Some people, I understand, treat their iPad and iPhone with the dignity of a foreign potentate or a domestic feline. I treat mine more like a preschooler treats a teddy bear, dragging them with me from bed to work and back again, and bringing them along on cross-country road trips.
In such circumstances, for example watching Archer on Netflix while lying on a futon in the back of a cargo van, the usual set of stands and cases don’t cut it. That’s why I was delighted to come across the Breffo Spiderpodiums for iPad and iPhone in a random computer store in Washington state. That’s right, these aren’t manufacturer samples — I shelled out my own cash for them.
The Spiderpodium is well-named, because it’s precisely what you’d get if you somehow managed to convince a spider and a podium to mate. It has ever-so-slightly unnerving segmented legs surrounding a tiny platform. The legs — eight of them — bend easily but stay in place firmly, and they’re covered with a nice, friction-enhanced surface that holds onto plastic, aluminum and glass pretty impressively.
As the artwork on the package illustrates, you can bend the podium into all sorts of useful shapes, from a low stand for typing to a high stand for reading, to a sort of hanging mount for hanging over a treadmill or from a shelf. It’s kind of like a grade-school pipe-cleaner sculpture with a purpose.
I routinely came up with new ways to use the iPad stand — and new configurations for old uses — just for the pleasure of bending the legs into something interesting. It hangs very nicely over the steering wheel if I want to browse the web while eating drive-through, and in the absence of an actual table, I’ve found that with a bit of adjustment it can hold my iPad steady atop my thigh, or keep the screen level when lying in a soft bed.
The iPhone version is a little less handy. The small screen and palm-sized dimensions of the device make a stand a little less necessary and a little less useful. I have used it when the iPad was low on power, though. If I didn’t have the larger device, I’d probably use the smaller one more often.
There’s actually very little i-Specific about the Spiderpodium, despite the packaging. The iPhone version had no objections to holding my cheapie Android phone, and the iPad version was happy to wrap its creepy little legs around my Kindle, even sparing a limb to hold a mini-flashlight as an improvised book light. The iPad version was even able to hold my digital SLR camera, with zoom lens, at a steady upward tilt when properly positioned — very impressive for something that looks so spindly.
Homepage photograph courtesy of Breffo. All review photos by Lore Sjöberg/get-gadget