The Gadling gift guide for the iPhone and iPod

The iPhone and iPod touch are popular. So popular in fact, that they have created an entire universe of accessories and products made to enhance their use. No other gadget in the world has this kind of assortment of great extras.

In this list, you’ll find ten products that will be well received by any iPhone or iPod Touch owner. Best of all, there is something for every budget.

Don’t forget to check out our other gift guides:

Gift guide for the lightweight traveler
Gift guide for famlily travel and kids
The top ten travel products of 2009
Macally PowerLink

The Macally PowerLink made it to the Gadling top ten travel products of 2009, which means it really does offer something special. The small device has two connectors – one for the iPod/iPhone and one USB plug for your computer. The PowerLink replaces your USB cable, but it also incorporates a Lithium-Ion backup battery pack, capable of charging your device. And to top it off, it even includes a 2GB flash drive. With this one product you can charge and sync your device and carry 2GB of your most important files.

Price: $49.99
Product page: Macally PowerLink

In Your Face Viewbase

The In Your Face Viewbase has quickly become one of my personal favorites this year. The product consists of a clamp to hold your device, and a flexible arm that can be attached to most parts of your airplane seat (or bus seat). Simply attach it to your tray table, and enjoy your movie. Of all the gadgets I carry, this is the one that gets the most attention, and every flight attendant that sees it, asks where they can order one for themselves.

Price: $24.95
Product page: In Your Face USA

Otterbox Commuter and Commuter TL case

The Otterbox Commuter and Commuter TL cases provide good looking protection for your iPhone. The Commuter case consists of two parts – one silicone jacket, and a polycarbonate shell to protect the back. The Commuter TL case ups the ante with a special honeycomb structure to cushion drops.

Price: From $29.95
Product page: Otterbox Commuter cases

Ultimate Ears MetroFi 700

The headphones included with your iPhone may be better than most standard headphones, but if you love your music, you may want to consider investing in something with a little more “oopmh”. The Ultimate Ears 700 come from the same brand that provides earphones for many of the world’s best musicians.

Yes – at just under $200, they may so be ludicrously priced, but one listen to them will show why they deserve such a pricetag.

Price: $199.99
Product page: Ultimate Ears

idox Traveler Series iPhone case/view dock

The idox hard case is as brilliant as it is simplistic. When closed, it is a really sturdy hard case for your device, and when you open it, it turns into an angled viewing base. This is of course perfect for watching a movie, or using your iPhone as an alarm clock. It provides the kind of protection you need for your iPhone or iPod touch when you pop it in your bag.

Price: From $24.95
Product page: idox traveler series cases


2009 was the year that finally made wireless charging available to the masses. PowerMat combines an inductive charging pad with special device cases. The iPhone and iPod Touch versions slide onto your device, and allow you to charge your device by simply placing them on top of the charging pad. Sadly, the combination of a PowerMat and iPhone/iPod Touch case will cost just under $150, which is quite steep for wireless charging. Their travel mat folds into a compact device, and packs easily.

Price: $99.95 for basic PowerMat kit
Product page: PowerMat

Kensington travel battery pack and charger for iPhone and iPod Touch

This is another of those super simple yet brilliant products. The Kensington travel battery pack and charger is a battery booster for the iPhone and iPod Touch, but the cap on this thing doubles as a stand. Plug it into your device, and sit back to watch a movie. The product features a folding USB plug for easy recharging and 5 LED lights show the charge level.

Price: $69.99
Product page: Kensington

Altec Lansing inMotion CLASSIC

Altec Lansing was one of the first companies to produce a battery powered portable speaker for the iPhone. Their original inMotion was a huge success, and they are revisiting that success with the new inMotion CLASSIC. This speaker features a cool retro look, full remote control and internal battery pack. As can be expected from Altec Lansing, the sound from this speaker is just plain fantastic. Highly recommended for some quiet entertainment in your hotel room, or massive audio at a beach party.

Price: $149.95
Product page: Altec Lansing inMotion CLASSIC.

Altec Lansing Orbit MP3

If the previous speaker doesn’t fit your bag, or you’d like something in a lower price range, then check out the Altec Lansing Orbit MP3. This small speaker is powered off three AAA batteries, and produces some mindblowing volume. Best of all, it sounds really good. Sure, you lose the bass and stereo of the larger speakers, but this is perfect for in your hotel room or anywhere else you’d like some tunes.

Price: $39.95
Product page: Altec Lansing Orbit MP3

iTunes gift card

You don’t need to go overboard when trying to find a great gift for an iPhone owner. The Apple iTunes gift card allows people to shop for music, movies and apps. And really, anyone with an iPhone will probably be buying at least one app or song a week, so a decent value gift card can go a long way. It pays to research the best deals on these cards – your local grocery store or warehouse club often sells them at a modest discount.

Price: From $15
Where to buy: Gift card retailers, and Apple stores

Get yourself in the holiday spirit with Slacker iPhone Holiday Radio

In need of some cheering up this holiday season? Slacker just released a free Christmas version of their popular iPhone/iPod Touch streaming music app.

The Holiday version includes 11 festive channels, including “Dysfunctional Holiday” and several channels to cater for your personal taste in music.

As with the regular Slacker player, this one is free of charge. When you upgrade to Slacker Plus, you remove the ads from inside the app, and add the ability to skip more than 6 times per hour.

Still, even without the plus upgrade, this app is a fun and free way to get your daily fix of Christmas music. Thankfully the app also allows you to “ban” certain songs, which is exactly what I’ll do when “Last Christmas” pops up in my playlist.

You’ll find Slacker iPhone Holiday Radio in the App Store under “Slacker Holiday”, or by clicking this link (iTunes URL)

The iPhone holiday airport survival guide

The holiday season is a tough one for air travelers. Bad weather, oversold flights and flight cancellations can really screw up your holiday plans. Sadly, when things do go wrong, airport staff are not always able/willing to assist, and when they do, the line to reach the desk can be huge.

Thankfully, if you have an iPhone, you really do “have an app for that”. In this lineup, you’ll find six iPhone apps that can help survive the worst the airport throws at you.

Don’t rely on the announcements from gate staff – stay one step ahead of everyone by listening to the air traffic controllers at your airport. The application covers 100’s of airports, in the US and abroad, and streams the live conversations between the controllers and aircraft. So, next time the tower tells your plane that it’ll be 2 hours, and the captain tells you on the intercom that they wait “won’t be too long”, you’ll know the real situation.

This app also works great from the gate, or even on the drive to the airport. Sure, you need to be a bit geeky, and it’ll take a little practice to understand all the various aviation terms used, but before you know it, you’ll be a pro at deciphering all the communications with your flight.

Price: $2.99
iTunes app store link: LiveATC

FlightTrack Pro

This is an indispensable application for any traveler with an iPhone. FlightTrack Pro links to TripIt, allowing you to import all your itineraries. The app keeps a close eye on your flight, and alerts you of any delays, gate changes or cancellations.

In my experience, FlightTrack Pro can even alert you to these changes before the gate agents or PA announcer are informed.

It has happened to me several times that I walked to the new gate 10 minutes before the rest of the passengers even knew about the change.

FlightTrack Pro is also fantastic for gate notifications on connecting flights. Simply turn your phone on when you land (and when the flight crew say it is OK), and you’ll immediately see where your next flight departs from.

Price: $9.99
iTunes app store link: FlightTrack Pro


Sooner or later you’ll hear the dreaded announcement – “flight canceled”. If the delay is weather related, the airlines will usually just close up for the night and leave you on your own. At this point, most passengers will be running for the hotel booking desk. You are prepared, so grab your iPhone, start HotelPal, and within 20 seconds, you have a list of all the local hotels, their current rate for the night and their distance to your location.

You can reserve a room directly inside the application, view detailed information about the hotel and even see its location on a map.

Price: free
iTunes app store link: HotelPal


preFlight displays current FAA supplied delay information for virtually every airport in the country.

It shows departure delays, arrival delays and any other specific delay information.

Best of all, it shows why the airport is suffering delays, which can give you a good idea how long you’ll be stuck at the airport food court.

Price: $0.99
iTunes app store link: preFlight


Do you know the phone number for your airline? Or a quick way to reach their online check-in site? FlightSites is a really simple collection of airline phone numbers and web sites. It covers most of the US carriers, and provides links to their customer support pages, frequent flier site, online check-in site and a quick way to call their customer support.

Price: free
iTunes app store link: FlightSites

Airport maps for iPhone

What do you do when you arrive at an airport you’ve never been to, and only have 10 minutes to find your connecting gate?

Or what if you arrive at the airport in desperate need of a Big Mac? Airport Maps for iPhone covers 59 major North American airports, and displays gates, amenities and other services.

The app shows easy to navigate maps of the airport, with pinch and zoom control.

Since the application stores all the maps locally, you can browse your destination while still in the air (with your iPhone in flight mode of course).

Price: $2.99
iTunes app store link: Airport maps for iPhone

Daily deal – Energizer Energi To Go iPod/iPhone charger pack for $10

Today’s daily deal is for the Energizer Energi To Go portable power pack for the iPod and iPhone.

This battery powered dock can deliver up to 2 full charges for your device, depending on the model.

A fully charged set of batteries will bring your iPod or iPhone back to 100% in 2-3 hours.

Included with the device are 2 lithium batteries, any kind of battery will work, but these lithium batteries provide the most power.

The Energi To Go charger normally retails for about $30, but is currently on sale at for just $9.99, with free shipping!