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ATPM 15.04
April 2009




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Accessory Review

by Chris Lawson,

iFlyz Personal Media Solution Stand


Developer: iFlyz

Price: $30

Trial: None.

Hey, frequent flyers, how many of you wanted to clip your iPhone or iPod to the tray table in front of you so you could watch videos on your last flight, or even just so you could get it out of your lap, jacket, or the seatback pocket? Yeah, me, too. The iFlyz is an attempt to solve that problem. Let’s take a look and see how well it works.

The basic idea of the iFlyz is pretty good. There’s an adjustable clip that attaches the device to the tray table, in either the stowed or deployed position. Sprouting from the clip is a six-inch gooseneck shaft topped with a one-inch suction cup.

Yes, that’s right, a suction cup. Therein lies the device’s fatal flaw.

I guess iFlyz assumes that you don’t use a silicone “skin” for your iPhone (or any other sort of case that has texture to it) because the suction cup will only stick to a fairly smooth surface, like the bare plastic back of an iPhone 3G or the chrome back of an iPod. Based on the popularity of protective cases for the iPhone around the office—a quick straw poll of co-workers shows at least three-quarters of them using cases—this is probably a flawed assumption.

Granted, there aren’t a whole lot of universal solutions out there—some variant on Thought Out’s PED3, or maybe one of Gamber-Johnson’s mounts, comes to mind. PDO’s Aluminum V2 iPod case, reviewed in the June 2008 issue, has a threaded belt-clip mount on the back. That design would translate very well to the iFlyz should they be interested in making companion cases—or partnering with a case manufacturer that is.

If you happen to be using a case that’s suction cup-compatible, or you enjoy carrying your iPhone or iPod around unprotected, the iFlyz works pretty well. The gooseneck holds its shape well, especially with the weight of an iPhone on it, and the suction cup mount allows for easy rotation of the screen from portrait to landscape orientation, eminently useful for watching video hands-free on a long flight. The iFlyz’s ability to clip on to a retracted tray table is particularly nice when the guy in front of you drops his seatback on your knees, making it nearly impossible to deploy your own tray table or forcing it to deploy at a strange angle.

One other benefit to the iFlyz is that it gets your iPod out of the seatback pocket. I don’t have any hard statistics, but I would estimate that at least one personal electronic device gets left behind in a seatback pocket on about one-third to one-half of all airline flights. (I’ve even done it myself once, though I realized it very quickly after leaving the airplane.) It’s a lot more difficult to forget your iPod if it’s sprouting out of the tray table than if it’s buried in the seatback pocket.

There’s not really a whole lot else to say about it. Either a suction cup sticks to your device or it doesn’t. If it doesn’t, you’re not going to find the iFlyz useful at all. My advice to frequent flyers? Go to the hardware store and try to stick a small suction cup to your current “personal media solution.” If it doesn’t stick, keep your $30.

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