While easing into West Palm Beach after a recent sea trial, I noticed a phenomenon of sorts—everybody onboard, the captain, the dealer, and myself, had iPhones with identical LifeProof cases. What caused me to notice this nifty coincidence was a moment, albeit a rather dispiriting one perhaps, when all three of us were simultaneously fiddling with our smartphones, either ogling Google, digging up work-related details, or talking with our bosses. Jeesh! Why the popularity of LifeProof cases for iPods, iPhones, and iPads these days? Each is waterproof, to such a whopping extent that prior to installing an Apple device inside you’re directed to assemble the case and submerge it underwater (the kitchen sink works nicely) for an hour or so just to make sure no water enters. In addition to being waterproof (as well as shockproof and dustproof), LifeProof cases are sleek (way thinner than the OtterBox Defender case I used prior to the LifeProof, for example), so robust you can all but forget about scratches, gouges, and cracks, and colorful in the extreme. Moreover, you can purchase a raft of adjunctive parts, including a foam “Life Jacket” ($39.99) that’ll boost the shock-resistance of your iPhone and keep it afloat as well as dry. The only negative I’ve seen with my iPhone 4 LifeProof case over the past couple of months is that while the charging port accommodates Apple equipment, plugs from other manufacturers don’t necessarily fit. Which is small potatoes really, particularly if you’re into ultra-convenient underwater photography. Or movies that feature the bottom of your very own boat. —Capt. Bill Pike
This Memorial Day, remember those who were lost serving our country on the high seas in the U.S. Navy aboard PT Boats. Recently we were invited out for a ride on the only operational combat-veteran PT Boat, PT 305 in New Orleans.
See what it was like here. ▶