How Apple spun success out of its every failure

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The Apple Newton. Failure, or precursor of the iPhone?
The Apple Newton. Failure, or precursor of the iPhone?

Anyone who’s followed Apple for a long time knows the company has not always been the kind of world-beating success it is today. An entire book could be written about Apple’s failures over the years — and there are the doomsday predictions to prove it.

But Apple has succeeded in taking those seemingly disastrous mistakes and learning valuable lessons from them. The graphical user interface of the Apple Lisa? Apple learned that sometimes you need to stick with good ideas for a while before they catch on. The takeaway from Apple’s QuickTake Camera? Rushing to beat everyone else to market isn’t always the best idea.

A new infographic runs down 21 of the biggest Apple flops in history — and what Cupertino learned from them. If you’re a long-time Apple fan it’s a great trip down memory lane. If you’re a newcomer, it’s a fascinating introduction to how Apple has learned from even its most grievous errors and become the undisputed giant it is in 2015.

It’s time to rewrite Apple history — with more Jony Ive

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Is this "the best book about Apple so far"? Read it and find out!
It's time for Jony Ive to get the credit he deserves. Photo: Portfolio/Penguin

People are calling The New Yorker profile of Jony Ive the most important thing written about Apple in quite a while, and I’d have to concur.

Not only is it full of fascinating details, it puts Ive at the center of Apple, where he belongs. As the piece’s author, Ian Parker, writes: “More than ever, Ive is the company.”

This is something that’s been true for a couple decades, but still isn’t apparent to most people — even veteran Apple watchers. Such is the company’s secrecy, and the tendency of the public to equate everything Apple does with Steve Jobs, that the true story has yet to be told. Ive has not gotten the credit he deserves.

19 Years Later, eWorld Is Dead; Long Live eWorld

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7eWorld longon2

eWorld Is Where I Wanna Be

I remember when I got my first computer, ever, at the age of 24. It was a Macintosh Performa 638CD, and it came with this sweet little 14.4 baud modem that was my entree to the whole of the internet, which really wasn’t that popular back then.

I remember finding this cool little icon on the Mac with a little hand-drawn person on it, called eWorld. Hmm, I wondered. What the heck was eWorld?

Clicking through, I found an adorable little electronic village, all in that hand-drawn, gentle style. Oh, this must be like Compuserve, or Prodigy, right?

Well, yes and no. The softer, gentler world of eWorld was only for Macs, and it was my favorite place to go. Never mind that it was kind of empty; it was beautiful and I loved it.

DragonDrop Makes Drag And Drop So Much Less Of A Drag [Review]

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Click, shake, drop in DragonDrop
Click, shake, drop in DragonDrop

If you know your Apple history, you’ll probably know that NeXTSTEP, the grandfather of modern OS X, had a clever feature called the Shelf, a placeholder where you could temporarily drop files while dragging them from one location to another. Sadly, Mac OS X has never replicated this in Finder.

So today there’s a brand new app for OS X that seeks to fix this. It’s called DragonDrop, and you can buy it for five bucks.

Developer Mark Christian released it independently today after weeks of trying to get it into the Mac App Store. Apple weren’t interested, and rejected it every time.

Think You’re an Apple Fanboy? Not Unless You Have This App [Daily Freebie]

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mactracker

If possession of any one app could ever be considered an instant ticket to membership in the Cult of Mac, this is it. Mactracker has been around since early 2001, and we’ve talked about it before on our site (Giles Turnbull thought it was so fantastic he included it in his list of 50 Mac Essnetials); but last week a newly-updated version hit the Mac App Store — which is enough to earn it a spot as today’s Daily Freebie.

The app lists painstakingly complete data on every Mac product ever made in an elegant, searchable, easy-to-use interface. The new update even brings with it the ability to track your Macs’ serial numbers, service work performed, etc.

The app is free, but we think a little donation at the app’s website (which is where those who’re allergic to the App Store can also download the app directly) is money well spent.