NEW YORK (MainStreet) — When it comes to smartphones, many of us are quick to search for the best apps to download that will make life as a tech user more simple, fun and interesting. And, while the smartphone companies have created a ton of brilliant, useful apps, there are also quite a few companies that have gotten popular by creating “accessories” to go along with these phones. Whether you’ve picked up an interest in photography and the stock camera just doesn’t cut it, or maybe instead you spent too much time tweeting and not enough time charging, there are accessories out there that are useful, fun, and budget-friendly.
Especially with the new iPhone 6 “Bendgate” fiasco, it will come as no surprise if companies start popping up and creating bend-proof cases. Be sure to check out the following ten products and start accessorizing.
Also referred to as the “phone-charging bag” by the creator herself, Liz Salcedo decided to take a fashionable approach to the “my-phone-dies-too-fast” movement. Approved and desired by quite a few big-name outlets such as "Today," Refinery29, and the New York Times, the Everpurse comes as either a clutch or a purse insert, and as long as the phone is placed inside, it charges automatically—no need to worry about plugging anything in. It easily re-charges when laid on a charging mat, so when you get home from work and plop your bag on the table, make sure the charging mat is there, too! Pricing on the Everpurse begins at $149 and has the capability to charge a phone for up to 96 hours.
With its flexible legs and its capability for use with any phone, the Breffo Spiderpodium has won many awards for its multiple uses as a phone stand and holder. It can hold the phone while also keeping it attached to the dashboard of a car, which is great for hands-free conversations and GPS usage. The Spiderpodium can also stand the phone up for use on a table, which comes in handy for watching videos and reading recipes. This accessory costs a mere $24.99 and the purchase also comes with a free ear phone cord wrap to keep those wires tidy.
Every smartphone user knows how the charge on most smartphones gets wiped out before the end of one full day. Every smartphone user also knows how tedious it gets to remember to tote the phone’s charging cable along all the time, only to deal with the anxiety-ridden feeling when it’s forgotten. This key-sized smartphone cable fixes all of that. The NomadKey allows for quick and easy connection on the go, since there are USB ports available almost anywhere these days. It also fits right on to a key ring, which makes it small enough to be barely noticeable, but noticeable enough when it’s needed. It’s also durable enough to be jingling around in a pocket or purse all day. The NomadKey is priced at $29.00.
The Handleband makes hands-free smartphone life a lot easier! This accessory holds smartphones in a very stable position to any set of handlebars. For bicyclists, this is a must have. It also helps when browsing the markets with a shopping cart. The Handleband is priced at $19.99.
5. Glider Gloves
Also known as “touch screen gloves,” this accessory is a must-have for cold weather. The materials of most gloves, while they may keep your hands toasty warm, are not usually recognized by smartphone touch screens. These gloves are formulated specifically with conductive materials that allow users to access their touch screen without having to remove their gloves. They also contain a no-slip grip on the palms to prevent phone fumbling. For under $30 per pair, buyers get their winter gloves for the season with an added bonus at a great price.
6. Snow Lizard Xtreme Case
This SnowLizard case may be higher in price than most other accessories, but it’s also high in quality. Priced at $149.99 each, this case is rugged and waterproof. It contains an integrated battery and also has a built-in solar-powered charger for the battery. The company claims that the phone will survive if dropped from heights up to 6 feet while contained within this case. This is definitely a must-have for all those smartphone users who like to go off the diving board with their phone still accidentally in their pockets.
7. Waka Waka Power
The Waka Waka Power gives smartphone users the experience of solar-powered charging without having to use a bulletproof case. Still higher up in price, though not as high as the SnowLizard, this accessory goes for $79 and refuels its battery solely off of natural solar power to work as both a phone charger and a light. It refuels its battery completely with twelve hours of sun exposure and has the power to fully charge an iPhone 5s in just two hours.
8. Muku Shutter Remote
Muku Labs has done it—they have officially upgraded the selfie. By creating a remote that can snap a picture from a distance, the selfie is no longer limited to an arm’s length away. The remote is sized small enough to be comfortably handheld, and it can connect easily via Bluetooth to both iPhone and Android phones. Priced at either $39.99 or $49.99 depending on style, smartphone users will be one step closer to the perfect Kim Kardashian-esque photograph.
The Easy-Macro is an upgraded camera lens that can be placed over other stock camera lenses to increase photo quality. More specifically, it is attached to an elastic rubber band that has the ability to fit around both smartphones as well as full-sized tablets. The cell lens band is great for snapping close-up pictures with much sharper, more detailed images. The Easy-Macro lens band can fit easily into a wallet by being wrapped around a credit card-type of storage card, and is priced simply at $14.95.
10. instaX Share
After snapping the perfect smartphone photo using the lens band and the remote, the instaX Share smartphone printer by Fujifilm makes it possible to print that photo out on the spot. By downloading the instaX app to the smartphone, the printer wirelessly connects to the phone through the app and enables the user to print pictures from the photo reel, Facebook page or Instagram. The app also has the option to take new pictures in real time, instead of choosing a photo from elsewhere on the phone. There are quite a few editing options for all the filter lovers out there, as well. It's available to purchase for $220, plus another $22 for enough film for 20 exposures.
--Written by Ciara Larkin for MainStreet