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

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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The PlayStation 5 gets a stunning ‘Matte Black’ makeover with Dbrand’s Sony PS5 plates

Quite like the Darth Vader to the StormTrooper, Dbrand’s matte black PS5 skins give the gaming console a beautiful, stealthy, almost menacing appeal.

Unlike most of Dbrand’s skins which come in the form of vinyl sheets that can be contoured over a phone, tablet, or laptop, the PS5 ‘skins’ from Dbrand are physically injection molded out of plastic. In order to apply them to your Sony PlayStation 5, you’ll need to physically remove the original white plates and install Dbrand’s custom plates… and while Sony’s legal team seems to be pretty annoyed at the fact, Dbrand assures it’s absolutely legal. Sort of like replacing the tires on your car.

What’s really incredible about Dbrand’s PS5 skin is the level of detail that’s gone into it. If you’ve closely inspected the PS5’s original white plastic plate, you’ll notice that the rough texture on it is in fact a microtexture comprising a cluster of Sony’s button symbols (in what might be one of the most remarkable Easter Eggs ever). Dbrand takes on a similar approach too, using their own microtexture of ‘apocalypse-inspired’ symbols that include robot heads, skull and cross-bones, and radioactive signs. Combined with the matte black plastic used for the plates, the microtexture really stands out (as you can see in the image below), creating a contrast that’s incredible to look at, and arguably great to touch too!

The Dbrand Darkplates (as they’re called) are available for pre-order and ship in May, although I’m pretty sure MKBHD already has a pair and is probably working on the finishing touches of his review video!

Designer: Dbrand

The LG Wing presents a ‘radically sensible’ evolutionary step in the future of smartphones…

I didn’t think I’d get excited for smartphones in a while and I surely didn’t think Motorola and LG would be the companies responsible for that feeling. Earlier this week, LG “leaked” a video of their upcoming smartphone in action. Codenamed the Wing (as opposed to Samsung’s Galaxy Fold), this smartphone reinvented the candybar mobile format with a swiveling screen layout. Designed to behave a lot like the LG VX9400 smartphone that Tony Stark used in the 2008 Iron Man, the Wing featured a front screen that rotated 90° and slid up to reveal a second screen underneath. While LG’s leaked video wasn’t much of an aesthetic reveal, it definitely did a lot to show what the company had in store for the future of phones – a future that promised multitasking without horrible hinges, delicate folding screens, and awkwardly thick phones.

The Form Factor

The Wing’s form is undeniably unique when opened, but what’s great about it is that it’s still a regular smartphone when closed. It doesn’t come with a thick body or an unusual gap (like the Galaxy Fold). When closed, you’ve got all the benefits of a regular smartphone, but open it up and the swiveling format really reveals a new side of smartphone computing to you. With two screens (or one and a half screens, if you compare the surface area), the Wing feels refreshing, and in a good way. Here’s why.

Two regular screens are better than one big one

Here’s a statement worth thinking about. A bigger screen doesn’t enable multitasking… more screens do. No matter how large your laptop or tablet’s screen is, chances are you don’t really multitask on it – you just do the same stuff, but on a bigger screen. This fundamental realization is something that sets the Wing and Microsoft’s Surface Duo apart from most folding smartphones. Physically separating screens really makes it easier for your mind to separate tasks, and that’s something that works to the benefit of the Wing. Moreover, its split-screen layout makes the UI of apps really interesting. You could be watching YouTube on the larger screen and browsing related videos on the smaller one. You could even be using Whatsapp or Gmail in landscape while typing in portrait on the smaller screen. The split-screen helps split elements of an app’s experience, allowing you to separate information in a sensible way. Think about having Spotify running on the larger screen and the playback buttons on the smaller one, or Netflix on the landscape screen and the subtitles on the lower screen, not interrupting the visuals you see. Even if you consider something as basic as the camera app, the Wing’s dual displays really help make clicking selfies and taking videos easier, just by being able to space out elements effectively, and separate the visuals from the controls for a cleaner, easier-to-use interface. A split screen helps really effectively split up information, and if done well, can result in a much more sensible user experience.

The Pivot vs the Folding Hinge

The swiveling pivot detail gives the LG Wing a major durability edge over folding smartphones. The hinge is often considered the Achilles heel of the folding smartphone, and is often the first component to fail. By abandoning the hinge detail, the LG Wing coolly circumvents the inherent problems that hinges have. The swivel mechanism sits INSIDE the smartphone rather than outside it, protecting it from any accidents, and here’s the best part… the absence of hinges allows the Wing to be much thinner than traditional folding phones.

The Bezel-less display

This has to be by far the most exciting part about the Wing. The swiveling screen can afford to have a truly bezel-less design, simply by shifting the front-facing camera to the panel behind it. Apart from being an aesthetic upgrade (because bezel-less displays look incredible), it makes the Wing safer too, by allowing you to physically block the front-facing camera when you don’t need it.

No folding display, no problems

As glamorous as folding displays look, they have two massive, fundamental problems. Larger displays need bigger batteries, and more importantly, if you fold anything, it’s bound to crease. The LG Wing’s refreshing format avoids those two problems almost completely… with regularly sized displays that don’t strain the battery as hard, and the absence of a display-crease because there’s really no folding involved.

At the end of the day, even though all we got was a mere microdose of what’s cooking at LG’s headquarters, it was enough to prove a few things… that there’s still room for innovation and improvement in smartphone designs, that folding screens may not be the way moving forward, and that the swivel-format is more than just a fancy gimmick… it’s actually sensible, and has the potential of completely revolutionizing the way we interact and multitask with phones, apps, and interfaces.

Designer: Sarang Sheth

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