Today in Apple history: iPhone 4 owners get Antennagate payout

By

Antennagate
Do you remember Antennagate?
Photo: Apple

March 29: Today in Apple history: iPhone 4 owners get Antennagate payout March 29, 2012: Apple settles its “Antennagate” controversy by giving affected iPhone 4 owners the chance to claim a whopping $15 payout.

The settlement covers customers who experienced problems with the phone dropping calls due to its cutting-edge design, but were not able to return their handsets (or didn’t want a free bumper from Apple to mitigate against the problem).

Today in Apple history: Twentieth Anniversary Mac lands with a thud

By

The Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh launched exactly two decades ago on March 20, 1997.
The Twentieth Anniversary Mac offered a glimpse of the future.
Photo: Apple

March 20: Today in Apple history: Twentieth Anniversary Mac lands with a thud March 20, 1997: Apple launches its Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh, a futuristic, special-edition Mac that’s ahead of its time in every way.

Not part of any established Mac line, it brings a look (and a price!) unlike anything else available. And yet the Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh promptly bombs. Today, it’s a collector’s piece.

iBauhaus traces iPhone design back to … 1920s Germany? [Book review]

By

iBauhaus book
An intriguingly different look at the origins of the iPhone.
Photo: Luke Dormehl/Cult of Mac

Quirky but excellent new book iBauhaus traces Apple’s design principles to a German design school nearly a century old. Written by art expert Nicholas Fox Weber, the book won’t appeal to everyone.

If you’re exclusively interested in behind-the-scenes details of how Apple makes and sells its products, this book probably isn’t for you. If you shuddered through Jony Ive interviews heavy on design-speak, this definitely isn’t the book for you.

However, a certain segment of readers — myself included — will find iBauhaus really enjoyable. And they will learn a lot about the design of the iPhone along the way.

Today in Apple history: The ultra-fast Macintosh IIfx speeds into stores

By

Mac IIfx
The IIfx was the fastest Mac of its day.
Photo: Old Computr

March 19: Today in Apple history: The ultra-fast Macintosh IIfx speeds into stores March 19, 1990: The ultra-fast Macintosh IIfx makes its debut, sporting a hefty price tag appropriate for such a speedy machine.

The fastest Macintosh of its day, it boasts a CPU running at a “wicked fast” 40 MHz. It gains an additional speed bump from a pair of Apple-designed, application-specific integrated circuits. Prices start at $9,870 and run up to $12,000 — the equivalent of $19,000 to $22,000 in 2019 terms!

Today in Apple history: Hippie-themed iMacs fuel Cupertino flashback

By

The Flower Power iMac G3 and Blue Dalmatian iMac G3 were two of the wackier Macs in history.
These were two of the wackier Macs ever.
Photo: Apple

February 22: Today in Apple history: Hippie-themed Flower Power and Blue Dalmatian iMacs fuel Cupertino flashback February 22, 2001: The iMac Special Edition, sporting custom Flower Power and Blue Dalmatian designs, puts a wacky face on the computer that saved Apple’s bacon at the turn of the century.

A far cry from the super-serious, aluminum-heavy industrial design that will come to define Apple, these colorfully patterned iMacs are some of the most irreverent computers Cupertino ever dreamed up. (C’mon, when was a real Dalmatian blue?)

Under the consciously tacky exterior hummed a pretty darn great iMac G3, though.

Today in Apple history: iPod mini is ‘world’s smallest music player’

By

The iPod mini, which Apple
Apple makes big waves with the iPod mini.
Image: Apple

February 20: Today in Apple history: iPod mini launch shows off 'world's smallest music player' February 20, 2004: Music goes small as the iPod mini arrives in Apple stores.

Released with 4GB of storage and in five colors, the diminutive iPod mini features a new “click wheel” that integrates control buttons into a solid-state, touch-sensitive scroll wheel. Despite its small size, the new music player’s market potential looms large. In fact, the iPod mini soon becomes the fastest-selling iPod yet.

10 years on: How the iPad changed mobile computing

By

IPad Pro one week review
The iPad changed mobile computing forever.
Photo: Andrea Nepori

There were tablet computers before the iPad, but they were thick plastic laptops with the screens reversed, with awful, bendy TFT screens. The first iPad seems thick and clunky now, compared to the latest ultra-thin iPads Pro, but at the time it felt like a slice of the future.

When Steve Jobs introduced the iPad a decade ago today, some critics wrote it off as “just a big iPhone.” The only thing was, a lot of people really wanted a big iPhone. And ultimately, the iPad changed mobile computing as we know it.

Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs introduces us to the iPad

By

The iPad launch shook up the tech world, with the tablet computer becoming Apple's fastest-selling device.
Did you own an original iPad?
Photo: Apple

January 27: Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs introduces us to the iPad January 27, 2010: Twenty years ago today, Steve Jobs publicly showed off the iPad for the first time.

Aside from the name, which some people joke sounds like a female sanitary product, the iPad immediately earns critical acclaim. “The last time there was this much excitement over a tablet, it had some commandments written on it,” The Wall Street Journal quips.

When it goes on sale, the iPad quickly becomes Apple’s fastest-selling new product ever.

Today in Apple history: Macintosh Plus brings big changes to Mac

By

The MacIntosh Plus was arguably the first truly great Mac.
The MacIntosh Plus was arguably the first truly great Mac.
Photo: Rama/Wikipedia CC

January 16: Today in Apple history: Macintosh Plus brings big changes to Mac January 16, 1986: Apple introduces the Macintosh Plus, its third Mac model and the first to be released after Steve Jobs was forced out of the company the previous year.

The Mac Plus is also the first Macintosh to include a SCSI port, the main way of attaching a Mac to other devices until Apple abandoned the tech on the iMac G3 upon Jobs’ return. The Mac Plus also boasted an expandable 1MB of RAM and a double-sided 800KB floppy drive.

Today in Apple history: MacBook Air becomes ‘world’s thinnest notebook’

By

A plain manila envelope became a key stage prop for selling the MacBook Air.
A plain manila envelope became a key prop for selling the MacBook Air.
Photo: Apple

January 15: Today in Apple history: MacBook Air becomes 'world's thinnest notebook' January 15, 2008: Steve Jobs shows off the first MacBook Air at the Macworld conference, calling the revolutionary computer the “world’s thinnest notebook.”

The 13.3-inch laptop measures only 0.76 inches at its thickest point and 0.16 inches at its tapered thinnest. It also boasts a unibody aluminum design: An Apple engineering breakthrough allows the crafting of a complicated computer case from a single block of finely machined metal.

In a brilliant piece of showmanship, Jobs pulls the super-slim laptop out of a standard interoffice envelope during his keynote. (You can watch his introduction of the MacBook Air below).