The Working iPhone: Inexpensive Accessories That Make Your Apple Gadgets Useful

Recently, a friend of mine who produces the Dennis Miller Radio Show told me that he and his crew would be attending the CES electronics trade show in Las Vegas this year. As part of a sponsored publicity stunt with Apple, he told me that they would record, shoot, and edit all of their audio and video interviews using only the iPhone 3Gs. Even though we all know that the iPhone 3Gs’ camera, microphone, and editing apps cannot measure up to professional-grade equipment, the sheer boldness of this promotion only further proves that the iPhone 3Gs is the Swiss Army Knife of the 21st century.

For my part, it took me a while to come around to the usefulness of the iPhone 3Gs and the iPod Touch. At first, the notion of having an onboard .mp3 player on my mobile phone didn’t really impress or appeal to me. After all, I had grown up in the Sony Walkman generation, and for me, the .mp3 player was nothing more than the continuation of an otherwise arcane technology. When I was a kid, it was a great thing to be able to listen to music via headphones on the school bus, while riding my skateboard, or whatever else I was doing. But nowadays I mainly listen to music in the car or on my computer at home. Why would I need an iPhone? Isn’t it just a glorified .mp3 player?

While the apps that you see in the Apple commercials seem fun and novel, it is often the simple, inexpensive accessories for the iPhone and iPod that really transform them from being a quirky gadget into a useful device that can improve your job or school performance, shrink your DVD collection, or make listening to music in the car a snap.

The Ultimate In Mobile Recording and Editing

With the iPhone, never before has it been so easy to record audio and video on the fly. Again, don’t expect SLR-quality photos and high-resolution audio or video from your iPhone, but you’ll be amazed at how much you can do with such a small device. In addition, there are many new accessories on the market today that can enhance the recording features of the iPhone and iPod Touch. Manufacturers now make small, inexpensive mini microphones that plug into the 1/8” jack on your iPhone or iPod. For such a small and affordable accessory, you’ll be amazed at how the mini microphone improves the recording clarity and sensitivity of your device, making it easy to record class lectures, concerts, interviews, or whatever else you’re looking to capture in sound.

The Smallest Home Entertainment System Ever

When you think of a home entertainment system, you’re probably imagining a hulking pyramid of receivers, tuners, DVD players, VCRs, CD players, and any other piece of electronic equipment that beefs up the sound and look of your music and movies. To be sure, building the ultimate home entertainment system involves a lot of money and space, not only for the gear itself, but also for all of your DVDs and CDs. The iPhone and iPod, however, allow you to store all of your favorite movies, music, and photos on one very small, very portable device. More and more, consumer electronics manufacturers are designing stereo systems that allow users to dock their iPhone or iPod and listen to their music through hi-fi speakers and systems. Of course, there are even simpler, less expensive accessories that allow you to interface your iPod or iPhone with your TV or stereo as well, such as an AV composite cable, which offers both audio and video connectivity. By using your iPod or iPhone to store audio and video, you can replace the bulk and burden of a traditional home entertainment system and take all of your favorite music and movies with you everywhere you go.

Your Car Stereo, iPod Style

If you’re like me, you’ve got an overflowing stack of CDs in your car, crammed into the glove box and every other storage compartment you can find. Imagine having the ability to bring your entire CD collection with you on a gadget smaller than a cigarette case. That’s what the iPod Nano can give you. What’s more, FM transmitters now wirelessly beam your iPod music directly to your car stereo, with no need for cables. These transmitters allow you to listen to any song you want with the booming clarity of your stereo system while driving – no plugging in necessary.

With the right accessories, it’s amazing what you can use your iPhone or iPod for. Their innovative features, compact size, and powerful processing power make Apple’s flagship gadgets true game changers in the world of consumer electronics.

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