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Aug 11, 2012

DryCase Review: Mobile Swimming Tips at the Pool (Underwater Angry Birds)

Swimator Blog August 11, 2012 Final rating: 5/5

Whether we like it or not, we live in a fast paced modern technology world where what happened 5 minutes ago is old news. It is very hard to keep up with new information and even harder to distinguish between good and bad information since everybody and their grandmother is online sharing their life and insights with you. Swimming, even though not as fastly evolving as the technology world, it is no exception to the latter problem. How do you know whether the swimming advice a site gives you will help you out? Well, honestly, you do not until you try it out. However, there is another problem. What if you buy a Learn to Swim DVD, study it at home and then go to the pool to only realize you cannot remember the second step in the series of the swimming drill progression discussed on the DVD. Suddenly, your time spent going down the wrong road in terms of the trial and error scenario is increaing thus putting you that much further from achieving your goal of an improved swimming stroke. So why not make your learn to swim efforts as efficient as possible and bring the technology with you to the pool? Introducing the DryCase water resistant cover for your tablets, readers and smartphones.

DryCase, arm strap, headphones, vacuum pump

What is DryCase?

Nowadays when you read the news, you hear iPhone this, iPad that and Android is awesome. We are truly a mobile society. You can also find many different water resistant cases for your particular phone or tablet type, however, what if you switch tablets or phones? Do you need to buy a new water resistant case? That is just not very scalable solution and quite pricey, I might add. The beauty of the DryCase is that it can fit any type of a smartphone or tablet, so it really does not matter if you are in the Apple cult, the Google worship group or perhaps an unfortunate descendant from the Ericsson or Nokia generations. The DryCase waterproof casing is not bias and is platform, manufacturer and even user independent accessory.

How does DryCase work?

The waterproof case is actually quite intuitive to use. There is a headphone jack molded into the side of the case with the inside male jack being plugged into the device and the outside female jack waiting for your waterproof or regular headphones to be inserted. After you insert your hearing aids, slip your device into the case. Then close the top of the case and rotate the two plastic locks, so the casing is tightly sealed (until you feel a click). If you do not want to have any air inside the waterproof case, use the rubber pump which comes with the case to suck all the air out and create sort of a vaccuum seal around your device. This makes sure your mobile product is nicely snug in the casing and is not moving around.

You can also order waterproof headphones with your DryCase. They have an adjustable ear piece in terms of direction, so you can be sure to maneuver the earpiece to your liking. If you have small or big ear holes you are in luck as you will also get different ear fittings with the DryCase headphones. The headphones fit very nicely underneath the cap, so they stay on even if you do some faster swimming.

How can I use DryCase?


1) Scared of being in the water? - Why not put on some mellow relaxing music to eliminate the loud noises of a swimming hall and to make you more comfortable in the water. Having a familiar tune occupy your brain while being in the water does wonders to your sometimes unreasonable and unrealistic pre-meditated fears. There is no reason to buy any fancy underwater mp3 players for this purpose, just use your already purchased mobile phone or tablet.

My iPhone in the DryCase
2) Working on your technique or other swimming skills? - Even though the DryCase is not the most aerodynamic piece of equipment, it is still possible to swim with it during slower swimming, especially if you perform swimming drills. So, it makes swimming that much more interesting. Same as above, music or a coach's instructions in your ear do wonders for your focus and motivation. At the same time though, you can check the exact movements or exercises you should do next via Youtube or your favorite swimming source. There lies the real power of the DryCase.

3) Don't waste paper and take workouts with you to the pool on your mobile device :). Many swimmers and coaches bring sheets of paper with workouts on them and distrubute them to the swimmers to put on the pool wall. Wouldn't it be nice if we could do this via our mobile devices. Each pool wall would have a tablet where you could select the workout for the day or upload a workout via a web application. Imagine all the trees saved :). There is a product out there similar to this called Swimtag, but I would prefer to take my own mobile device with me.

4) Coaching and need mobile access? - If you are a coach, the DryCase comes with a strap that could be put around your neck, so you can have your mobile device protected from water as well as accessible at any time to record notes, take videos etc. etc. You no longer have to worry about slipping into the water or the swimmers joyfully pushing you in with your unprotected phone or tablet in your pocket :). Enjoy the wetness to the fullest.

5) Underwater video shoot - How about taking your underwater camera down with you in the DryCase and shooting some swimming videos for later analysis by a coach. There is no reason to buy a special underwater camera if you can just get a waterproof case to secure and protect your regular camera. You can even stream them live to your coach or friends.

Bonus:
Angry Birds on Facebook
Another hot topic in the news for the last year or so is the Finnish based game company Rovio with its world famous game Angry Birds. Games in general are a hot mobile endeavor, so for the hard core gamers who cannot stay away, taking the games with them to a hot tub, spa, shower or a bath is priceless. To my ignorant dismay, I just found out that the screen on my iPhone actually does not work under the water as there needs to be some electrical field present which obviously is not in the water. So, let's just say I was disappointed that I couldn't defeat the vicious pigs in the Angry Birds game down under, but when I came to the surface, I showed them what the now really angry birds were made of. This has nothing to do with the DryCase design, it is just a feature of the iPhone screen displays.


Summary: Pros and Cons

The DryCase waterproof casing for your tablet and your smartphone is very good at its job. It protects the device and prevents the water from coming in. It brings the world wide web and entertainment with you to the pool, so your swimming improvements can come faster. It can be used for many purposes in the water during recreational swimming or any recreational water based activity. Since the casing is a bit too large, it is not the most ideal case for competitive swim training in terms of speed as it creates quite a bit of drag. I tried it on the arm, on the waist and under the swimming cap, all of which are not very good locations for faster swimming. If you are after listening to music while you swim, there are better solutions out there. Don't have a tablet or a smartphone? No problem. Take your Kindle to a shower with you or give your child's favorite book a waterproofing solution it deserves. DryCase can literally hold it all.

Pros:
  • fits most standard size mobile devices
  • allows for headphone access
  • easy to use and put on
  • good price from $39.99 or on Amazon for cheaper
Cons:
  • not really for fast swimming
  • headphones should be wireless
Final rating: 5/5

Be seen, keep your stuff dry and take a break when needed.