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I'm a fan of anything that makes life easier -- especially when it costs five bucks.
The Ninja Loop fits that definition to a tee.
I first fell in love with this thing a year ago, and I still consider it an essential smartphone accessory. It originally sold for $6, but now you can get a Ninja Loop for $4.99 -- and shipping is free if you order at least three of them. (Yeah, this is barely a sale -- I just wanted to talk up the product again.)
Available in a variety of colors and patterns, this twill or satin strap works with nearly any smartphone case to allow for easier one-handed operation.
Indeed, if you own a larger phone, you know your thumb isn't nearly long enough to reach all the corners. There are a smattering of specialized cases, as well as bulky plastic add-ons, that aim to improve the single-hand experience, but the Ninja Loop doesn't require abandoning your preferred case. Nor does it add any weight or bulk.
Instead, you stick one end of the strap to the inside of your case, then feed it out the camera hole, down the back side and back in through any available opening in the bottom. The other end affixes to the inside of the case, same as the first.
These two ends rely on strong adhesive to provide the necessary tension, yet I had no trouble peeling up one end to adjust the fit -- and it left behind no residue. Then you just slip a couple fingers in between the strap and case and presto: a solid one-handed grip. Added bonus: you're less likely to accidentally drop your phone.
My kids refer to this as "the dork strap," and I'll admit it's a little goofy. But I'm now so conditioned to slide my fingers beneath the loop, I can't live without it. Sometimes, when my hands are full, I'll just stick my pinky through so I can still carry my phone and not worry about dropping it. If this strap makes me a dork, then a dork be I!
Could you create one of your own with some ribbon and double-sided tape? Absolutely, have at it. I'm just saying, this is a ridiculously handy thing, especially for butter-fingered users like myself. Not to jinx it, but I haven't dropped my phone once since going all Ninja (Loop) on it.
Bonus deal: Game time! Two of the all-time great puzzle apps are on sale for a limited time: iTunes is offering the Go Collection for just 99 cents. The "collection" includes two games: Hitman Go and Lara Croft Go. Normally they're priced at $4.99 apiece. You can also hit up the Google Play Store for the Android versions, which aren't sold in a bundle but are on sale for 99 cents each -- still a savings of $8. And while you're there, grab Limbo for Android for 99 cents as well. It's another classic that's well worth owning, and normally $4.99.
Bonus deal 2: Google Express is kind of like Jet meets ShopRunner: an online marketplace coupled with free shipping. I've never used it, and honestly I don't entirely understand it, but new users (and only new users) can try Google Express for free for six months when signing up with coupon code WOOT6. (The standard free trial runs for only three months.) Just be sure to cancel at the end, otherwise you'll be on the hook for $10 per month.