When it comes to universal stands for cell phones and small tablets, they don’t get more sturdy, durable or manly (think the “Ford tough” commercials), than the $80 iOmini. However, it does have some drawbacks. For example, it doesn’t work well at all with the 12.9-inch iPad Pro.
The stand — crafted out of precision-machined steel — lifts your phone or tablet up five inches and lets you rotates it in any direction, offering you a variety of viewing angles. The iOmini works best for small tablets like the iPad mini and smartphones like the iPhone. If you need a stand or mount for a full-size tablet (like the iPad), check out the iOstand, a larger version of the iOmini.
The iOmini consists of four pieces: a weighted base, the pedestal with a ball on the end of it, powerful magnet (the iOcore) that adheres to the ball, and a metal ring (the iOadapt). The iOmini relies on the iOmounts system.
You attach a thin, steel iOadapt to your phone, tablet or case, then you can magnetically mount your device to the iOmounts core. The iOadapt attaches to the back of your iPad mini or iPhone with an adhesive or to a case for your iDevice. I’d go with the latter, as I prefer not to have adhesives on my iDevice. However, if you change cases, then you’re out of luck. The iOmini comes with two iOadapts; when you use them, again, you’re out of luck unless you buy more at US$15 apiece.
To attach your device, peel off the backing from the iOadapt and apply to the back of the case of your device. Don’t try this with soft suede, leather or silicon type cases. Only apply it to a smooth hard surface. Allow the adhesive to cure for at least four hours before you use it.
Since the iOadapt comes with a high strength adhesive, the folks behind the iOmini recommend applying it to an iOmounts skin or case (which they make) rather than the device itself as it’s difficult to remove once applied. Of course, this adds a few more bucks to the overall costs. Also, make sure you center the iOadapt when attaching to a device.
The developers of the iOmini say the magnets won’t damage your phone or tablet, and there are no magnets in the iOadapt disc on your device. There are some caveats to this. Any smartphone, tablet, e-reader or other approved device with a solid state drive or flash memory won’t be damaged by the magnet. Older iPods and other devices with conventional hard drives should NOT be used with the iOmounts system as the magnet could damage them.
Ignoring the adhesives and magnet situations, the iOmini does rotate in any direction, which is handy. You can manipulate your iDevice in portrait or landscape mode and tilt it at various angles. When you’re ready to go, just give your device a tug, and it detaches.
The iOmini is available in a stainless steel finish and powder coated black or white, both of which are handsome (I prefer the stainless steel look).