Griffin WindowSeat For iPhones
by Christopher Bray
I'm sure I can't be alone here in that I can never find a good place to put my iPhone while I'm driving. Even when I'm not using it for music, it has enough features that I like to have it out & handy just in case. I've tried the cup-holder, the dashboard, shirt, pants, and jacket pocket. I've tried those super sticky pads that sit on the dash (or wherever), and tried to come up with some way to hang it in front of the stereo (because nothing else is perfect either). They all have some flaw or another.
Now we have another option - the Griffin WindowSeat. It's designed to hang from the windshield (hence the name) like so many radar detectors, satellite radios, and many other devices. There is also a sticky disc that lets you mount it to the dash if you prefer. It has an arm that reaches out and ends in a big plastic clip that cradles the iPhone (regular or 3G or iPod Touch - it has a clip for each), and there is a second extension arm in case your dash is really space age and way out of arm's reach. Oddly enough, I had to use the iPhone 3G clip with my old iPhone because I have a Zagg plastic skin on it which makes mine just a smidgen too large for the iPhone clip, so when buying one keep in mind it leaves absolutely no room for a case.
As with every other storage method I've tried, it's not perfect, but I find myself using it more often than the rest. Here's why:
I like having the phone at eye level. Whether I'm using Google Maps, making a call, or just skipping a track, the touchscreen has a fatal flaw: you need to see what you're tapping, which means you have to take your eyes off the road. The less time it takes to do it, the fewer pedestrians you'll clobber.
It gives me a place to hang my cord. Since I have to have an iPhone adapter on the end of my tape adapter (Apple wisened up for the newer model, but that doesn't help us first gen'ers), I have a minimum of 4 inches of cord dangling that always likes to get in the way of things. WIth the WindowSeat, I wrapped it around the arm behind the phone. Still doesn't look very good, but it irritates me less this way.
It rotates, so you can view your phone in portrait or landscape. Now admittedly, this is a feature I never use. If you love CoverFlow, more power to you, but I find that while it looks and feels great to use, it's just not as conducive to finding an album as the regular list view. Even so, the clip swivels nicely on the end of the arm so you can arrange it to a comfortable angle.
One thing I don't like about the WindowSeat is that it advertises I have an iPhone (or Touch). The last thing I want is to have someone wait by my car to mug me for it. However, in the month I've been using it, that hasn't happened, and statistically I'm probably just being paranoid. And it's nothing the owners of other devices such as satellite radio won't have to think about, too.
For $30, I like the WindowSeat because it is well suited to the functionality of my iPhone. I don't use it all the time, sometimes because I just can't be bothered to take it out of my pocket, but for now it's my favorite "holder" when I do use one. And that's about all I can say about a piece of molded plastic.
Jim Bray's columns are available through the TechnoFile Syndicate.
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