Mac to the future: Apple’s new designs embrace the past like never before

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retro
Apple's going back to the past.
Photo: ColorWare

Something weird is brewing in Apple land. The company, which for years wasn’t big on embracing its past, has gone retro.

While the innovations — ranging from the first 5G iPhones to the exciting new Macs powered by Apple’s proprietary processors — keep coming, Cupertino is reportedly revisiting some of its past designs for its next generation of products.

And you know what? I like it.

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

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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: Steve Jobs introduces us to the iPad

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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: After months of rumors and speculation, Steve Jobs publicly shows 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.

Apple’s first VR headset could be an expensive disappointment

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Apple VR headset could look like Oculus Quest
Apple's first headset could be around the same size as Oculus Quest.
Photo: Oculus

Don’t expect too much from Apple’s first virtual reality headset. A new report warns that Cupertino’s first stab at a wearable VR system, which could come in 2022, will be expensive with a limited set of capabilities.

The device is believed to be designed primarily as a “niche precursor” to more ambitious AR/VR glasses that Apple plans to launch later.

Jony Ive is reportedly in the running to take the driver’s seat at Ferrari

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Ex-Apple design chief Jony Ive has long been passionate about cars. Now he might be headed for Ferrari.
Ive has long been passionate about cars.
Photo: Matt Lamers/Unsplash CC

Since leaving Apple in the middle of last year, Sir Jony Ive has launched a new design agency, LoveFrom, and taken on clients including Airbnb. Now he could be headed for the figurative driver’s seat at Ferrari — as the Italian luxury carmaker’s next CEO. Possibly.

According to a report from Reuters, Ive — by far the best-known designer in Apple history — is in the running to take over as Ferrari’s next CEO. Given Ive’s love of high-end cars, that has to be a job he would be tempted by!

Today in Apple history: Scott Forstall gets forced out of Apple

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Forstall
The disastrous Apple Maps showed Scott Forstall the way out of Cupertino.
Photo: Apple

October 29: Today in Apple history: Scott Forstall gets forced out of Apple after disastrous Apple Maps launch October 29, 2012: Scott Forstall, Apple’s senior vice president of iOS software, is ousted from the company after the disastrous Apple Maps launch.

Apple divvies up the roles previously handled by Forstall, who once seemed on a path to the top, among other high-level execs. Jony Ive assumes leadership of the Human Interface team. Craig Federighi becomes head of iOS software. Eddy Cue takes control of Maps and Siri. And Bob Mansfield “unretires” to lead a new technology group.

iPhone 12 first impressions, and HomePod gets crazy new features, this week on The CultCast (now in video!)

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Dolby Atmos on Apple TV 4K: HomePod's new Apple TV features look like game-changers.
HomePod's new Apple TV features look like game-changers.
Image: Apple

This week on The CultCast: The reviews are in, so let’s talk about iPhone 12! Plus: The honest truth about iPhone 12’s 5G; the original HomePod gets powerful new features, and Jony Ive gets a brand-new job.

And now, The CultCast has video! Or subscribe to our audio episodes if you don’t like our faces.

Jony Ive is ‘designing the future’ at Airbnb

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Jony Ive pays for thousands of orchards to be planted at schools
Jony Ive, the man who once designed the iPhone, Mac and iPad, is now doing design work for Airbnb.
Photo: Apple

Sir Jony Ive, who once headed up the design of all Apple hardware and software, is now working on future Airbnb products. His design company, LoveFrom, will collaborate over the next several years with the vacation rental service.