Fun and Freaky iPhone Mods

These modifications of various Apple mobile devices reflect impressive amounts of ingenuity, skill, and--in some instances--leisure time.


If you have $2.6 million lying around, you might want to talk to Austrian jeweler Peter Aloisson about ordering his custom-made King's Button for the iPhone. The ultimate iPhone bling is lined with 18-carat gold, encrusted with 138 small diamonds, and topped off with a 6.6-carat diamond for the iPhone home button, according to
The Daily Mail. Aloisson originally designed this case for the iPhone 3G. For a bigger dose tech glam excess, see PCWorld's collection of the priciest personal tech in the world.

Mazda RX-8

Australian Jon Oxer used a
Linux-based Alix 1 computer and an iPod Touch to remotely control his Mazda RX-8. Oxer can’t move the car with his iPod, but he can use the handheld device to unlock the doors and the trunk, start the car, link to a real-time GPS feed, and receive system status updates about the car’s gas level, engine rpm, and temperature. Because the car has its own 3G connection, Jon can use the iPod Touch to activate the car from anywhere in the world. Check out the wiki at GeekMyRide for more information about Oxer’s car and other cool projects.

iPhone 3G Clear

This custom iPhone 3G case shows off all of the iPhone’s secrets. The work was done by the now-defunct Russian company iCustom. Though it looks cool, adapting the case requires a lot of work, since you have to remove the original back casing. The clear cover also lacks a space for the iPhone camera.


This steampunk iPhone dock by artist Scott Freeland features a urethane resin base hand-sculpted to simulate a very early rotary-style telephone. The dock includes an insert for your iPhone USB, and it can accommodate most iPhone models, including the iPhone 3G, the iPhone 3GS, and the iPhone 4. The iRetrofone sells for $350 on Etsy, but only three units remain according to the site, so you’d better hurry if you want one.

High-Powered Cameras

Enhancing the
iPhone’s photo taking abilities by strapping SLR lenses onto the device seems to have become a cottage industry. The blog Hypebeast spotted this Frankencamera, which combines a mini-tripod with a Carl Zeiss DSLR lens. There’s even a blog dedicated to using an SLR lens on the iPhone 4, and one online vendor sells a telescope for iPhone 3G and 3GS handsets. Unfortunately, slapping a super lens onto your iPhone may not do much for your device. You might get different angles and be able to zoom in more, but in the absence of improved optics designed to work with extended lenses, the picture quality of your super-accessorized iPhone camera probably won’t get much of a bump.

White iPhone 4 DIY Edition

If you just can’t wait for Apple to ship the
white iPhone 4, why not create your own? Engadget ordered a white iPhone 4 casing from one of the many iPhone parts resellers in China. Then the daring team grabbed iFixit’s teardown instructions to build their own white iPhone 4. This project is suitable for only the most serious DIY modders since it involves dismantling your phone and reassembling it in a new case. But if you dare, check out Engadget to find out more about this project, with step-by-step photos.

iPhone 4 Easel

The iPhone and the iPod Touch are great for watching video on the go or at your desk. But holding either device in your hand for hours on end can be a pain, and laying it flat on a table isn’t much better. The geniuses at HacknMod came up with this easel composed of five lead pencils and a few rubber bands. It’s a dead simple hack, and it produces an iPhone stand for a total cost of less than two bucks.


GPS isn’t just for the automotive crowd: Pedal junkies can get in on the action as well. sells a bicycle mount for the iPhone 3G and 3GS for just $13. The mount is ideal for handlebars that are 0.75 or 1 inch in diameter. The one shown here is a hack from Cycling Experiences that moves the mount from the handlebars to the bicycle stem.

Stream Video on the Fly

Okay, this one isn’t a mod, but it’s a great (and easy) way to stream video from your PC to your iOS device. The app is called
Air Video from InMethod, and it works with a companion desktop app to stream almost any video format directly from your PC. If your video is in a format such as DVI that your iPhone or iPad can’t use, Air Video transcodes the video on the fly. In my tests it worked like a charm.

Get a Grip

Do you love iPhone games but hate how the iPhone or iPod Touch feels in your hands? Then check out
Marware’s Game Grip case, which features two expanded silicone grips for the iPhone 3GS. The case runs from $40 to $45 depending on your iPhone or iPod model. If that’s too expensive, check out Flickr user Ronn Sprocket’s DIY cardboard version.

FaceTime for iPhone 3G

Back in 2007, twin brothers Ken and Glen Asplenagh came up with a creative way to do videoconferencing with the iPhone. The twins develop Mac accessories at Ecamm, which used to sell the Huckleberry Berry mirror for the MacBook--a two-mirror system that turns your laptop’s iSight camera into a front-facing camera. They modified their mirror system to fit the iPhone so that the iPhone’s video camera would capture the reflected image of the person’s face. The phone then relayed the video to a Web server, which compressed it and sent it on to a second phone with the same setup. Unfortunately their program doesn’t have any audio, so you’ll need to start a phone call to get that. Still, it's an inventive mod, despite being a little outdated now that the iPhone 4 and the iPod Touch have
FaceTime videoconferencing.