Jonathan Mann turns his fascination with Apple into catchy pop songs. Photo: Funcrunch Photo/Flickr
Steve Jobs wasn’t in the habit of dancing at Apple events. But in 2010, prior to a press conference where he addressed concerns about the new iPhone’s antenna, a song lampooning the controversy got Jobs dancing in the wings before he faced off with journalists.
The song in question, which played on a big screen to kick off the event, was the work of YouTube musician and Apple fan Jonathan Mann, who has spent the past five years composing a new song each day and posting it online.
“I heard later on from an Apple PR person that Steve Jobs was bopping along in the wings as the song was playing” at the Antennagate press conference, says Mann, speaking with Cult of Mac. “It was a surreal moment in my life.”
Antennagate went away, but Mann became the go-to guy for jingles about all things Cupertino. To date he has written 38 songs about Apple, touching on everything from Craig Federighi’s WWDC performance to the unveiling of the Apple Watch. His clever ideas and quick turnaround times have turned him into YouTube’s premier Apple songsmith.
I’m a sucker for Apple history, and I particularly enjoy hearing from the people who had an impact on shaping Steve Jobs into the incredible force of nature that he became.
In a new interview with John Sculley, the former Apple CEO sheds some light on what may have been his single biggest lasting impact on Apple: the drive toward making the experience of using an Apple product one of the company’s most important focuses.
Sculley catches a lot of flack for being the CEO who kicked Jobs out of Apple back in 1985, but after Jobs and Tim Cook he was the best of CEO Apple ever had, and someone who’s always interesting to hear talk about Apple. In this particular video he shares his thoughts on the original Macintosh ad and why Apple trumps everyone else at marketing.
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.
Tim Cook, Phil Schiller and others who knew him have made public comments commemorating Steve Jobs, who passed away three years ago today.
Cook sent out two tweets, quoting Jobs from his 2005 Stanford Commencement Address as saying, “You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.” In the second message he said that he was in Grand Canyon National Park, backpacking and “thinking of SJ and his many gifts to the world.”
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.
Our thanks to Backblaze for supporting this episode! Backblaze online backup is Mac Native, unlmited, unthrottled, uncomplicated, and only 5 bucks a month. Try it totally free for two weeks at backblaze.com/cultcast.
This Sunday marks three years since the death of Steve Jobs.
This Sunday will mark three years since the death of Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs at the age of 56. Although many Apple employees will doubtless be working over the weekend, Tim Cook took today as the opportunity to send out a note to Apple employees, sharing some of his thoughts on Jobs’ legacy at Apple.