Archived Post

AWT News Update: May 14, 2015, incorporating Think Different Thursday

Today’s Apple World Today News Update includes accessibility editor Alex Jurgensen’s Think Different Thursday report, providing instruction on how to use Apple’s VoiceOver technology to provide an audible caller ID for your iPhone. Our other news includes:

  • Word on how IT professionals can get a $200 discount from Apple World Today on registration for the MacIT Conference
  • An Apple Store in Monterey, CA was evacuated after a package made some people ill
  • Fortune’s report that HomeKit was going to be delayed has been refuted by Apple
  • UBS thinks Apple could seel more than 51 million iPhones in the quarter ending June 30, 2015

The text version of the podcast script is located below for your reading pleasure.

The Retro Touch Speaker for iPhone is kitschy, cute and, in the right circumstances, a nice audio booster for your iPhone. Unfortunately, the perfect circumstances are pretty restrictive. Stay tuned at the end of this review, as we’re giving away our demo unit!

Charming looks

My unit arrived about a week ago and I was charmed by it right away. It looks and feels like something from a 1950’s American diner, both in styling and the color palate. There’s a simple power/volume knob on the front, two 2-watt speakers on top, three ports on the back (aux out, mini USB and “USB out”) and a battery compartment on the bottom.

Also in the box I found instructions in several languages, two cute “Thumbs Up” stickers and a mini USB-to-USB cable for charging. Well, that’s that. Let’s turn the baby on and see what it can do.

Real-world use

The box calls it a “bedside smartphone speaker,” so naturally I first tried it out on the table next to my bed. There’s a shelf on the front of the Retro Touch that holds an iPhone 5S or a 5c perfectly. Other models won’t fit perfectly. You position the phone so that its speaker is on the left. Then, fire up some music, switch on the speaker and off you go.

The thing works by conducting the sound from the phone into the device and through the speakers. At a moderate volume level, it’s…OK. It provides enough of a boost that you can enjoy music or other audio while in a small, quiet room quite nicely. I listened to a few podcasts while getting ready in the mornings and it was enjoyable. The problem is when you try to crank it up.

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Steve Sande
the authorSteve Sande
Steve is the founder and former publisher of Apple World Today and has authored a number of books about Apple products. He's an avid photographer, an FAA-licensed drone pilot, and a really bad guitarist. Steve and his wife Barb love to travel everywhere!