Who says Apple doesn’t care about backward compatibility? Photo: Matthew Pearce
Apple has a reputation for not being afraid to move on.
Buy a new iPhone, and you’re lucky if iOS supports your device just four years down the line. Buy a Mac? Apple’s constantly making older models obsolete with every new OS X release. Heck, there’s an entire ocean of old PowerPC apps that were orphaned by Apple when they migrated to Intel.
Yet Apple isn’t without loyalty to the gadgets that once made it great. Case in point: If you plug a first-gen iPod into your modern-day Mac, iTunes 12 will still sync with it.
iPods can play an extraordinary part in helping people suffering from dementia.
As tech fans, it’s easy to take a forward-looking view of technology: constantly excited about the next iPhone or smart wearable, while our old gadgets gather dust in the back of a cupboard somewhere.
Hoping to reach some of those tech owners, the SIU School of Medicine in Illinois is currently requesting old iPods as part of what it calls the “Music and Memory” program to help people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia.
As the medical school explains it, the iPods are used for a form of musical therapy designed to help calm patients and make them happier and more sociable by playing music from their younger years.
If we were going to the iPod’s funeral, this is how we’d dress up. Photo: Maria Ly/Flickr CC
Although the iMac generated a whole lot of buzz for Apple upon Steve Jobs’ return in the late 1990s, it was the debut of the iPod in October 2001 that truly dispatched Apple on its path to astronomical levels of success: a path it hasn’t strayed from in the near decade-and-a-half since then.
Which is why it’s kind of sad to realize that on Apple’s most recent quarterly filing, the “little MP3 player that could” has been unceremoniously shuffled (get it?) into the “Other Products” category, along with such “hobby” project as Apple TV.
To be fair, Apple had warned everyone this would happen back in October 2014, but seeing the iPod no longer mentioned with Apple’s flagship products is a reminder of how the once mighty have fallen — and how much Apple’s core business has changed since the millennium.
After failing to garner consumer interest for nearly two years, the fate of Google Glass is now in the hands of former Apple executive Tony Fadell. The Glass Explorer program is also being shut down on January 19th, which means it will be impossible to buy the $1,500 headset commercially.
Fadell, whose claim to fame at Apple was leading the development of the original iPod, joined Google last February when Nest was acquired for $3.2 billion. Now Google Glass is being moved out of the experimental Google X division and placed under Fadell’s leadership.
The development of Glass hasn’t been halted, but the move signals the trouble Google has had gaining momentum with the project.
The verdict is in, and after nearly a decade of legal wrangling, Apple has prevailed in the class-action lawsuit seeking over $1 billion in damages by iPod owners who claimed the company conspired to kill competing music services by adding restrictions to iTunes.
The eight-person jury found Apple not liable of adding DRM restrictions as an anti-competitive move toward rival players like RealNetworks from 2006 to 2009. The Verge reports that the jury unanimously delivered the verdict this morning and said that iTunes 7.0 is a “genuine product improvement” that increased security for consumers.
Steve Jobs introducing the iPod mini. Photo: Apple
A class action suit accusing Apple of violating antitrust laws with the iPod and iTunes will continue — despite every plaintiff in the case being disqualified.
U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers disqualified the last remaining plaintiff in the case on Monday, after Apple’s lawyers successfully argued that she did not buy any of the iPods she is seeking damages for.
Apple wanted the case thrown out of court, but Judge Rogers has given the plaintiff lawyers one more chance: ordering them to find more iPod customers ready to step into the case. The qualifications of these new plaintiffs will be analysed at a hearing on Tuesday, to take place out of earshot of the jury.
Steve Jobs introducing the iPod mini. Photo: Apple
The $350 million class action lawsuit against Apple might not even have a legitimate plaintiff anymore, but the trial continued in Oakland today with one of the key witnesses being none other than Steve Jobs himself.
The late Apple CEO appeared on a TV monitor in court today in an unreleeased deposition video that was filmed six months before his death in 2011. CNET reports that in the video Steve Jobs maintained the same stance as Eddy Cue and Phil Schiller earlier this week, that Apple wasn’t trying to block competitors and hurt customers by removing some songs off of iPods. It was simply protecting iTunes from hackers and trying to not violate its record label contracts.
Jobs’ demeanor and responses reportedly suggested he wasn’t taking the antitrust case very seriously, and that Apple didn’t perceive any competitors as legitimate threats.
Apple was forced by major record labels to implement digital rights management technology in iTunes, according to testimony in an ongoing class-action lawsuit that accuses Cupertino of stifling competition with competing music services.
Apple contemplated licensing its DRM, called FairPlay, to other companies, “but we couldn’t find a way to do that and have it work reliably,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet software and services.
If both of your parents are unabashed Apple fans, there’s every chance that you’ll grow up as a Cupertino addict as well.
That appears to be the case for 16-month-old North West, a.k.a. the daughter of Kanye West and Kim Kardashian. With North’s dad having previously proclaimed himself the next Steve Jobs, and her mother likely to rake in an ungodly $200 million from her very own iOS app by the end of 2014, it’s no surprise that North seems to have a budding interest in all things Apple, as well.
What kind of interest? In an interview with PEOPLE.com, Kim Kardashian described her less-than-two-year-old daughter’s extreme iPod love, with her playlist apparently including a soothing mixture of lullabies and, well, Kanye West tracks.
Steve Jobs packed an almost impossible number of innovations into a 35-year career. While we've been forced to leave out some as a result, here are 9 ways that Jobs changed computing forever -- and a glimpse at what things may have looked like had he never come along.
The Mac, on the other hand, empowered the user with the sovereignty to carry out tasks as they wanted to. The Mac may not have been the very first computer to feature a Graphical User Interface, but it was the first one most people saw. And it did it better than anyone else.
The iPod really is the little device that could. It turned around Apple's fortunes, became one of its most iconic tech designs ever, and was transformed into a byword for any new technology that was (or hoped to be) innovative, stylish and ubiquitous. It sounded great, too.
Before Steve Jobs, digital music players were good ideas in theory, bad ideas in practice; the kind of expensive gift you used once then put away to gather dust. This blobby model was the Creative NOMAD Jukebox.
Steve Jobs was convinced he could get young people to pay for their music if only he could provide an experience that was enjoyable and convenient enough for them. iTunes proved that he could. Even before the iPod came along, the first version of iTunes received a massive 275,000 downloads from Mac users in its first week.
The MacBook Air quickly snatched away the title of world's thinnest notebook. Tapering down to an astonishing 0.16" in its first version, the MacBook Air remains one of the most beautiful devices Apple has ever created. Unlike most ultraportable laptops, it came with a full-sized keyboard, too.
This is what a typical desktop computer looked like when Steve Jobs returned to Apple in 1997: a time when more people were starting to use computers, but very few seemed to think about just how bad they looked.
The colorful, blobby iMac changed all of that -- with a computer that put style right up front. Apple's aesthetic may have changed since the toyetic iMac first burst onto the scene, but this was Apple's first computer which ever looked good enough to sit comfortably in a design museum.