In addition to releasing iOS 9.2, Apple has launched two new accessories for their iOS devices today. The first of the two is something I touched on in our iOS 9.2 launch post, which is a new Lightning to SD Card adapter for transferring photos and videos from your camera to your iOS device. Apple has sold this type of adapter since the days of the 30pin connector, but it has always been limited to iPads. The new adapter now supports iPhones running iOS 9.2, and it also includes support for USB 3 transfer speeds on the iPad Pro, which will greatly reduce the time it takes to transfer photos and high bitrate video from your camera to your iPad for any editing you may be doing with it.

While the new camera adapter is a nice little update, the bigger accessory launch today is the new iPhone 6s Smart Battery Case. From the front, it looks very much like Apple's existing silicone cases for the iPhones. Once you turn it around you'll see that the case has quite a large bulge on the back where the battery is stored. The rationale for this design is that it allows you to remove the case by peeling back at the top, without having to make the case out of two separate parts like the other battery cases available on the market. While I understand this line of reasoning, I think the bulge on the back looks quite unsightly.

According to Apple, the new iPhone 6s battery case boosts talk time up to 25hrs of usage, and LTE internet battery life to 18 hours of usage. Due to how it's designed, the case doesn't include a battery as large as some competing devices, coming in at 1,877mAh while some third party battery cases include batteries rated as high as 3000mAh. The case does have an LED indicator to let you know whether it's fully charged, but this indicator is located inside the case to be examined when charging the case alone, and to view its current capacity when you're using it you'll have to look at the battery widget in your iPhone's notification center. Apple has also built external antennas into the case to reduce the signal attenuation caused by the case.

One final thing to note is that the case doensn't have an open bottom like Apple's other silicone and leather cases, which means that headphone compatibility is going to be limited to headphones with very little plastic surrounding the 3.5mm connector, such as Apple's earpods. Users of other corded headphones will need to purchase some sort of adapter.

Apple's new Smart Battery Case is available now in charcoal black and white, and it sells for $99 in the US and $129 in Canada.

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  • Laxaa - Tuesday, December 8, 2015 - link

    Looks awfull, to be honest, and it seems like Apple just frankensteined their excisting silicone case and gave it a tumor. Making their own battery pack is probably smart, and I agree with the idea. However, this just looks half-assed and not very "Apple-like" at all. They should at least made the battery taller so it wouldn't look so out of place.
  • Bob Todd - Tuesday, December 8, 2015 - link

    If Steve was still alive I imagine he would toss this (with phone inside) at the head of whoever was presenting it to him in a design review. This is just embarrassing from a company that generally does so well with lust worthy gadgets. It's got first party integration and lightning cable charging going for it. But it's a hell of an eyesore, the capacity is low, and the price is high.
  • Laxaa - Tuesday, December 8, 2015 - link

    Yeah. It seems like they dropped the ball on this one as well as the UFO-like Watch Dock. That looks bad as well.
  • Shlong - Tuesday, December 8, 2015 - link

    Apple doesn't have that filter of Steve Jobs to prevent this from seeing the day of light anymore. He would've stopped it at its sketch phase and said get this ugly crap out of here. Now, Apple's main motivation is profit and their designs are suffering for it.
  • boredoo - Tuesday, December 8, 2015 - link

    it's not a toomah
  • satai - Tuesday, December 8, 2015 - link

    Would never happen if Jony Ive would be still alive.
  • edzieba - Wednesday, December 9, 2015 - link

    He is. And is still working at Apple.
  • satai - Wednesday, December 9, 2015 - link

    Oh, thank you very much for clarification!
  • joos2000 - Tuesday, December 8, 2015 - link

    Why couldn't they make the device 1mm thicker and put a decent sized battery in there to begin with? That way we could avoid Frankensteinesque solutions like this in the first place.
  • Laxaa - Tuesday, December 8, 2015 - link

    And get rid of the camera bump as well.

    I went with the 6s instead of the new Nexuses(size, support and the fact that I felt the 5X was a dissappointment and that the 6P was too big) and I've got to admit that the battery life isn't half bad. I'm actually pleasantly surprised by it.

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