IKEA + Apple redesigned their AR app, improving user experience and playing with your interior styling!

Two things were certain during the pandemic– we all redesigned our homes and shopped online…a lot. While some of us took this time to peruse IKEA and design the home that we’ve been planning for years, the rest of us took a riskier approach and just bought what caught our eyes. To help mitigate the embarrassing effects of buying furniture without seeing how it fits in our room, IKEA in continued partnership with Apple has given their AR app, now called IKEA Studio, a complete overhaul.

Previously called the IKEA Place App, the augmented reality app allowed users to position furniture even outside of the bedroom – landing sofas and armoires in distant factory lots and busy city streets. Nowadays, retail brands across the interweb are implementing AR apps into their online shopping experience– from sunglasses to makeup companies, consumers are more aware than ever of what’s headed for their doorstep. While IKEA largely started the AR app trend four years ago, since more brands are catching on, the retail tech company turned to SPACE10 to transform IKEA Place App into IKEA Studio, a reenergized and sensor-oriented AR experience.

Still operating in beta, IKEA Studio relies on LiDAR sensors in the iPhone to register and analyze rooms, allowing iPhone users to completely redesign their living spaces. Relying on iPhone’s LiDAR sensors to capture physical spaces, IKEA Studio captures complete 3D plans of the user’s living space including the measurements and placement of every piece of furniture from the window sill to the loveseat. Replacing their current furniture with white boxes, users can furnish their virtual room with new IKEA pieces, redesign previous color schemes, and then generate the final rendering in either 3D or 2D to export and share with others. Similar to IKEA Place, IKEA Studio still does not have a shopping feature so users have to exit the AR app to purchase furniture online or just fill up their shopping carts with prospective purchases.

Those interested in following IKEA Studio to its final stages can sign up for beta testing and start the design process as soon as they get approved. While the AR app is currently limited to a mobile application exclusively built for the iPhone, designers at SPACE10 are also envisioning a future AR experience that replaces the mobile application with glasses that users can wear to envision and redecorate their home spaces as they see fit, literally.

Designers: IKEA, Apple, SPACE10

With help from the iPhone’s LiDAR sensors, IKEA Studio captures and registers every piece of furniture’s exact measurement and placement within the room.

Additional functions within the app include features that allow users to redesign previous color schemes of living spaces.

IKEA Studio works by replacing old furniture with blank white spaces that generate virtual space for newly chosen pieces of furniture.

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.

This iPhone case gives your smartphone the Apple Mac Pro ‘cheesegrater’ texture

“Never knock an idea until you actually try it.”

My opinion on the 2019 Mac Pro has aged pretty well, I’d say. Sure, my reaction (which came just moments after the design was released) may have been premature, and so were the memes that followed the debut of the ‘cheesegrater Mac’… but even now, 2 years down the line, it feels slightly cathartic to know that my opinion hasn’t really changed – the 2019 Mac Pro still looks visibly odd and sort of gets my skin crawling.

Recently though, the media discovered a patent for an iPhone that used the ‘cheesegrater’ texture for efficient cooling or thermal transmission, and let’s just say, people weren’t happy. Some even legitimately debunked it as an April Fool’s Prank from Apple. My thoughts on the matter weren’t any different – it sounds like a terrible idea, but I thought the best thing to do would be to really give Apple the benefit of the doubt and MAKE a cheesegrater iPhone just so I have something to visually judge it by.

Presenting, the ‘Cheesegrater’ Case for the iPhone 12 Pro. 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. Subjectively speaking, the texture looks worse on the iPhone than on the Mac Pro (although it may also be my execution). Apple’s patent file states “the components of the electronic device may be designed to provide a unique and pleasing look and feel for a user”, a purpose that gets defeated when even Digital Trends calls it “Apple’s worst-ever design idea”. Moreover, at that scale, the texture could actually be used as a garlic press or a microplane for grating hard cheeses, which makes it difficult to take seriously when the texture is on a $1200 flagship smartphone. Let’s not even get into the ‘trypophobia’ angle.

My opinions aside, it seems like a weird idea for Apple to take such an extreme route for “enhanced levels of heat removal”. What exactly is the iPhone doing that it would even need desktop-grade heat removal? Is Apple going all-in on AR, or is it looking to put more powerful Apple-built silicone chips in their new iPhones? We’ll never really know. All we can say with a certain degree of confidence is that a ‘Cheesegrater’ iPhone isn’t really a great idea…

If you really want to make your own ‘Cheesegrater’ iPhone case, you can download the 3D files by clicking here.

Designer/Visualizer: Sarang Sheth

An iPhone with a Nokia-style sliding keyboard would make more sense than a folding phone

It’s the year 2005, and Nokia’s E-Series phones have a cult following that’s difficult to ignore. The phones came with a relatively large-ish screen, but what really sealed the deal was the fact that you could slide the screen to reveal a nifty, usable QWERTY keyboard underneath. Before the iPhone became the computer in your pocket, the Nokia E-Series phones were the computers in everyone’s pockets. The E stood for Executive, and it wasn’t uncommon to see businessmen in suits strutting down the road with Nokia phones in their hand and Jabra earpieces in one ear. It was the iPhone and AirPods combo, nearly 15 years prior.

I think the fundamental problem with the smartphone touchscreen isn’t its size, it’s how we use it. Screens have a finite amount of space for infinite amounts of data, which makes designing interfaces really complicated, and using them even more so. In that regard, just empirically, a bigger screen on a smartphone doesn’t make it ‘better’… which is why this concept by Johan Gustafsson feels so refreshing. In a world where smartphones are finding new ways to push more pixels into a smartphone, Gustafsson’s iPhone Q brings a level of sensibility to that computer in your pocket – by simply making it a miniature computer!

The iPhone Q (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. The screen slides upwards in landscape mode, revealing the 42-key keyboard below, which can be used as a much more functional alternative to the on-screen keyboard, allowing you to quickly replay to messages and send out emails in a jiffy. A dual-lens camera on the back reinforces the fact that the iPhone Q is less of a multimedia device, and more of a piece of functional hardware, designed for a niche of executive users.

Sure, the iPhone Q is just a concept, but even conceptually, it feels much more contextual and sensible than a folding iPhone with a larger screen. Quite like the iPhone Pro, designed for professional media-creators, the iPhone Q serves a niche group of users, becoming a perfect alternative to people who still use BlackBerries. Sure, they may be a small group RIGHT NOW, but if the iPhone did sport a dedicated slide-out keyboard, I’m pretty sure a lot of executives and office-goers would promptly make the shift!

Designer: Johan Gustafsson

This iPhone 13 concept sports a rear camera with a 3-inch display inspired by the Mi 11 Ultra

PS Design’s iPhone 13 concept poses a pretty interesting question. Wouldn’t it be nice if your smartphone had a display on the rear that let you see what was in the frame while you clicked selfies? Sure, you’ve got the front-facing camera for selfies, but hear me out. With multiple cameras and sensors on the smartphone’s rear, one could argue that the front-facing camera is a bit of a qualitative compromise. Instead, put a tiny display on the rear and use it to click all sorts of incredible selfies, while being able to compose your shot the way you want to. It’s something Xiaomi is apparently trying out with the Mi 11 Ultra, and it’s also something most folding phones have attempted too. PS Design’s conceptual iPhone 13 sports a secondary rear display too, although it’s capable of doing a lot more than just letting you click better selfies.

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.

Another feature on this conceptual device is its ceramic body… which does seem unusual for the iPhone line-up, but it borrows from Apple’s Watch series, offering high gloss, scratch-resistance, and the ability to hold onto color better (Apple’s red iPhones have shown the color fading over time). The white ceramic body does stand out well against the large black camera bump, almost making it look like the original Google Pixel smartphone (it’s a good look, tbh). Moreover, the large camera bump is coincidentally both wide and centrally aligned, which means the phone won’t rock when you place it on a flat surface… although, with that useful, always-on display on the back, you’re more likely to rest your phone with the camera bump facing upwards right at you!

Designer: PS Design

Retro iOS icon collection gives your iPhone a classic Apple Macintosh vibe!

It doesn’t get more Apple Fanboy than this… (In a good way!)

You can now turn your new, bleeding-edge iPhone into a beautiful throwback machine with this retro icon set by digital designer Ben Vessey. Titled the iOS (Old School), this handmade set of over 100 icons gives your iPhone a beautifully vintage ’84 Apple Macintosh vibe with its pixelated style. Available in both regular and dark mode variants, Vessey’s lovingly and painstakingly designed icons for virtually every commonplace app, and made them available on Gumroad for an extremely reasonable price of £3.99 ($5.53).

The icons make use of an Apple iOS 14 feature called Shortcuts, which lets you create custom thumbnails for apps (MKBHD shows you how in this video). Vessey’s app-pack comes with more than 110 beautifully vintage-styled icons and both black and white backgrounds that you can use to turn your modern smartphone into a retro-inspired, clean, minimalist device that would probably impress Jobs! Does it also increase battery life? I doubt it, although the dark mode should consume lesser power, theoretically!

Now all you need to do is pop one of these retro-themed Spigen smartphone cases and you’re absolutely set!

Designer: Ben Vessey

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This folding iPhone explores a clamshell format like the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip and the Moto RAZR

Here’s what we know so far. Apple’s patents ranging back as far as a decade cover technologies revolving around folding phones. The company has even been patenting hinge details, flexible glass technologies, and people ‘close to the matter’ claim that Apple’s even created working prototypes that have been tested by Foxconn to fold and unfold as many as 100,000 times… but there’s really no guarantee whether these prototypes will really become mass-manufactured ‘folding iPhones’. Up until they do (if they do, that is), all we can do is imagine what a folding iPhone would look like, and it seems like designer and YouTuber Technizo Concept may have an idea in mind.

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. However, the most noteworthy detail on the iPhone Flip is the presence of a secondary screen right beside the camera bump. Designed to match the camera bump’s shape identically, this secondary screen is perfect for reading notifications on the fly, or even using as a preview window while clicking selfies with the main camera module. You could even shut the iPhone Flip halfway and prop it up against a surface, essentially being able to click distant selfies without a tripod.

Notable leaker Jon Prosser mentioned that even if Apple does release a folding iPhone, it won’t be before 2023. Prosser even went on to say that the iPhone would opt for an inward-folding screen over an outward-folding one, and the likelihood of a smaller, clamshell-type iPhone was more than a larger, book-shaped iPhone inspired by the Galaxy Fold. I’m just here to say that you better start saving up money if you want to buy a folding iPhone when it drops… because there’s no way it’ll be cheap!

Designers: Technizo Concept & LetsGoDigital

Image Credits: LetsGoDigital

Turn your iPad into an all-purpose adjustable screen with Twelve South’s hovering stand





In hindsight, you really can’t call the HoverBar Duo an iPad ‘stand’. The multi-hinged, incredibly versatile, height/direction adjustable arm is capable of doing much more than your conventional stand is. In fact, think of it as a mechanical butler who just holds your iPad for you at any angle you want, for any length of time. More versatile than a stand or a tripod, the HoverBar Duo for the iPad and iPhone is better described by the things that it’s capable of… and it’s capable of quite a lot!

Simply put, the HoverBar Duo holds your iPad or iPhone wherever you want it, and in any orientation you need. The multi-hinge arm is infinitely adjustable (sort of like the lamp on a dentist’s chair), and the choice between a flat-base and a clamp-base gives the HoverBar Duo the ability to be placed practically anywhere – on a table or a kitchen counter, or even suspended from a shelf or a rod. A universal clip allows the HoverBar Duo to hold onto a wide variety of devices, including older and later models of the iPad as well as all generations of the iPhone (this obviously means it works with *most* Android phones and tablets too). The rather long two-part arm allows the HoverBar Duo to hold your device at eye-level, giving you the ability to turn your iPad into an extra monitor that’s on the same level as the iMac, while the multiple hinges mean you could position the iPad to serve as an angled kiosk/terminal, a sketching tablet, or even an impromptu television or FaceTime machine. Moreover, the infinite adjustability means you could potentially use the HoverBar Duo to position your smartphone or tablet’s camera at any angle, turning it into a makeshift tripod with varying degrees of freedom! As I said earlier, the HoverBar Duo isn’t just merely an iPad ‘stand’… it’s a whole lot more!

Designer: Twelve South