Apple makes a couple accessories for the Apple Watch — but if you take a look at the shelves of a Best Buy or an Apple Store, you’ll find that the third-party accessory market is much more colorful (both literally and figuratively). There are stands of all sizes and materials; aftermarket bands and cases; screen protectors, of course. The list goes on.
That kind of variety lends itself to… well, some awfully weird products. Take the $49.99 TimePorter from TwelveSouth, for instance, which is available today.
I’ve had a chance to play with the TimePorter this week, which the company bills as a combination stand, charger, and case for storing other Watch accessories. Personally, I can’t think of a better way to describe than as an eyeglass case: it’s a clamshell that’s just marginally bigger than the hard case that came with my Warby Parkers, hinged on one of the long sides. On the center of the top, there’s a Watch charger-sized hole that is plugged with a piece of red plastic. Inside, there’s a cavity with a cable guide around it that’s designed to hold the unused portion of a charging cable.
The idea is that you’d spool a charger around the interior and replace the red plastic cap with the Watch’s magnetic charging disc. Inside, you can store spare bands, USB chargers, or a small external battery for charging on the go. (This would’ve been a more compelling product if it just had a battery built-in rather than finding and buying a separate battery that fits inside.) Once the charger is installed, you can position the lid at any angle you want and drape the Watch on top to charge. In testing, I also found that the magnetic force is strong enough to hold the watch in place if you want to place the Watch horizontally, which allows Nightstand mode to work.
Basically, it’s odd. It takes up a lot of space in a bag if you want to travel with your Watch and charge it, but at the same time, it’s not particularly attractive if you were planning on permanently leaving it on a home nightstand. (TwelveSouth’s HiRise and Forté charging stands are both better-looking products.) It’s worth a look if you have a bunch of accessories like bands that you can keep inside — but otherwise, I might look elsewhere.
- Good if you have multiple bands and need a place to keep them
- Works with the Apple Watch in nightstand mode
- Not particularly attractive
- No built-in battery