There are thousands of new Apple accessories at the 2015 CES – so many that it’s hard sometimes to separate what’s truly cool from everything else. Starting with HomeKit-integrated accessories, here’s our running list of the best new iPad, iPhone, and Mac products 9to5Mac has seen at the show. We’ll be updating this article throughout the show with additional excellent picks.
The Apple HomeKit-compatible (and Siri-controllable) Incipio Direct Wireless Smart Outlet and Wireless Smart Light Bulb Adapter deserve their “smart” name for one big reason: at $25 each, you aren’t getting ripped off adding iOS and voice control to your home lights and wall outlets. Anyone can afford to make a house or apartment smarter with these.
Peace of mind has value, and the biggest concerns for iPhone 6 Plus users are accidental bending and glass shattering. Armed with steel bars that reinforce the iPhone’s back and subtly aid in grip, Incipio’s “defend against the bend” case Trestle ($40) instantly eliminates bend and shatter concerns in a design that is also really neutral visually. Three colors are available, and we’ve been loving the one we started using at the beginning of CES.
To get an obvious question out of the way, we would have been excited by Qardio’s upcoming QardioCore even if the company wasn’t sponsoring our CES coverage – at $449, this definitely isn’t a product for everyone, but it’s a potential life-changer (and life-saver) for people who need it. QardioCore is designed for users who have a medical need for continuous EKG-grade heart monitoring, but want something iOS-compatible and much easier to wear on the chest than typical heart monitors. Any user who has been diagnosed with a possible (or actual) heart condition will understand why this iOS Health-ready device and accompanying app will make it easier to gather and communicate granular data to a doctor than classical monitoring devices.
It took a few generations, but iPhone add-on lens maker Olloclip now has the complete ecosystem together needed to satisfy all of their potential customers: multiple add-on lenses ranging from the previously-released 4-in-1 to the just-announced iPhone 6/6 Plus Telephoto Lens + Circular Polarizing Lens ($100) set, plus these new $35 iPhone 6/6 Plus cases that are both independently worth using, and also compatible with the lenses. We’re genuinely excited about being able to use the parts together; the prior-gen iPhone 5/5s version is available here.
Great iPad Air 2 cases continue to be few and far between at CES, but Kensington’s KeyFolio Thin X3 Plus ($120) is a slender, Air 2-specific design with a large internal battery that powers either the keyboard or a USB device of your choice. The latest design has a nicer nylon exterior than the prior version, though the keyboard backlighting has been removed.
iHome’s Flask ($50/$100) is set to become a seriously popular Bluetooth speaker option. The smaller pocket-sized and larger bar-sized versions both use a hip form factor to hold speakers – not booze – with a variety of different color and material choices.
While it isn’t cheap by traditional padlock standards, Fuz’s Noke ($60) (pronounced no-key) isn’t the typical padlock: powered by a one-year battery, the steel and boron lock is unlocked using a Bluetooth device rather than a key — with backup options if the battery runs down or you don’t have the unlocking app handy. It’s a cool application of wireless technology to increase the convenience of a traditional tool. Find out more about the Fuz’s Noke padlock here.
Apple finally solved the battery life issue with the giant-sized iPhone 6 Plus, for the first time delivering a phone that can survive a full day even in the ultra-challenging wireless environment of CES. But if you’re traveling and will not be near a USB or wall outlet for a while, you may feel that you need a battery case, and the new iBattz Refuel Invictus for iPhone 6 Plus ($130) is the first modular power solution out there: without adding ridiculous thickness, it includes twin 3000mAh batteries that can be individually hotswapped without removing the rest of the case. It will ship in March; a $100 3200mAh version for iPhone 6 is coming in February.
Keep checking back on the list, as we’ll be updating this article throughout the show with additional excellent picks.