Apple is apparently set to ditch leather cases on the iPhone 15 series and, in its place, adopt a new “woven” fabric case as 9to5Mac reports. That’s a style of case that Google Pixel users are quite familiar with, so here are a few things to keep in mind as Apple prepares to revive the cases Google never should have killed off.
Woven cases are an absolute delight
Our sister site 9to5Mac reports that Apple is set to adopt a new “woven-textured style” for its first party cases to replace the iconic leather designs. This is said to be a move for “environmental and sustainability,” implying that these new “FineWoven” cases might be made from recycled or eco-conscious materials.
Really, it sounds a whole lot like what Google was doing with fabric cases on several of its Pixel phones.
For every Pixel from the Pixel 2 through the Pixel 5, Google released cases that had a fabric finish, with cases released towards the later years that were definitely a woven style. The cases were made from a nylon fabric that was built in large part from recycled plastic obtained from plastic bottles. The Pixel 4a’s case, for example, was made from over 70% recycled material with two plastic bottles generating enough material for five cases.
Fabric cases will get dirty, but they’re easy to clean
Durability might come to mind as a problem with woven fabric smartphone cases, but really, it’s a non-issue. Between Pixel 3, Pixel 4, and Pixel 5, Google’s official fabric cases were pretty much all I used, and I never had frayed fabric or even issues with dropping my phone. A well-done fabric case is really not going to compromise here.
The only place it will fall short, is just in getting dirty.
The fabric cases Google sold for Pixel phones were notorious for getting fairly dirty. This was especially true of the lighter tones, such as the gray/orange “Sorta Smoky” case for Pixel 4. Over time, I noticed that case picked up a lot of little stains, and just overall looked less clean over time.
The good news, though, is that Google’s cases were exceptionally easy to clean. A bit of dish soap mixed with water and dabbed on a paper towel made it easy to clean off the fabric in moments, which is what Google recommended. Some users also reported success just soaking the case in soapy water, or even tossing it in the washing machine with a load of clothes.
Apple’s case, from the looks of it, will have a different look from Google’s. The fabric weave seems smaller, which might lead to a case that doesn’t pick up dirt as easily, or could be even easier to clean. Still, it seems reasonable to expect that Apple will have similar recommendations to Google when it comes to cleaning.
Hey Google, maybe bring back your own cases?
Google really did something unique when it launched fabric cases for Pixel phones, because it’s something that no one else did. Apple and Samsung largely stuck with silicone and leather, and options outside of that weren’t all that different either.
When Google killed off these cases, it was met with opposition, especially as the replacement was a disaster. Google’s new official cases are boring pieces of plastic that, while quite protective, also age terribly. In a long-term review of the official Pixel 6 case, our Kyle Bradshaw highlighted how his case had yellowed to a disgusting color, and had also become misshapen over time.
Overall, with the yellowing, bubbling, and cracking, Google’s official case for the Pixel 6 series does not hold up for long-term use. In its official description, Google claimed that the case “highlights the phone’s design while keeping it protected,” which just doesn’t ring true in my experience.
Google has improved in subsequent generations, but it’d be nice if Google just admitted it was wrong and well, took Apple’s lead. The foundation is there, and Google proved that its fabric cases were great not just in terms of look and feel, but in terms of being an environmentally friendly choice. We just need them back.
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