Hate Apple’s new iPhone battery case? Don’t f*cking buy it

iPhone-battery-case

Yes, Apple launched a new battery case for iPhone 6s today, and yes, it’s butt-ugly.

All battery cases are, but because this one has an Apple logo on it, the Internet is getting all bent out of shape over just how ugly it is. There’s one thing nobody is mentioning, though: You don’t have to buy one if you don’t like it — and no one really cares what you think.

To put it bluntly, it’s not easy to polish a turd. Some things are inherently ugly, and not even Apple and Jony Ive can make them look good. Battery cases — which make your otherwise slim and slender smartphone fat and heavy in an instant — are one of those things.

No matter how much you tweet about it, blog about it, or cry about it while looking longingly at photographs of Steve Jobs and remembering the good times, when battery cases like these would have been a laughing stock at Apple design meetings, that’s not going to change.

Complaining won’t change the position of the Lightning port on the Mighty Mouse 2, the way in which you charge Apple Pencil, or the embarrassing mess that is the iPhone 5c case, either.

Battery cases are practical. Battery life on the iPhone 6s isn’t great, and if you’re a heavy user, chances are you rarely get through a full day without having to top up at least once. With that being the case, the Apple Store probably sells a lot of them. It’s no surprise Apple would want a piece of that pie.

It is somewhat ironic that Cupertino would consistently sacrifice battery life in an effort to make the iPhone thinner every year, then release a case that makes the iPhone fatter to give us that extra battery life we so crave. But Apple didn’t do this on purpose just to make more money. Apple won’t make the iPhone 7’s battery life poor on purpose, just so you’ll buy a $99 battery case with your upgrade.

Maybe it’ll get you a retweet, but bitching about the iPhone battery case on Twitter won’t hurt Apple. The company will sell a ton of these to people who need battery cases, and none of them care what you think.

If you hate the Smart Battery Case, just don’t buy one. But please, shut up about it.

Apple Watch is a miniature replica of the original iPhone.

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With its small screen and 0.46-inch thickness, the original iPhone from 2007 looks like an antique these days. Put it next to the Apple Watch, however, and it’s remarkable how similar the two devices look in terms of their design language.

At 0.45 inches, the Apple Watch is ever so slightly thinner, but its rounded edges, color and overall aesthetic certainly appear reminiscent of the first-generation Apple handset, don’t you think?

That’s not a knock on the Apple Watch. Yes, the iPhone has gotten thinner and even more gorgeous in the years since Steve Jobs unveiled it, but Cupertino’s wearable remains a beautiful piece of industrial design by Jony Ive, who stewarded the Apple Watch to completion more than anyone else at Apple.

It is exciting, however, when you think about what this means for future Apple Watches. Less than a decade after the iPhone was unveiled, the iPhone 6 is a super-slim 6.9mm thickness (0.27 inches).

What will the Apple Watch of 2023 look like? We’ll have to wait and see, but the Twittersphere is certainly excited about the journey to get there.

Step one on a new journey. Photo: Luke Wroblewski

This is what new Star Wars droid BB-8 would look like in space gray.

What if Jony Ive designed BB-8? Photo: Martin Hajek

With its roly-poly looks and infectious personality, new droid BB-8 looks primed to be a real scene-stealer when Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theaters at the end of the year.

And now we know what the ballsy little bot would look like if Jony Ive replaced its orange-and-white color scheme with something a little more subtle.

The iDroid's iPhone 6-like styling is complemented by a light-up Apple logo. Photo: Martin Hajek

The iDroid concept art comes from forward-looking designer Martin Hajek, who has produced tons of Apple-inspired concept art in the past (including an Apple-ized lightsaber).

Writes Hajek on his blog unveiling his new BB-8 renders:

Introducing: iBB-A
With built in projector and circular touch-screen interface, it will be available in silver, gold and (of course) space-grey!

Want to have a go at designing your own droid? You can download the super-detailed 3D model of the BB-8.

While director J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens won’t premiere till December 18, the movie’s lovable new droid is already a fan favorite. There’s even a DIY project for making your own iPhone-controlled BB-8 model.

Now Hajek has shown how Apple design chief Jony Ive’s stylistic influences — which really did help shape The Force Awakens’ spitty new lightsaber — might look on sci-fi’s peppiest new droid.

As usual, Hajek makes his 3-D model available (for a price).

So, if you were in the market to buy a used BB-8 from some nasty little Jawas, which model would you get? Old-school orange-and-white? Or Apple-tastic silver, gold or space gray?

The hologram on top of the gold iDroid is a nice touch. Photo: Martin Hajek

The first Apple Watch was an iPhone with a Velcro strap.

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The Apple Watch was created under crazy, sleep-deprived conditions, with its first working prototype being an iPhone strapped to the wrist with a Velcro strap, and the Digital Crown represented by a custom dongle plugged into the bottom of the phone via the headphone jack.

Those are a couple of the revelations from a new in-depth article, reporting on the creation of Apple’s eagerly anticipated wearable device.

Published by Wired, the article draws on authorized interviews with several members of the Apple Watch team we’ve not heard from before — including technology VP Kevin Lynch and human interface group head Alan Dye.

Among other claims, it is reported that people in the Apple design studio are encouraged to work crazy hours since this is when people are supposedly at their most creative and fearless.

“So it went in the Apple design studio: As the team worked away on app-launch animations and the new iOS 7 Control Center, daytime conversations about smartphone software led to late-night discussions about other devices. Questions started coalescing around the idea of a watch: What could it add to people’s lives? What new things could you do with a device that you wear? Around this time, Ive began a deep investigation of horology, studying how reading the position of the sun evolved into clocks, which evolved into watches. Horology became an obsession. That obsession became a product.”

It also reveals that among the early Apple Watch experiments was one from the iPod team based on a click wheel concept, and that a chief software concept was that “An interaction [with the Watch] could last only five seconds, 10 at most.”

An early (abandoned) version of the software reportedly took the form of a timeline, which presented information chronologically from top to bottom rather than trying to cut down on the amount of information that is shown.

One other intriguing tidbit comes when the author is describing the Taptic Engine and how it uses different vibrations to indicate different types of notifications. Designers and engineers reportedly sampled the sounds of everything “from bell clappers and birds to lightsabers” and then attempted to turn these sounds into physical sensations.

It’s a fascinating revelation — and it’s not the first time in 2015 we’ve heard Apple and “lightsabers” in the same story. An earlier news item claimed that Jony Ive is the man responsible for the new “spittier” look of the lightsabers for the upcoming Star Wars movie.

You can read Wired‘s article here. It’s definitely interesting — not least because it tells the software side of the Apple Watch story instead of the Ive-centric angle focused on in a recent New Yorker article.

It’s also further evidence of how Apple is happy to open up a bit more about its product development process, something that would have never happened during the Steve Jobs days.