One of the problems the new iPhone 6 models present is where to put it when you’re in the car. You may not want to keep it in your pocket for obvious reasons, especially the iPhone 6 Plus, and the new models are larger and slipperier than ever. Keeping it in the seat next to you probably means it’ll end up on the floor. With the larger displays and new features introduced with iOS 8, using a car mount is more useful than ever. I’ve been trying out Kenu’s Airframe+, which supports even the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus (with a case too), and I’ve found using a car mount offers up a number of benefits.
I’ve used other car mounts before including ones that sit in the cup holder and ones that (try to) stick to the windshield. Airframe+, however, clips to the air vent on your dash. Kenu says the Airframe+ supports several different styles of air vents (see chart below), and I found both connecting and disconnecting it from the vent very easy.
There is a limiting factor to this style, though: you can’t use the mount and your car’s heater together. This downside rules out use in a cold climate, but I did find that clipping to the air vent is more reliable than windshield mounts or dashboard mounts.
Supported vent types
The Airframe+ mount is especially useful as it rotates in any orientation. You can quickly change between portrait orientation for the home screen to landscape orientation for navigation without having to remove and adjust the mount. The iPhone 6 Plus home screen even supports landscape orientation making your iPhone resemble in-dash car displays, although the touch targets are still rather small from a distance so I wouldn’t rely on anything but voice control.
Docking and removing your phone is also easy with the Airframe+. The mount features an adjusting arm, which is how it can support your iPhone 4 or your iPhone 6 Plus, and this makes adding and removing your phone painless. It also puts a tight grip on your iPhone so it doesn’t fall out when you’re driving on less-than-smooth roads. Although it grips your iPhone tightly, the mount is lined with soft material to protect against scratching your phone. I’ve used it without a case during my testing. If you do use a case, though, the Airframe+ has depth to support using a Mophie, Otterbox, or other thick iPhone case as well.
Features added to iOS 8 make both the new iPhones and previous models more useful during navigation. For example, Hey Siri, which allows you to activate Siri by just using your voice while your iPhone is charging, makes using your iPhone for navigation much safer. I’ve used Hey Siri with my iPhone 6 mounted in the Airframe to use voice controls like navigating to an address, playing music or podcasts, and setting Reminders all hands-free.
The size of the Airframe+ makes it portable too, especially since the adjusting arm defaults to being narrow. You can easily remove the Airmount+ from your vent and keep it in your pocket or bag for using as an iPhone stand out of the car. Kenu suggests using a card from your wallet for supporting the Airframe+ as a portable stand for watching movies or gaming out of the car.
If you live in a climate where you never rely on using heat in your car, the Kenu Airframe+ is a light and reliable mount for your iPhone of any size. iPhone 6 Plus users will especially want to check out the Airframe+ which retails for $29.95. Kenu also makes a standard Airframe car mount which supports up to a 5-inch smartphone (iPhone 6 but not iPhone 6 Plus), but for now the only benefit is the option to have a white version. Both models are pocket-sized without a phone attached.