Could the Apple MacBook Air 2021 finally come in the iMac’s candy colors?

After the iMac got a refurbish this year at Apple’s Spring Loaded event, with a new slim 11.5-millimeter design, an M1 architecture, and those beautiful candy colors, it only seems natural that Apple carry that approach to its other Macs. Designer and visualizer, Devam Jangra’s put together a view to show us what candy-colored MacBook Airs could look like, and I won’t lie… I really like it!

If the colorful iMacs were a hat-tip to the candy-colored iMac G3 computers from 1998, these vibrant MacBook Airs most certainly pay a tribute to the old iBook G3s from 1999. It’s certainly been a while since Apple’s experimented with colored laptops – their latest foray was 6 years ago, with the rose-gold MacBook Air. Jangra’s concept video definitely shows why Apple should be less reticent and more open to creating colorful MacBooks… they spark joy, don’t they?!

Rumors of colored MacBooks have been in the air for a little over a month now. In a video back in May, famed leaker Jon Prosser stated that the company would reveal a MacBook lineup “very close if not identical to the shades that you see on the stands for the new 24-inch iMacs.”

Another noteworthy feature that’s rumored to make a comeback apart from the candy colors, is MagSafe charging. Apple ditched the crowd-favorite technology a few years back for Thunderbolt charging, but if the leaks are credible, the wildly loved snap-on magnetic charging port is due to make a comeback. Jangra’s video showcases this too, while also putting two USB-C ports beside the charging port for good measure. The MacBook Air even comes with the iMac Keyboard-inspired TouchID key on the top right corner.

There’s really no saying if and when Apple would launch these. While the rumors DO come from credible sources, we’ve already had 3 Apple keynotes this year, and the only one left is the keynote in September/October, when Apple unveils their new iPhones, AirPods, and the Watch. That being said, maybe we could see this debut sometime next year, along with Apple’s highly anticipated M2 chip! I wouldn’t mind me some candy-colored iPads too!

Designer: Devam Jangra

Click below to read more!

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

Unusual iPhone 14 (2022) render shows a smartphone with an L-shaped secondary display

What happens inside Apple’s design studio remains one of the world’s most closely guarded secrets… it’s bad for consumers (because they’re often taken by surprise), but it’s great for concept designers who get tonnes of leeway when it comes to making experimental versions of their favorite gadgets. Meet the iPhone 14 concept from the mind of Max Burgos – for the most part, it looks just like a normal iPhone, except for the unique secondary display located on the back, wrapping around the camera module.

The iPhone 14 concept shows the unique symbiotic relationship displays have with cameras. On the front, the camera results in a notched display, on the back, however, the camera causes the display to take on an L-shaped design! As unusual as this secondary display may be, it actually serves as a way to reinforce Apple’s app ecosystem – here’s how. The secondary display could be prime real estate for interacting with Apple’s OWN apps. Apple’s clock would show up on the back, iMessage notifications could pop up on the screen, and it could even serve as a dashboard for AirTag tracking. The L shape provides a lot of freedom as far as interfaces go – Burgos even demonstrates how a rear-facing camera app would look, allowing you to click wide-angle selfies using the iPhone’s main camera!

While entirely conceptual (the iPhone 14 isn’t due for another 16 months), Max Burgos’ iPhone 14 exists as a fan-made design that reinforces HIS OWN wants and aspirations from an iPhone. It’s rare that the execs at Apple ever reach out for customer feedback, so these concepts are perhaps the only way in which consumers can actually express interest in new features or visual details. I’d even throw a 3.5mm jack into the concept, just for kicks!

Designer: Max Burgos Morjaen for ConceptsiPhone

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

Clever 3D-printed case lets you attach an AirTag tracking device to your Apple TV Remote

I’ve often felt like Apple‘s multiple product departments work separately, with a minimal informational exchange. How else would you explain the fact that in the same event, Apple announces the AirTags that expand on the company’s massive FindMy network, and also announces a new Apple TV with a redesigned remote… that can’t be tracked.

A major problem with the Apple TV remote up until now was (apart from its stunningly bad UX) that it was a ridiculously thin gadget that often got lost by slipping in between cushions or just sitting somewhere inside a magazine. The sleekness of the Apple TV remote wasn’t a feature, it was a flaw, and people were constantly complaining about losing their remote and never being able to find it… so when Apple redesigned their remote, many were expecting the 2 trillion-dollar company to address this problem too. However, all Apple managed to do was redesign the remote’s controls by bringing an iPod-style jog-dial on it.

For the thousands of people who don’t see themselves buying a new remote just so that they can face the same old problems, Etsy-maker PrintSpired Designs has a neat workaround – a 3D printed case that not only gives the old Apple TV remote some volume and thickness but also allows you to slip an AirTag in so you can track your remote when it inevitably gets misplaced.

Click Here to Buy Now – $12.99

It’s worth noting that even with the case on, the remote isn’t that thick. The case measures 14mm in height, which is about as thick as 2 iPhones stacked together. The printed case doesn’t weigh much either (given that it’s printed with support structures which basically makes it hollow on the inside), so it’s still comfortable to use. The case makes enough space for one AirTag to fit right into its design, and when the remote sits in place, it still lets you access its charging port.

The remote-case itself is available on PrintSpiredDesigns’ Etsy store for $12.99. However, if you’ve got access to a 3D Printer, you can download the STL file for $1.99 and print your own. I’d prefer buying the case though because they come in color options, including even one printed from glow-in-the-dark filament!!

Designer: PrintSpiredDesigns

Click Here to Buy Now – $12.99

Unusual Apple iPhone 13 M1 render finally ditches the notch… for a bump.

Whoever says ‘beauty comes from within’ makes a rather compelling case for this iPhone 13 concept, because it surely is, well… unconventional on the outside. Marking a clear departure from Apple’s old style of iPhones, this concept by Antonio De Rosa ushers in a new age for a new iPhone – the M1 iPhone. The ‘beauty on the inside’ for this concept is surely its M1 chip, which has definitely made a massive splash with the rest of Apple’s high-end consumer electronics… while the design change in question is in the very product’s silhouette. Unlike every previous iPhone, which has had a rounded rectangle shape from the get-go, the iPhone 13 comes with an outward notch that houses its front-facing camera.

This is probably the most unusual camera bump I’ve ever come across because for once, it isn’t on the back of the phone… it’s on the top. Marking a rather clear deviation from the design trend of the iPhones before it, the iPhone 13 concept tries to do things differently by breaking the mold and probably questioning those self-evident rules of smartphone design. The video which De Rosa put together for his concept highlights the beauty in ‘strangeness’ by looking to nature, which is filled with strange things too. His reinterpretation of the iPhone brings about the same feeling as you would get seeing an unusual animal or plant. It makes you curious, makes you question it, and makes you give it your 100% undivided attention.

That isn’t to say that I completely approve of this design direction. I like it, but I’m not sure if my reasons for liking it are based on logic or on sheer emotion. It’s clearly ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking – literally too… and maybe that’s enough to make people really like this concept. It isn’t conforming, it isn’t a sheep. It’s unique and has character, standing out against a sea of smartphones that look absolutely identical when viewed from the front. No matter how you cut it, the iPhone 13 looks unique – from the front, the back, and even the sides.

The bump serves a practical purpose too. For once, the modern iPhone doesn’t have a notch. The iPhone 13 comes with a complete screen, as all the cameras and sensors that enable FaceID sit on top, within that tiny 3-4 millimeter bump. Looking beyond it, however, the phone comes with speakers on the top as well as the bottom. The camera bump shifts slightly upward too, ensuring it’s perfectly aligned with the raised edge, thanks to the bump. Lastly, the conceptual phone flexes its muscles with its greatest feature yet, the Apple-made M1 chip.

Apple’s slated to debut the iPhone 13 in the fall of 2021, although an M1 iPhone is probably a distant dream for now (Rene Ritchie explains why). However, that’s never stopped concept creators like Antonio De Rosa from making their own concepts that embody what they themselves are looking for in future iPhones… and personally, I’m here for this upward camera bump! It’s probably practical design-wise, but my positive response to it is more reptilian than logical.

Designer: Antonio De Rosa

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

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

The 2021 iPad Pro is now easily the most powerful tablet in the world

It’s funny how there’s absolutely no argument when it comes to comparing tablet PCs. Sure, with laptops, desktops, phones, and even smartwatches, there’s a healthy competition between rival companies and a spirit of one-upmanship that helps products get better with time… but in a strange way, that doesn’t exist in the tablet market at all, because there’s clearly only one superior tablet, and its only real competition at this point of time, is itself.

Every year, Apple is tasked with the difficult job of making better versions of its cutting-edge products. With the iPad, it feels like a pointless endeavor after a certain moment, because as iPads get better and better, their older versions don’t get worse… they just stay good (because even after 2-3 years, they don’t really have any serious market competition). Now, with the M1 chip finally making its debut in the iPad Pro, the iPad is easily the most powerful tablet in the world. Some would say it’s even more powerful than most laptops.

Nothing much changes on the form front. The iPad Pro’s design is in a place where it doesn’t need to refine its exterior design. Apple’s team calls it a magical piece of glass, because that’s what holding it in your hand feels like. It’s ridiculously slim, has an absolutely incredible screen, capable cameras, and now even sports a Thunderbolt-ready USB 4.0 port. It has magnets that let it snap to a keyboard case, has a LiDAR sensor for 3D scanning, an Apple Pencil for sketching, designing, and note-keeping. The most logical next step was to bring Apple’s silicon architecture to its internals…

Continuing its tradition, the iPad Pro comes in two sizes. However, just like the larger iPhone 12 Pro Max has a measurably better screen and camera system than the 12 Pro, the larger iPad Pro comes equipped with a screen that’s much better… XDR-level better. The 12.9-inch iPad Pro comes with a Liquid Retina XDR display that’s comparable to the Pro XDR display that Apple debuted with their ‘cheesegrater’ Mac. It sports a dizzying 5.6 million pixels with 1600 nits of peak brightness, a mind-numbing 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio, and extreme dynamic range. That allows your pro-level workflow to seamlessly be carried from your desktop to your iPad with no perceivable loss in quality as you view it on the screen… and if you think your iPad can’t handle that workflow, that’s where the M1 comes in.

The M1 really unleashes the tablet’s potential, giving it incredible storage, transfer, and read/write abilities… or as Apple calls it, the most powerful chip on an iPad. The M1, apart from being a productive beast, also allows the iPad to have 5G capabilities, and even up to 2 Terabytes of storage… let’s see Microsoft’s Surface match that!

The M1 significantly empowers your workflow, allowing you to work on CPU or GPU-intensive tasks with absolute ease, and even letting you work with incredibly heavy files and run processes like video editing, green-screen, and the kind of work you’d normally do on a laptop. Plug your keyboard case in and the iPad even becomes a makeshift laptop.

Things just get better on the AR front with the iPad. The M1 chip allows the sensor and the AR algorithms to really get to work, crunching numbers, and realistically rendering out your virtual files in the 3D space around you. A rather cool sneak preview below also shows how Procreate’s v5.2 runs on the iPad, and users will be delighted to know that it now supports sketching directly on 3D models!

The iPad Pro still retains its last year’s camera module on the back, albeit with better computational photography thanks to the M1 chip. The camera on the front, however, sports an ultrawide-angle lens that captures more within the frame. Apple even showcased Center Stage, their new feature that uses machine learning to have that ultrawide camera zoom in on subjects and follow them around as they move, panning the camera while the iPad stays stationary.

The iPad’s biggest competition is itself. It’s now reached a stage where it’s difficult to think of what Apple could do next, apart from refining and making its internals better… however, this M1 is a monumental leap for the tablet and really leaves the other tablet manufacturers biting the dust. The iPad Pro ships in two sizes, the 11-inch, and the 12.9-inch. It starts at $799, is available in silver and space-grey (no colors for this one), and with that powerful internal architecture, 5G capabilities, up to 2 Terabytes of storage, 16 Gb RAM, an onboard LiDAR sensor, and support for the Apple Pencil, the 2021 iPad Pro really leaves little for skeptics to grumble over. All hail the most powerful tablet ever built!

Designer: Apple