• Smartphone Utility: Augmenting with Add-ons

    Smartphones are easily the most versatile gadget in our arsenal of tech devices. That versatility increases every day with the release of peripherals that enhance smartphones in ways that applications can not. There are peripherals available for your smartphone which can almost make them into a tricorder or a technological swiss army knife, not to mention newer styles of modular smartphones

    Historically, the most popular peripheral for smartphones has been battery extenders, due to battery life being an issue for many users. Ryan Lantz, of Elkhart, Indiana, had an interesting solution called GoStacked, but it unfortunately didn’t get enough support on Kickstarter. One of the best options currently available is Mophie. It is an external battery that is also a protective case for smartphones. Mophie is a great option for people looking to extend the life of their iPhone since there is no easy replaceable battery option.

    Another important aspect to smartphones is the camera. The most widely known (and criticized) peripheral for smartphone cameras has to be the selfie stick, but that is one I am not going to recommend. However, there are some really interesting lens options out there. From fisheye to increased zoom lenses, almost everything available to regular cameras are available for smartphones now. This is definitely something I would recommend to anyone serious about photography.

    I saved one of my favorite peripherals for last: gamepads and controllers. Phonejoy makes an interesting controller that slides open to leave room for smartphone to fit snuggly in the middle, sort of making your smartphone look like a PSP or Gameboy. This design makes it my favorite for its combination of portability and utility while on the go, which is kind of a must-have for mobile gaming.

    There are vast number of peripherals out there for smartphones, but I believe that the three above have the ability to drastically augment functionality while others will only slightly change the user experience for a very select niche audience.

    What do you think - what are your favorite smartphone add-ons?