The only thing I absolutely hate about the Google Pixel 6 is how ugly its cases are going to be…

Google Pixel 6 Protective Cover Case Alibaba

The Google Pixel 6 is coming… and with it, a barrage of hideous cases that completely destroy its beautiful aesthetic.

Roughly a month ago Jon Prosser claimed he had credible information regarding how the upcoming Google Pixel 6 would look. The images he shared with the world showed a radical new design that had a pretty standout visual detail – an elongated camera bump that covered the entire phone’s width… it was less of a bump and more of a ‘bumper’. My own personal thoughts on the design were mixed, although I have to admit it was refreshing to see Google investing effort into its Pixel range after an extremely lackluster performance last year. I am, however, having second thoughts after seeing the kinds of smartphone cases appearing on websites like Alibaba as we slowly approach the Pixel 6’s launch.

Google Pixel 6 Protective Cover Case Alibaba

You see, that camera belt may be a design feature, but it’s also a major design flaw once you consider that most smartphone users would end up buying protective cases to shield their expensive smartphones from damage. The benefit with almost every smartphone’s camera bump is that its camera exists INSIDE its body, so when case-designers make cases, the simple solution of navigating around the smartphone’s camera bump is to create a cutout there. The case has a rather manageable hole through which the camera peeks through, sort of like a ski-mask. That, however, isn’t possible with the Pixel 6… A look at the image below should explain why.

The fact that the Pixel 6’s camera module extends all the way from the left to the right makes it very difficult to create one single cutout. If one were to simply go about creating a camera hole, you’d essentially have a case that exists in two parts that are barely connected together near the middle. The case becomes a merely decorative product that simply protects the edges of the smartphone, giving no cover to the cameras, which in the case of the Pixel 6, are dangerously exposed. The only way to really overcome this problem and make a proper case would be to design OVER the phone’s wide camera bump, adding another 1-2 millimeters to it and making the bump EVEN LARGER. The cutout would then exist only around the lenses and not the bump itself… as you can see in the image below.

This ‘technical’ solution spells disaster for the Pixel 6’s aesthetics. It exaggerates the phone’s elongated camera bump, turning an elegant detail into an ugly caricature… and the minute you choose an opaque cover over a transparent one, it practically conceals every element of the Pixel 6’s design, making it look like “just another phone”, albeit with a monstrous bump around its camera, exposing a major flaw in Google’s design approach to the Pixel 6 – that smartphone designs exist in a bubble where phone-makers expect you to NOT put protective cases on expensive and fragile phones. Not Okay, Google.

Google Pixel 6 Protective Cover Case Alibaba

Google Pixel 6 Protective Cover Case Alibaba

Images via: Alibaba

Clever 3D-printed case lets you attach an AirTag tracking device to your Apple TV Remote

I’ve often felt like Apple‘s multiple product departments work separately, with a minimal informational exchange. How else would you explain the fact that in the same event, Apple announces the AirTags that expand on the company’s massive FindMy network, and also announces a new Apple TV with a redesigned remote… that can’t be tracked.

A major problem with the Apple TV remote up until now was (apart from its stunningly bad UX) that it was a ridiculously thin gadget that often got lost by slipping in between cushions or just sitting somewhere inside a magazine. The sleekness of the Apple TV remote wasn’t a feature, it was a flaw, and people were constantly complaining about losing their remote and never being able to find it… so when Apple redesigned their remote, many were expecting the 2 trillion-dollar company to address this problem too. However, all Apple managed to do was redesign the remote’s controls by bringing an iPod-style jog-dial on it.

For the thousands of people who don’t see themselves buying a new remote just so that they can face the same old problems, Etsy-maker PrintSpired Designs has a neat workaround – a 3D printed case that not only gives the old Apple TV remote some volume and thickness but also allows you to slip an AirTag in so you can track your remote when it inevitably gets misplaced.

Click Here to Buy Now – $12.99

It’s worth noting that even with the case on, the remote isn’t that thick. The case measures 14mm in height, which is about as thick as 2 iPhones stacked together. The printed case doesn’t weigh much either (given that it’s printed with support structures which basically makes it hollow on the inside), so it’s still comfortable to use. The case makes enough space for one AirTag to fit right into its design, and when the remote sits in place, it still lets you access its charging port.

The remote-case itself is available on PrintSpiredDesigns’ Etsy store for $12.99. However, if you’ve got access to a 3D Printer, you can download the STL file for $1.99 and print your own. I’d prefer buying the case though because they come in color options, including even one printed from glow-in-the-dark filament!!

Designer: PrintSpiredDesigns

Click Here to Buy Now – $12.99

This Apple TV cover-case makes your set-top box look like a Nintendo console!

Elago is back with a nostalgic revival project… although this time, it isn’t a cover-case for the AirPods or the Apple Watch. The Elago T4 is a silicone cover that slips around your Apple TV set-top box, transforming it from a sleek black device to a grey SNES-inspired gaming console. In fact, there’s a cover-case for the remote too, turning its back surface into a faux controller complete with the XYAB and D-Pad buttons.

Of course, there are some who’d prefer the cutting-edge black aesthetic of the Apple TV, but what the Elago T4 does is introduce a nostalgic touch to the device. Sure, it’s meant for a subset of gadget-lovers and not everyone, but for its target audience, the T4 provides a beautiful bit of nostalgia while also giving your set-top box a nice, impact-resistant cover-case! Oh, and that lanyard on the TV remote case REALLY makes it easy to carry and use.

Designer: Elago