How To Make Your Own iPhone Stand For Free

From fully loaded multi-device charging stations to simple iPhone stands, there’s a sea of options when you shop for a way to prop up your iPhone and charge it. The one on my desk today wasn’t sent in a box. It showed up in my email… as a PDF. A reader named Fabio sent me a link to his site where he offers instructions on how to create your own iPhone stand like the one below.

Paper Eco Stand for the iPhone

What you see above is the result of me printing this thing out on regular paper, cutting it out the best I could with just scissors, and slapping it together. I’m betting you can do better without much work. In fact, the only reason mine works at all, most likely, is that the design is pretty well done. I’m guessing Fabio has some background in engineering.

How To Make One

IMG_2822.JPGThis ecological homemade iPhone stand isn’t hard to put together without instructions (yeah, I live on the edge) and with the instructions, it’s a bit easier. I think the instructions that come with it could be just a little more clear, but like I said, they are barely needed at all. The real value is the design. While there’s no actual set price for the design and instructions, the author does require a small donation in any amount you choose which is still a bargain. Once you’ve supported creativity financially, you simply print out the supplied design PDF, cut it out, fold in strategic places and tape it up a few times.

Tips

I got by with paper and scissors alone, but here’s some tips for those of you planning on trying it out:

• Use scissors or an Exacto knife for precision
• Any tape should be OK, but Fabio suggests duct tape
• Use something stronger than paper – card stock should be fine
• Add a business card like I did or better still, print a separate pattern design first and then print the Eco Stand design over it
• Make a couple – home, office, etc.

Thanks for the stand, Fabio.

Keystone ECO NautiCase Protects Your iPhone From Water, Sand, Shock

Last year, I brought you a Ballistic HC iPhone Case Review and found it to be an awesome rugged case. At the time, I wished it would protect my iPhone from water, too. Today, I have a Keystone ECO NautiCase, which promises to be shock proof, sand proof, and splash proof, so I put it to the test.

Keystone ECO NautiCase

NautiCase Features

The NautiCase is made with a polycarbonate hard shell surrounded by a rubber skin and has a clear membrane for interfacing with the screen while protecting it. Also included with the case was a thick holster with a belt clip and the belt clip doubles as a stand.

Some of the key features as mentioned on the Keystone site are:
– Shock proof, sand/dust proof and splash proof. IP54 certified.
– 3-layer integrated one-piece design, no assembly needed.
– Redesigned sound channel for clear voice transmission.
– Full touch screen and phone functionality.
– Access to all buttons.
– Enhanced lens protection allowing glare free photography.
– Hard impact hard shell with durable rubber skin & textured bumper for firm grip and shock absorption.
– Holster holds phone face in or face out and with built-in stand.

How Well Did It Work?

The case has a very small rubber seal around its inner perimeter that came out a little the first time I opened it. I wedged it back in and it wasn’t a problem, but this had me worried from the beginning. Another thing to note is that the included user guide warned that this case is splash proof, not water proof. The case has a hinged front that opens to insert or remove your iPhone and snaps tight with three small plastic clips on the top, left, and right edges. Getting my phone in and out of this case was easier than a lot of other cases I’ve reviewed, and that’s important for a case like this. The holster was, well, a holster and worked like it should. The Swivel belt clip moved only when I wanted it to, but it sometimes required a bit of pressure. This is a good thing, really. As an added feature, the belt clip has a little plastic prop that pops out to make it double as a stand. This only worked for horizontal viewing, but it worked well. I put the case and holster on my iPhone for just this feature to view MIT video courses one night.

Keystone ECO Nauticase

The NautiCase did pretty well with some basic tests with dirt and dropping, but I was really interested in just how splash proof it was. Despite the warnings in the user guide, I fully submerged my NautiCase in a sink full of water (as seen above). What you might also notice in the image above is that I did not have my phone in the case for this test. I heeded the warnings and opted, instead, for paper towels. With the case completely packed with two paper towels, I submerged it in the sink for 60 seconds, giving it any chance to fill with water. When I retrieved it, there was a small amount of wet paper towel at the bottom edge. This was much better than anticipated, as I expected the front membrane to let a lot of water in. The top two-thirds of the paper towel was bone dry, which also surprised me. Splash proof? It’s almost completely water proof. Keep in mind that the operative word is “almost”, so when you use this case, heed the same warnings about submerging it.

Conclusions

While a little bulky, the Keystone ECO NautiCase comes in several color combinations to help it fit your style. Regardless, this is a case designed for function more than for style and it works well for that purpose. At $49.99, it’s priced for a higher budget, but if it saves your phone once, it’s worth the price. This is not a case I would have on my phone all the time, but will definitely come in handy when on a hike, by a pool, or anywhere I know the likelihood of iPhone catastrophe is high.

New iSkin Products Add Functionality

I frequently receive updates about new iSkin products. They’re always introducing new designs and I like almost all of them. They have something for everyone and all the designs tend to look current and fashionable. Of course, this is in addition to the fact that they protect your iPhone, iPod, or other portable electronic device. iSkin has definitely become a recognized name in device skins, so I’m always happy to get my hands on iSkin products to review and give away.

iSkin duet

Pictured above is the latest device I’m most excited about (and giving away), but the whole line-up has introduced some new looks. Keep reading to see what iSkin’s been up to.

What’s New?

The most important new product from iSkin, in my opinion, is the Duet for the iPhone 4. The iPhone 4 has video conferencing and a crystal clear screen for watching videos and movies. It’s no surprise, then, that companies would start coming out with ways to prop it up for hands-free viewing. Other companies have come up with solutions, some decent and some that are just waiting to fail. What makes the Duet unique is that it includes a belt clip that doubles as a stand. Rather than a full case like most of iSkin’s product line, this is a holster. A bit bulky looking (and perhaps a little bulkier than most of iSkin’s cases, it is a little slimmer than it looks, but it feels pretty sturdy. If you prefer a belt clip, this is a great compliment to your iPhone 4, but if you don’t the belt clip may be a bit much to slide in and out of your pocket. Regardless, the Duet packs in some of the slick style iSkin has become known for.

The people at iSkin have been pretty busy ramping up for the holiday season. In addition to the Duet, they’ve replenished their product line-up with more new offerings for the iPad, iPod Touch 4G, and iPhone 4, including:

– Aura for iPad
– Pebble for iPod Touch 4G
– Touch Duo for iPod Touch 4G
– Solo FX for iPhone 4
– Solo vu for iPhone 4

While I don’t want to go into every detail of each product, I thought I’d share my brief thoughts on each, beginning with the Aura. I’ve posted before about another iPad case, one for which I actually earn on every sale, but this honestly just looks better. The Carbon (black) looks flat and boring next to the Sienna and Bronze Auras, which look corporate take-over fancy. Compared to other iPad cases, these definitely win in looks. The Aura offers three angles to position your iPad for typing, viewing, or reading, but doesn’t appear to offer a portrait mode viewing angle, which may be its only, although notable, shortcoming.

The new Pebble and Touch Duo for the iPod Touch 4G as well as the Solo FX and vu for the iPhone 4 all represent the latest in iSkin’s knack for design with the added belt clip feature the Duo offers. They all look great, especially the Solo vu, which combines elegance with a modern, vibrant look. If I had to choose any of the new products for myself, it would be the Solo vu, hands down.

Win Your Own iSkin

Other than the Aura, I have one of each of the new products to give out to my readers, thanks to iSkin. To win one, all you have to do is comment, tweet, or share. Comment below, telling us why you need an iSkin and what one you like the most for one entry. You can also earn an entry by sharing this post on Twitter or Facebook and commenting below with a link to your tweet or Facebook update. I must be able to find (and read) the tweet or update, so follow or friend me. You can only enter each way once for a maximum of three entries. Entries into this contest will be accepted until January 1, 2011 and I will select winners at random by January 3, 2011.