iPod mockup...

in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Been AGES since I've felt motivated, so I bear with me. I'm rusty!

Just doodling a bit in Illustrator, satisfying my OWN fantasies about what I'd like a future iPod to look like and do.

Regarding the clip on the back, I'd like it to act as two things: a built-in belt clip, of course, BUT when lifted out and snapped back, it swings out and acts as a little "kickstand", like a picture frame prop OR that back "leg" on the Apple Studio and Cinema Displays...that way it can stand up on its own on your desk a little easier than the current model.

Also, I love the iPod, but I - personally - would like it to be more "grabby" and round and "mouse-y" (in other words, not so squared-off).

I took measurements and, printed out, this is actual real-life size. A tad taller than the existing one. But the scroll wheel is the same and the screen is quite a bit larger (and in color).

I know NOTHING about software and all, but I just thought it would be neat if Apple wrote some sort of cool "mini OS", geared specifically to a device like this and - using the scroll wheel - lets you navigate through photos, video clips, e-mail and basic web info the way you do with iTunes, iCal and Address Book on the current iPod.

The little icons are VERY rough...forgive me. I just hammered them out to finish this up. Just single color, simplified versions of their OS X counterparts: a stamp, a "@" symbol, a music clef, compass, etc. You get the idea. They'd all be blue, with the active app colored white to stand out a bit. Tried a version with a little black triangle underneath, but it just takes up vertical space.

MAYBE there's even a place for Inkwell to work in this somehow? That would be the input: really snazzy handwriting recognition, as opposed to a teeny, next-to-useless keyboard?

Just wanted to share, that's all. No big deal.

[ 01-16-2003: Message edited by: pscates ]</p>


  • Reply 1 of 67
    pscatespscates Posts: 5,847member
    Oh yeah: all glossy white, with a chrome Apple logo on the back. The whole thing is white, front and back.

    As for e-mail and Internet, I was thinking some sort of AirPort implementation? I don't know. Just indulging fantasies here.

    I drew a version earlier where the symbols on the scroll wheel glowed a nice light "iSub blue" (so you could lay in bed at night and see what buttons you were pushing.

    As for the screen and all, something kinda neat that mimics OS X's "white text with a soft shadow on a blue background" look. But that thing below isn't really a "dock". It doesn't grow and shrink, it's just static.

    I don't know. If they can get iTunes, iCal and Address Book to function wonderfully just using a simple scroll wheel, I'd be completely confident Apple could find a way to let you navigate e-mail and run a simple little voice dictation app with it as well?

    You never know...
  • Reply 2 of 67
    thegeldingthegelding Posts: 3,230member
    very nice...like the shape change and the os lite idea...g
  • Reply 3 of 67
    You are a great designer. Go work for Apple! Seriously, that is aweasome.

    Please...I can not use illustrator...make a mock-up of an iMac with a screen that can come off and become a tablet of some kind.

    That would be awesome.
  • Reply 4 of 67
    Nice design, especially the 'dock-lite'!

    Though with that design you couldn't fit in a 1.8" harddrive..

    Reminds a bit of that Nokia phone..
  • Reply 5 of 67
    ABBA, Duran Duran? Come on now
  • Reply 6 of 67
    dalidali Posts: 32member
    N - I - C - E -

    Very Cool - I like the design better than the idea, not sure how useful... but very well done !

  • Reply 7 of 67
    pscatespscates Posts: 5,847member
    [quote]Originally posted by Slotracer152:

    <strong>ABBA, Duran Duran? Come on now</strong><hr></blockquote>

    Spare me

    It's called a "mock-up" and I was trying to fill up the first letters of the alphabet.

  • Reply 8 of 67
    stunnedstunned Posts: 1,096member
    I like the blue screen.
  • Reply 9 of 67
    dogcowdogcow Posts: 713member
    Personaly I really don't like belt clips. If there was a way to take the clip off and not have any kind of knob that was holding it there left over, that would be great.

    I was also thinking... if a belt clip is there, you could rotate it around, have it stick out the top and be the earphone of a cell phone.
  • Reply 10 of 67
    mlnjrmlnjr Posts: 230member
    That's a great concept there. Just one nitpicky thing: The belt clip/kickstand thing is a clever idea, but the bottom of the stand is angled the wrong way. I'm sure you meant to angle it so that when the stand is flipped out, the angled part is parallel to the surface where you want your iPod to sit. It wouldn't work the way you've got it now.

    I really like the white on blue screen, plus the curved design.
  • Reply 11 of 67
    bradbowerbradbower Posts: 1,068member
    Your creation is, as always, masterful. I wish that I can one day be such a great illustrator, or half the designer that you are. Good show.

    I don't really agree with where you've taken the iPod, but hey, to each his own. At least you said that it's where your fantasies have taken you, not where Apple would--or should--realistically go with their product.
  • Reply 12 of 67
    satchmosatchmo Posts: 2,699member
    Hmm...not bad...not bad at all.

    Although I'd make it a bit more organic and smoothen out the curve at the bottom.

    Or was your thinking that it needed to stand on it's own?
  • Reply 13 of 67
    For more mock-ups check out this link:

    <a href="http://www.applele.com/"; target="_blank">http://www.applele.com/</a>;

    Believe it or not, designers at Apple actually go here for a good laugh. Sometimes, it's not so funny.
  • Reply 14 of 67
    pscatespscates Posts: 5,847member
    Thanks for the nice comments. I appreciate them.

    To answer a few:

    1. Yes, that little kickstand thing IS angled the wrong way at the bottom. That hit me as I was looking at it in this thread a little while ago. I'm going to fix/tweak some things anyway, so that'll be one I address.

    2. Yeah, I was trying to think of some cool design that allowed for the belt-clip to be completely removed (if the user desired that). I'm still thinking. The great thing about being an Apple fan and all is that you truly, especially over the past year or two, really learn to think "outside the box" and take the lessons you see on the flat panel iMac, the G4 towers, the iBook, etc. and apply them to other things. In other words, the way Apple does it is usually 180º from what you'd expect. I'm trying to think that way a bit more when I do stuff like this. I learned a great lesson from that whole LCD iMac (the swivel chrome arm that STILL allowed the iMac complete, unprecedented mobility AND still be an all-in-one).

    3. Yes, the blue screen (or interface in general) should be somewhat "Mac-y" or reminiscent (did I spell that ANYWHERE near right?) of OS X. Not with all the motion and throbbing buttons, necessarily, but maybe the font, the shadow (may be too much?), the blue background, etc. And something that kind of mimics the Dock, even if it's static and just holds the icons for the various little apps. It's a convention that Mac users are accustomed to and kinda expect, so it ties in nicely.

    4. Yeah, I'd like the thing to be able to stand up somewhat on its own. It would indeed have the "kickstand" thing, but that little sliver of flat bottom might help it. Although, I suppose that with a kickstand, it could be round on the bottom and still stand up? Might be a bit wobbly...I don't know.

    I love the iPod, but I like smooth, rounded and "grabby" things (especially when they're INTENDED to be held or toted around). The current iPod is cool...I was just imagining something that might cradle in the hand a bit nicer and more comfortably.

    This is actually a definite "work in progress". I've been thinking about this for a while now and only recently got out the rulers, graph paper, etc. and started putting it down on paper (or rather, on screen).

    Already, since I've posted it here, I've seen some things I want to "fix" or tweak. But overall, I think it's nice. And if it truly did the things I kinda show it doing, it would indeed be a suitable Newton replacement: a snazzy PDA that has all your contacts, appointments and e-mail on it. PLUS, light web access, the ability to show photos and QuickTime clips (iMovies and such) AND record voice notes (which is a feature I've seen many people here ask for lately).

    What I wanted to do was tweak a few things on the hardware side of it (get a little more detailed in some areas, fill in some parts I left blank, fix that kickstand orientation, etc.).

    But, more importantly, I want to sit down and finalize some really nice, simple (but Apple-esque) icons for the various apps and replace the hastily-drawn ones that currently reside in the "Dock".

    On top of THAT, I also want to mock up screens of how I'd like the other components displayed. I started off with iTunes/mp3 files because that already exists and was easy to adapt to this new look. But I've got a neat idea about how photos and videos would be displayed, using a combination of the current iPod navigation structure AND the playlist feature found in iPhoto.

    I think I'd like the back to be a bit curvier and not so blocky too. I think it should feel more like a nice comfortable, contoured cell phone or something as opposed to a deck of cards. Something very nice to hold in your hand.

    I'll keep plugging away at it and update the above photo as it progresses.

    Thanks again for the comments.

    Oh yeah: I/O and connectivity: what do you think? I'm thinking FireWire and AirPort, for sure. Would USB be needed in any way whatsoever?


    I think FireWire would be enough, since every current and recent Mac has it now. Can you think of a reason it should have a USB port?

    Maybe for hooking your digital camera to to quickly download photos to for later transfer to your Mac? I don't know...I'm asking.

    One thing is for sure: these little "mini-iApps" would work seamlessly with their "big brothers", so you'd have that tight, cool integration. The photo app on here behaves somewhat like iPhoto in that you can actually see the photo and categorize thing (and photo albums transfer over, just as iTunes playlists do to the iPod).

    I'll keep at it...I've got about 5 cool ideas I've not even implemented yet that I'm still thinking about how to best go about.

  • Reply 15 of 67
    pscatespscates Posts: 5,847member
    [quote]Originally posted by bradbower:

    <strong>Your creation is, as always, masterful. I wish that I can one day be such a great illustrator, or half the designer that you are. Good show.

    I don't really agree with where you've taken the iPod, but hey, to each his own. At least you said that it's where your fantasies have taken you, not where Apple would--or should--realistically go with their product.</strong><hr></blockquote>

    Thanks, Brad.

    But if Apple were to, say, ever come out with something like this, am I allowed a small "HAH!" directed your way?

    When you say you don't agree with where I've taken the iPod, what, specifically do you mean? I'm curious: the actual LOOK of it, or what it's doing (all the added functions)? Or a bit of both?

    I don't know. I saw a poll where a HUGE number of people are begging for Apple to apply all their coolness to a new PDA. If you're going to spend money for a PDA from Apple, it may as well be sort of a cool, unique "Swiss army knife" of a device.

    I mean, the current iPod went from being strictly an mp3 player to something that shows calendars and contact info. With just a bit more thinking (and design and technology), it very well could do the basic things I talk about it doing.

    Notice I've not incorporated a cell phone or digital camera or anything very non-Apple or "over the top". All the things that I wish for this to do/be are all realistically available and "do-able" from Apple, without getting into cell phone and digital camera technology.

    Contacts, calendars, e-mail, web access, photo display, video clips, voice recording. With FireWire, AirPort, QuickTime and Inkwell technologies implemented, I don't doubt for a second that this couldn't be pulled off somehow.

    Everything kinda exists already and truly works. It just does it on other devices on a larger, more comlex scale. That's half the battle, as far as I'm concerned.

    Then again, it is just my own little sordid fantasy/dream device...so I get to do whatever I want [evil laugh...].

    [ 01-16-2003: Message edited by: pscates ]</p>
  • Reply 16 of 67
    matsumatsu Posts: 6,558member
    That's really very nice, Scates. Is it a full fledged PDA now? Looks like it. I'm not the biggest fan of PDA's but if it has a voice recorder, a good one, that records hours upon hours directly to MP3 format, I'd bite.

    Looking at it from this perspective (1024x768 on a 17" CRT) the size looks just about properly PDAish too.

    A couple of nitpickity things though. More screen, PDA wants screen real-estate. Shrink the wheel a touch and give it all a psuedo-tungsten arrangement, only instad of a graphiti area sliding out, more of the screen comes exposed. That means you have to make the pod pretty much rectangular again, but that's OK, More screen is good, yet so is Apple's take on the jog dial, so a lesson from Palm lets you have both, it would also let you effectively fill the iPod's footprint with as much screen as possible while still giving you something to hold on to without putting your fingers on the screen.

    For the removable belt clip, just put a threaded tripod mount on it. The belt clip screws in and when you take it off the back end still looks flush.

    And make sure it takes AAA batteries. It should ship with a rechargeable, but it ought to be in some sort of standard battery size for easy replacement.

    Were I making a PDA, I would consider making the whole thing a touch larger, the same length that it appears on my monitor, but an inch wider. It would still be very small when "closed" (only half the screen visible) but you'd actually get a pretty big screen when fully extended for writing/video viewing. Might as well throw in a 2X optical 2MP swivel camera while you're at it. Sony does. And while I don't suggest that such a camera would be all too great for photogs, it could have a few genuinely useful functions. One, as a web cam: firewire plug to your mac and off you go, doesn't even have to use your macs screen but rather uses its own. Two, since you can make extensive voice notes to MP3 format and append them with some scribbles, sketches etc, why not also have the ability to add a few photos to your research. All-in-one, such a device would be a boon in the lab. Of paramount importance would be a file system/database that lets you effortlessly group photo, voice and text togther in relevant bunches, either by date, or theme, title, etc etc...

    [ 01-17-2003: Message edited by: Matsu ]</p>
  • Reply 17 of 67
    pscatespscates Posts: 5,847member
  • Reply 18 of 67
    bradbowerbradbower Posts: 1,068member
    Well, instead of thinking how it can compare with other devices, or do the jobs of two or three other crappy gadgets, I try to think what would be a valuable application of technology to the people, but while appealing to the more elite edge, those both ease-, fashion-, and specification-conscious. Maybe that was bad grammar.

    The iPod is really a great device, but other than the little software additions that have shown us a mere glimpse of the possibilities of such a mobile device, it's pretty much a one-trick pony. The most successful and well-engineered one in the industry, yes. But I think Apple could use the "pod" storage device as a basis for other applications.

    The good parts of a PDA are all in software. A PDA itself really is just a frustratingly small computer that wouldn't be much without software. The PDAs we know of yesterday and today interact with their screens, which are often small, and either difficult to use/see, or massively shorten the battery life. And all it's for is reading and interacting with the things on the screen. And maybe a few hardware buttons, if the software isn't well-enough designed. It just has to access information and synchronize. So simple. But not a very good value on it's own, especially when it can't be integrated with related functions like calling those in your address book, downloading your emails, surfing the web to download your company's revenue spreadsheets, or checking your bank account online while you're grocery shopping to see if you should splurge on that bottle of fine wine, or comparison-shopping online.. but I'm getting offtrack here.

    Then we've got mobile phones and other wireless internet service devices, which people mostly associate with telephony but that's just scratching the surface. Text messages, which haven't caught on in the U.S. due to the latent adoption by providers of inter-carrier SMS support, and lack of useful features being integrated. Some networks have been pretty great about it, international, inter-carrier SMS, integration with services like AOL Instant Messenger, with direct interoperability with email, the carrier's website, and technologies such as EMS and MMS for sending music, pictures, movies, games, files, ringtones, even extra long texts. There are even a lot of third party websites with cool services like text message services one can subscribe to, just as numerous as there are email lists and discussion groups one could subscribe to. But there's more than SMS. There's the ability to have an always-on, quite fast internet connection (broadband, as far as most are concerned), for webbrowsing, email, Sherlock-like services (imagine having such a tool anywhere you go!), other .Mac services, even more cool things like games, online even, interacting with your home computer (i.e. Remote Desktop?), and services such as AT&T's Friend Finder, which allows you to find your friends in your close geographical area and meet up with them or contact them. You could also use the parts of the mobile phone as a speaker, for hands-free speakerphone. Or as a microphone, for voice recognition, dictation, even recording messages for yourself or others.

    Anyway, we've already got a good start on the functions that most people use their devices for in the form of iApps, there's the handwriting recognition, we've got the synchronization software, the synchronization methods (Bluetooth, USB, FireWire(2)), tiny HDs, batteries to match. Apple's got voice recognition and speech technology. The killer addition could be video out a la iBook for sharing those iMovies, iPhoto galleries, music, visuals, Keynote presentations, and so forth, on large screens like TVs. A standalone device for carrying around photo galleries is so stupid and PC world-like because most cameras can do this inherently, and no better than the devices which have been released to do the same thing for a ridiculous price.

    I don't think an Apple device/PDA/mobile phone/wireless communicator/audio player/pod would look exactly like an iPod, I think it would need to be somewhat larger and different, maybe there would need to be more than one form factor for different usage. But either way, it would be exceptionally well designed. I think it would have a color screen, at more than 256, probably 4,096-65,000 colors. At least 4-6" diagonal, with ambient light sensors for the backlight, including a reflective background to minimize the issues with sunlight. No hardware buttons, maybe not even an off switch. I think an all on-screen approach, including for the wheel, text input, navigation, and phone keypad, would be best. That way it could be smarter, evolving/upgradable, multipurpose, hide-able, and of course solid state. Very finger-friendly in the main modes, so that one could use it with just their finger and their voice, if need be, but it could come with a snazzy platinum stylus or whatever as well. Running OS X Express, of course. You're right on the dot, though I'd hope it stayed truer to OS X than your mockup, it looks more like Win XP. It would be austere, white, Lucite, chrome Apple, nice glassy-feeling display.. no mirrored back, though, that would just be masochistic. Maybe if they expanded it, they could even make it thinner.

    Anyway, enough of my ramblings. I'm starting to space out.
  • Reply 19 of 67
    pscates, you can make the screen larger up and down if you put "iPod" on the wheel....not on the button as it may rub off...maybe above the center button with iPod written to go with the curve, not straight across like now....that would add another 15 to 20% in height....i do like the mini dock idea and how you scroll from app to app...give me an iPod with address book, iTunes lite, iCal, voice recording and iPhoto lite (and video!?!?! damn what won't this thing do??) and i would snatch one up in a heartbeat....truthfully, it could be made to do all those things...shit, 20 gigs is huge....my kids have an iMac with a 10 gig hd and they use iTunes and iMovie and all that shit....g
  • Reply 20 of 67
    macgregormacgregor Posts: 1,434member
    pscates: That is one fine mock-up!

    One thing though is the belt-clip. I've broken every belt-clip I've touched and that one wouldn't last a day. Leave beltclips for the leather accessory that you make available on-line.

    I like the ergonomic styling. I like the iPod's current square shape too, but it is actually made to stay in a pocket more time than in a hand, so that makes sense. A cellphone has to be much more rounded and suitable for the hand. A super iPod or pda would be somewhere in between which in a way is what you've aimed for. Though somehow a square pda looks more "capable."

    I actually like your simple icons. And it would be nice if all the future iDevices that are monochrome at least take the Indiglo route.
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