A little over a year ago I did a review of the XVIDA Boomerang, an iPad stand/mount project that graduated from Kickstarter and went into full production. Now the company that spawned the Boomerang has an entire family of accessories, all of which use strong magnets to mount your iPhone, iPad or just about anything else in your life wherever you need them. Today I’m looking at three of the XVIDA accessories: the iPad Air/iPad Air 2 version of the Boomerang (US$79.99, currently on sale for $59.99), the iPhone 5/5s version of the StickyCase ($24.99), and the accessoryAir Vent Mount ($19.99).
Boomerang for iPad Air/iPad Air 2
While the Boomerang kit I tested for this review was designed for the iPad Air, XVIDA now includes a small converter that makes it fully compatible with the iPad Air 2. Note that the converter is not included in our giveaway prize kit.
Like the original Boomerang, the new model is an X-shaped device that can be used to prop your iPad up at a 22°, 45° or 66° inclination. Lay that X-shape out flat and snap the two free ends around the corners of your iPad Air, and you’ll notice a metal plate in the center – right over the Apple logo on the back of your device.
That metal plate attaches magnetically to the included Multi-Mount. The Multi-Mount itself can be mounted on metallic surfaces via magnetism, things like refrigerators and many whiteboards. It can also be attached to walls, glass, or ceramic with the included 3M VHB adhesive sticker. Or if you’re looking for a more permanent installation, just use a screw to attach the Multi-Mount to a wall stud or furniture.
That same plate also works with the other available mounting accessories, including the Air Vent Mount, a Suction Cup Mount, a Headrest Mount, and even the iMac-like Desk Stand.
Installing the Boomerang is fast and easy. The iPad Air slides into a set of clips that is marked with a “1” sticker. To use the Boomerang with the magnetic mounts, you put the other corners of the iPad AIr into the two other clips marked “2”. To use the Boomerang as a standalone stand, you pop the “2” corners out and then flip the free legs out to the pre-set angles.
Use the Boomerang with the Air Vent or Suction Cup mounts, and you have a way of using an iPad Air as a really big navigation aid. I’m not sure I’d recommend putting a full-sized iPad into the windshield area of a car, though – that’s an awfully large space to block in your field of view.
The Boomerang for iPad Air/iPad Air 2 looks good, is incredibly thin, very lightweight, and installs/removes quickly. It’s easily adjustable, works with a number of mounts, and has a fairly decent price point (especially when on sale). On the negative side, the Boomerang doesn’t offer any protection for your iPad.
Rating: 3-1/2 stars out of 4 stars possible
StickyCase for iPhone 5/5s
The StickyCase for iPhone 5/5s ($24.99) is what brings your iPhone into the XVIDA ecosystem.
Before I go any further, please note that you can pre-order this case for the iPhone 6 for delivery next month. However, there’s no word about one for the iPhone 6 Plus. That’s really not an issue, since if you already have a case for your Plus, all you need to do is buy a $17.99 StickyPad for Smartphonesand you’re ready to rock and roll.
This case really isn’t all that special in terms of looks. It’s a matte black (or white) case with one very special feature – a covered metal plate in the back that serves to stick it to any of the magnetic mounts. If you have a Multi-Mount, the windshield-mounted Suction Mount for Smartphones ($19.99), or that ever-popular Air Vent mount I’ll review next, you just slap the encased iPhone 5 or 5s up against the magnet and it sticks.
The StickyCase for iPhone 5/5s gets bonus points for mounting flexibility, but it’s really kind of drab. If you already have a more colorful or more protective case that you’ve installed on your iPhone, just get one of those StickyPads and stick it to the back of the case. That way you get the best of both worlds.
Rating: 2-1/2 stars out of 4 stars possible
Air Vent Mount
I’ve talked about this accessory several times already. For $20, you’re getting a mount that installs into an air vent in your car, has a pivoting head, and features the XVIDA magnetic mount. Take any of the cases or stands – the StickyCase, the Boomerang, or even a regular case with a StickyPad on the back – and you have a way of mounting your iPhone or iPad so that it’s clearly visible from the front seat of the car (don’t look at it while driving!).
The Air Vent Mount features a spring-loaded arm that goes through one of the vents and has a metal hook that grabs the back of the vent slat. On the front is a rounded piece that fits into a slot on the back of a piece that includes the mount, a lockable ball joint, and a few stabilizer arms. It’s quite easy to install and feels sturdy.
Of course, when you want to use either a StickyCase or a Boomerang with it, you just take their built-in metal plate and bring it near the mag mount, and magnetism takes care of the rest.
The Air Vent Mount holds even a full-sized iPad Air in place with very little movement, and it works really well with an iPhone.
For mounting an iOS device in your car, the Air Vent Mount is an adjustable and versatile piece of equipment. The price is right, and it feels like it will last.
Rating: 3 stars out of 4 stars possible
We at TUAW love our giveaways, which give our readers a chance to get some really great gear at no cost. Here are the rules for the giveaway: Open to legal US residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 and older. To enter, fill out the form below completely and click or tap the Submit button. The entry must be made before November 24, 2014 11:59PM Eastern Standard Time. You may enter only once. One winner will be selected in a random drawing and will receive a kit containing a Boomerang for iPad Air, a StickyCase for iPhone 5/5s, and an Air Vent Mount, valued altogether at $124.97