Most people who have iPhones and iPads quickly find new and fun uses for them, and it's remarkable where you'll find the Apple devices. Whether it's on an exercise bike control panel, in the bathroom for watching the news while shaving, or in the kitchen as a digital cookbook and timer, Apple's digital toys are everywhere. Here's a pair of upcoming products from Satechi that will help you mount your iPhone or iPad mini just about anywhere. The Satechi Magnet Mount (US$19.99) and Magnet Vent Mount ($19.99) use powerful magnets to hold your device rock-steady in the kitchen, gym or car.
Both of the mounts work the same way; if your device is in a case, you slide a slim rectangular plate into the case between your device and the back of the case. If you don't use a case, there's a small round metal disc with a 3M adhesive on one side that you can stick to the back of your phone or tablet.
The mount itself is a very strong magnet that is about an inch in diameter and sheathed with aluminum in gold, space gray, or silver. Sorry, no rose gold yet... The magnet for the Magnet Mount has more of that strong 3M adhesive on the back of it so you can stick it on a cabinet, a cookbook holder, or on that exercise bike. Now when you get the plate or disc near the magnet, you'll find that your iPhone or iPad mini is attracted very strongly to it. The Magnet Vent Mount uses the same principle, of course, but it uses a standard air vent mount for mounting in your car.
All in all, the Magnet Mount and Magnet Vent Mount are quite attractive. The magnet is small with a rubberized coating to prevent scratching, and there's a nice chamfered edge on the aluminum that adds a nice touch. Seriously, you can put the little "button" magnet just about anywhere and it blends right in.
Satechi doesn't advertise the Magnet Mount or Magnet Vent Mount as working with the iPad mini, so of course I decided to "torture test" them by using a second-generation mini. I also took the standard metal plate and put it inside of the Moshi iGlaze Napa case that is currently on my iPhone 6s Plus. That plate is very thin, so it adds virtually no weight and no thickness to the case. The adhesive disc is the same way - it's quite thin and about an inch and a half in diameter, so sticking it on the back of an iPad mini really doesn't detract from the looks of the device (I suppose you could put it inside a mini case as well...).
As for the magnet, well, I decided to do something weird with it. I had an old mini-tripod that was missing its rubber mounting plate and I haven't had the heart to get rid of it. I ended up sticking the magnet onto the plastic baseplate of the tripod, and now I have a portable mount that I can not only carry around, but adjust the angle of.
The iPhone 6s Plus in its case sticks right to the magnet, and doesn't move -- even when I'm stabbing at the screen with a finger to launch apps. As for the iPad mini, I put the adhesive disk at just about the center of gravity and it also works fine, but moves a bit if I tap on it. Like I said, the mini was stretching things a bit...
Putting the Vent Mount in my car, I found that the magnet did a good job of holding the iPhone in place. I worry about hitting a big bump, though, and watching the iPhone flipping through the air. When the magnet is right next to the metal disc, it seems to be quite a bit more "sticky" so I ended up taking the metal plate out of the case and putting the metal disc on the back of the case instead. It just feels less apt to fall off the mount in the car.
For mounting your iPhone on a stable surface in a home or office, I highly recommend the Magnet Mount. It works well, even when using the metal plate inside of a rather thick case. On the other hand, I didn't find the Magnet Vent Mount to meet my standards for holding a heavy iPhone in place on bumpy roads with the plate in the case, although it was fine when I put the metal disc onto the back of the iPhone case instead. The price is right for both of these mounts.