Consumers who want to stay warm and still use their Apple hand-held gadgets might want to try iPod- and iPhone-compatible gloves. The gloves range from the low-tech, where the tips of the fingers are exposed, to more sophisticated models that conduct static electricity through the glove from your fingertips to the iPod click wheel.
Most of the gloves were usable with both the click wheel of the latest iPod classic and nano and the screen of the iPhone. The gloves do keep the hands warm. But when it comes to operating the latest high-tech communication devices, nothing compares to the precision of the bare finger. And if you plan on texting without exposing your fingers, do allow yourself more time and patience. Dots Gloves for iPhone
Price: $15 for knit, $20 for wool
Availability: D O T S
Comment: The gloves have a metal dot at the tip of each thumb and index finger, to contact the iPhone's touch screen. The design worked for us. Dots Gloves says the dots' smooth texture should keep them from scratching the screen, but warns not to use them if the dots are scratched. As with most of the gloves we tested, it was a challenge to text. It was also difficult to enlarge and shrink photos or Web sites, which generally requires using the sides, not the tips, of your thumb and index finger. Freehands Gloves
Price: $20 for fleece, $30 for stretch, $40 for leather
Comment: These remind us of hobo gloves. The index finger and thumb have small flaps that, when open, reveal the top half of each finger. Although very elementary in design, these gloves do the trick. However, it might be cheaper to just buy any pair of gloves and cut off the fingers, especially since Freehands Gloves come only in black and aren't particularly stylish. The North Face E-Tip Gloves
Comment: At first blush, these gloves' futuristic design looks more suited for a gamer. The tip of the index finger and thumb are covered with so-called X-static fabric, which contains a layer of silver. Though the action was slightly more awkward than a human touch for the screen and slide wheel, we found these gloves the easiest to use among the ones we tested that still left our hands covered. 180s Gloves
Price: $35 for EcoTec, $40 for Puffy Quilt (women only), $50 for Powder and Powder Mitt
Availability: 180s: Home
Comment: This active-wear company markets iPod-compatible gloves in different styles, ranging from the lightweight to heavy ski gloves, each of which has static-electricity conductive fabric dots at the finger tips. We tested all four of the styles listed above and were unsuccessful in getting them to work with the latest iPod nano or iPod classic at a local Apple store. Debby Phelps, director of product development at 180s, says the glove technology should work with the fourth- and fifth-generation iPod classic and first-through-fourth-generation iPod nano. The company says the gloves aren't designed to work with iPhones or iPod touch devices.