MagSafe accessories that are the best investments of 2021 for your Apple devices!

The arrival of the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro models was accompanied by the reinvention and return of MagSafe. This lead to a whole new world of accessories being unleashed! Designers and creatives were racing to create a whole range of products for the repurposed MagSafe. And we’ve been loving every bit of it! From an aluminum MagSafe wallet that snaps onto your phone, to a pair of TWS earbuds – there’s a MagSafe accessory out there for your every need. And, we’ve curated a bunch of products that we truly believe are worth buying and investing in. This army of accessories will truly amp up your Apple experience!

The Snapods by Scendo are a pair of TWS Earbuds that come with a flat case that snaps right to the back of your phone. Building wonderfully on the capabilities of the MagSafe feature introduced in the latest iPhones, the Snapods make carrying earphones convenient. Just snap them to the back of your phone and you’ve got yourself a pair of earphones that are easy to store, quick to access, and hard to lose. The case’s design is inspired directly by where it’s located. Made to sit against the back of your phone, the Snapods case comes with a flat, wedge-shaped profile, making it easy to slip your phone into your pocket. The slim case doesn’t just dock the earphones, it charges them too, giving you an impressive 45 hours of playtime.

Meet the Fantom C, a MagSafe wallet designed to complement the Apple iPhone in durability and function. It comes machined from a Cerakoted billet of aluminum. The ceramic coating on the Aluminum makes it tougher and more abrasion-resistant, while a neat carbon-fiber finish on the surface of the wallet gives it a much more reliable and rugged appeal. Designed as a piece of EDC that pairs beautifully with your iPhone 12, the Fantom C gives you a dedicated space to store your cards right on the back of your phone. Magnets on its rear-side allow it to snap to the iPhone with a satisfying click, and at 0.31 inches (8 mm) thick, it’s marginally thicker than Apple’s own MagSafe wallet, but then again, the Fantom C is also capable of much more.

Moment, the Seattle-based accessories company specializing in phone camera gear has created a bunch of iPhone 12 series accessories that inherently have some kind of camera utility. There’s a whole bunch of cases, tripod mounts, and car vent mounts with MagSafe compatibility that add to the functionality of your Apple phone. First up, the cases come in two broader variations – a thinner version for better ergonomic feel in hand and the other, a more rugged one for more protection in event of accidental drops. All these cases have wrist strap loops and can endure a 6-foot drop. The cases priced at around $50 are compatible with the M-Series Moment lens system and they also work with the Moment Mounts. For photography addicts, Moment has a lineup of Tripod Mounts that have a very strong magnetic system for extra strength. These mounts work even without the case and are compatible with ¼-inch to 20-inch tripods, so you are good to go with any tripod.

The CLIP is a wireless power bank designed to snap onto the back of your phone either using MagSafe (for newer iPhone models) or using an adhesive clip (for older iPhones and Android devices). In doing so, the device aligns with the smartphone’s wireless charging coil, allowing it to charge the phone’s battery on the fly, without any cables. However, the CLIP doesn’t just add an extra external battery to the back of your phone, it also adds a kickstand that can be used in both landscape and portable formats. A metal component (shaped sort of like a carabiner clip) wraps around the power bank and can be opened out to let you prop your phone vertically or horizontally while it’s charging.

I wouldn’t outright call Grovemade old-fashioned, but rather I’d say their work is a confluence of sensibilities and materials. Primarily relying on wood and metal to craft their products, Grovemade’s designs boast of an old-world charm that’s also intertwined with modern minimalism. Take for instance the Wood MagSafe Stand, available in both Walnut and Maple variants. The stand, which sports a wooden halo mounted on a steel base, allows you to slip your iPhone MagSafe wireless charger in, routing the cable from the bottom. It then gives your iPhone 12 a nice, wooden armchair to hang out on, letting you rest it in either landscape or portrait while it charges.

The return of MagSafe has unleashed the creatives and accessory companies are racing to make the most of this feature. Front of the race is Belkin’s MagSafe Car Vent Mount PRO for iPhone 12 that lets you safely mount your iPhone 12 and keep it in your view – be it landscape or portrait mode. Best of all, the powerful magnet offers a seamless, one-handed use that keeps you driving stress-free!

Modeled on the concept of the MagSafe charger, the MagRig works with all Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C devices, which means not only does it bring the magnetic charging port back to the MacBook, it also works with the iPad Pro, most Android phones, the Nintendo Switch, and any device that use a Type-C connector. The two-part adapter attaches itself to both the port as well as the jack, giving you the satisfying magnetic click whenever you plug a device in. The magnetic connection even helps prevent damage caused by accidental cable tugs. Instead of your phone, iPad, or laptop flying right off the table because your dog snagged the wire while running around the house, the MagRig detaches with graceful choreography, keeping your gadgets safe from physical damage.

With a 100% recycled plastic body and a lifetime warranty, the Gomi Wireless Mag Charger helps reduce plastic waste as well as e-waste. UK-based sustainable design studio Gomi first hit the airwaves back in 2019 with its Bluetooth speaker designed entirely out of plastic waste. The company sought to exclusively use non-recyclable plastics (single-use plastic bags, bubble wrap, etc.) that would otherwise be dumped in oceans, sent to landfills, or incinerated. Working together with small businesses, global corporations, and recycling plants, Gomi developed a way to reuse this non-recyclable plastic as a raw material. Using the natural color variation between the different plastic products, the molding process helped create a marbled pattern that was unique to each device, allowing Gomi to effectively recycle the plastic and upscale it into a wonderful product.

Vulcan isn’t a replacement for wireless charging but is just a remarkably better cable with truly unique features that are designed to work universally across all your devices. Designed to power everything from your Xbox controller to your laptop, the Vulcan cable comes with the ability to deliver up to 100W of power and connects to your devices using a series of magnetic pins. Just plug these magnetic pins into the charging ports of your devices, and they create an interface for Vulcan to snap to, quite like the MagSafe connectors you’d see in MacBooks from before 2016. Different magnetic pins allow you to connect the same cable to a variety of devices. MicroUSB pins work perfectly for gaming controllers and Bluetooth speakers, while the Lightning pin lets you charge the iPhone and your AirPods.

The Belkin BOOST↑CHARGE PRO MagSafe 3-in-1 Wireless Charger charges all of your Apple devices in one go! You can use this super fast magnetic stand to charge your iPhone, Airpods and even your Apple Watch simultaneously. Amped with a clean and modern look, this MagSafe accessory provides a wireless charge of up to 15W. Quite fast, no?

Belkin’s 2-in-1 wireless charger comes with a built-in Bluetooth speaker to fuel your Netflix binge sessions

Raise the battery level and drop some tunes!

Belkin’s BOOST↑CHARGE™ Wireless Charging Stand + Speaker turns that smartphone into a makeshift multimedia device that you can comfortably watch Netflix on… without having to reach for the charging cable or your AirPods. The wireless charger lets you easily dock your phone in place, while its upward-firing Bluetooth speaker and built-in microphone take care of the audio end of things, making it perfect for anything from video calls to binge sessions, and from watching that recipe tutorial on YouTube to following dance or workout videos online. Modeled on Belkin’s BOOST↑UP wireless charging stand, the BOOST↑CHARGE lets you dock your phone in both landscape as well as portrait. Providing 10W of power, the stand fits phones of all makes and sizes and the fact that there’s now a built-in speaker on the back just makes things so much better! (The BOOST↑UP notably didn’t have any speaker)

The BOOST↑CHARGE comes in two colors (white and black) and is available for $49.99 on Belkin’s site. Keep it on your desk, nightstand, kitchen counter, or mantelpiece. The BOOST↑CHARGE gives you a wireless charger and a multimedia device set-up all wrapped into one gadget!

Designer: Belkin

The dual-purpose stand holds your phone in vertical as well as horizontal orientations. Its universal design supports any phone and the charger works with any wireless-charging-enabled smartphone. There’s no MagSafe on this, although keep it on the stand and it automatically aligns with the charging coils.

A speaker module right behind the phone is what sets the BOOST↑CHARGE apart from the ocean of wireless charges on the market. A 40mm audio driver on the inside gives the speaker punchy audio (which is more than what I can say for most wireless chargers), and a built-in microphone offers crystal clear audio input, allowing you to even use the BOOST↑CHARGE for video calls too.

The Belkin BOOST↑CHARGE wireless charger + speaker comes in 2 colors, and with a 2-year limited warranty on the device.

Here’s how to turn your old Android smartphone into a fully functional Windows laptop

Your smartphone probably has more computing power than most laptops! It’s literally a computer that fits in your pocket, so in the event that you find yourself with an old smartphone or a new-but-busted device, YouTuber Matthew Perks (of DIY Perks) has a handy way of turning it into a bonafide laptop. The procedure is simple and works with phones that have a USB-C output, letting you hook together external displays and other devices. In his endeavor to turn the smartphone into an actual laptop, Matthew does bust out his power tools, so be warned… this smartphone/laptop transformation definitely needs some work, but it’s better than throwing out an old phone and spending another $800 bucks on a budget laptop.

Designer: DIY Perks

The laptop basically runs a desktop version of your smartphone’s OS. In Matthew’s case, he relies on a Samsung S8 which comes with Samsung’s DeX, a feature that lets the phones run a desktop-like experience. If you find yourself without a Samsung phone, there are plenty of apps on the Google Play Store that provide a similar visual experience. The laptop is a bit of a Frankenstein’s monster, with a display from AliExpress, a repurposed Bluetooth keyboard from Amazon, and a power bank that powers the laptop itself. Moreover, you can charge the power bank too using a hacked-together charging port, and the laptop’s construction routes power to the smartphone itself as well, keeping both machines running.

The solution is decidedly MacGyverian. It’s thick and clunky because it uses actual metal panels and L-sections to come together – after all, you can’t compare a DIY builder to a billion-dollar laptop company with a supply chain, can you? That being said, the laptop looks and functions just as you’d expect it to. It runs apps and programs, saves files, accesses the internet, and even has cellular features! Given that it’s an expanded version of a smartphone, I’d probably not use this laptop for heavy-duty tasks like playing games or mining bitcoins. That being said, this DIY laptop is perfect for minor tasks like browsing the internet, replying to mails, or just using it as a multimedia machine for your next movie night… and yes, built-in Bluetooth means you can even hook it to a fancy set of speakers!

Should Apple just build a bigger, better single-lens camera into the iPhone??

Instead of having 3 lenses coming together to give you computational portrait blurs, a larger lens and sensor would turn the iPhone into a DSLR killer.

To be honest, it’s not like DSLRs can really hold a candle to the iPhone. Yes, they’re better cameras, they’re more expensive, more versatile, more professional… but they aren’t as popular as the iPhone camera. According to studies, 1.43 trillion photos were taken in 2020 – 91% of which were through smartphones, and just 6% through digital cameras. Considering iPhones make up a significant chunk of all mobile phones, I’d call it game set match on the DSLR… so here’s my question. Why doesn’t Apple just make a bigger better camera that is popular but also a qualitative powerhouse?

“Camera bump? What’s that?”

This iPhone by Slovakian designer Laci Lacko shows us what a single-shooter large-lens iPhone would look like. Two years ago, a phone that looked like this would be considered downright repulsive, but after the kind of cameras we’ve been seeing on newer phones (especially that whopper camera module on the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra), it doesn’t feel all that bad. It’s highly reminiscent of those slim point-and-shoot cameras we used back in the 2000s, but all in all, I don’t feel as repulsed today as I would have in 2018. The single lens on the iPhone would end up fulfilling the role of multiple lenses. It would be much better at generating authentic bokeh during portrait mode, and a larger sensor would mean much more light entering the camera, resulting in a greater dynamic range, and MUCH better low-light performance. The iPhone could easily do all this without any computational algorithms, allowing the iPhone’s image signal processing to work on other details.

The lens, at least on this concept, is a 35mm shooter with an aperture of f1.4. That massive aperture would allow large amounts of light to hit the camera sensor, creating incredible low light performance and great bokeh, but at the same time, the phone’s ability to regulate the aperture would also give it the ability to shoot crisp photos too, keeping everything in focus. The biggest disadvantage of having just one lens on the camera is that you’d sacrifice the wide and ultrawide shooting abilities that the current iPhones have… perhaps the only reason Apple (or no other company, for that matter) is putting all its eggs in just one basket, uh, camera. That being said, Xiaomi is reportedly working on a camera with a liquid lens (similar to the human eye) that can change in shape, allowing it to go from telephoto to macro, or even to ultrawide. This technology would essentially make extra camera lenses redundant, as the liquid lens camera would easily be able to be a jack of all trades.

It’s still fun to conjure up these possibilities – I personally believe concepts help shape future innovations and even public demand. Whether there’s public demand for a single large-lens camera on an iPhone is still yet to be determined. That being said, let me leave you with this mysterious patent for an SLR-style large-lens camera system filed by Apple.

Designer: Laci Lacko

Meet the PlayStation 5G, an upgraded successor to the handheld Sony PS Vita

It’s a theoretically perfect bridge between Sony’s PlayStation gaming brand, and its Xperia smartphone brand.

While the company’s facing severe chip shortages, leading to high demand but throttled supply, this conceptual Playstation 5G would be a perfect way to quench the demand while allowing Sony’s entire PlayStation catalog to go mobile. Designed by New York-based Anesthétique Projets, the Sony PlayStation 5G concept shrinks the gaming console into a nice, portable design, and in the meanwhile, creates the perfect rival to the Nintendo Switch Lite.

It’s difficult to look past that Switch Lite visual comparison because, in its essence, that’s really what the PS5G is. However, the PS5G comes with some notable upgrades – An incredibly slim, almost smartphone-like design, a multiple-camera setup, and 5G capabilities. Is it a smartphone? Is it a gaming console? Does it run a PS-themed version of Android? Based solely off these renders, I really can’t tell… but let’s dig in further.

It’s been rumored that Sony’s working on a cloud-gaming platform to rival Google Stadia and Microsoft Xbox Game Pass. Codenamed ‘PlayStation Now’, it brings all of the popular PS titles to your smartphone, allowing you to game in a device-agnostic fashion. Given that mobile gaming is now the most popular gaming format in the world, it really makes sense. In that regard, it would also be sensible to conclude that the PlayStation 5G is more of a console/smartphone hybrid. Would that dilute or hurt the Xperia brand? Probably. Would it really be a bad thing? I don’t think so.

An Android smartphone/gaming-console wouldn’t be a bad thing. The PS reputation has enough weight to really create the demand needed to make this popular. Besides, the PlayStation 5G concept has a nice large touchscreen, a slim form factor, physical controls, and a powerful multi-lens camera that sort of makes it feel like the best of both worlds. Just plug a SIM card in, connect to a 5G network, and you can play console-level games practically anywhere. The presence of a 5G network could potentially help the device overcome the hiccups that Google Stadia currently faces, and just like every smartphone has a killer feature (it’s usually always the camera), the PlayStation 5G’s killer feature would pitch it against more gaming-prone smartphones like the ASUS ROG Phone, or the more recent Lenovo Legion Duel 2 Phone. The PlayStation 5’s secret sauce? Its ability to play PS titles… and also those physical controls.

The controls are what makes the PlayStation 5G a bonafide gaming phone. It comes equipped with all the buttons, a D-Pad, action keys, two joypads, and even the L1/L2 and R1/R2 shoulder buttons. The device also comes with front-firing speakers and TWO front facing cameras, located on the top left and top right of the screen as you hold it in landscape mode. It even comes with a dedicated PS button, an option button, and a share button, giving you everything you need in a handheld gaming device. The charging port is located on the bottom of the phone as you hold it in landscape mode, allowing you to charge without the cable getting in the way of your grip.

Given its conceptual nature, there’s little clarity on the phone’s OS and that camera module. It would be safe to assume that the PS5G runs a version of Android tailored to Sony’s specifications… and that camera module looks like it has at least 5 lenses (if you look real close), along with Zeiss branding on it. That would basically help Sony do two things. A. Blow the Nintendo Switch out of the water, and B. Get more people to adopt and test out its camera system, which tends to get ignored along with the Xperia lineup.

While my heart really wishes this device were real, sadly it’s just a concept. Sure, there are a few grey areas as far as the features and technicalities are concerned (Is there a headphone jack? What’s the battery life? And will this phone also be able to run Google Stadia and Microsoft Xbox Game Pass?) but at least on paper, the PlayStation 5G would really help Sony sell more handheld devices while quelling the high demand for the PS5 and eventually even getting more people aboard its ambitious ‘PlayStation Now’ platform. Go ahead, Sony. I know you want to build this. After all, you definitely have a reputation for building odd devices.

Designer: Anesthétique Projets

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 concept has a bezel-less folding screen and the S21’s camera module

Why is it called the Z Flip 3? Where’s the Z Flip 2? Irrelevant questions!

Not sure if it’s the design of the phone or the render quality, but 3D artist Giuseppe Spinelli really seems to have outdone himself with this concept phone. Spinelli’s rendition of the Galaxy Z Flip 3 sports the best parts of all of Samsung’s past phones. On the inside, it has even thinner bezels than its 2020 counterpart, a hole-punch camera for good measure, and that gorgeous vertical folding screen. Flip the phone over and it’s reminiscent of the Moto Razr, with a pretty neat secondary display, and a camera module with three lenses (a first for vertical folding phones).

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 comes as a collaboration between Spinelli (also known by his internet alias Snoreyn) and LetsGoDigital. Rumor is, it’ll be accompanied by the Z Fold 3 as well, allowing Samsung to finally become a veteran in the folding phone space. LGD reports that the Z Flip 3 will feature an improved hinge and even points out that Samsung was awarded a patent for a Z Flip with triple cameras back in 2020.

The phone’s clamshell folding design makes it incredibly compact when folded, allowing it to occupy much less space in your pocket as compared to a Z Fold-style book-shaped folding design. Samsung’s also rumored to be working on a pamphlet-style smartphone with a triple-panel double-hinge setup, but there’s really no word of when the company will officially announce it.

The thickness can often be a deterring factor for consumers. Aside from the visible crease seen in most folding smartphone screens, the thickness becomes a bone of contention between manufacturers and consumers. However, Samsung recently even registered a trademark for the term ‘Armor Frame’, implying a slimmer yet more durable outer body. This would effectively make newer devices slimmer than their older counterparts, hopefully ‘slimming’ the gap between regular smartphones and foldables.

Some of the most interesting features of the Z Flip 3 include its small secondary screen, which actually works as more than just a notification center. Just like the Galaxy Z Fold 2, the larger secondary screen is touch-sensitive, and can be used when the phone is shut. You could potentially watch videos, navigate music apps, browse through notifications, and even use the screen as a viewfinder while clicking images with that stellar 3-camera setup. Another thing that makes the Z Flip 3 interesting is its format, which allows you to use it in an L-shaped mini-laptop mode. The vertically elongated screen may be great for browsing content or scrolling, but when split in half, provides ample real estate for media on the top, and a keyboard at the bottom. It would make sense for the Z Flip 3 to continue exploiting this feature. Moreover, the Z Flip 3 could even feature virtual buttons, as suggested by Spinelli and LGD. This essentially boosts functionality and makes it easier to control volume without constantly having to reach the upper left corner of the phone. Samsung is slated to debut the Z Flip 3 at its Galaxy Unpacked event in the summer of 2021, with as many as 8 different colors to choose from.

Designer: Giuseppe Spinelli for LetsGoDigital

Oneplus’ $15 wireless Gaming Triggers turn your Android smartphone into a Nintendo Switch

Good News: They work with Android as well as iOS devices. Bad News: They’re currently only being sold in India.

The Gaming Triggers from OnePlus dropped randomly out of the blue when company CEO Pete Lau tweeted about them. According to Lau, they’re solid, responsive, and pleasingly clicky – and they’re built to work with any smartphone (regardless of their make), because “the best product design is one that leaves you free to make your own choices.”

The Gaming Triggers work like an extra set of fingers. Hit the trigger and a plunger taps a part of your screen. Designed to sit on the upper edge of your smartphone as you game in landscape mode, the triggers are specifically targeted towards players of Battle Royale-style multiplayer mobile games including PUBG, Call of Duty, Free Fire, although mounting and using the triggers sacrifices a small portion of screen estate as they physically cover your smartphone display.

The OnePLus Gaming Triggers’ price point is exceedingly low for most gaming hardware (even mobile ones), although that’s purely because they’re completely analog and have no electronics on the inside (instead, they have capacitive pads that tap on your screen when triggered). This also makes them compatible with any touchscreen device including your Android smartphone, iPhone, and even your iPad, as long as the device in question is under 11.5mm in thickness (case included).

The triggers can be independently placed on any side of the phone, and they come with a bilaterally symmetric design. Depending on your on-screen buttons, you can distribute them on the left or right, or use them both on one side of the phone. They can be used in portrait mode too, although the ergonomics of that arrangement is really up to the user.
Fun Fact: You could potentially even use them to activate your camera shutter, giving you a real, tactile camera button that’s much easier to press instead of awkwardly tapping your smartphone display with your thumb.

The tactile capacitive buttons work remarkably fast, offering zero lag as compared to wireless controls. OnePlus uses industry-leading Omron switches inside the Gaming Triggers, providing users with that reliable clicking sound and much better tactile feedback as they play. The switches themselves are made from a Zinc alloy, for that cool metallic touch, and they sit within a PolyCarbonate enclosure for that rugged, long-lasting build quality. Sadly, the triggers are only available to customers in India through the OnePlus website for a price of 1,099 rupees (a little under $15). OnePlus hasn’t really mentioned anything about global availability yet.

Designer: OnePlus

This Earth Day, grab yourself a MagSafe wireless charger made from 100% recycled plastic

With a 100% recycled plastic body and a lifetime warranty, the Gomi Wireless Mag Charger helps reduce plastic waste as well as e-waste.

UK-based sustainable design studio Gomi first hit the air-waves back in 2019 with its Bluetooth speaker designed entirely out of plastic waste. The company sought to exclusively use non-recyclable plastics (single-use plastic bags, bubble wrap, etc.) that would otherwise be dumped in oceans, sent to landfills, or incinerated. Working together with small businesses, global corporations, and recycling plants, Gomi developed a way to reuse this non-recyclable plastic as a raw material. Using the natural color variation between the different plastic products, the molding process helped create a marbled pattern that was unique to each device, allowing Gomi to effectively recycle the plastic and upscale it into a wonderful product. Gomi recently debuted a new product using this marbled recycled plastic – a MagSafe-compatible 15W wireless charger that works twice as fast as regular lightning cables, charging your iPhone and Apple accessories while helping take plastic waste out of the earth!

Each Wireless Mag Charger’s body is hand-made from plastics that are deemed non-recyclable by councils in the UK. The plastic components are sorted by color to help create unique marbled variations. No extra materials or dyes are used in the plastic molding process, and the marbled effect is created using the native color of the plastics, with each pattern and design being unique to the individual product.

With an output of 15W, the charger matches the power delivery of Apple’s own MagSafe Charger, albeit with a sustainable twist. The Gomi Wireless Mag Charger works with all wireless-charging enabled devices, allowing you to charge your phone, AirPods, and any other devices you may have. Its MagSafe compatibility works with iPhones 12 and future MagSafe models, allowing you to snap your phone right in place, aligning the wireless charging coils perfectly for uninterrupted charging.

Gomi’s Wireless Mag Chargers come in 3 color varieties – Blue Ocean, Black Mono, and the colorful Birthday Cake. At £35, they cost as much as Apple’s own MagSafe charger does, but color, character, and a sustainable twist to the product.

The wireless charger plugs into any USB-C wall plug, and magnetically attaches onto the back of the phone, or works as a traditional charging mat for your AirPods and other devices. Co-founder and designer at Gomi design, Tom Meades, said ‘The chargers aim to bring fun playful colors to your work-from-home desk setup, whilst maintaining premium quality in functionality.’ Like all of Gomi’s products, the handmade Wireless Mag Chargers come with an automatic lifetime warranty that helps keep them out of landfills. Gomi assures lifetime repairs and also offers buy-back credits for devices at the end of their product life-cycle so that the company can reuse/recycle components into a newer generation of products.

Designer: Gomi

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From Apple to android, this smartphone accessory turns any WFH setup into a professional den

The pandemic has forced most of the professionals to work from home, and believe you me, it comes with its own set of challenges. More so for content creators, photographers, and video editors who now crave a manageable work from home setup that fits seamlessly with their daily tasks – without creating much visual clutter. Pictar Home Studio Pro Kit promises to solve the predicament of having a professional-looking setup in your living or bedroom. The idea here is to have a setup ready for any meeting, shooting, or other tasks that require a professional gear setup.

This accessory makes even more sense for people who have not got the budget to invest in a high-end camera or lighting equipment. The name also puts much light on its basic usage – to convert any indoor environment into a home office or studio-like setup. There’s a camera-like grip for superior control over the shooting with steady hands, a 16mm wide-angle lens and a macro lens that fits any smartphone, a smart light to illuminate the subject (like in professional studios) for impactful photography, and a flexible tripod to hook your phone onto anything for perspective photography that’s ultra-stable.

The combination comes in handy for photography, conducting professional Zoom meetings, and everything else that one can think of. It makes even more sense for people who have shaky hands and want to click crisp portraits or macros. Plus the advantage of having a portable tripod and flashlight adds to the value prospect. Truly an accessory that every creative professional will love without breaking the bank!

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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.