Apple’s Industrial Design team is spotted after the Apple Watch unveiling. Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac
CUPERTINO, Calif. — This is the first group photo of Apple’s new Industrial Design team — the men and women behind the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and a long string of other hit products.
The group is super-secretive and rarely appears in public together. In fact, they’ve only been pictured once before. This picture was taken at the end of Tuesday’s launch event, when many of the journalists had been ushered out. In the middle is Jony Ive and the team’s latest and highest-profile hire, star designer Marc Newson.
The Industrial Design team is Apple’s idea factory. This is where Apple’s innovation comes from. They design and develop all of Apple’s products, and many of them were working at Apple before Steve Jobs returned in 1997.
This mobile robotic printer, which started life as a Kickstarter project, is ripe for the Apple touch. Reader Theodor Sandaker says, "It goes against the whole paperless idea, but some of us still need to print things. An iPrinter would be awesome."
There are all sorts of Apple-integrated smart homes these days, but reader Golden Cindy goes one step further. She wants the "house" computer embedded in a countertop. This is from Swedish designer Ballingslov.
I've been known to strip labels from soap, shampoo etc., because the design annoys me - so I can really understand reader Christian Alvarez's chiming in on Facebook to suggest the Apple treatment for food packaging. Here's a nice take on the on the ho-hum olive oil bottle by Comeback Studio.
This is the MathPen, which has a 360° degree solar module to power all your crazy calcs. Reader Warren Galloway says,"How about a Solar Pen/Pencil that stores energy and uses low heat to write? Aka never running out of 'ink'?"
ToothbrushIf ever a common item could use a makeover, it's the toothbrush. Here's the buy-one-give-one Bogobrush.
We showed you ours. Now it’s your turn. Here are the items big and small that Cult of Mac readers most want to see designed and produced by the mothership. We’ve got Apple solar pens, food packaging and yes, puppies — because even pets could use the Sir Jony treatment.
The term “planned obsolescence” has achieved negative connotations, but it originally referred to a long-standing tradition of changing designs to sell more products.
It was coined by the car industry in the 1930s to refer to annual model updates. Over the years, however, the term has taken on a darker meaning. But planned obsolescence is a good thing. It’s the driving force behind much innovation.
This morning, New York Times reporter Catherine Rampell accused Apple of breaking her old iPhone 4 with the iOS7 update, which made it unbearably slow. “It seemed like Apple was sending me a not-so-subtle message to upgrade,” she wrote in a piece entitled, Why Apple Wants to Bust Your iPhone.
According to Rampell, Apple is feeling the heat from Samsung, HTC and others, and is resorting to sabotaging older iPhones with a software update and force users to upgrade their hardware.
Upset that after almost a decade, Apple is finally changing the Dock Connector with the new, smaller Lightning Standard? Redditor Ima13X puts it in perspective.
The image makes a great point: Samsung’s had a million proprietary connectors for its devices over the last decade, while Apple’s only had two. However, it’s worth noting that it’s this very consistency in proprietary connectors that allowed Apple to build up a massive third-party “Made for iPhone”, “Made for iPad” and “Made for iPod” licensing business… a business that Samsung’s never managed at all.
So changing the 30-Pin Dock Connector to Lightning is a big deal. The ramnifications on Apple’s accessory ecosystem are huge. As long as Apple doesn’t get in the habit of changing this connector frivolously, though, and has built Lightning to be as future proof (or more so) than the 30-Pin Dock Connector, this changes means fresh billions earned, not just for Apple, but its accessory partners.
Sir Jony Ive hasn’t agreed to too many interviews during his time as Apple’s senior vice president of industrial design. But the London Evening Standard has managed to tie him down for a rare interview in which he talks about Apple’s design process, and why its competitors have the wrong goals.
In OS X Lion, Apple redesigned Address Book with a new look that resembles a physical hardcover book binding. This type of design choice is called “skeuomorphic,” because it was, “deliberately employed to make the new look comfortably old and familiar.” Lion’s version of Address Book takes the old look and feel of a physical book and ports that to a virtual application.
While some may like the new look of Address Book in Lion, many have raised complaints. If you’d like to make Address Book look clean and simple again, we’ve got just the trick to unbind Address Book from its brown hardcover.
Apple’s suing Samsung for copying the intellectual property of their iPhone, iPad and iOS designs. In return, Samsung’s suing Apple for patent infringement.
In the Apple vs. Samsung case, though, Apple has just won a weird little concession from the judge: they get to see five of Samsung’s unreleased tablets and smartphones. Can you imagine what would happen if Samsung got the same concession in their suit against Apple?