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.
Tony Fadell, the father of the iPod, says Apple saw the death of the iPod coming.
In 2004, at the height of the original iPod’s success, Apple started asking itself internally what would eventually kill the iPod. Whatever it was, Cupertino wanted to make sure they stayed ahead of the curve.
What did Apple think would doom the iPod? According to ex-iPod-chief Tony Fadell, Cupertino called it correctly: Music streaming would eventually kill the iPod. But Apple didn’t call it streaming, or even music in the cloud. They called it the “celestial music jukebox.”
Was a joke by Richard Branson responsible for helping turn around Apple’s fortunes? (Credit: Virgin)
There are always going to be debates about who came up with an idea as transformative to Apple’s business as the iTunes and the iPod, but here’s one you may not have heard before: Richard Branson.
In a new interview with the i paper, the Virgin head honcho claims the concept behind Apple’s turnaround duo of inventions was originally made by him as a joke — only for Steve Jobs to take it seriously, and later go on to put it into action.
Editor’s note: The iPod has enjoyed a good long run as one of the world’s most revolutionary music machines, but the time has come to bid adieu to the click-wheeled wonder.
Apple quietly removed the iPod Classic from its website this week, so now is the perfect time to wax nostalgic. Cult of Mac is republishing this illustrated history of the iPod — put together to celebrate the device’s 10th anniversary, and originally published on Oct. 22, 2011 — to mark this solemn occasion.
An Illustrated History of the iPod
The iPod grew out of Steve Jobs’ digital hub strategy. Life was going digital. People were plugging all kinds of devices into their computers: digital cameras, camcorders, MP3 players. The computer was the central device, the “digital hub,” that could be used to edit photos and movies or manage a large music library. Jobs tasked Apple’s programmers with making software for editing photos, movies and managing digital music. While they were doing this, they discovered that all the early MP3 players were horrible. Jobs asked his top hardware guy, Jon Rubinstein, to see if Apple could do better.
Steve Jobs presided over many memorable moments during his time at Apple. Here are our all-time favorites. Photo: Ben Stanfield/Flickr CC
Apple’s most-anticipated — and likely most-eventful — product introduction since the iPad is set for later this morning. It will undoubtedly be Tim Cook’s biggest moment yet as Apple’s CEO, with the company reportedly ready to unveil new products from what has been described as its most exciting product pipeline in a quarter century.
Anticipation among the Apple faithful couldn’t be any higher. Endless speculation and massive expectations about finally laying eyes on the long-awaited iWatch got us thinking about other memorable announcements from Apple’s 37-year history.
While you wait for this morning’s 10 a.m. liveblog from Apple’s big event, relive some of Cupertino’s past glories. Here are our picks for the 10 biggest Apple announcements of all time.
iSnoop ads invade Silicon Valley to protest Obama fundraisers
Apple’s legendary iPod ads have been nothing less than iconic, but a California street artists has turned the famous marketing campaign into an anti-Obama parody ahead of the President’s visit to area.
President Obama just wrapped up a quick fundraising tour around Los Angeles and San Francisco last week with a $32,000 a plate fundraiser at Scandal creator Shonda Rhimes’s house, and another with Nancy Pelosi, but the commander-in-chief was greeted by some scathing street art that highlighted some of his administration’s biggest scandals.
Here are some of the iAds found on the streets of Silicon Valley:
“I could probably track my interest in toys via Star Wars,” Larner says. “When I was a kid in the early ’80s, I was completely swept up by the original Kenner 3.75-inch range. Then, in the ’90s, the remastered movies came out along with whispers of the prequels so the Star Wars toy range was reintroduced, so that caught my interest again. However, it was when Lego had the bright idea of making Star Wars Lego sets in 1999 that I really got sucked in and I haven’t looked back since!”
Katie Cotton, the woman in charge of Apple’s worldwide corporate communications is undocking from the mothership after nearly two decades of service at Apple, according to a report from Re/code.
Cotton has been one of Apple’s top ranking female VPs since joining the company 18 years ago and has been crucial in shaping the media narrative around pretty much every product from the iPod to the iPad.
Apple spokesman Steve Dowling had the following to say about Cotton’s departure:
If video killed the radio star, then the iPod helped kill the cassette tape.
Although perhaps not permanently enough.
According to new reports, Sony has developed a new magnetic tape capable of holding 148GB of data per square inch — meaning that if spooled into a cartridge, each tape would boast an astonishing 185TB worth of storage. To put that into context, it’s the equivalent of 3,700 dual-layer 50GB Blu-rays.