Get the iMac-style workflow on your iPad Pro with Brydge’s standalone trackpad for iPadOS

Your M1 iPad Pro is as good as an iMac… Brydge’s iTrack trackpad brings iMac-style functionality to it. Up until last month, Apple marketed the iPad as a laptop replacement, however that perception changed when the iPad was introduced alongside the iMac at Apple’s SpringLoaded event at the end of April, both with Apple’s supercharged M1 chip. The iPad is more than just a laptop now, it’s a machine with more processing power than most machines with Intel chips, and its graphical power is comparable to high-end gaming consoles. In short, it looks and behaves like an iMac with a touchscreen, so it just made sense to bring the iMac’s accessories to it too.

The iTrack comes from the fine folks at Brydge, who’ve developed some of the best accessories for Apple products over the years (they released a keyboard+trackpad attachment for the iPad before Apple did). Debuted at CES back in 2020, the iTrack (which officially launched just last week) is a compact multi-touch trackpad that’s designed to give your iPad workflow a significant upgrade. Styled to look just like Apple’s own Magic Trackpad 2, the iTrack is much smaller (with a 6.1-inch diagonal) and sports the same space-grey aluminum body and touch-sensitive glass top.

Designed to work seamlessly with iPadOS (versions 14.5 and higher), the iTrack automatically and instantly connects with your tablet via Bluetooth, providing an experience as seamless as Apple’s own trackpad. Sensors within the device detect subtle pressure differences that let you tap, scroll, swipe, and use other multi-touch features on your iPad Pro. Just like a Trackpad or a Magic Mouse, you can work within programs, intuitively select and edit text and spreadsheets, and switch between apps… besides, the iTrack even works seamlessly with other connected accessories like a keyboard or Apple Pencil, complementing most workflows.

The iTrack debuted back in 2020, but its launch wasn’t until last week, owing to delays because of the pandemic. It ships for $99.99 (that’s $20 cheaper than Apple’s Magic Trackpad 2), has a USB-C port for charging, and boasts of an impressive 6-month battery life on a full charge, with 2-hours of use every day.

Designer: Brydge

Apple M1 iMac teardown reveals poor reparability score for the sleek new design

Apple’s 24-inch M1 Mac is a sleek little desktop computer making an impressive statement with its bright and bold color palette. At 11mm, it’s about as thick as the first iPhone that launched in 2007, showing how far we’ve come in the past decade. Now, this 11mm thick beauty houses some of the most capable computing technology in the world, and Apple’s M1 chip powers it. Fun fact, as pointed out by MKBHD, the iMac actually shifts the 3.5mm headphone jack to the side instead of the back because it isn’t thick enough to have the jack travel all the way in! iFixit got its eyes fixed on the latest candy by Apple and wanted to learn more about what lies beneath the sleek design. They were itching to tear apart the iMac after a long time – the last instance was the 21.5-inch iMac teardown which got a measly 1/10 score for reparability.

The new all-in-one desktop has many changes from the past iterations – with the hardware tactically stuffed inside a small space. iFixit carried out an X-ray scan of the iPad-like machine on a stand (in collaboration with Creative Electron) to better understand what’s on the inside. The two metal plates, circular coin cell batteries, and the built-in antenna (not shaped like Apple) are the ones that caught the eye. Then it’s down to the ritual of prying open the machine, “M1 iMac still uses the classic iMac adhesive—it’s not quite the goopy iPad nightmare that we feared.” iFixit finds.

Compared to past iMacs, this one has a single glass piece and no metal chin to make the teardown difficult. Unlike the robust iPad, the M1 iMac goes for screws rather than glue for the most part. The shiny new keyboard and the power unit also undergo a thorough autopsy. Both of these are very tough to get past and very difficult to repair. Even though the iMac is better than the iPad to pry open, it is still not an average Joe’s task. iFixit gives the M1 iMac a reparability score of 2/10 due to the tedious process of removing and replacing the display – which by the way, is the only access point to the inside hardware. To top it off, the internal storage cannot be altered, which is a severe headache in case of data loss or upgrades. And here’s Apple for you – can’t live with it, can’t live without it!

Creator: iFixit for Apple iMac

X-Ray of the iMac

 

Here’s what the M1 iMac would look like if Apple ditched the white bezels and large chin for a 100% display

Needless to say, some people were quite annoyed with Apple’s latest M1 iMac design. Notably, YouTuber MKBHD found it outright ugly, mentioning that sure, it was slim… but those white bezels, that massive chin, and the lack of a black version made the iMac look too chirpy and playful. For a computer that was capable of incredible heavy-lifting, it didn’t quite look the part. Designer Virgile Arlaud decided to take that feedback and create his own iMac concept. Arlaud’s iMac Pro M1 concept addresses every single pain-point MKBHD had with Apple’s original design

Instead of opting for a radical overhaul, Arlaud’s iMac Pro M1 concept takes the classic iMac Pro design and gives it minor yet significant visual upgrades. The conceptual all-in-one computer sports the crowd-favorite wedge-shaped profile with that slightly bulbed back. However, it absolutely gets rid of the bezels and chin on the front, sporting a gloriously infinite edge-to-edge display that’s an absolute pleasure to look at. Sure, the M1 may be the highlight of this computer, but that screen is the icing on the cake. If the M1 works behind the scenes to give you a great computing experience, that 100% screen on the front amplifies it, surrounding the user in Apple’s incredible, unmatchable UX.

This design direction obviously has some major pros, along with a few small yet unavoidable cons. Firstly, the lack of a bezel gives the iMac Pro M1 no space for a webcam, which played a pretty important role in Apple’s own iMac. The webcam ran 1080p video and used the M1’s processing power to run ISP algorithms for an incredible video. One could argue that the presence of a webcam is a pretty trivial feature in the workhorse that is the iMac, and that an iPhone running face-time would make a pretty decent replacement. One wouldn’t be wrong.

The absence of a chin also means that the iMac Pro M1 concept would lose out on that speaker array found in the original 2021 iMac. The down-firing speakers would have to be replaced with back-firing ones, and I’m no expert, but there would definitely be a small loss in sound quality and clarity. That being said, there are quite a few innovations that allow the screen to act as a speaker… so while Arlaud’s concept doesn’t really illustrate where a speaker would sit, I’d like to believe that this concept has that feature.

What’s really nice about this iMac Pro M1 concept is that it takes an “if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it” approach to the computer’s overall design. There’s really no need for an all-in-one computer to be 11mm thick (we’re not carrying it around in our pockets), so that slightly bulbous back and the seamless wedge-shaped design really feels like a nice design format that doesn’t need an overhaul. It even sticks to its original inspiration – Dieter Rams’ LE1 speaker design for Braun! The M1 chip sits somewhere within the curved back of the iMac Pro, along with vents for cooling, a USB-C power input, and a whole host of ports on the back, including two USB-C and two Thunderbolt ports, a card-reader, and the old-favorite 3.5mm jack. Let’s also not forget that slick, pipe-shaped stand that’s definitely another hat-tip to the iconic Braun LE1 speaker!

Designer: Virgile Arlaud

Apple’s new M1 iMacs show how powerful desktop workstations can still have sex appeal





This year’s first Apple event was just bursting with color, part of which can be attributed to Apple’s latest iMac series, revamped to look absolutely fabulous in their 7 different colors, and that drop-dead sleek avatar that leaves little to be desired.

While this article addresses what the new iMac is capable of, it’s also a testament to how beautiful the device’s design is. Harking back to its G3 days, the 2021 iMacs bring colors back into the mix, with seven deliciously appealing hues to choose from (including the white variant). The iMacs are built to be stunningly thin, at just 11mm in thickness, sport Apple’s flagship M1 chip on the inside, and are redesigned to look and feel so sexy, they make me actually consider switching over to the other side… and at a starting price of $1299, it sort of feels worth it.

What instantly stands out is the iMac’s deceptively sleek design. At 11mm, it’s about as thick as the first iPhone that launched in 2007, showing how far we’ve come in the past decade. Now, this 11mm thick beauty houses some of the most capable computing tech in the world, and it’s powered by Apple’s M1 chip. Fun fact, as pointed out by MKBHD, the iMac actually shifts the 3.5mm headphone jack to the side instead of the back, because it isn’t thick enough to have the jack travel all the way in!

It’s debatable whether a white bezel and a large pastel-colored chin is actually pleasing to the eye, but I personally love this new avatar. Just like the creatives that use it, the iMac is a combination of professional and playful, serious and fun. The device comes in 7 colors, using the same anodized aluminum body seen in the iPods from ages ago, although those materials and technologies have definitely come a long way. On the front, the iMac comes outfitted with a 1080p camera which leverages the M1 chip’s ability to run incredibly powerful ISP (Image Signal Processing) algorithms to make sure the lighting’s always great, the exposure’s perfect, and your face looks good on video, all the time, every time.

Within that large chin lies the iMac’s sound system. Now, there isn’t much you could fit into an 11-millimeter chassis, but Apple’s engineering team manages to squeeze in a lot. It uses not one, but two subwoofer units (facing in opposite directions so they cancel out any physical vibrations) on each side of the display, along with a single tweeter on either side, resulting in a 6-driver setup that creates a massive soundscape, tuned to support Dolby Atmos.

My personal favorite feature is the redesigned charging apparatus. The 2021 iMac brings the magnetic charging connector back, which satisfyingly snaps right into its port. The iMacs themselves only sport Thunderbolt ports on the back (and a 3.5mm jack on the side), leaving a vacancy for the traditional ethernet cable. To make up for this, Apple redesigned the charger block to have its own ethernet port that supplies power as well as internet to your iMac. This incredibly genius move means one less port on your iMac, while also helping reduce the chaos of cables on your table… all while retaining functionality!

With the redesigned iMac also comes a slew of redesigned accessories, including the Magic Keyboard, which, apart from also coming in color variants (to match your machine), also have a dedicated emoji button, and the option between a lock button on the top right, or a TouchID key that lets you unlock your iMac, approve of file transfers, app-installs, and even of payments! Along with the keyboard, the Magic Mouse and the Magic Trackpad get color makeovers too.

The new iMacs start at a pretty modest price of $1299, and come with an 8-core CPU, a 7-core GPU, and that mammoth M1 chip. While some may debate that their new colored avatar makes them look slightly like a toy, to them I say, grab the white iMac and quit whining. With these new colored computers, Apple is really showing how design can delight with computing power as well as CMF. As a pretty harsh Apple critic myself, I can’t help but constantly ogle at these colorful Macintoshes… and while the M1’s performance really speaks for itself, this delightfully vibrant design has enough sex appeal to push Windows users over the fence and have them taking a closer look at these Mac machines!

Designer: Apple

Apple’s April 20th event revealed by Siri and our favorite conceptual designs we’d love to see!

While the entire world hunts for the barest hint of an Apple leak, the source of this news is from the horse’s mouth, or the horse’s designed personal assistant – Siri! You read that right. I can easily imagine a tech reporter, after a long day of searching for the newest tech hits, decides to ask their personal assistant for some help – Hey Siri! “When is the next Apple Event?”, you actually get a reply saying “The special event is on Tuesday, April 20, at Apple Park in Cupertino, CA. You can get all the details on Apple.com.” This might be one of those rare moments when Siri’s reply managed to shock and awe us.

Now, Siri’s resourcefulness stops about here. As MacRumors first reported, Siri is providing information in some cases only, while most refer the user to Apple’s website for information on events. Rumors although have been abounding about the launch of a new 12.9-inch iPad Pro that boasts of a Mini LED screen and also the launch of long-speculated AirTags. While we patiently wait, here are some stellar Apple-inspired concept designs that take cues from their patents to designer’s innovation to satisfy our innate Apple-related wishful thinking – that maybe the next design they share proves to be the pivotal change our saturated tech space truly needs.

Apple patent reveals a new type of Pencil with replaceable nibs for different creative applications. Watch out, Wacom and Adobe! In a new patent granted to Apple by the US Patent and Trademark Office, the company is reportedly looking at a next-generation Apple Pencil with swappable nib modules. While the patent doesn’t exclusively outline what these nibs would look like or be used for, it focuses more on the underlying technology, which would allow nibs to connect to the pencil handle via a special lightning-style connector. The Apple Pencil is arguably the iPad Pro‘s secret sauce. Along with the Pencil, the iPad Pro becomes the ultimate creator’s setup (for both 2D as well as 3D creation). It would therefore make sense to explore how the Pencil could further become a ‘power-user tool, allowing creators to unlock new potentials. Yanko Design has imagined what these new nibs could look like, with explorations for more niche 2D uses. The interchangeable nibs include a fine-tip nib, a chisel nib, and a flexible brush-pen nib. Other nib styles could unlock 3D modeling features like being able to sculpt on the iPad. “The filing suggests the nib could contain several different sensors for varying purposes. The component list includes tactile sensors, contact sensors, capacitive and touch sensors, a camera, a piezoelectric sensor, a pressure sensor, or a photodiode”, reports Apple Insider.





The iPhone Fold concept designed by Svyatoslav Alexandrov (for the YouTube channel ConceptsiPhone) comes in the familiar Galaxy Fold format, with a primary 6.3-inch screen on the outside, and a larger, 8-inch folding screen on the inside. It ditches FaceID for the reliable TouchID, and turns the entire primary display into a fingerprint sensor – so you can unlock your phone simply by swiping up. The lack of FaceID means a significantly smaller notch with just one front-facing camera for selfies. The back, however, comes with the iPhone 12 Pro’s entire camera setup, featuring wide, ultra-wide, and telephoto lenses, along with a flash and a LiDAR scanner. Open the iPhone up and it transforms into a squarish iPad Mini that’s designed to be perfectly portable.

The iPhone Q by Johan Gustafsson (named after the fact that it comes with a dedicated QWERTY keyboard) presents a bold ‘new’ vision for the iPhone. I use the word ‘new’ in air-quotes because while adding a dedicated tactile keyboard to a phone isn’t new, it’s new for the iPhone, and more importantly, it presents a new format as smartphone companies desperately try to make their phones look less blockish and more gimmicky. In a world of folding phones with creased displays, pathetic battery lives, and clunky bodies, the iPhone Q feels like that perfect premium, enterprise-grade smartphone to pair with the iPad Pro or the MacBook Pro. The phone comes sans a notch but makes up for the lack of a front-facing camera with a complete tactile keyboard right underneath the screen.

A better way to describe PS Design’s iPhone 13 concept is to compare the rear display to Apple’s closest product – the Apple Watch. The 3-inch always-on rear display practically mirrors the watch’s capabilities, allowing you to see the time, notifications, and a wide variety of other data on it. The display on the rear uses Apple’s low-temperature polycrystalline oxide (LTPO) technology to provide its always-on feature, and the fact that it sits right beside the main camera setup (and that it’s larger than the Mi 11 Ultra’s display), means the front of the phone can ditch the notch entirely, creating a beautifully bezel-less iPhone that leaves little to be desired.

Presenting, the ‘Cheesegrater’ Case for the iPhone 12 Pro as visualized by Sarang Sheth. Made from a TPE bumper and a machined aluminum backplate, the case puts the familiar cheesegrater texture on the back of the iPhone to help it cool more efficiently (well at least in theory). In theory, it’s also perfectly suited to mince cloves of garlic or grate some Parmigiano Reggiano. Now that we have a (sort of) clear vision of what the cheesegrater texture would look like on an iPhone, let’s objectively and subjectively judge this. For starters, it just looks like a really bad idea. Objectively speaking, a textured metal body would most certainly trap dirt, dust, pieces of lint, aside from also preventing the phone from wirelessly charging. The current textured metal plate is 1mm thick, and for any sort of texture, you’d need 3D depth which adds unnecessary thickness to the phone – something Apple probably won’t want to do.

The colored iMacs are really a hat-tip to the candy-colored iMac G3 series from back in 2008. According to Jon Prosser, who collaborated with Concept Creator over the following images, the 2021 iMacs are likely to come in 5 colors – black, white, green, blue, and rose gold… just like the 2020 iPad Air. The colors will be much more subtle than the iMac G3’s, but they provide an interesting dynamic to the aluminum-clad all-in-one computers. When viewed from the front, the new iMacs tend to resemble the iPad too, with the bezel treatment. Unlike previous iMacs that came with a massive chin under the screen that sported the Apple logo, the new iMacs will have much more uniform bezels. It isn’t really apparent if they’ll also come with FaceID — although given they’ll be used indoors, in settings where masks aren’t really required!

The iPhone Flip (created by Technizo Concept in collaboration with LetsGoDigital) shares the same nomenclature and folding format as the Galaxy Z Flip from Samsung, albeit with a few key differences. The device measures about the same size as your current iPhone 12 Pro Max, but it sports a folding line across its ‘waist’, which allows the iPhone to fold in half like a clamshell phone from the 90s. This folding structure allows the smartphone to become more compact and easier to carry (although the resulting folded form would be twice the thickness of the phone), while also giving you the option to use the iPhone as a miniature laptop by folding it halfway in an ‘L’ shape.

Love it, hate it, but for sure, you cannot ignore Apple. As these renders show, there are tons of innovation we look forward to from the powerhouse that is Apple.

Apple is expected to release the new 2021 iMac with 5 color options, just like the iPad Air

It’s been two years since Apple’s high-end computing department really saw a new release (we’re talking about the polarizing ‘cheesegrater’ Mac Pro from 2019). Reliable leaker Jon Prosser, however, has some news on this front. While Apple hasn’t really announced any March event, Prosser believes the company will launch a smaller Mac Pro, and will upgrade the 24-inch iMac series… with color options.

The colored iMacs are really a hat-tip to the candy-colored iMac G3 series from back in 2008. According to Prosser, who collaborated with Concept Creator over the following images, the 2021 iMacs are likely to come in 5 colors – black, white, green, blue, and rose gold… just like the 2020 iPad Air. The colors will be much more subtle than the iMac G3’s, but they provide an interesting dynamic to the aluminum-clad all-in-one computers.

When viewed from the front, the new iMacs tend to resemble the iPad too, with the bezel treatment. Unlike previous iMacs that came with a massive chin under the screen that sported the Apple logo, the new iMacs will have much more uniform bezels. It isn’t really apparent if they’ll also come with FaceID — although given they’ll be used indoors, in settings where masks aren’t really required, Apple could just as easily integrate the FaceID modules right into the design. Speculators also say that these new iMacs could be powered by Apple Silicon, making them not just a visual upgrade, but a performance upgrade as well!

Designers: Jon Prosser & Concept Creator

The best deals we found this week: $50 off Apple AirPods and more

The week leading up to Valentine’s Day and Presidents’ Day proved to be a boon for tech sales across the web. A bunch of Apple products saw deep discounts including the AirPods Pro and the latest iMac. Amazon knocked down the prices of most of its Fi...