In Pictures: Look, ma, no hands! 9 mounts for mobile devices
On the desk or on the go, it is often inconvenient -- and sometimes dangerous -- to have to hold your smartphone or tablet. These mounts for your car, office or home let you drive, work or play hands-free.
Mount your mobile device
Whether you are in the car or in the office, odds are that you have your phone or tablet with you most of the time. But it is not always convenient to have to hold your device. Watching a video on your tablet while typing that report? Using your smartphone for directions while driving through unknown territories? You are going to need a phone or tablet mount so that you are hands-free.
What follows are nine great options.
Dockem universal wall mount
The Dockem ($15) is essentially a "miniature shelf" for your smartphone or tablet. It attaches to the wall using Command strips, those thick double-sided adhesive strips that are supposed to come off without damaging your wall.
The Dockem works with any device that is less than 20mm thick, including case. The dock is made up of two sides, a left and a right -- you measure out where you want to put them depending on the width of your device.
A potential downside is that the Command strips lose adhesiveness after multiple uses, so if plan to move it a lot, you'll want to load up on extra strips. On the other hand, you're not putting any holes in your walls.
The iOstand ($100) is a minimally designed mount made out of solid steel with either a stainless steel or powdercoat finish. You use it by attaching an iOadapt adapter (a small disc less than 1mm thick) to the back of your device or its case. The disc -- and your device -- then magnetically snaps into place on the iOcore, the carrier on top of the mount. You can rotate your tablet in almost any direction.
The iOstand comes with two iOadapts so that you can use it with more than one device. There are also other stands, like the iOwall wall mount ($60) or the smaller iOmini ($90), which is made specifically for use with smartphones.
Koomus Dashboard K2 Windshield car mount
If you're wary of attaching a magnet to the back of your phone, there is the Koomus Dashboard K2 Windshield mount ($20), which can be securely attached to either your windshield or your dashboard with a 3M Gel pad. If you want to move the mount, just clean the 3M Gel pad in water and reattach it to a different location.
Your smartphone is held by the adjustable holder -- the Koomus is compatible with all smartphones up to 3.27-in. wide. Once secure, you can adjust the Koomus' arm so that your phone is at the desired height and then rotate the phone to your preferred angle. The Koomus comes in both white and black.
The Mobio Go ($35) is a small, sleek car mount that attaches to the dashboard of your car.
The base comes with a 3M VHB adhesive which creates a semi-permanent bond between the mount and your car. (You can remove the mount by using a few drops of alcohol to dissolve the adhesive.) The base will attach to any vertical or horizontal surface.
Using the same adhesive, you attach a magnet to the back of your phone or its case. The magnet will then snap onto the round metal ball on the base. Adjust to your desired angle, and you are hands-free and ready to go.
When you are at your destination, your phone will easily detach with a slight tug.
Another product with a cool design, the MonkeyTail is aptly named, as the mount will wrap around almost anything -- or it can stand up on its own. Also, the MonkeyTail swivels a full 360 degrees, giving you ultimate flexibility with your mount.
The MonkeyTail is actually made up of two parts. The "tail" itself ($50) is three feet long and weighs just under 1.5 lb. The separate Vacuum Dock ($50) is a half-dome shape that connects to the back of your device with a powerful suction, and can be used with with the MonkeyTail, or by itself as a grip or stand. You can buy each separately, or you can just buy the entire Monkey Kit for $100.
Mountek nGroove Snap
While Montek's nGroove CD Slot Mount ($20), which attaches via your car's CD player, has been available for a while, the upcoming nGroove Snap ($35) is more versatile than its predecessor. In addition to fitting into your car's CD slot, it can be wedged into any seam.
When not in the car, you can use the mount as a desktop stand or as part of a tripod for taking photos or videos. Your phone or small tablet (10-in. tablets may become dislodged in bumpy driving) attaches to the mount by a thin magnetic badge that you can place inside your case.
Mountak just wrapped up a successful Indiegogo campaign to raise funding for the nGroove Snap, which should ship in late July.
Tylt Capio with NFC
The Tylt Capio ($30) comes with a built-in NFC chip. As a result, you can set up a profile -- to control phone volume or turn on your Bluetooth, for example -- that will automatically be activated when you place your NFC-enabled phone on the mount.
Smartphones attach to the Capio via a patented adhesive. Only silicone and rough materials won’t stick to it; if your case is made out of either, you can use the included support arms. Dust can cause the pad to lose its adhesiveness over time, but rinsing it with water will return it to it original state of stickiness.
The mount’s suction cup will also stick to almost anything, including dashboards, windshields, metal, concrete and painted walls.
Fuse Chicken launched last year after a successful Kickstarter campaign to make the Une Bobine mount ($30), which acts as a smartphone stand, charging station and synching device. It is also flexible, so that you can readjust your device as needed.
The mount is 24 in. long and comes with an Apple 30-pin connector or a micro-USB port; a shorter 12-in. micro-USB model is also available. The stand holds your phone steady for surfing, watching movies, taking photographs or videos and more. Perhaps most important, as the website points out, it also just looks cool.
Wallee M car mount
Studio Proper uses specialized cases that attach to the Wallee M car mount ($35) with the same neodymium magnets that are used in MRI machines. A heavy-duty suction cup then secures the mount to your windshield. Once it's attached to the car mount, you can adjust your phone for optimal viewability.
There are currently cases available for your iPhone 4, 4S or 5; Galaxy S3; or Galaxy Nexus. Each case costs $30 and is compatible with other Wallee products, like the Pivot Mini for desktops or the Mount disks, which can attach to the wall.