Throwback Thursday: 20 Retro Gadgets For Your iPhone

Posted by Harshad

Throwback Thursday: 20 Retro Gadgets For Your iPhone

Throwback Thursday: 20 Retro Gadgets For Your iPhone

Posted: 07 Nov 2013 07:01 AM PST

Do you still remember what your very first music player or game console looked like? With the current rate at which things are becoming obsolete, manufacturers have been coming up with creative ideas in incorporating nostalgic elements in their products.

From vintage-looking iPhone cases and earphones to funny-looking styluses, you’ll see that combining the old and the new produces a rather refreshing result.

One can see this as a way of paying tribute to the nostalgic and iconic styles of the past. But cool retro designs are not all there is to it – you may be surprised at the functionalities these gadgets offer as well. Without further ado, here’s our collection of 20 awesome retro gadgets for your iPhone. Time for a blast from the past.

Tape Cassette Retro Case for iPhone 5 – Love listening to music on your phone? Complete the illusion with this retro cassette iPhone case. Takes you back, doesn’t it?

Mobile Phone Retro Handset – Enjoy the comfort of using a landline telephone (which won’t burn up no matter how long you talk on it) wherever you are. Especially useful for long calls.

iPhone Film ScannerYou can now scan film (up to 35 mm) straight into your very own iPhone with this cool gadget. Read more about it here.

C/dock iPhone Dock Doubles as Alarm Clock – Designed in the image of a traditional alarm clock, this is one solid (it’s made of walnut!) iPhone dock.

iBell iPhone Alarm Clock Cradle – Turn your iPhone into an iconic classic alarm clock (complete with Chrome bells) with this little gadget.

iCade 8-Bitty – Game Controller for iPhone – Turn your iPhone into a mini videogame console (classic Nintendo style) with this add-on game controller. More iOS gaming gadgets here.

Macintosh iPhone Case – Are you a hardcore Apple fan? With this case, you almost certainly are.

iPhone Microphone Speaker – Looks like a retro microphone speaker, does what a modern counterpart should do. Also compatible with any MP3 player.

Portable AMP for iPhone Horn Stand – Boasting a 13dB of volume capacity and needing no external power, this is one for those who really need an audio boost on the go.

NES iPhone Speaker Dock – Awww look. Your childhood toy and your current toy vying for your attention together. Love Nintendo? This will do.

Vintage Radio Case for iPhone 4 & 4s – Go vintage with this iPhone case. Available in white and black, it is also waterproof and resistant to sunlight.

3D Camera for iPhone – You can now capture 3D images with your iPhone. At $49, this is one good bargain you can’t refuse. Read more about Poppy here.

iRetrofone 2.0 Steampunk Silver – Compatible with all iPhones from iPhone 3G onwards, this is a beautiful addition you won’t mind having around the house.

The Impossible Instant Photo Lab- The Photo Lab lets you print the photos that you want on the spot. Edit, filter and spruce up your pictures all you like then print it on a polaroid with this contraption.

Slow Photography Camera for iPhone- Choose between three lenses, fixed, macro and fish-eye to let your camera lens capture life from a different angle.

LEGO inspired Block Case for iPhone 4/4S – A LEGO-inspired iPhone case that also doubles as a stand.

Giant Pencil Touchscreen Stylus – Finally a stylus big enough to grip through gloves during winter time.

Funneled LP iPhone Amps – Showcase your playlist with this sound amplifier. It takes up quite a bit of room on your desk but it’s probably worth it for some great music.

Vintage Book iPhone Charger – A good book can charge your mind, and now your iPhone. With no messy cords lying around, this is one handy charger. For more smartphone chargers, click here.

Retro Boom Box Cassette Tape Player iPhone Case – A cool case that also offers top protection (durable aluminum face plate) for your iPhone. More beautiful iPhone cases here.


10 Cool Biking Gadgets For The Avid Cyclist

Posted: 07 Nov 2013 05:01 AM PST

There’s no doubt about it: cycling is in! Whether for commuting, recreation or sport, it seems that just about everyone is riding some sort of bicycle these days. But in this technology-dominated day and age, there’s so much more you can have on your bicycle than just a bell and some simple lights.

If you’re a cyclist, or know someone who is, here’s a list of 10 bicycle gadgets you should check out. Some gadgets help make cycling safer, others help you find your way and there is even one that lets you charge your devices from the power of cycling.

To complete the list, we’ve added two more gadgets made for competitive cycling near the end of the post. State your favorite in the comment box below.

1. Wireless Bicycle Turn Signal

This under-seat turn signal unit is battery-powered, has ultra-bright LEDs and will emit loud beeping when you make a turn. The signals are activated wirelessly using a push-button controller attached to your bicycle’s handlebar. The unit also has a hazard mode on top of left and right signals. [$68]

Wireless Bicycle Turn Signal

2. Hammerhead

Hammerhead is a device that attaches to your bicycle’s bars and provides turn-by-turn navigation guided by a GPS app installed on your smartphone. Hammerhead also integrates with cycling apps such as Strava and MapMyRide. It is currently available for preorder, and is scheduled to ship in June 2014. [$85]


3. Siva Cycle Atom

Turn some of the kinetic power from your cycling to power your devices with Siva Cycle’s Atom. This portable generator attaches to your bicycle axle and can charge any device via USB port. Don’t want to bring your devices with you when you cycle? Just charge the detachable 1300mAh battery pack that comes with every order. Orders before Feb 15 2014 will start shipping in April 2014. [$99]

Siva Cycle Atom

4. bikeSpike

BikeSpike helps secure your bike with a combination of GPS and cellular technology. You can track your bike in real-time, set up safe zones and alert notifications when you ride beyond zone limits. It can also alert you if there is a possibility of someone tampering with your bicycle. BikeSpike currently only works in the US, EU, Australia and Japan. Shipping is scheduled for Winter 2013. [$129; $4.99 or $6.99 for data plan]


5. Scosche boomBOTTLE

The Scosche boomBOTTLE is a wireless Bluetooth speaker that’s geared towards outdoor activity. It fits perfectly in a bicycle water bottle cage, and is IPX4 splash proof. The boomBOTTLE also has a built-in microphone, so it can work as a speakerphone. The rechargable lithum battery offers 10 hours of use. The boomBOTTLE comes in pink, grey, blue, yellow and green. [$139]

Scosche boomBOTTLE

6. ICEdot Crash Sensor

The ICEdot Crash Sensor, attached to your helmet, sends alerts to your contacts when you are in an accident. A countdown on the Crash Sensor app is triggered during the accident; if the countdown is not disabled, your GPS coordinates and alerts are sent to listed emergency contacts. Available for iPhone 4S and above, an Android 4.3 version is currently in development. [$149; ICEdot membership $10 per year]

ICEdot Crash Sensor

7. Helios Bars

The Helios Bars incorporate features such as GPS tracking and built-in front- and rear-facing LED lights. The rear-facing lights change color according to your speed, function as turn signals and indicators for the turn-by-turn navigation feature. Helios Bars come in straight, bullhorn and drop bar styles, and the first batch is scheduled to ship this December. [$199]

Helios Bars

8. Revolights

Revolights are rings of LEDs mounted onto your wheels. The built-in accelerometers ensure that the LEDs only light up when facing the front or rear of your bicycle. As a result, you get 360 degree illumination, increasing visibility from the side. While they currently only fit road and hybrid bikes with 27" wheels, Revolights plans to move to mountain bikes and 26" wheels soon. [$139 per wheel, $229 for complete set]


9. Hövding

Hövding is an inflable helmet, worn around your neck. It uses sensors and algorithms to detect when a crash occurs, and immediately inflates itself to protect your head. The catch? It’s a one-use wonder. Upon inflation, you have to buy another one. It does however have an external shell that can be changed to match your outfit but it’s currently only available in the EU. [$550]


10. Rubbee Drive

The Rubbee Drive is an electric bicycle conversion kit (a friction drive) that is easy to attach and detach for a quick boost. A small rubber wheel drives your bicycle’s rear wheel. The Rubbee is good for about 15 miles of travel at 15 miles per hour, and is currently available for pre-order. Expect shipping to start in Feb-Mar 2014. [$1190]


More: For The Competitive Cyclist

Competitive cyclists probably won’t be interested in electric motors and lights for nighttime commuting, preferring instead gadgets that help them train.

Suunto Ambit2 S

The Suunto Ambit2 S is a watch that tracks vital statistics such as ride distance, ride length and speed. It also comes with a GPS and barometer, and will measure and display stats (cadence, power) when paired with any ANT+ compatible power meter. You can download apps for the Ambit2 S from the Suunto’s Movescount website. [$450]

Suunto Ambit2 S

Garmin Vector

The Garmin Vector is a pedal-mounted power meter system topping crank-based power meters when it comes to portability and easy installation. The Vector records cadence and a variety of metrics such as kilojoules, average power and power zones. It can also read power separately for the pedals, so compatible bike computers can display the power output for each leg. [$1699]

Garmin Vector


Download Offline Maps With GPS Navigation on Android With OsmAnd

Posted: 07 Nov 2013 02:01 AM PST

Part of the fun in travelling is exploring new places. When Internet access is limited, some of us may have to revert to using printed maps. However, if you are on Android, there is an app called OsmAnd, an offline-mapping app that can serve as your GPS-enabled navigation solution.


OsmAnd has a large database of maps that you can download to your Android device. The app also comes with offline search features that include directions, addresses, points of interest, GPS navigation, safety features and expandable plugins to help you get the most out of this mapping app.

Downloading Maps

First, download and install OsmAnd (there are a few sources for download here including for Blackberry devices).

Start the app and head over to Settings > Data Management > Download button (as per screenshot) to access the download section. You have over 200 downloadable country maps to choose from. Here is the full list of supported country maps.

Download Offline Maps

If you need to save on space, you can also choose to download the road-only maps instead of the full ones. To download, simply tick the boxes and press the download button that appears at the bottom of the screen.

OsmAnd Maps

Offline Search & Navigation

With OsmAnd, you can navigate your way with your downloaded maps without an Internet connection. Both the Search and the Navigation functions work offline. You just need to turn on your GPS.

Search Function

The app will automatically use the GPS function on your device to determine your current location and look for the appropriate map. This will load up your required map when you start the app.


On the bottom left side of the screen, look for the Options button and tap on it to open a list of menus. Next, tap on Search.


You can search for addresses and points of interest or use filters to narrow down your search results.

In this example, we will demonstrate using the address search function to navigate to a location. Tap on the House icon to go to the address search. Input the address of your destination accordingly.


From here, you can choose whether to start navigating, to add this destination as a waypoint, to have the app show the destination on the map or to add the location to your favorites.


To start navigating, just tap on Directions. Choose between directions for driving, cycling or walking. Tap on Start navigation.


This is basically what your map will look like.

Offline GPS Navigation

Other Features

While the map designs may need some sprucing up, OsmAnd offers a few other features that may benefit you in your travels:

  • Safety – Enable day / night view, speed limit display, speed-dependant map zooming, and location sharing.
  • Bicycle and Pedestrian – The maps also include options for foot, hiking, and bike paths with special routing and display mode.
  • Plugins – OsmAnd has a free plugin to mark your parked car location anywhere on the map with or without a timer and another one [$2] to display contour lines and hillshade views on the map.


There are a few limitations to using OsmAnd. It only allows up to 10 free downloads (e.g. offline maps, online and tile maps, voice data, updates). The paid version costs $8.07, which removes this limit and gives you added features like Wikipedia POIs (good for sightseeing).

The map file sizes can be overwhelming on your device. It does not have a world basemap so if you are travelling across several countries, you need to have the country maps downloaded into your device. There are also comments by past users about the map not being user-friendly enough.

If however you are an avid traveller, this app may be a good investment for your travels. Let us know if you will be getting it.



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