Kahney’s Korner: Why Jony Ive’s promotion is fantastic news for Apple

Far from an exit strategy, Jony Ive's promotion means more great design for Apple.
Far from an exit strategy, Jony Ive's promotion means more great design for Apple.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Can’t Apple’s design guru catch a break? After Jony Ive received a well-deserved promotion to become Apple’s chief design officer, some pundits misinterpreted the happy news as a bad omen.

Our own Leander Kahney reads the tea leaves completely differently: Ive’s promotion is nothing but good news for Apple.

Everything we know about Richard Howarth, Apple’s new ‘badass’ head of industrial design

Richard Howarth is the new head of Apple's legendary Industrial Design studio.
Richard Howarth is the new head of Apple's legendary Industrial Design studio.
Photo: Facebook

This is Richard Howarth, Apple’s newly appointed vice president of industrial design, and the man who has to fill Jony Ive’s (calf-leather) shoes.

Ive has been promoted to chief design officer to do more “blue sky thinking,” leaving Howarth to run the legendary Industrial Design studio that has been Apple’s ideas factory and product foundry for more than two decades.

Howarth is no stranger to the studio. He’s worked there for 20 years, heading up the design of the iPod, iPhone and a string of MacBooks, among many other products. He’s African-born, London-educated and has been Ive’s second-in-command for some time, earning a reputation among colleagues as a “badass.”

How Apple inspired the design of Force Awakens’ new stormtroopers

stormtroopers
When designing stormtrooper armor, ask 'What would Apple do?'
Photo: Walt Disney Pictures

Apple’s influence on the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens extends far beyond Kylo Ren’s ugly crossguard lightsaber.

The Force Awakens costume designer Michael Kaplan has designed costumes on movies like Blade Runner and Fight Club, but when it came time to redesign the new stormtrooper armor for director J.J. Abrams, Kaplan said he looked to Apple as his biggest inspiration on how to perfect the stormtrooper’s white, plastic-y armor.

Apple Watch is a miniature replica of the original iPhone

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Like father, like son. Photo: fourseven66/reddit

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?

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
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.