Toolie Travel Blog

A million-mile flyer talks about the life of a business traveler.

Newsletter: Mobile Device Holders for Home and Away

The Holiday Season is upon us! McAlister and I have decided to keep things simple this year, so the challenge of coming up with great gifts on a budget is even more intriguing. In between flights, you're no doubt going to be facing the same challenge, so this month I'm sharing a few of my "finds" in the technology department. Hopefully they'll spark some gift ideas for you.

What's Holding Up My Internet Device?

I tend to think of my iPhone as my link to the world, and my Kindle as my portable entertainment and informational device. The truth is, either device can serve any of those purposes, it just depends on where I am at the time. The one thing they both evoke in me is the desire to find the best possible viewing angle. I spend a lot of time at a computer these days, and I want my iPhone and/or Kindle viewing to be hands-free.

For my iPhone, I purchased a 13-inch gooseneck, suction-cup, windshield mount that I use not only in my car but also at my desk. The suction cup base will attach well to a smooth surface, and the glass-top desks at my day job are perfect for that. I keep the iPhone on vibrate, but if a call or a text message comes in, the iPhone is at eye-level so I don't miss it. They're made by Amzer. When we upgrade our iPhones in a couple of months, I'll be back to buy the version for whatever phone we decide to buy, because these stand have been incredibly handy.

When I was trolling through, I found a rather clever free-standing phone holder that could be a lot of fun on the go. The Quadropod and Clamp Smartphone holder can assume a number of yoga-like positions, including attaching to the back of the seat in front of you on the plane or in the car. It would also work nicely on a seat tray and provide a good viewing angle if you're watching movies or listen to your tunes while you fly.

Alternate Uses for Microphone Stands and Tripods

I use a professional microphone as part of my home audio studio, and the mike is mounted on a swing-arm mounted on my desk with a big, heavy clamp. Prior to acquiring and installing that swing-arm mount, I purchased a microphone stand with a 3-foot boom arm for my mike. I use it from time to time, but not nearly as often as I expected to when I first purchased it.

Imagine my delight when I discovered that manufacturers are producing all kinds of holders for existing stands, including microphone stands. Why? Because more and more musicians are reading their music on iPads and other tablet devices. Some tablet holders mount on the stem of the microphone stand; some mount at the end where the threads for the microphone would otherwise be.

I detach from my day by watching Mythbusters episodes on my Kindle while I get ready for bed. Their world is completely different from mine, and the Mythbusters always make me laugh. I plan to buy one of those tablet holders for the microphone stand and put it at my bedside, so that the stand will hold up my Kindle while I watch lying down. Silly? Maybe. But I fall asleep happy and relaxed, without pills or melatonin. I think it is worth $30 bucks to put my unused mike stand to work!

The same manufacturer also has a tablet holder for tripods. Unless you're a photographer who is using your tripod all the time, I bet you have a tripod leaning against the wall somewhere, unused. Tripods are great because they're eminently adjustable for both height and viewing angle; you just have to be careful not to trip over the legs.

Depending on the weight of the holder and the size of your device, you might even be able to use one of those very small tripods while traveling.

Got a favorite mobile device holder that you like to use? Add a comment below!
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