Five Great Apple iPhone and Mac Accessories

Cool iPhone accessories aren't just for Apple fan boys. At last week's Macworld show, we spotted five cool new toys - from crazy cases to a gizmo that turns an iPhone into a machine that can swipe credit cards and process purchases.

Wed, February 17, 2010

CIO — Not just eye candy for Apple (AAPL) fans, today's Mac and iPhone accessories really deliver the goods.

Imagine watching television on your iPhone. Or say you want to process a credit card at a customer site. Then again, you could simply be looking for an iPhone case that reflects your odd, errr, artistic personality.

[ Macworld showcases an emerging new class of iPhone apps, reports ]

Mac and iPhone accessories draw thousands of Apple fans to Macworld every year—and last week was no exception. has chosen five favorites. (Hint: We like add-ons that are actually useful or have some technology flair.)

By the way, it would have been nice to include the Apple iPad, but it's not an accessory and didn't make an appearance at Macworld. Of course, neither did Apple.

Cool accessories carry the weight of the Apple brand.

Putting Pen to Paper

Many CIOs still take notes with a good old-fashioned pen. Are they to be left out of all the Apple fun? Livescribe's Pulse Smartpen lets users write notes on special paper and then upload them to a Mac. The pen also records audio.

For those wanting something simpler than a high-tech pen and paper, Trexta, which makes wood and leather iPhone cases, has come up with Sketch Up covers. Call it the low end of the line. These disposable covers are basically recycled paper that you can mark up, doodle, take notes, whatever. They're sold in packs of five with a marker.

Cool iPhone Cases

iPhone cases for everyone.

Speaking of iPhone cases, many could be found at Macworld adorned with everything from flags to rock bands to imitation leopard skin. Given Apple's appeal to artists, it's no wonder the iPhone has inspired some cases with off-the-wall designs.

While many of these cases probably won't make it onto a CIO's iPhone—a little too much flair, mind you—creativity and expression is something the image of IT desperately needs. And a little splash of color inside drab cubicles doesn't hurt, either.

Credit Card Processing on the Fly

Our favorite cases, however, take advantage of functional technology. Mobile accessories company Mophie showed off its credit-card processing case for the iPhone: this lets sales people, small businesses, and independent contractors accept credit cards.

Simply slide a customer's card through the base of the iPhone case, assuming, of course, that someone is willing to give you the card. The card reader communicates with Mophie's mobile payment iPhone app and—cha-ching!—the credit card is charged.

Mophie's credit-card processing case will hit stores in April.

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