9to5Mac Concepts Stories August 25

Over the past several years, Apple Watch software updates have been kind of small. watchOS 7 sped up the Apple Watch user interface, while watchOS 8 adds a handful of new useful apps. But with watchOS 9, Apple should introduce the biggest update to the experience yet.

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9to5Mac Concepts Stories August 12

In the first part of our macOS Mammoth concept, we shared a look at ideas for improving the system and redesigning core elements of the desktop. Now, we want to share some ideas for new apps that we’d love to see Apple add in the next version of macOS. There were plenty of different things that we tried out during the design phase, but ultimately we landed on four distinct apps. Let’s take a look.

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9to5Mac Concepts Stories August 9

Earlier this year we correctly predicted that macOS 12 would be called “Monterey” and later discovered renewed Apple trademarks for places in California. The two renewed names were in fact “Monterey” and “Mammoth.” It’s only natural to assume that next year’s release of macOS will be called Mammoth with Monterey being chosen this year. So what might we see in macOS 13 in 2022? Well, we don’t know yet. But we do know what we want to see.

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9to5Mac Concepts Stories July 30

I often wonder what things would have looked like at Apple if major events hadn’t occurred. Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about classic Mac OS and old-school small gadgets. So naturally, the question arose: “What if Apple kept making Newtons and what if they ran Mac OS?” Well, if you’re now wondering the same thing, keep on reading.

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9to5Mac Concepts Stories July 27

Apple’s newest Safari design in iOS 15 has been controversial, to say the least. It’s a complete overhaul of one of the iPhone’s most popular apps that follows entirely different design philosophies. Countless folks, including myself, have tried to come up with ways to “fix” the new design and make it more familiar and comfortable to use. This is my latest try. What I wanted to do was to follow the same principles and aim for the same goal. A mobile browser that’s easy to use in one hand and one that makes switching between sites on the fly a breeze.

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9to5Mac Concepts Stories June 22

Yesterday I published a piece about how Apple could address concerns about Safari’s new bottom bar centric design in iOS 15. Many folks are unhappy with the redesign, but some of us (me included) really like it. I spent some time figuring out different ways Apple could extend this new design language to other built-in apps on the iPhone. I narrowed it down to three distinct user interface components.

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9to5Mac Concepts Stories June 21

One of the biggest updates in iOS 15 is the completely overhauled Safari. It’s been controversial, to say the least. We’ve heard from many users who are already fed up with the new design just a few weeks after using it in beta. And while some do seem to like the new design, there are still several ways that could make it more useable for the average person.

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9to5Mac Concepts Stories June 16

Earlier this week, we shared the first part of our iOS 16 concept and explained why we were publishing these ideas so far in advance, especially with the first iOS 15 beta just dropping. That first piece focused on changes to system components, while this piece focuses on individual apps and ties the two together. We looked at a few of Apple’s built-in apps that we believe could use some additional love, as well as ways for Apple to go after some of its biggest competitors.

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9to5Mac Concepts Stories June 14

Apple only just released the first beta of iOS 15 a week ago, so you probably read the headline and thought that we’re thinking way too far ahead. The reality is that Apple is mapping out what they’re going to work on over the next year right now. It wouldn’t make sense to create an iOS 16 concept early next year after all of the details have been locked in. We’ve heard from several people at Apple that concepts and wishlists should be drawn up way earlier than they usually are. So we’re starting early this time.

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9to5Mac Concepts Stories June 10

A few weeks before WWDC, Apple previewed a few new accessibility features that will be coming later this year. One of those features was background sounds, which Apple plans to ship in iOS 15. Background sounds are effectively built-in white noise features with additional accessibility options. These new features are hidden in the Settings app and aren’t easily discoverable. We think they are so important that they warrant their own app in the future, and it should be called “Sounds.”

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9to5Mac Concepts Stories June 4

Two rumors have been floating around for a bit now: The first is that this year’s Apple Watch will adopt a glucose monitor, and the second is that the Health app will be gaining food tracking. If both of these are true, they could be transformative together for people with diabetes and those just trying to eat healthier.

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9to5Mac Concepts Stories May 26

When Apple introduced iOS 14 last year, it unleashed a whole new rush of amazing widgets, both from third-party developers and Apple itself. Apple’s own apps and now its own widgets are supposed to serve as examples for other developers to be inspired by. But many of Apple’s stock apps don’t actually have widgets yet. Meanwhile, widgets are still static and can’t be made interactive. We’re hoping both of those things change in just under two weeks when Apple unveils iOS 15 at WWDC.

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9to5Mac Concepts Stories May 23

The original iPod is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2021. As for now, the only iPod being sold by Apple is the seventh-generation touch model. With the company introducing Apple Music Lossless, an iPod with this focus could be a great way to celebrate this anniversary.

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9to5Mac Concepts Stories May 14

iOS 14 saw the introduction of Home Screen widgets on the iPhone, and that alone was expected to cause a tsunami of creative customization on the platform. But that was just the tip of the iceberg. Even though it’s been possible for a few years now, regular consumers discovered that they could create custom icons using the Shortcuts app. We saw an explosion of custom icon packs, widget designer apps, and tutorials on how to make your iPhone look a very specific way. If Apple wants to lean into customization, it could do it in a few ways that still allow it to keep control of the platform’s core design.

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9to5Mac Concepts Stories May 8

I can’t believe we’re almost there, but WWDC 2021 will start in less than one month. On June 7, we’ll finally get a first look at the next generations of Apple’s five core platforms: iOS, macOS, iPadOS, watchOS, and tvOS. Over the past several months, we’ve worked on a series of concepts for each of these operating systems. We’ve tried to carefully balance what we want to see in these updates with what’s reasonable realistic by Apple standards. While very few rumors have been floating around about these new releases, it’s even more fun to speculate what might be in store for us.

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9to5Mac Concepts Stories May 7

tvOS is missing a lot of tent pole features of the Apple ecosystem. It’s an excellent foundation, but it could use a lot of work. It often feels like tvOS gets left behind when Apple is working on its annual platform updates. It’s time for it to get a chance to shine.

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9to5Mac Concepts Stories May 4

Now that we’ve all spent time with AirTag, it’s time to start thinking about ways to make the product even better. There are several obvious ways to do this that many have noted over the past couple of days. AirTag is an incredibly powerful tool for tracking items, but lots of us would like to allow our friends and family to track important items or ask for their help in finding lost ones. Family sharing is just the tip of the iceberg.

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9to5Mac Concepts Stories May 2

Apple Podcasts is the AM to Apple Music’s FM. The two apps should be almost on par at all times, particularly now that the company is turning podcasts into an app that includes paid subscriptions. The app hasn’t always gotten the love it deserves, but that’s starting to change. There are lots of ways Apple could take the podcasts app to the next level as it enters into a new era. Here are some of my ideas…

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9to5Mac Concepts Stories April 22

After the original iMac took the world by storm with its gorgeous and unconventional colorful design, Apple decided to package an iMac-to-go and call it the iBook. It was indeed everything the iMac was, in a laptop form factor, and it was available in a range of equally fun vibrant colors. It became the de facto student notebook, the approachable and fun machine for the average user, and it went where other notebooks weren’t willing to go. With the launch of the completely reinvented M1 iMac, I think and certainly hope we’ll see a reinvention of the MacBook Air that acts very much like the iBook. It should be the newest iMac, only to go.

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9to5Mac Concepts Stories April 7

Designing for iPadOS is really difficult. I imagine there are countless battles among the Apple human interface team over what the right direction is for the platform. Apple set out on a path with iOS 11 and they’ve stuck to it since then, building on top of it every year. It’s become a house of cards that could come crumbling down with a single added idea. There are lots of folks who would like Apple to burn it all down and start over. I really can’t see Apple doing that. Imagining something seemingly as simple as adding widgets to the entire Home Screen is a monumental task, but it can totally be done.

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9to5Mac Concepts Stories March 17

As my colleague Zac Hall noted yesterday, the Apple home strategy is kind of a mess. It truly warrants a conversation around what the company wants to accomplish in customers’ homes. Because Apple TV and HomePod are both in weird states, it occurred to me that it might be valuable to imagine how the two product lines could come together. Enter HomePod TV…

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9to5Mac Concepts Stories March 15

With the discontinuation of the original HomePod on Friday, everyone is wondering what’s next for the HomePod family? Apple plans to now focus on the single $99 HomePod mini. It hits a sweet spot, being affordable and reasonably sized for any space. Apple might still have a larger- or medium-sized HomePod in the works, but I think the answer lies in portability and displays.

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9to5Mac Concepts Stories March 12

AirPods were introduced nearly 5 years ago and since then they’ve become a mainstay of Apple’s product family. They’re an essential tool that makes the Apple ecosystem infinitely better. But along the way, they’ve become less of an accessory and more of a flagship product, as evident from the top-of-the-line AirPods Max at $549. That’s no accessory. That’s a computer for your head that just so happens to talk to your other devices.

Apple makes great accessories, even for other accessories. Why doesn’t Apple make its own accessories for AirPods?

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9to5Mac Concepts Stories March 10

It’s been two years since Apple unveiled Apple TV+ for the first time in spring of 2019. It’s taken some time, but it seems as though the service has finally hit its stride with hits like “Ted Lasso” and “Dickinson.” Other shows have developed cult-like followings, such as “For All Mankind,” and major events like the new Billie Eilish documentary have been quite popular. It’s clear that fans are ready for Apple to make some official merchandise for their shows. One of the creators of “Ted Lasso” tweeted a few days ago that merch is indeed on the way. Here’s what that might look like.

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