If I was the editor of a snorkelling enthusiasts’ website, I’d have been worried when I received the iDry. Here is a £9.99 product that I’m expected to stick my beloved iPhone in and actually swim underwater with. The instructions even state that you need to take care when inserting your iPhone into it, as “a single strand of hair or grain of sand in the seal can cause leaks”. Thankfully, I edit an angling website and don’t envisage swimming with my phone. Well, not for too long, anyway!
As an angler who also has an unhealthy interest in gadgets, I’ve come to see ‘waterproof’ as being quite an important attribute of any electronic product I’m looking to buy these days. In the past, I’ve fallen into various rivers and lakes, and even a marina. Even though these impromptu swimming sessions have been brief, they have taught me that water and electronic gadgets tend not to mix. Phones and cameras can be quite sensitive to a drop of water, the salty variety especially.
That said, I don’t actually need products that are suitable for diving. Generally, I need products that are splashproof, so that they will survive a bit of rain, a landing net accidentally placed on them, that sort of thing. If they’re waterproof, not only do they fulfil the ‘splashproof’ criteria, but there’s also a good chance that next time I go in the drink, they’ll survive!
The iDry is something that I will most certainly use every time I’m near water. It’s not a case that I’d use for every day use, as it is fairly bulky, but it is invaluable when there’s a chance you’ll get wet.
Most of the case itself is made from a strong polycarbonate material, with the screen of the phone being protected by a soft clear silicon membrane, enabling you to use the phone with it in the case. The camera can also function, which is very important to me, as it would be for many anglers. I tend to use my phone more for taking pictures than calls these days, and the iPhone enables me to upload these to the internet there and then.
Once the phone is inserted, you have to twist the top and close a small latch. This is quite comforting, as you instantly feel that the phone is secure once you’ve ‘locked’ it into place. The phone still functions in the case, so making and receiving calls is no problem.
The manufacturer claims that the iDry is 100% waterproof and I have no cause to doubt them. However, I’m not going swimming to find out! What I have done, though, is pour a watering can of water all over my iPhone (whilst turning away, scared, I might add!) and am happy to report that the phone is fine and bone-dry! I’ve also tested it in a bowl of water briefly, just to check whether it floated or not. Unfortunately, it doesn’t. This would have been handy for anglers, but I can see that it would be a pain for anyone who actually chose to swim with their iPhone (quite why anyone would, mind you, is something I can’t quite fathom!).
The iDry also comes with a lanyard, which is designed for putting around your neck when swimming. Anglers will find this useful when on a boat, a pier or walking across rocky marks. It’s all well and good waterproofing your phone, but it’s pretty pointless if you see it sinking to the bottom of the sea and have no way of retrieving it!
My iPhone is important to me. I use it for taking pictures, making phone calls and internet-based work. In an emergency, a working phone can also mean the difference between life and death. The iDry is something that I will use a lot, not just when fishing, but also when it’s chucking it down with rain and I’m outside. I hope I never have to test if it’s fully waterproof again, although I’m sure it will be, as falling in is a pain in the proverbial. However, I know 100% that, out of water, my iPhone is fully-protected again splashing. iPhones are expensive and £9.99 is a small price to pay for that peace of mind. The case will also protect the phone from sand, which is something else that can play havoc with iPhones.
The iDry is available from www.thesportshq.com for £9.99. At the time of writing, it was available for the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS models.