Is Apple relaunching the iPod on its 20th Anniversary this year? Here’s why it could be a smart idea…

Four words – Lossless Audio, and Apple Arcade. These four words could just as easily the new iPod’s design brief. The Twitter rumor-mill’s working on overdrive after a few sources claimed that Apple could announce a new iPod this fall. A few designers even went so far as to create renders based on hearsay and leaks, and I’m absolutely here for it. A new iPod could be a pretty nifty product for a variety of reasons. Here are my thoughts.

Only last week Apple announced that lossless audio was coming to Apple Music. With a new iPod, it’ll be like Apple going into the music-streaming war guns-a-blazing. Spotify’s slowly but surely dominated this space, and the new iPod could almost be Apple signaling that it’s taking the music domain pretty seriously. The iPod could drum up major interest the same way the Moto RAZR did – nostalgia is a powerful force. Moreover, the hardware would be no different from the iPhone 5 or the iPhone SE, given that the renders look pretty much exactly like those devices.

Secondly, the new iPod has the ability to become Apple’s gateway device for a variety of iOS features (and probably even MagSafe, who knows). Kids could use it for listening to music, but could also potentially use the iMessage service on it. The iPod could leverage the power of Apple Arcade too, becoming a very affordable device that parents would buy for their kids in a heartbeat, tying them into the Apple ecosystem at an early age. The iPod has always been an impulse purchase (as opposed to the iPhone)… reissuing the gadget on its 20th anniversary absolutely makes a world of sense!!

Image Credits: Steve Moser, AppleLe257, and Apple_Tomorrow

Is this the new Apple Watch Series 7? First-look renders show a flat-edge design inspired by the iPhone 12





I was today years old when I learned that the Apple Watch is the most popular watch in the world, overtaking Rolex to gain that title. Anyway, now that we have that tidbit aside, famed tech-leaker Jon Prosser is alleging that the world’s most popular watch is getting a redesign. Currently in its 6th series, the Apple Watch has seen only two major redesigns (with the second arguably boasting of a screen with thinner bezels) but it seems like the Cupertino-giant has giant plans for the 7th edition of its popular smartwatch… and it involves homogenizing its design to fit in with the iPhone and iPad’s form language.

The rumor-mill of a new Apple Watch started back in 2020 when prominent Apple Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo hinted that a new design was in the works and could drop as soon as 2021. Now that we’re well into the year 2021, Prosser’s collaborated with Ian Zelbo to bring rumors and leaks to life in the form of pretty life-like renders. The renders are based on real images and CAD-file screenshots supplied to Prosser by his network of sources. In order to protect the sources yet still share the designs with everyone, Prosser and Ian created these renders to show us exactly what they saw, and it seems like Apple is really beginning to streamline their design language. The ‘magical slab of glass’ analogy seemed to work really well for the iPad and its flat-edge design language finally carried onto the iPhone 12 last year and the iMac this year. According to the renders, the Apple Watch is getting a similar design upgrade with flat sides as opposed to the rounded ones, giving its screen a larger-than-life presence with minimal bezel interference.

It’s worth noting that these renders do come with some caveats. For starters, they’re literally just renders. Prosser couldn’t get his hands on a spec sheet, so we don’t have any idea what’s on the inside of the watch and if there are any new sensors or features. In fact, the watches go by codenames in the supply line too, so for all we know, this might not necessarily even be the Apple Watch Series 7 but rather an incredibly early look at Series 8! One thing that definitely stands out is the Watch 7’s new color-schemes, especially that rather soothing moss green color that doesn’t just exist on the strap, it’s present on the anodized metal body too (iMac 2021 much?) I wonder if Apple’s planning on releasing an iPhone 12-style purple variant too.

Image Credits: Jon Prosser and Ian Zelbo

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

Xiaomi patents indicate they are working on a smartphone with a sliding display

It seems like flexible displays have finally found their place in the smartphone world. Folding phones haven’t been their best application (because folding screens leave a crease behind, and result in thicker phones), but sliding/rolling displays seem to be an interesting approach that allows phones to have larger screens in smaller, thinner bodies. LG, Oppo, and TCL have all indicated they’re working on smartphones with rollable scroll-inspired displays, and according to a new patent discovered by LetsGoDigital, Xiaomi seems to be working on a rollable display smartphone too.

The conceptual Xiaomi phone uses the sliding mechanism and flexible display to its advantage. The design comes with virtually no bezel on the front, and the display cascades off the base (like a waterfall), transitioning to the back and turning into a secondary display that works with the main camera. Upon command (either through a voice command or a tap on the screen), the front of the phone slides downwards and reveals the front-facing camera setup on the top. It includes the selfie camera, as well as an ambient light sensor, a distance sensor, and a dot projector. The receiver is also hidden behind the slider display.

This dual-screen dual-camera opens the Xiaomi slider concept up to quite a few use-cases. The larger screen on the front can be used for selfies, facial-unlock, and even video conferencing, while the smaller screen on the back can act as a viewfinder for more elaborate group photos, videos, etc. For visualization purposes, the sliding concept contains the quad-camera module from the Mi10 Pro.

Designer/Visualizer: Sarang Sheth in partnership with LetsGoDigital

This concept was first published on LetsGoDigital. Click here to view the original piece.

Samsung is rumored to be working on a dual-hinge folding Galaxy smartphone with a sliding keyboard!

Based on a patent filed in mid-2018 at the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), which was uncovered only recently by the fine folks at LetsGoDigital, Samsung is reported to be working on a folding smartphone with a dual-hinge and a slide-out keyboard that bridges the gap between phone and laptop, but most importantly, fulfills the ‘Z’ element of the Z Fold product-line. LetsGoDigital has christened this the Galaxy Z Fold 3, and here’s what visualizations of the rumored product look like! Scroll down for a detailed look.

It’s safe to say that Samsung would eventually stumble across a dual-hinge folding phone. They’ve experimented with single-hinge phones in both vertical and horizontal formats, and it’s only natural that the company would make one with an even larger screen and with two hinges to rival Xiaomi’s efforts in this department. Meet the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 concept… It actually folds in the shape of the letter Z, and comes with one singular screen that cascades from the inside to the out, unlike previous folding models that had a dedicated external display and a folding internal one. The Galaxy Z Fold 3 works out the hinges in a way that allows you to use only the outer part of the display when in closed-mode, and the entire screen when completely opened.

When opened, the dual-hinge format gives the smartphone multiple ways to orient it. You could potentially open it out completely, turning it into a tablet, or use it in one of many shapes, allowing the phone’s flexible body to work as a stand. The most standout feature of this concept is its ability to be used as a real laptop. While earlier iterations of the Galaxy Fold phones explored the potential laptop format, none are as convenient as the Galaxy Z Fold 3, which comes with its own dedicated slide-out keyboard.

The two images below show the two different orientations for the Galaxy Z Fold 3 to be used in laptop mode. Version 1 gives you a compact device with the slide-out keyboard, and the ability to use the hole-punch front-facing camera for video-calls, while version 2 opens out into a more expansive device, allowing you to access two separate screens for multitasking. One part of the screen faces away from you, giving you the potential to even present to a client.

While the dual-hinge 3-part flexible OLED display is clearly the Galaxy Z Fold 3’s most defining feature, the slide-out keyboard really gives it meaning. Just like the Galaxy Note series comes with a stylus that clearly outlines what the product is meant to be used for, the slide-out keyboard on the Galaxy Z Fold 3 helps it bridge the gap between phone and laptop. There’s no clear information in the patent as to whether the keyboard is a dynamic display or a static one, so the concept opts for the latter, but comes outfitted with everything you’d need to get work done, from a full QWERTY keyboard to a Numpad, and even a voice-command button that lets you dictate to the phone when you don’t want to type.

The phone’s dual-hinge, three-part setup definitely results in an overall device that’s on the thicker side, but it still tries to stay within an inch in thickness, making it relatively pocket-friendly and roughly as thick as most bifold wallets. Where it lacks in sleekness, it makes up for in functionality by being your all-in-one smartphone/tablet/laptop hybrid. Like every Galaxy phone, the Z Fold 3 too sports a USB-C charging hub, and we wouldn’t be surprised if this phone was 5G capable too. A single front-facing camera sits on the screen in the hole-punch format, while the back features a 3-lens setup, similar to the Galaxy Z Fold 2 (See Below).

The product’s been visualized in Rose Gold, although it would probably come in a range of colors catering to Samsung’s catalog. The Galaxy Z Fold 3 is a conceptual product based on patented files by Samsung. It’s been visualized as a collaborative effort between LetsGoDigital and Sarang Sheth and isn’t affiliated with the Samsung brand in any way.

Designer/Visualizer: Sarang Sheth in partnership with LetsGoDigital

This concept was first published on LetsGoDigital. Click here to view the original piece.

Amid leaks and rumors, Samsung’s new ‘Galaxy Fold 2’ begins taking shape

Same design. Better cameras.

Well, I certainly have a few reservations on the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Fold 2 based on pretty credible leaks, but I’ll get to that later on. These leaks come from Ross Young, the founder of the Display Supply Chain Consultants, who says that the new Samsung Galaxy Fold 2 (Samsung has two folding ranges – the Fold and the Bloom) may be the first folding phone to have a 120Hz refresh rate, a feature that makes the screen appear smoother and the phone faster. The handset, according to Young, is rumored to be slightly bigger than its predecessor, and to have a hole-punch camera on both the front display as well as the main display, eliminating the massive bezels we saw in the earlier edition. If these tip-offs are true, the phone will sport a significantly bigger camera bump on the back too, much like the S20 series, and will be compatible with Samsung’s S-Pen. Now that we’ve got the specifications out of the way… let’s get to those reservations.

First off, the very presence of leaks indicates that Samsung is working on an edition #2 of the Fold… something that seems natural, but I wonder if Samsung even sold enough of its previous models to justify giving this upgrade. Another aspect of the Fold 2 worth addressing is the fact that Samsung isn’t treating this as a concept. The Fold is pretty much a Samsung flagship, so here’s my question. With a camera bump that probably packs 4 lenses and a time-of-flight sensor, and with large screens that boast of 120Hz refresh rates and hole-punch cameras, what will this rumored phone cost? And more importantly, given the current economic freefall we’re in, will the price even be worth it? It’s difficult to rationalize the need for a fancy folding phone that may cost upward of $2K, and more importantly, may not last beyond a year given how fragile these phones tend to be. That being said, as a tech nerd, I have to give props to Samsung for working on the tech even through a pandemic. The concept, which I visualized based on these rumors, and a few reference images from Ben Geskin, looks pretty cool, and still packs a fingerprint reader which definitely feels like a good direction given the times we live in… and since we’re probably going to be working with a mobile setup more often now, that folding phone turning into a miniature laptop does seem like a pretty neat USP! And if people seem put off by the tone-deaf price-tag and nobody eventually ends up buying the Fold 2, at least Roberto Escobar will have a new model to add to his catalog…

Designer/Visualizer: Sarang Sheth

Houseparty says it wasn’t hacked, offers $1 million for ‘smear campaign’ proof

Popular video-calling app Houseparty is offering a $1 million bounty to anyone that can prove the app has been a victim of reputational sabotage. The announcement, made by the company over Twitter, comes amid swiftly circulating rumors that the app h...

Houseparty says it wasn’t hacked, offers $1 million for ‘smear campaign’ proof

Popular video-calling app Houseparty is offering a $1 million bounty to anyone that can prove the app has been a victim of reputational sabotage. The announcement, made by the company over Twitter, comes amid swiftly circulating rumors that the app h...