I’ve been writing for Pocketables for almost three years now. In that time, I’ve played with hundreds software packages, and products, and since Christmas is coming up, I thought I’d compile a list of my fifteen favorite software and hardware products that I’ve found over the past three years to be invaluable, fascinating, or just plain neat.
The HMDX Jam. This tiny little Bluetooth rechargeable speaker has become that standard that I judge all other speakers against. The sound has been impressive, and the price is reasonable. HMDX’s Jam line has been popular enough that it was even spun into its own website.
The CLIMAWARE mobile Cryothermic Scarf. Pros: It’s a portable rechargeable air conditioner or heater. Cons: looks like a medical device from the 80’s, price is still a bit high. After nearly a year of playing with it, I still consider this to be a technology to watch.
Jabra REVO Wireless Bluetooth/NFC-enabled headphones. They were the best wireless headphones I’d run into at the time of reviewing (and to this date). They feature rich sound and touch-sensitive controls, and everything is laid out in a fashion that felt right.
Tasker: Total Automation. Tasker is a software package that allows you to script tasks that happen when events occur on your phone, such as setting the display timeout to infinity when playing Ingress or forwarding call to work when you’re in the office.
BlueBuds X Sport Bluetooth earbuds. The lightest and least complex Bluetooth earbud I’ve ever run across. They are great for jogging or working out in, are extremely comfortable, stay in your ears well, and are pretty much perfect for everything.
The MyCharge series of portable phone rechargers. With the trend in non-replaceable phone batteries in full swing to beat the bulk (and make sure you have to replace your phone when the battery fails), you’ve now got to carry around a large external battery supply in order to power through the day, or go without. There are less expensive chargers than the MyCharge line, but for the level of usability I haven’t run across one I like better yet.
Jabra FREEWAY Bluetooth in-car speakerphone. I use this on a daily basis. It’s nice to be able to reach up and tap a button and be able to make a phone call if I need to, or answer the phone with one tap to a three-inch-wide button that’s on my visor.
Power2U’s AC/USB wall outlet. This product combines two wall outlets and two USB plugs into one wall plate. Unfortunately, the thing doesn’t work too well in older houses, and it’s a pain to install even in some newer ones. This product I love for the idea but not so much the implementation,
The ChargeCard. The idea here is that it’s a USB to micro USB/Apple Lightning Connector that’s roughly the dimensions of a credit card. It allows you to use any standard USB to charge your phone. (Basically it’s carrying around a cable in your wallet.) It’s for those times when you can’t be without your phone and you’re in an area with computer equipment – pretty limited circumstances, but useful for the tech ninja nonetheless.
The Accell travel surge protector with dual USB charging ports. The only thing I don’t like about this device is that you’ve got a very limited amp rating for the USB ports. This is for charging phones, not tablets. It travels well, adds an extra wall outlet, and has powered many a trip for me. Another good one is the Quirky Contort Power.
Voltaic System’s line of solar-powered phone and laptop chargers. If you like camping, but are tethered to a phone for your job, or just want to keep the phone charged up for music, Voltaic’s line of solar powered chargers are for you. The pricepoint is a little high for casual use, and most people camping go to get away from it all, so the audience is a bit limited. They are also great in emergencies where power may not be readily available.
The Seidio OBEX series of cases are waterproof and and impact resistant. They’ll handle anything that the average person can throw at them. The downside is they’re a bit bulky.
Cruzerlite cases A2 TPU cases. I’ve used this on my EVO 4G LTE since I got it. It’s my everyday case. Thin, inexpensive, seems to bounce back from anything thrown at it, has protected my EVO from several falls.
TSF Shell is a replacement launcher that throws the standards out and provides a new way to interface with the phone. From rotatable, resizeable icons to dragging items out of a folder into a rope, the interface is fresh and interesting. Unfortunately, when you’re limited on available memory, it tends to start slowing things down as it has to reload.
Head Multi-Sport Gloves with SensaTEC allow you to keep your hands warm and operate a cell phone. Enough said.