As someone who seems to care far more about the perfection of the beautiful objects he creates than about the trappings of celebrity, one word you’d be unlikely to associated with Apple’s design guru Jony Ive is “vain.”
Issue 58 brings some memories of Steve, products we’d like to see updated, and more! Cover: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
It’s that time of the week again — all of Cult of Mac’s best news stories and features, compiled in one place to peruse easily on your iPad or iPhone. This week we’ve got heartfelt remembrances of Steve Jobs, some products we’d like to see updated along with the coming new iPads, a look at upcoming Twin Peaks in our modern era, and some hard lessons learned in running the top iPad magazine. Plus, some great new apps to look at and a reminder that the iPhone 6 continues to sell like, well, iPhones.
When you make the most desirable phones, tablets and computers on the planet, it’s no surprise that you’d rack up a few celebrity fans. Everyone from Hollywood actors to politicians carries an iPhone, while Apple’s never been afraid to pull in big names to star in its ads. But who are the real enthusiasts among the pack? Scroll through the gallery above to see the nine biggest celebrity Apple fanboys in existence.
Apple board member Al Gore’s not the only Washington politico to be enamored with Apple products. Right from the start, former President Bill Clinton was an iPhone user, subsequently telling a tech audience gathered to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the dot-com Internet domain name that it was his "favorite device."
Clinton was good friends with Steve Jobs, too — even making a personal trip to see the Apple CEO in 2011, when Jobs was on medical leave. My favorite Clinton/Jobs story? That Jobs once cornered Clinton at a charity fundraiser and asked him to personally request that Tom Hanks record the narration for an Apple advert. Clinton politely declined.
There are few Apple fans more enthusiastic than actor, author and TV presenter Stephen Fry, who even dedicates whole chapters of his autobiography to describing the impact the Macintosh had on his life. Fry was in Cupertino for the unveiling of the iPhone 6, 6 Plus and Apple Watch last month. Thoughts from the ever-eloquent thesp? “Want, want, want; drool, drool drool.”
Apple has always attracted — and been marketed to — creatives, so it’s no surprise that there would be plenty of musicians among the company’s fan base. For years, Apple’s go-to performer (and one of Steve Jobs’ favorite musicians) was John Mayer, who appeared at numerous Macworld events and was one of the few contemporary artists on Jobs’ iPod.
“I first met Steve in 2003, over the phone, when I cold-called him to tell him I was a devout fan of all things Apple and would love to be involved in whatever way I could with the company,” Mayer wrote on his personal blog, which was later taken down. “I remember the call extremely well; me on my hotel room bed, fidgeting and doodling and circuitously explaining that all I could really explain was that I wanted to have a relationship. I got nervous at one point and started second guessing myself and my intentions for calling, to which Steve replied ‘Don’t worry, I have a very good bullsh*t detector.’”
Unfortunately Mayer fell out with Jobs after agreeing to take on BlackBerry as a sponsor, which explains the strangely harsh mention the musician is given in Walter Isaacson’s biography of the late Apple CEO.
Their album giveaway may not have gone down in history as one of Apple’s best marketing moves, but there’s no doubting that U2’s relationship with Cupertino goes a lot deeper than just the latest iTunes Radio promotion. There’s a reason U2 singer Bono called Tim Cook the “zen master of hardware and software.”
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy scribe Douglas Adams was an Apple fan from the 1980s until his tragic death in 2001 at the age of 49. While it’s all well and good to be a celebrity Apple fan here in 2014, Adams passed away before seeing the company rise to become the global giant it is today.
“What I (and I think everyone who bought [the Macintosh] in the early days) fell in love with was not the machine itself, which was ridiculously slow and underpowered, but a romantic idea of the machine,” Adams wrote of the original 1984 Macintosh. "And that romantic idea has to sustain me through the realities of actually working on the 128K Mac.” Years later the technology had gotten better — and Adams’ love of Apple had only deepened. His last message board post? Geeking out over the thrill of installing Mac OS X.
Michael Crichton's best-selling thriller novels — ranging from Jurassic Park to Pray — focused on what would happen if tomorrow’s technology was available in today’s world. Is it any real surprise that the man was an Apple fan?
Among the most touching tributes to Crichton upon his death in 2008 was this piece from Macworld, in which the author reports how the novelist personally chipped in to keep a website dedicated to Mac OS X tips going. Crichton even sent an autographed copy of his book Timeline with the check. A true fan!
Late-night TV host Jimmy Kimmel might poke fun at Apple products on the regular, but it’s hard to think of anyone who dedicates more television air time to celebrating his unabashed enthusiasm for everything Cupertino. His mocked-up giant iPad also made me irrationally jealous.
Was there a better subconscious Apple ad than the fact that Jerry’s apartment in Seinfeld featured a Macintosh in the background throughout the show's 180-episode run?
At the start, it’s a 1987 Macintosh SE, followed by a 1992 PowerBook Duo in a Duo Dock with external monitor. After that, Jerry bumped up to a 1994 Power Macintosh 6100 before moving on to a Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh near the end of the series.
When the Seinfeld set was put back together for the “reunion” episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm, one of the only significant changes made was yet another Apple upgrade — with Jerry now apparently owning an iMac.
Having not one but two U.S. presidents in your fan base is pretty good going. Sadly, President Barack Obama is not allowed an iPhone as part of his official wardrobe and is stuck on BlackBerry. That hasn’t stopped him from openly lusting after the iPhone 6 in recent pics, though. He’s also admitted to spending hours each day on his iPad.
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.
Apple co-founder and visionary CEO Steve Jobs passed away three years ago today, at the age of 56.
In addition to co-creating the company with Steve Wozniak in 1976, Jobs personally oversaw the creation of the Macintosh, iPod, iPhone, iPad, iTunes and OS X — as well as funding Pixar during its rise to prominence.
While there are plenty of great videos featuring Jobs to mark the occcasion (anyone with the slightest bit of interest in working in tech should make a point of viewing all of his Apple keynotes) the below is one of my personal favorites. It features Jobs, less than three months into his 1997 return, talking at an internal meeting about his vision for taking the company forward.
It’s no coincidence—your love for Apple and their pretty little gadgets was Steve Jobs’ master plan, and on our newest CultCast, we’ll tell you how did it. Plus: Bendgate might be overblown, but where there’s smoke, there’s fire; we love our iPhone 6 Pluses, but dear lord, they’re huge… And finally, Jony Ive gains a counterpart in Apple’s newest Industrial Designer.
Chuckle your way through each week’s best Apple stories! Stream or download new and past episodes of The CultCast now on your Mac or iDevice by subscribing on iTunes, or hit play below and let the chuckles begin.
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In a new blog post entitled “The Joy of Apple Slamming,” former Apple ad exec Ken Segall (the man who named the iMac) explains how Jobs created a company able to withstand the kind of damaging rumors that would permanently damage lesser rivals.
The secret? Get people to really, really love you.
The range includes various animal-themed devices, including the Octopus S520, the Falcon S451, Hornbill S551, Wolverine S501, and Obi F240. They are being launched by India’s Obi Mobile, a budget smartphone brand, which John Sculley co-founded.
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.