Make Your Smartphone Smarter

by Natasha Wolff | March 4, 2014 9:26 am

To make the most of your iPhone experience and then some—like sharper photos, extended battery life and a physical keyboard—consider these new and innovative add-ons.


Lights, Camera, iPhone

(Pictured right, clockwise from the top): Olloclip offers a variety of iPhone photography add-ons. Use the Macro 3-in-1 Photo Lens with your iPhone 5/5s for razor-sharp close-ups. The Two-Sided Telephoto and Circular Polarizing Lens affords 2x optical zoom (with telephoto) for reducing glare and enriching color (with CPL). And the 4-in-1 Lens includes a wide-angle, two macro lenses and a fish-eye lens to capture a distorted yet funky 180-degree field of view. Macro 3-in-1, $70; Telephoto and Circular Polarizing Lens, $100; 4-in-1, $70,[1]

The palm-size Pico Genie P50 projects an image from your smartphone using a HDMI or USB connection. Genie P50 Projector, approximately $326,[2]

Sony’s Cyber-Shot QX10 lens-style camera snaps directly onto your phone, delivering 18.9 megapixels and 10x optical zoom. Cyber-Shot QX10, $250,[3]

The iPhone-mounted Dot, from New York start-up Kogeto, is the world’s smallest panoramic lens for shooting video. Dot video lens, $49,[4]


Extra Credit: Everyday Add-Ons

Double the battery life of your iPhone 5 with Jackery Leaf’s new snap-on charging case, available in black, white and orange. Snap-on rechargeable battery case, $60, Jackery Leaf,[5]


The sleek Era earpiece by Jawbone will force you to abandon your judgmental thoughts about people who wear Bluetooth headsets. Era Bluetooth headset, $130, Jawbone,[6]


A hand-crafted iPhone amplifier made of gorgeous American Black walnut that projects sound using the phone’s own speakers—no plug-in necessary. Walnut Original Amplifier, $95, Koostik,[7]

If you struggled to give up your Blackberry because of its signature easy-to-use keyboard, you’re in luck—the Typo Keyboard case brings that same typing ability to the iPhone. Keyboard Case, $99, Typo,[8] (available for pre-order)


Four Apps to Try

Facetune[9]: Instantly airbrushes skin, whitens teeth and removes wrinkles, bringing users one step closer to the perfect selfie.


Afterlight[10]: A robust image-editing app that comes equipped with 56 filters, 66 film textures and 75 frames.



Flipagram[11]: Create short, flipbook-style videos using photos from Instagram, Facebook and your phone’s library.


Instasize[12]: The app enables users to post full-size images on Instagram, eliminating the chance of awkward, unwanted photo crops.




High-Tech Hardware

A nifty little gadget, dubbed the Impossible Instant Lab, is resurrecting the Polaroid. The portable printer turns digital iPhone photos into physical prints. Just download the companion app and select a photo, and the device spits out a Polaroid-style picture that feels like a modern relic.[13]



Luxury Accessories for a Fancier iPhone[14]
Testing the $6,000 Smartphone[15]
5 Luxe iPhone Cases for Men[16]

  9. Facetune:
  10. Afterlight:
  11. Flipagram:
  12. Instasize:
  14. Luxury Accessories for a Fancier iPhone:
  15. Testing the $6,000 Smartphone:
  16. 5 Luxe iPhone Cases for Men:

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