Product: Battery backup for iPad, iPhone and iPod Developer:Just Mobile Minimum Requirements: Any iDevice with a dock port (and a battery that needs recharging) Price: $109.95 Availability: Now
What you may have surmised by now is that, if they could, Just Mobile would likely be Apple. Their products are perfect complements, right down to the packaging. They even come with stickers, for Pete’s sake, just like Apple’s do. Their stands, for example, don’t just support Apple’s iDevices, they frame them. They show them off. It’s some impressive design work.
Could such a thing be possible with a battery backup? Well, no. It’s just a battery. And yet for the combination of aesthetics and functionality, Just Mobile’s Gum Max is so dead on that you’d think it came in the box with your iDevice.
The design takes its cues from the brushed aluminum of Apple’s iMacs and MacBooks. I like this, as it looks sleek and hides fingerprints and smudges. I wish Apple would return to this structure for the iPad and iPhone, but we’ll have to see about that.
The rather large sides (the Gum Max is 1″ thick) are lined with a black stripe that nicely accents the high grade aluminum shell, which itself is sloped at the edges for a comfortable grip.
One end contains your USB output to the iDevice, the other has the micro-USB input from the power source. Plug that end into the wall to charge up its battery, which will take a few hours from a low charge. When full, plug the other end into your iDevice to charge it. (You’re clearly warned on the back that you should never charge the Gum Max while using it to charge an iDevice.)
The top of the device contains the power button and a row of eight LED lights to indicate how much power remains in the battery. It’s a simple, slick design that can rest next to your iDevices without being distracting.
What really matters, though, is power, and the 10,400mAh capacity battery has plenty of that. It can charge a fully depleted iPad 2 in about three hours and still have some power to spare. You’ll certainly have no problem bringing your iPhone or iPod touch back to life.
Of course, this won’t matter a whole lot if you don’t have the battery with you, and Just Mobile made transportation a bit simpler with the included drawstring carrying pouch. It also comes with the USB to iDevice and micro-USB to power source cables, but they’re both quite short. The power source cable, especially, could be a few inches longer to easily reach a wall outlet.
A bigger drawback is that it doesn’t come with a USB power adapter. You can use the one that came with your iDevice if it’s the original iPad 10W model (the larger one with the retractable prongs). The smaller model has an output current smaller than 2A, which, as Just Mobile explains it, means it could get overloaded and burn out.
Just Mobile also warns that you should only plug the USB power input into an iMac, MacBook Pro or MacBook Air, as other computers may not be powerful enough to charge the Gum Max.
Those are some odd restrictions, but if your setup is approved, the Gum Max is a powerful and convenient method for making sure your iDevices are charged and ready for use when you need them to be. And when you don’t, it’ll look pretty comfortable sitting next to them.