction of the connector and the port to prevent accidental disconnects. The MagSafe 2 is left to do its job, i.e. easily rip out if tripped on or pulled, while Snuglet lives within your connector until removed – if ever – using the included tool.
Get it on Amazon – $13 for a two-pack
Covering your iPhone’s sleek industrial lines with unseemly cases is borderline blasphemous, but unfortunately the device’s vulnerability to scratches, dings, and shattered glass forces our hand. We’re not about to wrap our device in one of Apple’s minimal but flimsy plastic bumpers either, and fortunately other options exist, notably designed by m’s enticing AL13 Aluminum iPhone Bumper. We put one through the wringer over the last 50 days to see how it would hold up against everyday abuse, so click on through to read our full impressions.
The first total iOS rework since the iPhone’s original release, iOS 7 design is more than a little polarizing – but we’re for [most of] it. With skeumorphic designs out the window along with Forstall, iOS 7 puts a new simplified, flattened interface front and center, along with the use of frosted translucence to give a better sense of depth and perspective. Other notable changes include sliding in any direction to unlock, cleaner fonts, a much anticipated (albeit several years late) Control Center (with shortcuts to Wi-Fi, Airplane mode, Bluetooth, Flashlight, Brightness, iPod, and more), more organized Notifications Center, better multitasking with previews, sophisticated car dashboard integration (with select systems), iTunes radio, and much, much more.
Read more at Apple – $Free