As U.S. digital radio aficionados may recall, Gigaware made a brief splash in 2009 when it introduced its HD Radio accessory dongle for iPhones at Radio Shack outlets nationwide, making it the first digital radio accessory for U.S. smartphones. Now Europeans have a chance to add a "bandwidth free" radio accessory to their iPhone 4s that has a built-in feel, thanks to Lingo's new iRis battery pack and analog FM/DAB receiver. Unlike previous smartphone DAB accessories, Lingo's actually encases the phone, making the two devices look and feel like a single unit.
Users can also downlaod a free app named DAB GO! that manages both analog and digital radio operation as well as battery life. Other than the accessory port, iRis' wrap-around plastic shell provides full access for the phone's camera, jacks and control points.
An iLounge first look review gives a close-up at what digital radio add-on devices can look like when ergonomics are applied to smartphone accessory design.