Reading about the Apple Peel accessory is almost like reading about the Abominable Snowman, Loch Ness monster or the Giant Squid. Everybody has read about them, and there are many articles written about them but nobody has actually seen one.
Well now I have.
In fact, I went one step further; I bought and installed one on an Ipod Touch 3G. BTW, the original developer for the Apple Peel is a Chinese company called Yosion Technology.
If you don't know what the Apple Peel is,well,basically it is an Ipod Touch case that has a simcard slot to convert the Ipod Touch 2G or 3G into a working phone in order that it can accept incoming/outgoing voice calls and sms.
However, first it requires the Ipod Touch to be jailbroken.
(Warning: modifying the Ipod Touch voids Apple’s warranty)
Summary of Events:
1. Brought an Ipod Touch 3G with OS version 3.1.3 to seller.
2. Seller took 10 mins to jailbreak the IpodTouch.
3. Handed back the Ipod (with Cydia installer– for the technically uninclined, this is how you know someone has modified the Operating System) and bagged the Apple Peel.
4. Went home, installed Appsync, mobile substrate, Yosion calling and sms apps.
5. Inserted my post-paid simcard.
6. Cool, it works! Phone call and sms incoming/outgoing functions tested ok!
1. Allows Ipod Touch 2G or 3G to make incoming/outgoing calls and text messaging like a normal phone. The integration of these functions with the contacts app, pop-up on-screen keyboard and settings app is very seamless.
2. Casing is not too bulky (Thickness is like an external battery casing).
3. Meets requirements of Government departments, Military compounds and Companies that do not allow employees to bring in phones with cameras. It is probably the most advanced and attractive phone without a camera (closest competitors are HTC Touch and Snap and other phones I won't even bother to mention).
4. It is carrier unlocked.
5. Apple Peel even has vibrator/silent mode.
1. Voids warranty; requires jailbreaking of the Ipod Touch.
2. May be too much work for the non-technically inclined, on their own, to install Cydia apps such as appsync and the yosion apps. But seriously, you need to stop reading now only if you need help installing Windows or Itunes.
3. Casing may be too bulky for some people. It makes the Ipod Touch about 20-30% heavier and bigger than the Iphone 4(it’s just like adding a case with a battery pack). Recontracting for an Iphone 4 or Iphone 3GS may still be the better option if the additional bulk doesn’t do it for you.
4. This 1st gen Apple Peel only supports phone and sms incoming/outgoing. Appstore access and data transfer is achieved using the Ipod’s wifi only. 3G/GPRS data transfers are not supported by the Apple Peel 1st Gen.
5. The Vibrator/Silentmode may be a little mild for some people.
It works as advertised. But it targets a niche market considering that I don’t know many people with an Ipod Touch who doesn’t already have a phone, or need an Iphone without a camera.
Note: There are some internet articles/forum postings that mention about how the Apple Peel casing does not allow the insertion of headphones because it blocks the headphone jack. I have no idea what those folks are talking about. Perhaps their headphone jack is too big? I wonder.