Mobile phone companies have millions of smartphones in the last year alone — basically everyone has one these days. Instead of the usual gift certificate combination, why not give them something that takes advantage of their constant electronic companion? Here are a few iPhone and Android-friendly gift ideas to consider:
- Ontama Bathball: These small, neon cases contains a speaker that connects to your iPhone and allows you plays your favorite songs or podcasts while protecting your phone in the shower.
- Sphero: A robotic ball that can be controlled by your iPhone. Make it roll across the room or use it as a controller for on-screen games or apps that “let you engage in the virtual world and play in the real one.” ($129)
- Stun Gun Case: Protect your iPhone while you protect yourself with this Yellowjacket case that has 650k volt stun gun built into it that emits a shock described as “incapacitating and capable of inflicting pain.”
- Swivl: This iPhone dock allows users to record and shoot video hands-free. You just connect your phone to the dock, press record, and control the phone’s every move with a remote control.
- iRig Microphone: This external microphone is the first of it’s kind, and can be used to record high-quality audio in both close and long distance mic conditions. It also contains a dual mini-jack connector that allows for real-time monitoring.
- 3D Video Viewer: These Koolertron glasses all iPhone users to watch clear, crisp 3D videos on a 72-inch virtual display screen with attached earphones for high-quality stereo sound.
- The Wi-Fi Body Scale: This seemingly normal scale connects to your iPhone to help you track your weight, fat, and body mass index anywhere, anytime.
- Pocket Projector: This 15-lumen projector case from Brookstone lets iPhone users project up to a 50” image on a 640×360 display with just a simple flip of a switch.
- AIRE: iPhone users can now charge their phone simply by strapping on this mask and breathing normally. The mask uses the air you breathe to propel tiny turbines that produce electricity and subsequently charge your phone. If you want to save a little money on your electricity bill and look like Darth Vader while doing it – here’s your chance.
- Photo Printer Case: This Sophie iPhone case allows you to instantly print Polaroid-style photos directly from the base of your phone. A geotagged map can also be printed to link the photo to a digital version on the web.
- iPhone SLR Mount: Ever wished your iPhone could take professional-grade photos like your digital SLR? Well, thanks to Photojojo’s iPhone SLR Mount, now it can. The thick mount adaptor is attached to an aluminum case that is strong enough to hold even the heaviest Nikon F-mount or Cannon EF-mount lenses. Users can manually focus the iPhone’s camera, achieve “powerful depth of field,” and zoom to their heart’s content without distorting the photo’s resolution.
- Desktop Dock – Few phone accessories are as useful as a desktop docking station. It lets you listen to tunes, watch videos, or keep your shiny new phone propped up and looking pretty–all while charging it.
- Wireless Earbuds – If you’re looking to go wireless, you’ll appreciate Plantronics’s BackBeat GO wireless earbuds. Small and lightweight, these earbuds use a tangle-free cable to connect to each other, but they connect to your Android phone wirelessly via Bluetooth.
- Jambox – Let the music play with Jawbone’s Big Jambox. This wireless speaker connects to most Bluetooth-enabled phones or tablets, and plays back your music and calls over its high-fidelity sound system. If the $300 Big Jambox is a budget-buster for you, try Jawbone’s smaller $200 original Jambox.
Power Supply – Most phones–especially 4G models–need to refill from a power outlet at least once during a normal day. But what if you’re nowhere near a power outlet? You’re not out of luck if you have Mophie’s $130 Juice Pack Powerstation Pro. This universal external battery provides power to your USB-enabled phone or tablet, no matter where you are. It’s also weather tested, and water, dust, and sand resistant.
- Phone Beach Bag (technically works for any type of phone) – Mophie’s external battery may be built to withstand water, dust, and sand, but most Android phones are not. If you plan on taking your phone or tablet to the beach this summer, investing in a Dry Case might be a good idea. This $40 case vacuum-seals around your phone, keeping it safe from water and sand without depriving you of access to its touchscreen, camera, and headphones.
- SmartWatch – Not only is it rude to constantly check your phone while you’re in a business meeting, or in class, or conversing with someone–it’s obvious. But if basic civility is out of the question in your quest for the latest texts, tweets, and Facebook updates, you can at least be sneaky about your obsession. Sony Ericsson’s SmartWatch wristwatch ($150) lets you check the contents of and control your Bluetooth-enabled Android phone directly from your wrist.
- Bike Mount – Instead of leaving your Android phone at home when you’re on your bike, bring it along securely. BioLogic’s $45 Bike Mount for Android lets you attach your compatible smartphone (for a list of devices that work with the Bike Mount, see BioLogic’s website) to your handlebars so that you can use your favorite GPS or fitness app as you ride. The Bike Mount comes with a hard outer case; the $10 Bike Mount for Android Liner provides an additional layer of shock resistance.
- Get Paid – (also available for iPhone) If you use your Android smartphone to help run a business, you also can use it to help ensure that you get paid. The Square Card Reader is a small device that plugs into your Android’s headset jack (you can find information about compatible devices on Square’s website) and works with Square’s Android app to enable you to accept credit card payments via your mobile phone.
- Stylus Pen – If you dislike fingerprints and smudges on your Android’s screen, or if you want your fingers to stay comfortably warm in a pair of toasty gloves on a cold day, a stylus can save the day. But not just any stylus will work with your Android device: You need one designed to work with your phone’s capacitive touchscreen–like Spigen SGP’s Stylus Pen Kuel H12 series ($20). It looks good, feels lightweight, and comes with a twist closure that protects its tip.
Flip Phone Accessories
- Several $100 Bills – The U.S. Mint’s money press system allows users to acquire cash via various means (work, theft, charity) so that they may trash their flip phone and buy a smart phone. It’s the mobile phone gift pick of the year.