In case you haven't heard Apple's FREE iPhone 4 Case Program is coming to an end on September 30, 2010. So if you haven't already ordered your free case for your iPhone 4, you need to download the App and install it on your iPhone 4 to place your order. The question I usually get is "which case did you go with?" Believe it or not I'm not really a case guy. I'm a skin and holster guy. I protect my iPhone 4 (iPad and MacBook Pro) from scratches with custom skins from gelaskins.com. I carry my iPhone 4 in a holster on my belt. I like the holsters from Marware and DLO. However, since Apple was offering up a free case I looked at the choices and ended up going with the Griffin Motif. I gotta say that I really like it. Skins don't protect from dropping your device! Although I'm very very very careful and haven't dropped an iPhone in 3 years (at least not on a hard surface or to cause any damage), it could happen. The thing I like about the Motif is that is VERY easy to put on and take off and unlike Apple's bumper cases it protects the back too. The smoked grey plastic makes it a little harder to see my skin, but I like the overall look and feel of it! Also it still fits in my holster.
Download Apple's Free iPhone 4 Case Ordering App here from
Buy the Griffin Motif here for less, if you've already chosen another free case and want this one instead.
When I bought my iPad, I also bought the Apple iPad Case, mainly because I knew I needed a case and at the time it was pretty much the only one that was available. Now we have lots of choices with new cases coming out every day. The Apple iPad Case frustrates me because you can't leave it on the iPad and put the iPad in Apple's own iPad Dock/Keyboard Dock (unless you're willing to cut the case). It's also not easy to the get the iPad in and out of the Apple case. So I immediately began looking for alternative cases. I have three cases now and the Macally BookStand is my goto iPad case when I want a thin case that's easy to get the iPad in and out of. Since I haven't found a case yet that allows docking and sleeves don't usually allow you to stand the iPad up for video watching, the Macally BookStand is a very nice compromise.
It's very easy to put the iPad into this case. You simply snap it in to the four corner holders. All of the ports and controls are exposed so there is n't much protection on three of the sides. There is a nice suede feel to the outer case and a nice leather strap that folds over. The case can be used either so it opens to the left or to the right, which makes it nice for left or right handed people. Flip the cover over and around, insert the strap and you've got a nice easel like stand. If you want to use the iPad in a Dock, just pop it out of the case in about 3 seconds. That's pretty much it! It works and it works well. I took it with me on a recent trip because I was low on space and like the Apple case this one is very thin.
You can get the Macally BookStand here for $37 ($49.99 List Price)
Last week Apple announced that they would give all iPhone 4 owners (who purchase an iPhone 4 up until September 30th, 2010) a free case to help with reception issues. Today they just released an App to allow you to choose your case and have it shipped directly to you. Making this process into an App helps Apple insure that only iPhone 4 owners order the cases as it probably sends data about your specific iPhone/Apple ID along with the order (just a guess). Also if you already bought an Apple Bumper Case your credit card has automatically been refunded. If you had a Bumper case on order, your order was changed to ship it for free. If you bought your bumper case with cash or from AT&T see more details about how to get your refund here.
Apple is letting you choose between a Black Bumper or several 3rd party cases via their App.
You can get the iPhone 4 Case Program App for FREE here from
When Apple announced the iPhone 4, one of the accessories they announced was the iPhone 4 Dock. I have iPhone 3G/3GS Docks around the house and I figured that the iPhone 4 would require a new dock since the iPhone 4 is a new design from the the 3G/3GS. So without thinking, I went ahead and ordered the new dock. Of course as soon as the order shipped I realized that I would be better off going with the Apple Universal Dock instead. As a matter of fact I already own a couple of the original Universal Docks. The problem with those though is that when you plug in an iPhone you get the "This accessory may not work with your iPhone" message. Of course it does work, it's just that this dock came out before the iPhone and the pin configuration is slightly different. So I just ignore the message and sync/charge. In other parts of the house where I just want charging and I don't want the iPhone to lay down on the surface I had been using the 3G/3GS docks. Of course the NEW Universal Dock is compatible and doesn't have this message.
Although the iPhone 4 Dock is Cheaper, the Apple Universal Dock is a better deal in the long run
The beauty of the Apple Universal Dock is that you buy it once and whenever Apple creates a new iDevice, they also create "universal dock inserts" for that device. The iPhone 4 is no different. They make Universal Dock Inserts for it too. So instead of spending $29 every time the iPhone's (or iPod's) design changes (3 times so far), you can spend $49 once for the Universal Dock + $9 for the new dock inserts (you get 3 in the package for the iPhone 4). They even include them with new iPods. Apple also includes several dock inserts for various iDevices right in the box with the Universal Dock. You also get an Apple Remote so that you can connect the Dock to your stereo speakers or stereo system and then remote control the playback of your audio/video. You spend a little more up front, but you get a better deal in the long run if you plan to upgrade your iDevices on a regular basis.
One more hidden benefit. Apple sells Bumpers for the iPhone 4. With all the reported iPhone 4 reception issues, you may want to seriously consider getting one until they sort this all out. However, like most iPhone cases, you can't dock the iPhone in the iPhone Dock even with Apple's own Bumper installed. However, with the Universal Dock if you REMOVE the iPhone 4 Dock Insert, the iPhone will Dock with the Bumper in place. Perfect. Lastly I should point out that if you do still have your original iPhone 2G dock lying around, rumor has it that the iPhone 4 fits perfectly in it (without the Bumper of course).
I'll be returning my iPhone 4 Docks to the Apple Store and getting Universal Docks instead.
You can get the Apple Universal Dock here for $49.00 (or less).
While I still think that these car kits cost more than they should, I must admit that the Magellan Car Kit (and Navigon App for iPhone AND iPod touch) is now my preferred Travel GPS! Amazon has the Magellan Premium Car Kit ON SALE for $99.99 (List Price $129.99). You can get it here for that price.
Speaking of Navigon Apps, Navigon still has their "MyRegion" Apps on sale for $15!!! Regular price is $29.99 so grab them here while you can. The Navigon GPS navigation Apps work great with the Magellan Car Kit and since they have the maps BUILT-IN, they don't require a data connection to use.
You can also check out my original video review of the Magellan Kit here: