Six of the best...appcessories.
- Credit: PA
With smartphones gaining the upper hand in mobile ownership and the rate set to rise, the number of apps available also continues to grow.
At the last count, there were more than one million apps on both the Android and iOS operating platforms for users to enjoy, and the overall market is set to be worth in excess of 30 billion dollars by the end of 2014.
With everyone wanting a slice of this extraordinary cake, there is a new kind of gadget in town - the appcessory.
This is a physical device that interacts with an application to offer another dimension to your smartphone experience.
Here are our top six in this growing category:
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Music mixer - Numark iDJ Live - £79 from www.djstore.com
Ideal for beginners and seasoned deck professionals alike, this device is compatible with the iPad, iPod and iPhone. Just connect your device and, using Algorithm Djay or one of the other Core MIDI-enabled apps, you can create your mix from your music playlists. With bass and treble controls, crossfader and two large platters (decks), everyone will want in on the act.
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Look out - iZON Remote Room Monitor - £99.95 from www.firebox.com
Keep an eye on your abode from afar with this remote camera. With a magnetic base, it’ll stand on any horizontal surface, and when you want to have a peek, just log in to the Stem:Connect smartphone app to see your room on your phone’s screen. It can also be set to audio or motion detect, so it’ll alert you when something appears not quite right. A great alternative to expensive CCTV, the iZON can record and download footage direct to your PC, plus you can listen in too.
Wonderball - Orbotix Sphero - £99.99 from www.menkind.co.uk
This robotic ball works with your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or Android device and it’s about the best sphere we’ve ever seen. After downloading the app, pair it up to your device via Bluetooth to create your own remote control. You can roll or race it around the room via your smartphone or tablet, or play one of an increasing amount of games being introduced for this very clever bit of kit. The apps include a simple line-drawing puzzle, where you etch a path on screen and Sphero will follow it before your eyes, as well as exciting augmented reality games - it’s fantastic fun.
Game on - 8-Bitty Wireless Controller - £29.99 from www.firebox.com
This retro controller connects via Bluetooth to iOS and Android devices to really enhance your gaming experience on hundreds of compatible titles. With a full eight-button control, including four face buttons, select, start, and two shoulder buttons, plus a D-Pad, your old-school game play may turn from minutes into hours.
Workout tracker - Fitbit One - £79.95 from www.app-cessories.co.uk
Compatible on both iOS and Android operating systems, this gadget is all about improving your wellbeing. During waking hours, it tracks your steps, calories burned and stairs climbed, while by night it monitors your sleeping patterns. You can set targets, share your progress with friends and glance at all this information on your smartphone app - it’s a great excuse to exercise!
Aerial assault - Parrot AR Drone 2.0 - £279 from www.expansys.com
Take to the skies whether you’re indoors or outside with this magnificent flying machine. Controlled by your tablet or smartphone via a Wi-Fi signal, the quadricopter is loaded with a HD camera to capture all the action, which can be recorded on to a memory card and uploaded to the web. A single press on the screen sets the Drone to hover and it constantly levels itself - a truly terrific toy.