iNews Review

iPhone Makes You Feel Smarter, iPod Buying Guide, Virtual Christmas Carols, Cowhide Case, and More

This Week's iPhone, iPod, and Apple TV News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2009.11.30

Mac notebook and other portable computing is covered in The 'Book Review, and general Mac news is in Mac News Review.

All prices are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.

News, Reviews, & Opinion

Apps & Services

Accessories

Protection

iPod Deals

These price trackers are updated every month.

News, Reviews, & Opinion

Why the iPhone Makes You Feel Smarter

ZD Net's Andrew Nusca says:

"Manufacturers build an awful lot of complexity into their gadgets, but very few of them take pains to hide it - leaving users confused, bewildered and angry

"MAYA Design's Mickey McManus says products should be so intuitive that a customer feels silly explaining to another how it works.

"And by silly, I mean smug - as in, 'Isn't it obvious?'

"That's why the Apple iPhone is so popular . . . it appears so obvious to use that you feel a little smug using it."

Are iPhone Users Insufferable Geeks?

The Maine Campus correspondent (and iPhone owner) Andrew Catalina says:

"In terms of significant cultural landmarks, the iPhone has drawn more devotion than 'Seinfeld,' the 2004 Red Sox and tribal tattoos combined. The only recent trend that has held the attention of screaming preteens for as long has been 'Twilight,' and they were all using iPhones to tweet about it. Steve Jobs and company have stirred up a religious fervor the likes of which haven't been known since, well, the publication of the Bible. The techno-worship has got to stop....

"In the end, what separates iPhone users from others is a pervasive sense of smug superiority. When someone has an iPhone, you will know it; they will ask you if you'd like to see their phone's newest trick, latest app or simply bask in its splendor. What is forgotten is the iPhone is just the bastard child of a cell phone and laptop, and it doesn't necessarily excel at either role. The next time you encounter an insufferable iPhone user, remind them they could have spent just as much money on an inexpensive cell phone and just about any netbook and doubled their versatility. Mention Linux for bonus points and watch their smiles fade into thinly-veiled contempt."

Macworld's Updated iPod Buying Guide

Macworld's Christopher Breen says:

"In September, Apple performed the now-yearly ritual of updating its iPod lineup in anticipation of the upcoming holiday season. Why? Apple sold 22.7 million iPods in the previous holiday quarter, compared with 21.2 million iPods in the two quarters that followed - combined. In other words, now's the time that people love to buy Apple's digital music players.

"Are your loved ones starting to leave magazine ads, scissor-clipped photos, and crayon-scrawled images of this year's crop of iPods in obvious places around the house? Are you looking to join the fun or upgrade your older iPod? If so, we're here to help you sort out which iPod is the right one for you or that special holiday someone."

When Is an iPhone Better Than a DSLR?

Macworld's Heather Kelly says:

"Chase Jarvis has a lot of very expensive camera equipment, his own photo studio, and years of experience as a professional advertising photographer. His current camera of choice? An iPhone.

"...Chase [is] one of the most vocal proponents of camera phone photography. He has developed a brand that includes an active online community, a book of his iPhone photos, and a photography app, all based on the idea that the best camera is the one that's with you. The iPhone's low-tech camera excels at capturing fleeting and random moments, just by virtue of being the camera you're most likely to have in your pocket, bag, or hand....

"The popularity of iPhone photography may have started with convenience, but it's been amplified by the diverse collection of editing, filter, and special effect photography apps available in the App Store...."

Fixing an iPod touch (or iPhone) in a Different Language

MacFixIt's Joe Aimonetti says:

"Occasionally users may find that their iPod touch or iPhone has been set to a language they do not understand. Here is a visual guide to reset the language to English.

"To reset your iPod touch or iPhone to English language:

"On your iPod touch or iPhone, find the image of the gears to launch Settings...."

phone corsetDIY Cell Phone Corset Tutorial

phone corsetUrban Threads' Karline says that she treated herself to a new smartphone, but felt a little uncomfortable just tossing her shiny new toy in her purse, "or leaving it out for vicious bunnies to chomp on."

"It needs a little sleeve or something," she thought. "Lined with microfiber, like the little cloth for cleaning the screen, to properly pamper and protect it. And a suitably sexy exterior.

"Sexy? Well, that could be arranged...."

Posted are illustrated instructions for making your own phone corset.

Apps & Services

iCarol 2.0: Send Virtual Carols to Your Friends

PR: Portable Arts popular iCarol application now lets users send virtual Christmas carols to other iCarol users or to friends through email. Each iCarol contains high quality music, and provides lyrics (in case you want to sing along). Holiday images flash in the background, and users can also set up their virtual Yule log while the music plays.

In addition to sending virtual carols, users can turn off the music and use iCarol as a source for lyrics, or turn off the lyrics and simply use iCarol to play the music during the holidays. Users have a choice of over 20 high quality recordings including; Jingle Bells, We Wish You A Merry Christmas, Deck The Halls, Angels We Have Heard On High, Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairies, Silent Night, The Wassail Song, Joy To The World, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, O Christmas Tree, The 12 Days Of Christmas, and many more.

Features:

  • Over 20 High Quality Recordings
  • Ability to send virtual Carols through email and to other iCarol users
  • Lyrics
  • Holiday Slideshow
  • Virtual Yule Log

Requirements:

  • iPhone/iPod touch
  • iPhone OS 3.1 or later

iCarol 2.0 is 99¢ and available exclusively through the App Store in the Music category. Members of the press wishing to review iCarol may contact Portable Arts for a complimentary promo code.

iPhone Apps Runs Background Check on Your Date

Network World's Brad Reed reports:

"In a move that is sure to make playboys everywhere nervous, Internet company PeopleFinders has created two iPhone applications that let users perform background checks on their potential dates."

DriveSafe.ly Stops Potential Texting While Driving

PR: DriveSafe.ly, the free mobile app aiming to stop distracted driving, launched seven weeks ago and has been used by over one million people. The app is reading millions of text messages (SMS) aloud per week to drivers around the world - keeping their eyes on the road.

DriveSafe.ly"If your software (DriveSafe.ly) had been available in 2007, maybe my husband, Chuck would still be here with me, and the texter would have made his ice hockey practice," says Weida Stoecker* about DriveSafe.ly. Stoecker lost her husband in a car accident caused by a teenager texting while driving. She continues, "I think our phone manufacturers and providers should require that DriveSafe.ly be preprogrammed on to all new phones effective immediately."

DriveSafe.ly, which was just nominated for the prestigious 2009 Mashable Open Web Award for Best Mobile App, reads text messages and emails in real-time without any action from the user. The latest version features a 'Speed Activated' feature which turns the app on automatically when driving and off when exiting the vehicle, making it truly handsfree and easy for drivers.

"DriveSafe.ly is taking off because people want to stay connected while they drive, and do it in a safe way" says Heath Ahrens, CEO of iSpeech and creator of DriveSafe.ly. "I recommend that everyone install DriveSafe.ly, not because I work for the company behind it, but because I actually use it and it stops texting while driving."

The unprecedented DriveSafe.ly app reads text messages and emails aloud in real-time and automatically responds without users touching their mobile phone. Developed by iSpeech.org founder, Heath Ahrens, DriveSafe.ly utilizes iSpeech.org text to speech software as a service (SaaS) in hopes of eliminating the danger created by the growing number of Americans who text while they drive.

*Weida Stoecker is a well respected spokesperson against texting while driving, speaking for the AAA Safety Foundation on the Today Show, Maryland Transportation Dept., Maryland Highway Safety Foundation, and Stevenson University. Since her husband's untimely death caused by a texting teen driver, she has put much of her time and energy in successfully advocating Maryland lawmakers to ban texting while driving. Weida holds her masters degree in elementary education from George Washington University and pursued a 30 year career in education, teaching special ed in the Baltimore area.

Builder Pro 1.0 for iPhone/iPod touch

PR: MultiEducator today introduces Builder Pro 1.0, their new builder's calculation, formulation and reference tool for iPhone and iPod touch. Builder Pro is the perfect tool for any builder. It allows a builder to both do any calculations he needs or look up any code information right on his or her iPhone or iPod touch.

Builder Pro combines the formulas from our basic Builder program and adds the first Six Chapters of the International Building Code- which have been adopted by most states in the US, as well as many places worldwide. Over the coming months the program will be expanded to include the whole code. Also included is a special section of charts from the code AND the American for Disabilities Act Codes and Drawings. Further, Builder Pro includes the complete HVAC Pro, with HVAC formulas, as well as the full International Mechanical Code.

Our Electrical Pro application is also included in Builder Pro, which currently contains parts of the National Electric Code (in the future the code will be completed.) The program also includes the Carpentry and Plumbing programs that in the future will include the International Plumbing and Fire Codes. When all of the codes are all completed, the price of Builder Pro will go up- and all current users will receive free upgrades.

Formulas in the Electrical Section calculate kilowatts, horsepower, efficiency, power factor, watts, amps, current, power, resistance, and voltage. This section contains formulas to calculate total resistance, capacitance, voltage drops, and transformer calculations.

The Carpentry Section contains formulas that calculate the number of joists and studs required on a job. Architects Formulator aids users to calculate the load on headers or the cost of hardwood flooring. There are even formulas to calculate the loads on walls and loads on beams.

The formulas in the Plumbing section calculate areas of pipe walls and the weights of different pipes. Builder's Formulator is able to calculate the final temperature when two bodies of water are mixed. In this section, there are also formulas to calculate the expansion of pipes, radiant heat and heat loss cooling requirements, head loss and fresh air in room requirements.

Feature Highlights include:

  • Concrete and Excavations: Calculate excavation or filling soil, amount of concrete required and number bricks required, concrete and steel design, parking area and sidewalk design and swimming pool design.
  • Electrical: Calculate kilowatts, horsepower, efficiency, generators, motors, transformers, power factor, watts, amps, current, power, resistance, and voltage drop.
  • Carpentry: Calculate number of joists and studs required, as well as calculate the loads on walls and loads on beams
  • Plumbing: Calculate areas of pipe walls and the weights of different pipes, final temperature when two bodies of water are mixed, expansion of pipes, radiant heat and heat loss cooling requirements, head loss and fresh air in room requirements.
  • HVAC: Calculates Air Change, Airside, Boilers, Ductwork, Energy Values, Heating Design, Heating Requirements, Humidity, Loads, Piping, Refrigeration, Steam, Temperature, Waterside Systems

The program will eventually include the complete International Building Code, Electrical Code, Plumbing Code, Mechanical Code, Energy Code, Fire and Elevator Code.

Device Requirements: iPhone or iPod touch 2.1 or later

Builder Professional 1.0 for iPhone is $17.99 and available exclusively through Apple's App Store. The program will be updated monthly to include additional content, as outlined above.

New Day-Timer Calendar/Productivity iPhone Apps

Day-Timer Calendar/Productivity iPhone AppsPR: Day-Timer, Inc., a familiar name in personal productivity and organization, has introduced two mobile calendar/productivity apps for use on the Apple iPhone and Apple iPod touch: Movers & Shakers and Pink Ribbon Planner.

These stand-alone organization apps combine the most reliable components of calendar/time/task management with colorful, inventive electronic interfaces that help the user manage their time and tasks on a daily and monthly basis. Day-Timer's Movers & Shakers and Pink Ribbon Planner apps are available for an introductory download price of $2.99 until December 12 from Apple's iTunes store.

Both of these unique productivity tools offers intuitive, easy-to-use features and functions. Taking full advantage of the iPhone's unique tactile features, they put a fresh spin on time and task management with features such as:

  • Five color-coded Customizable Tags to categorize calendars and task lists. The user may view all entries at once or filter by category.
  • An integrated Task List on both Month and Day views that displays appointments and tasks side by side.
  • Color-coded Appointments by category; blocked out as "busy" times
  • Customizable "Out-of-App" Reminder Alerts for appointments and tasks
  • Tasks and appointments can be e-mailed directly to contacts stored in the phone
  • Customizable Settings: Daily start time and 12 or 24 hour clock
  • A simple, Shake-toggle Interface between Month and Day views
  • Task-Counter Icon that displays the number of tasks due today on the main app screen

Both of these innovative calendaring/task management apps are aimed at a wide range of consumers who are attracted to the iPhone's user experience and innate capabilities.

"Movers & Shakers" has a colorful graphics treatment that appeals to both men and women. The "Pink Ribbon Planner" app appeals largely to female consumers with a strong social conscience. Day-Timer honors the quest for breast cancer awareness and research by donating 5% of the purchase price of Pink Ribbon Planner to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Building on the strength of the well-known Day-Timer brand, General Manager Martha Curren states, "Responding to today's mobile consumer, our task management/ appointment scheduling apps help them manage their busy lives on the go. Both apps incorporate eye-catching colors and graphics, easy-to-use scroll and data entry capabilities, and intuitive and user-friendly system features. "

"We believe that the apps we have developed for the iPhone and iPod touch platforms will appeal to today's tech-savvy consumer who has wholeheartedly embraced today's mobile, electronics-based life and workstyles. And anyone can use them: small business owners, families, young professionals, or anyone who juggles multiple tasks on a daily basis. "

Day-Timer's Movers & Shakers and Pink Ribbon Planner apps are available for an introductory download price of $2.99 until December 12 from Apple's iTunes store.

New Version of TomTom App for iPhone and iPod touch

PR: Advanced Lane Guidance, text-to-speech and the "Help menu" featured in the latest version, now available on the App Store ~

TomTom announces that the latest version of the TomTom app for iPhone and iPod touch (version 1.2) can be purchased on the App Store starting today. The new version of the software will be made available for free to existing TomTom app for iPhone customers.

This new version, now also compatible with the iPod touch, includes additional advanced features that TomTom fans around the world have come to appreciate. TomTom car kit for iPod touch which will be available shortly in the United States.

Features include:

  • Advanced Lane Guidance giving drivers extra clarity when navigating difficult junctions. For the first time this is available in both landscape and portrait mode.
  • Text-to-speech helping users to keep their eyes on the road by enabling street names and places to be read aloud as part of the spoken instructions.
  • "Help menu" providing direct access to emergency numbers and directions to the nearest emergency providers.
  • Updated maps of the US and Canada with the latest Tele Atlas maps.
  • iPod player control ensuring drivers can conveniently control their music from within the application.
  • Compatibility with the iPod touch* and the original iPhone**

"Our latest update adds the most highly anticipated advanced features to the TomTom app. These major enhancements and new features will be a great complement to its easy-to-use and intuitive interface, turn-by-turn spoken navigation and unique routing technology," said Benoit Simeray, TomTom's senior vice president, onboard mobile. "We're also pleased to be able to offer this major update to existing TomTom app for iPhone customers for free."

Apple has made continental and regional versions of the TomTom app for iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, original iPhone and iPod touch users. The TomTom app for iPhone and iPod touch including maps of the US and Canada is available for $99.99.

*via the new TomTom car kit for iPod touch which will be available shortly in the United States

**via the TomTom car kit for iPhone (available since October 2009)

Balloons! for iPhone Takes Off

PR: Balloons!, the new iPhone app that lets you launch virtual helium balloons and track their progress around the world, has seen more than 20,000 launches within its' first 10 days. People in 50 countries in 6 continents have been sending and catching balloons with special messages and photos attached. Each Balloon experiences its own unique voyage - the North of England to Rwanda via London and Kuwait for example. - linking people as it goes in a fascinating experiment in social networking. Already, by using Twitter, people are keeping in touch with others they've met through a chance balloon encounter.

How Balloons! Works:

Users choose a balloon, attach a photo and message to it, then launch it into the sky. It then drifts around the world to be caught by others with the Balloons! app. They add their own photo and message and send it on its way again. Where will it go? Who will it meet? How far will it travel?

The Balloon tracker allows users to see the progress of their balloons as they travel around the world. It allows them to read the tags of the people who have caught a balloon and see how far it manages to get.

Users can also scan the skies and catch the balloons of others, adding their own photo and message before sending it on its journey. By labeling balloons with twitter ids, they can get in touch with each other after their chance balloon encounter! Balloons! - the fun, environmentally friendly alternative to a real helium balloon launch.

What The Reviews Say:

"With over 100,000 apps in the app store, it's getting harder and harder to find something new; Balloons! is something I haven't seen before, and it's really very clever." - TUAW

"Balloons reminds me of the message-in-a-bottle feeling of the early days of the Internet - 'Hey, who else is out there?'" - DownloadSquad

"This is a great idea, and bound to go down very well with your kids." - Cult of Mac

"Balloons! is a fascinating concept that is executed well. It's fun, easy to pick-up-and-play, and draws a bridge between the traditional idea of a physical balloon experiment and virtual social networking. 8/10" - AppStorm

Feature Highlights:

Launching Balloons -

  • Choose from a range of colorful balloons
  • Write your name on the balloons' virtual tag (use your twitter id if you want people to contact you!)
  • Then take a photo and write a message
  • Launch the balloon into the air and watch it fly away
  • Launch location is recorded using iPhone's GPS capabilities

Tracking Balloons -

  • Track the progress of your balloon around the world
  • See the photos and messages of others who find your balloon
  • If you like what you read then why not use twitter to get in touch?!

Catching Balloons -

  • Scan the sky for balloons flying past your location
  • Pick one from the sky at random
  • Read the tag(s) attached to the balloon
  • Add your own tag and release the balloon back into the sky

Device Requirements:

  • Any iPhone running OS 3.0 or above
  • Note: Does not run on iPod touch

To celebrate becoming an Apple Staff favourite in the UK, Canada and several other iTunes app stores around the world, Balloons! is available for a limited period at 99¢ (Normal price: $2.99). A free ad supported Lite version is also available from the iTunes App store. It allows the user the launch and catch balloons but does not have the balloon tracking capability.

Apple Gives Green Light to Mobile VoIP iPhone App from Rebtel

PR: Rebtel's iPhone app lets users make calls to anywhere in the world for just pennies per minute without having to search for a WiFi hot spot. And free calls are possible between any of the 53 countries where Rebtel is available.

WHO: Rebtel:

WHAT: iPhone app for making ultra-cheap or free international calls; no WiFi required

WHERE: iTunes App Store

WHEN: Available now

WHY: Rebtel lets iPhone owners make international calls to any phone, anywhere in the world for just pennies per minute without having to search for a WiFi hot spot. Free calls are possible between the 53 countries where Rebtel is available.

Using the new Rebtel iPhone app is super easy and fast. Just open the app, select the phone number of an international friend from your usual iPhone address book or type in their number, tap the Call with Rebtel button, and Rebtel takes over from there to connect the call instantly.

Rebtel is an Internet phone company that makes it possible to use any phone to call anywhere in the world for just pennies per minute. Anyone may make a free test call before setting up an account. Thereafter, customers only pay for the minutes they use. No monthly fees, no connection fees and no hidden costs. Free calls are possible between the 50 countries served by Rebtel and only one of the two people on a call must be a Rebtel customer. For more information, or to start using Rebtel services, go to:

FantasyLens 2.3 for iPhone and iPod touch

PR: California based Widgetize today announces FantasyLens 2.3, an update to their fun and unique portrait generation app for iPhone/iPod touch. With innovative features like one-touch automatic color matching, FantasyLens makes it easy for anyone to create composite portraits using photos of friends, family alike. Turn anyone into an astronaut, the Mona Lisa, a gigantic JumboTron ad, a sunflower and more - all without any prior image editing or Photoshop skills.

Widgetize today announces FantasyLens 2.3, an update to their fun and unique portrait generation app for iPhone and iPod touch. With innovative features like one-touch automatic color matching, FantasyLens makes it easy for anyone to create composite portraits using photos of friends, family alike. Turn anyone into an astronaut, the Mona Lisa, a gigantic JumboTron ad on Times Square, a sunflower, the Statue of Liberty and more - all without any prior image editing or Photoshop skills.

FantasyLens ships with 39 fun-to-use templates to choose from. To get started, browse through the photo template gallery and pick one for the occasion. Next, take a photo with the iPhone's camera (or use a photo from the iPhone or iPod library). To position the photo so it aligns properly to the template, tap the hand button, then move the photo by dragging. Pinch to zoom in or out. The application uses the accelerometer to perform photo rotations. Just hold the iPhone or iPod vertically (like taking a picture), tap the rotate button, then rotate the device.

FantasyLens distinguishes itself from similar apps with its ability to blend colors and match skin tones automatically, activated by touching the magic wand button. This feature is a real time saver and also very fun to watch. For image editing pros who may want greater control, FantasyLens also offers fast and responsive sliders to precisely adjust brightness, contrast, color balance, saturation and hue.

Feature Highlights:

  • One-touch automatic color matching
  • Fast, responsive manual color sliders
  • Fix adjustment mistakes with the Undo and Reset buttons
  • 39 fun photo templates to choose from
  • Fully self-contained (No WiFi or Internet connectivity required)

"One of my favorite hobbies, and what Photoshop has come to be best known for, is making fun composite portraits of famous people, friends and family. You know, putting someone in a spacesuit or on a gigantic billboard, for example," said William Kuo, cofounder of Widgetize. "But using Photoshop to create this type of artwork is not trivial. My goal for FantasyLens was to capture the essence of what is fun about photoshopping friends and loved ones, then simplify it so it is intuitive and accessible to everyone, and aggressively optimize it so it runs smoothly on the iPhone to produce the best user experience possible."

Device Requirements: iPhone or iPod touch 2.2 or later

FantasyLens 2.3 is 99¢ and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Photography category. Users will receive extra templates in future updates. Promo codes are available upon request.

Media Assets: http://www.fantasylens.com/media

Headphone Jack Replacement Service for 3G iPod touch

PR: Should the headphone jack assembly inside your Apple iPod touch fail to produce sound or, in rare cases, gets something jammed inside, head to the iPod Repair website milliamp.com for this exciting new change-out service.

Headphone Jack Assemblies (the place where you connect your headphones or earbuds to your iPod touch) for Apple's iPod touch can now be replaced at milliamp.com , an iPod and iPhone repair website that specializes in fixing all models of Apple's iPod or iPhone.

This iPod touch headphone jack replacement service claims to resolve almost all of the sound issues one may have when listening to their 3rd Generation iPod touch.

They work on iPhone and iPod touch devices all day long, and you need that kind of experience to be able to safely conduct iPod touch repairs, helping people with broken iPod touch issues; and say that being able to fix audio issues with the complex and revolutionary 3rd Generation iPod touch is even more rewarding.

"Our iPod touch headphone jack replacement service resolves almost all of the sound issues one may have when listening to their 3rd Generation iPod touch.", comments Anthony Magnabosco, Owner.

In addition to being able to replace the 3rd Generation iPod touch headphone jack plug, the online repair company can also perform similar repairs on the 1st and 2nd Generation version of Apple's iPod touch.

The company advises that you not even consider opening Apple's iPod touch by yourself, since these devices are VERY hard to successfully repair by the inexperienced do-it-yourselfer, and recommended that you send in your device to a reputable company like milliamp.com , a business that has a bevy of favorable no-scam milliamp reviews that have conducted by independent third parties across the web.

"We work on iPhone and iPod touch devices all day long, and you need that kind of experience to be able to safely conduct iPod touch repairs.", adds Magnabosco.

In addition to this iPod repair, milliamp.com also fixes broken iPod touch digitizers, iPod touch battery issues, and cracked iPod touch LCD's. They will also evaluate your iPod touch to see what the problem is, and then discuss it with you in great detail so you can make an informed decision about proceeding with or declining the repair, if you have something else wrong with your device.

"We are excited to be able to help people with broken iPod touch issues; being able to fix audio issues with the complex and revolutionary 3rd Generation iPod touch is even more rewarding.", says Magnabosco.

Milliamp LTD is not associated with Apple Computer, Inc.

Accessories

Bheestie Bag Helps Prevent or Mitigate Damage to Drowned Electronic Devices

Bheestie BagPR: Bheestie Bag is a new innovation designed to 'dry out' electronic devices after they've been damaged by water. From cell phones to iPods and cameras, Bheestie Bags removes moisture from dunked or splashed electronics devices. Simply take the electronic device, drop it in the 6 x 9 zip seal Bheestie Bag and zip seal it tight. You can do it overnight, or immediately after an 'accident.' Bheestie Bag contains powerful water-absorbing beads that physically bond with the water, drawing the moisture out and holding it inside of them. The bag can last up to a year for everyday use or less if used for extreme soaking.

Incidentally, if you're curious about the origin of the unusual name, Here's the dictionary definition:

Bheestie / 'bē-stē n: In India, a servant who draws and carries water, Urdu bhīstī or Pers bihishtī, pertaining to paradise, i.e., beautiful, as poetic convention describes cup-bearers.

So a Bheestie Bag is an innovative product that gets the wet out of a cellphone, iPod or other small personal electronic that's been soaked, addressing the ravages of sweat, rain, humidity, damaging corrosion, and moisture-related malfunction.

According to its developers, Bheestie is easy to use and it is always thirsty.

The broad strokes are:

  1. Turn off the electronic item (if in protective case remove) and place in the silver bag with bead pouch (do not remove beads from clear pouch).
  2. Seal bag tight.
  3. To remove everyday moisture leave electronic item in bag overnight or until next use. If item has been soaked or submerged immediately remove battery and place in Bheestie bag - leaving in for 24 - 72 hours.

The company claims that Bheestie has done some amazing saves of wet cellphones, iPods etc., but because of the variety of situations and the variety of electronics it is they can't guarantee it to always work.

Tips for best results:

For initial use cut silver bag at top, careful not to damage zip seal track

Always Keep Bheestie Bag sealed tight

Remove battery if electronic is soaked

Do Not remove beads from interior packet

The bead packet is made with a breathable material allowing the beads to adsorb moisture. If you look very carefully you will see the tiny holes in the packet.

Bheestie can be used for up to a year if the blue beads remain blue and you keep the bag sealed at all times. Once the blue beads turn white the bag needs to be replaced.

Most of your electronics are exposed to moisture on a daily basis from regular usage. When talking on you cell phone there is moisture on your hands, in your saliva, humidity, droplets of water. If you use headphones there is sweat, humidity, etc. By using Bheestie on a regular basis you will be removing that moisture decreasing the chance of corrosion or malfunctioning. Put your item in over night to remove moisture. Some users store their headphones in the bag to keep them from malfunctioning.

Can Bheestie Help you drop your phone in the toilet?

The makers advise that Bheestie works best if you get the item in the bag immediately. Turn the phone off, dry it, open it up, battery out, place in bag for 24-72 hours.

Bheestie & Co., llc, began when a new Gameboy was dropped in a pond. Due to her lifelong hearing loss, cofounder Karen Wildman was able to transfer her knowledge of drying out hearing aids to save her son's new Gameboy after he dropped it in a pond. She shared her idea with her sister, Lisa Holmes, who, living in Oregon, had her own battles with wet iPods and cell phones. Together they formed Bheestie & Co., llc. and created the Bheestie Bag.

Karen Wildman completed nursing school in Portland, OR and currently lives in Texas with her husband and three children. Lisa Holmes holds a degree in accounting and lives in Portland, OR with her husband and two children.

Both sisters grew up in Oregon and know all about wet electronics. With one of us still in Oregon and the other in Texas, and with active families that use many personal electronics daily, they say they are constantly battling malfunctioning electronics due to moisture from sweat, rain, spills, and humidity. They got tired of frequently replacing wet cell phones, music players, pagers, Gameboys and more.

Bheestie Bag sells for $20.

For more information on using the Bheestie BAG, see "How to Dry Wet Cell Phones Using a Bheestie Bag"

InCase Car Charger for iPod and iPhone

PR: The new InCase Car Charger is designed to keep your iPod and iPhone charged no matter where your travels take you.

It features an LED charging indicator and two high-speed USB ports, allowing for the fastest possible charge for up to two devices.

Its compact and lightweight design makes it the perfect accessory for staying powered up when you're on the go.

Features:

Fastest possible charge from both USB ports

DC compatible with 12V power supplies

  • 4-foot cable included
  • LED charging indicator

Compatibility

  • iPhone 4 GB, 8 GB, 16 GB
  • iPhone 3G 8 GB, 16 GB
  • iPhone 3GS 16 GB, 32 GB
  • iPod nano 4th generation (video) 8 GB, 16 GB
  • iPod nano 5th generation (video camera) 8 GB, 16 GB
  • iPod classic 80 GB
  • iPod classic 160 GB (2007)
  • iPod classic 120 GB, 160 GB (2009)
  • iPod touch 2nd generation 8 GB, 16 GB, 32 GB, 64 GB

Color

  • White

The InCase Car Charger sells for $29.95

USB Fever Lighter Socket Universal Car Mount with USB Charger for iPhone, iPhone 3G/3Gs/iPod touch 2G & 3G

Lighter Socket Universal Car MountPR: Quickly connects to any car's lighter socket opening and provides unique placement in the vehicle for mounting your mobile device. Features a second power adapter and a USB charging Port so that you may continue to use the power function of your car's lighter. Features a quick release cradle and installs easily without tools.

Features:

  • Easy to mount on all cars.
  • 360° swivel trackball allows you to adjust to any angle that fits you most
  • Using your cigar socket but ultimately you can still use your cigar socket for all your purpose
  • Put your devices close to you, at your fingertip and under your eyesight.
  • LED Power Indicator (for USB socket only)

The Cradle is capable to mount the following devices: iPhone & iPhone 3G/iPhone 3Gs/iPod touch 3G/iPod touch 2G

Package Includes: Cigar Socket Universal Car Mount with USB Charger for iPhone, iPhone 3G/3Gs/iPod touch 2G & 3G x 1

$19.99

IvySkin Zappak 2xUSB Battery Pack Solution for iPod and iPhone

Zappak Battery Back-upPR: IvySkin, makers of award winning Touch-Thru accessories and more, today announces the immediate availability of the Zappak Battery Back-up solution with Dual-USB technology - world's lightest and smallest with longest battery life and a built-in USB cable.

Zappak will charge an iPod or any other USB device while simultaneously providing charge and extra power to the iPhone or Blackberry phone. Zappak incorporates SmartBattery technology and proprietary circuit by IvySkin to deliver unmatched performance. This means a consistently clean extra zap when you are on the road.

Zappak is compatible with the standard USB and USB (2.0) devices typically found in the latest Smartphones and electronic devices, and will safely and quickly charge any iPod and iPhone with Apple's standard USB cable. It has an easy to check 5 LED status lights along with ergonomically designed on/off button, plus integrated USB cable for optimal transportation. Zappak encloses a 3000 mA SmartBattery to ensure a full charge for your iPhone and iPods at all times.

Zappak is priced at $49.99 and may be ordered from IvySkin website today, or purchased at retail outlets worldwide in the coming weeks. For additional information, or to order online, please visit IvySkin online. IvySkin will be at the CES, iLounge Pavilion, Booth #3530, in Las Vegas, Nevada, January 7-10, 2010.

Protection

Limited Edition Cowhide Slipcover for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPod

Cowhide Slipcover for iPhonePR: Cowboy up with Southern brand company stores limited edition cowhide slipcover for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPod.

Made from beautiful and diverse premium cow hides, each of the slipcovers his handmade and one-of-a-kind. The inside is lined with soft suede, and they're back with a smooth chocolate tan leather.

Also available in Longhorn hide.

Easily the baddest cover available for them fancy little city gadgets.

$29

Proporta Antimicrobial Silicone Case with SteriTouch for iPhone 3GS

Proporta Antimicrobial Silicone CasePR: It's an alarming, but not entirely surprising fact that the filthiest things we encounter on a regular basis are computer keyboards and our mobile phones. In fact, the average mobile has 25,127 germs per square inch, whilst the average toilet seat has just 49.

So to help protect against any possible nasties you could pick up from your iPhone 3GS, Proporta has developed the Antimicrobial Silicone Case with SteriTouch for Apple iPhone 3GS. Can't hurt during this flu pandemic either.

Key Features

  • Antimicrobial coating guards against germs and bacteria.
  • Super tough silicone skin protects phone against scratches.
  • Available in black with grey interior.
  • Lightweight skin adds almost no bulk to device

Available in black with grey interior.

Proporta's Antimicrobial Silicone Case sells for $20.95.

Marware Announces Free Custom iPhone & iPod Case Engraving

PR: Marware Inc. has announced free case engraving on select iPhone 3GS, iPod touch 2G, iPod nano 5G, and other Apple accessories purchased directly from Marware. Custom engraving is perfect for personalizing a gift, recognizing the value of an important business relationship, or as a great corporate promotional giveaway.

By utilizing laser-etching technology, Marware adds a new key advantage for customers seeking unique, one of a kind accessories. Laser etching is different than screen-printing, or methods of customization that may wear off. Marware can laser etch many silicone, plastic or leather cases found on the Marware website. Free shipping is also available on all purchases over $30 and within the US (restrictions may apply).

Features:

  • Custom text laser etched iPhone and iPod cases
  • Custom designs, graphics, and logos (upon request)
  • Ideal for gifts, giveaways, or personal use

Free custom iPhone and iPod case engraving is available on select products purchased from the Marware website. Free shipping, within the US, is available on all orders over $30. For more information on customization or free shipping, please visit Marware online or call (954) 927-6031.

CAZE Announces Zero 5 and Swarovski Apple Logo Bundle for iPhone 3G/3GS

PR: CAZE has released a new bundle of Zero 5 UltraThin case, the World's Thinnest transparent case, and Swarovski Apple Logo, for iPhone 3G/3GS. Zero 5 features a maximum thickness of 0.5mm with full chrome edges protection and is available in clear and black. Swarovski Apple Logo is made of 100% genuine crystal from Swarovski AG. This bundle combines Zero 5 and Swarovski Apple Logo to give transparency and elegant protection to your iPhone.

Zero 5 is currently the World's Thinnest transparent case for iPhone 3GS/3G, featuring a maximum thickness of 0.5mm. It's so thin and light weight, it's almost unnoticeable when installed. Swarovski Apple Logo is a crystal sticker and is composed of more than 30 Swarovski crystals. Due to the transparency nature of Zero 5, the crystal Apple logo can be seen clearly from outside the case. So, this bundle does not only give protection but also dresses up your iPhone.

Customers who buy this bundle will get a Mirror Screen Protector and an Anti-FingerPrint Screen Protector for free. iPhone CAZE designs and manufactures high quality, fashionable and unique iPhone cases for iPhone 3G/3GS in a wide assortment of styles and colors. iPhone CAZE offers a variety of cases of different materials from leather, metallic, fabric, silicone to Swarovski crystal. Products will be shipped within 24 hours during weekday and 30 Days Money Back Guarantee is provided.

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