Skip to main content

The Ampware iPhone case charges your phone on the go using a built-in crank

Some unique and interesting ways of keeping smartphones and other gadgets charged while traveling or living off the grid appeared in recent years. You can keep your mobile devices up and running with everything from USB battery packs to solar panels, even when you don’t have access to a power outlet. We’ve even seen smartphone cases with built-in batteries that can help extend a charge just a bit further. But we’ve never seen anything quite like the Ampware — an iPhone case that lets you keep your device charged anytime, anywhere, no matter the conditions.

The Ampware case is the brainchild of Mark Gabriel, who found himself without power after Hurricane Katrina made landfall in 2005. Luckily, Gabriel did have a radio that could be charged using a built-in hand crank, which proved invaluable for keeping up with the latest news and monitoring the relief efforts in the wake of the hurricane’s passing. But his cell phone ran out of power after a day or two, rendering it useless. It was during that time that he came up with the concept of using a hand crank to recharge a smartphone, and later he would partner with friend Erik Durr to design a solution that would make this idea a reality. It was then that the Ampware was born.

Made from a tough polycarbonate shell designed to keep the iPhone safe from accidental drops, the Ampware appears at first glance to be just like any one of the other hundreds of cases available for Apple’s smartphone. But on the back of the case, you will find both a kickstand for propping it up and a fold-out crank that can be turned to generate power. Just like the the radio that Gabriel used in the days following Hurricane Katrina, spinning that crank for five minutes creates enough juice to power the iPhone for an hour. And when you’re done, you simply fold the crank back into position, snapping it into place and out of the way until you need it again. This way, you can keep your iPhone running indefinitely without ever having to plug it into an outlet.

The Ampware is capable of generating up to 1,000 mAh of power and transfers it to the iPhone via the standard eight-pin lightning connector. That makes it perfect for backpackers, frequent travelers, or anyone else who finds themselves away from a power outlet on a regular basis but still needs to be able to keep their smartphone running. The case actually generates more consistent power than a solar panel for instance and eliminates the need for carrying a USB battery pack, which would require a recharge of its own at some point as well. In theory, you could conceivably hit the trail without even carrying a charging cable, provided you don’t mind turning the crank on a regular basis.

Available in both Shadow and Sport color options, the AMPware sells for $89. Find out more at

Editors' Recommendations

Kraig Becker
Kraig Becker is a freelance outdoor writer who loves to hike, camp, mountain bike, trail run, paddle, or just about any other…
10 reasons you should buy an iPhone in 2024
Purple iPhone 14 (left) and a green iPhone 15 in hand.

The iPhone 15 lineup — which includes the standard iPhone 15 and the iPhone 15 Pro — is the iPhone at its best. It's the latest series of iPhones available today and the default choice if you're buying a new iPhone in 2024.

But it’s not the only choice of iPhones you can purchase. In fact, Apple still sells the iPhone 14, iPhone 13, and the iPhone SE on its website. You could also find other iPhone models available – refurbished or new — from other retailers or carrier stores.

Read more
We now know when Apple is adding RCS to the iPhone
The iPhone 14 Plus held in a man's hand.

Last November, Apple made a surprise announcement when it confirmed that RCS was coming to the iPhone in 2024. It's something iPhone and Android phone users alike have been waiting years for, but there was just one small problem: Apple never said when in 2024 RCS was coming. Thanks to Google, of all companies, we now have a better idea of when RCS is heading to the iPhone.

As spotted by 9to5Google, the Android website was recently updated with a new page dedicated to Google Messages. If you click on the "See more features" button for the section talking about RCS, there's a section titled "Better messaging for all" with the following text: "Apple has announced it will be adopting RCS in the fall of 2024. Once that happens, it will mean a better messaging experience for everyone."

Read more
iOS 18 could make my iPhone look like Android, and I hate it
The Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max and the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra's rear panels.

If rumors are to be believed, iOS 18 will allow you to customize the home screen on your iPhone more substantially than ever before. This feature will be familiar to Android phone owners, but I don’t want my iPhone to look like an Android phone.

It’s a weird double-edged sword, as by giving you more freedom to make the home screen look unique, iOS may also lose what makes it unique compared to the less constrained world of Android.
iOS 18 and your iPhone home screen

Read more