Provides: Protection for your iDevice from water, dirt, and other ‘bad for your electronics’ stuff Developer:Dry Corp. Compatibility: All iPhone/iPod Touch models, many Android phones, cameras with fixed (non-moving) flush-mounted lenses Price: $29.99 Available:Now
The more indispensable smartphones become in our everyday lives, the more inconvenient their shortcomings become. We are not dry and clean at all times, so the mandate that our phones never touch water or get dirty often proves difficult—you may get caught in the rain or have an accidental splash despite your best efforts, and losing a $200 phone is kind of a drag. Enter the DryCase, a vacuum-sealed waterproof case for iPhone/iPod Touch (and its bigger brother, the DryCase Tablet for iPad). These cases provide perfect protection, guaranteeing not only that your device stays dry, but the screen, camera, and audio out remain useable.
Pump It (out)
DryCase is not the only maker of dry bags for protecting for electronics; with the proliferation of touch screens, many companies now offer clear plastic dry pouches that allow you to see and use your device without removing it. DryCase’s distinguishing feature is the vacuum seal, which (literally) sucks, pressing the clear vinyl against both the front and back of your device. Without air bubbles, you are guaranteed better interaction with your iPhone’s screen, and you can even use the camera with only a slight loss of clarity. The vinyl is heat-stamped and thick enough to stand up to casual scratching, and it is even possible to use the speakerphone through the case, though both parties will sound muffled. Note that the case works best on touchscreen devices—the vacuum seal may cause any physical raised keys on the front of a phone to be pressed (volume buttons, etc. on the side are usually fine).
To use the DryCase, there are two swivel clasps at the top that roll outwards to open. Slide your device in from the top and position it as needed; if you use the included armband and want to take photos, remember to line up the camera above the armband. The clasps at the top rotate back inwards to seal up, then you attach the vacuum bulb and squeeze to pump out all the air.
The DryCase works best with a naked phone or one with a soft case; hard cases may cause air pockets where they protrude out from/above your device. A waterproof headphone-out jack is located on the bottom of the case, so there is a cable permanently attached inside the bag. Tests proved it is best to plug this in and then position it away from the device, otherwise it leaves a small air pocket which defeats the purpose of the vacuum seal.
Take It Anywhere
The DryCase includes a choice of buoyant armband or lanyard (both removable), so you can pick the right method of carrying for the activity at hand. The lanyard does not provide buoyancy, so it is a better choice in situations where you are unlikely to drop the device in deep or moving water. The armband is buoyant enough to keep an iPhone 4S at the surface of the water, so if you drop it in a river, lake, etc., you are able to retrieve it. It is a large, padded velcro affair comfortable enough for wearing all afternoon but snug enough to stay in place during vigorous activity like paddling a kayak.
All DryCases are tested underwater overnight, ensuring they will cradle your iDevice in protective dryness. A handy self-test mechanism is built into the DryCase by means of the vacuum seal—after you pump all the air out, the instructions recommend observing the encased device for 10 minutes for any sign of air getting in. If no air can get in to fill the vacuum, no water can get in, either.
Although obviously not a case for everyday use, those of us with a passion for outdoor activities will find DryCase an indispensable form of protection for our iDevices when used for any of the following:
Jogging in the rain
Taking an iPhone kayaking/canoeing/hiking/biking to use for GPS or emergency contact (it protects against mud splatters just as well as water)
Using an iDevice or cellphone at the pool or beach