Here’s The Braun Tape Recorder That Inspired Apple’s Podcasts App [Gallery]


Apple's looking for a way to monetize its podcasting success.
Apple's looking for a way to monetize its podcasting success.

It’s no secret that the designers at Apple are fans of Braun. Jonathan Ive has even expressed at times that his work is influenced by Dieter Rams, Braun’s head designer for nearly 30 years. In the past, Braun products have inspired the designs for several Apple products and applications, such as the iMac G4, Mac Pro, iPod, Aluminum iMac, iPod Hi-Fi, iPhone OS 1 Calculator, and most recently, the iOS 5 iPad music app.

With the release of Apple’s Podcasts app for iOS, the legacy of Braun continues to live on in the form of the reel-to-reel tape recorder found in the now playing interface. Looking at the interface last night, I was struck by how realistic the design was, which prompted some Google searching, leading me to the conclusion that indeed, the Podcasts app houses a nearly accurate rendering of a Braun TG 60 tape recorder. Ben Lenarts also noted the same thing on Twitter this morning.

To show you some of the striking similarities between these two designs, we’ve compiled a gallery of the two, which you can find after the break.

The switches and buttons on Apple’s app have the same shape and characteristics as the actual product.


Apple’s 2012 tape recorder shares the same mechanics and patterns as its 1965 counterpart.


Towards the top of the Podcasts interface, you can even see the sliding plastic top, ready to cover the tape reels.


Image: Tussa (Flickr)




  • mboblett

    This is another case of skeuomorphism gone bad. I’m 37 and I’ve never used a reel-to-reel like this in my life, so I have no attachment to that model for this. In playing podcasts in the new app, the interface is different than in any other app. This includes where things are placed, how elements work, and so forth. Rather than retaining the simple, immediately accessible style used in virtually every other app that Apple makes, I now have to relearn how to use something that should be simple, straightforward, and nearly identical to why I’ve been using. It’s a poor interface and bad design decision to put the app out with these controls. The reel-to-reel is cute, but meaningless.

  • ramistweeting

    I bet the music app in iOS 6 will be updated so you slide the cover art back like with Podcasts and it reveals the record player (with moving needle).