cases ▪ April 1

[Ed. Note: My wife liked this one so much she insisted she review it]

In many ways, my work is old school: unlike my other half, I work in an archive and write about the past. You might call my professional aesthetic “19th century schoolhouse.” Or at most “1920s Paris bookshop.” In other words, Pad&Quill. So when the Minnesota-based makers of the luxurious, leather notebook-style iPhone wallet case sent a new top-shelf work bag to our house, I claimed it. Over the past month I’ve been filling it with my MacBook, iPad, iPhone, papers, pens and books. Voilà the Attaché

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cases ▪ March 27

Apple Watch preorders, reservations, and sales are set to kick off in the coming weeks, so we’ve prepared a running list of the best accessories available to purchase and preorder online.

Companies aren’t waiting around for an official Apple third-party accessory program for the device, as a long list of straps, cases, charging docks, screen protectors and more are scheduled to ship next month in time for the Apple Watch launch. There are even solutions to attach traditional watch straps to Apple Watch, and portable power options for charging on the go.

There are bound to be more companies announcing accessories in the weeks to come, and we’ll be updating this list as they do. expand full story

cases ▪ February 14

Having reviewed hundreds of different models over the years, I can say with some authority that iPad cases are rarely “exciting.” Early on, Apple established the folio — a lidded sleeve with the ability to stand upright for videos — as the de facto standard for iPad case design, and perhaps half of all the iPad cases since then have followed the same general theme, differing more in materials than functionality. Incipio’s latest designs for the iPad Air 2 are all small riffs on the same idea: fabric lids connected to plastic iPad holders, varying more in the particulars than the broad strokes.

We’re taking a quick look today at three cases: Clarion ($35), Faraday ($40), and Tuxen ($50). Despite their varied MSRPs, they can all be had for between $31 and $33 through Amazon, with some color options going for higher prices. Functionally, they’re very similar to one another: all three support both video and typing angles, protect most of the iPad against scratches and dings, and use magnets to automatically turn the iPad’s screen off or on when it’s closed or opened. Read on for what makes them different from one another…

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cases ▪ February 10

Apple is working to step up the secrecy surrounding future iPhone and iPad models by targeting a frequent source of leaks: third-party accessory makers. 9to5Mac has learned that in fall 2014, just before the iPhone 6 launched, Apple demanded that a number of leading accessory makers sign agreements barring them from seeking out information about future Apple devices, according to four sources with first-hand knowledge of the matter.

On one hand, the agreement dangled the loss of “future business opportunities that Apple and/or its affiliates may present to you” as a potential consequence of violating or not signing the agreement. On the other hand, signing and following it could lead to months-long delays in making accessories like cases available, during the time of year when those cases were most needed and demanded by customers. expand full story

cases ▪ January 7

Up until recently, Apple accessory makers were unable to make Lightning cables with plugs as thin as Apple’s — they were required to use thicker plugs that sometimes had problems connecting to cases. At the 2015 CES, Just Mobile showed AluCable LED ($25), which uses newer Apple connectors to create the thinnest metal-jacketed Lightning cable yet, removing case compatibility issues while adding metallic style. Markedly improved over the prior AluCable at the same price, the new gold version matches the latest iPhone and iPad colors, as well.

The USB plug notably has a MagSafe-style LED built in that shifts color to indicate charging status, just like Apple’s laptops. Photos of that feature, plus details on a new reversible USB car charger, a new iPhone battery pack, and a golden version of Just Mobile’s iconic Encore stand, are all below…

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