Is Apple relaunching the iPod on its 20th Anniversary this year? Here’s why it could be a smart idea…

Four words – Lossless Audio, and Apple Arcade. These four words could just as easily the new iPod’s design brief. The Twitter rumor-mill’s working on overdrive after a few sources claimed that Apple could announce a new iPod this fall. A few designers even went so far as to create renders based on hearsay and leaks, and I’m absolutely here for it. A new iPod could be a pretty nifty product for a variety of reasons. Here are my thoughts.

Only last week Apple announced that lossless audio was coming to Apple Music. With a new iPod, it’ll be like Apple going into the music-streaming war guns-a-blazing. Spotify’s slowly but surely dominated this space, and the new iPod could almost be Apple signaling that it’s taking the music domain pretty seriously. The iPod could drum up major interest the same way the Moto RAZR did – nostalgia is a powerful force. Moreover, the hardware would be no different from the iPhone 5 or the iPhone SE, given that the renders look pretty much exactly like those devices.

Secondly, the new iPod has the ability to become Apple’s gateway device for a variety of iOS features (and probably even MagSafe, who knows). Kids could use it for listening to music, but could also potentially use the iMessage service on it. The iPod could leverage the power of Apple Arcade too, becoming a very affordable device that parents would buy for their kids in a heartbeat, tying them into the Apple ecosystem at an early age. The iPod has always been an impulse purchase (as opposed to the iPhone)… reissuing the gadget on its 20th anniversary absolutely makes a world of sense!!

Image Credits: Steve Moser, AppleLe257, and Apple_Tomorrow

If Apple Arcade had its own gaming controller, I’d want it to look as minimal as this

Sleek, with minimal details, and controls that are as baffling as the AppleTV Remote yet equally appealing. This may be Designer Hannes Geipel’s version of a Microsoft Surface Gaming Controller, but it definitely has a very strong Apple-esque vibe to it.

The Surface Gaming Controller concept by Hannes Geipel boasts of a brilliantly simple form. With absolutely no frills, textures, accents, or color-separation, the Surface Gaming Controller has a clean look to it that is a major contrast to Microsoft’s own Xbox controller. The Surface Gaming Controller comes with a soft, satin finish, and sports two rather slick looking joypads with a metallic ring around them. The joypads lie perfectly in reach of your thumb, while two large X signs sit where you’d expect the D-pad and the XYAB buttons.

However, instead of the buttons, the controller opts for flaps, using the X-shaped cutouts to create triangular plastic flaps that bend inward when pressed. The flaps give a natural spring-like action, providing just the right amount of resistance as you press it… although whether this detail is better than your average button from a tactile standpoint is something that’s yet to be determined. On the aesthetic front, the X-shaped cutouts definitely set the controller apart visually! There are even a pair of triggers on the upper corners of the controller, although they sit flush against the surface and recess inwards when pressed.

All the details on the Surface Gaming Controller focus more on form than on function, resulting in a device that definitely looks good. I’d arguably compare this to the AppleTV Remote, which most consumers will agree is more visually pleasing than functionally useful. Then again, the Surface Game Controller is just a concept. It echoes the clean, no-nonsense design of Microsoft’s Surface Book and Surface Pro, comes with minimal backlighting for night-time gaming, and if you look carefully, you’ll even spot the Microsoft logo on the back!

Designer: Hannes Geipel

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