Your iPhone's backside is probably underused real estate. With the right case you could be putting it to work. The popSlate 2 is an updated accessory that not only adds a second E Ink screen to your iPhone's rear for displaying pictures, it now comes with more functions to let you display social feeds, to-do lists and boarding passes. This case is now available on Indiegogo for $69 in black or white, and will ship in August.
The idea of a second E Ink screen on your phone's rear isn't novel, and popSlate's first iteration was interesting. But the new popSlate has plenty of new capabilities, which make it pretty compelling. The previous model only supported the iPhone 6, and could only run one app. The new popSlate works with iPhone 6, 6s, 6 Plus and 6s Plus, can run up to five apps at a time.
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The popSlate 2's E Ink display serves as an e-reader for you to easily read books on the go. However, it does not support Amazon's Kindle e-books. It only supports Project Gutenberg e-books, which includes some 50,000 public domain texts.
The E Ink screen (4.3-inch on the iPhone 6/6s, 4.7-inch on iPhone 6/6s Plus) is always on and can constantly show your notifications, news feeds and your to-do or grocery lists. You can also create customized dashboards to show your preferred information on the screen, such as an auto-updating social feed, sports scores, weather and stock updates or your upcoming meetings.
Three capacitive touch keys (an improvement over the previous version's single physical button) make the new popSlate easier to interact with. The case comes with a built-in battery that popSlate says will extend your phone's talk time by 9 hours. The company claims the accessory can help you conserve iPhone's battery supply if you set it to offload tasks to the low-power E Ink screen instead of your phone's primary display, which consumes power faster.
In addition to all the new functions the screen brings, the popSlate 2 also protects your phone from drops and scratches. As we await the U.S. arrival of the much-hyped YotaPhone 2, a phone with two screens (one E Ink, one full color), the popSlate 2 looks like a very cool alternative for now. Its limited compatibility (iPhones 6 and up) restricts its reach for now, but as the owner of an iPhone 6s, I am excited to see for myself just how useful this second screen is.