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Entries in Apple (3)


Apple Design

It's amusing, Fast Company's use of the term, "longread" -- something long to read. Apparently, on a screen, something is "long" when you have to scroll down. 

Max Chafkin in Fast Company's Co. DESIGN writes an excellent longread  survey of Apple's journey to design excellence. Videos, and a great slide show. 

An Oral History Of Apple Design: 1992–2013


Most efforts to explain design at Apple end up reducing a complex 37-year history to bromides about simplicity, quality, and perfection--as if those were ambitions unique to Apple alone. So Fast Company set out to remedy that deficiency through an oral history of Apple's design, a decoding of the signature as told by the people who helped create it. A longer version of the story that includes material not published elsewhere is available in the Byliner original ebook, Design Crazy.

The Good


"This is our signature," Apple's gauzy television ads proclaim, referring to the familiar words that the company stamps on the undersides of its products: designed by Apple in California. The ads fall in the grand Apple tradition--beginning with the "1984" Super Bowl spot--of seeming to say a great deal while revealing little. The singular Cupertino computer company is one of the most intensely competitive, pathologically secretive organizations in the world.

The Bad

If there is one thing that CEO Tim Cook doesn't want people to know, it's what dwells behind his company's "signature." As a result, most efforts to explain design at Apple end up reducing a complex 37-year history to bromides about simplicity, quality, and perfection--as if those were ambitions unique to Apple alone.

So Fast Company set out to remedy that deficiency. It wasn't easy. Precious few designers have left Sir Jonathan Ive's industrial design group since he took over in 1996: Two quit; three died. (We talked to the two who quit, among dozens of other longtime Apple veterans.) What we found is that the greatest business story of the past two decades--how Apple used design to rise from near bankruptcy to become the most valuable company in the world--is completely misunderstood.

Article continues at link above. 




Apple User Interface Changes

Via Malcolm Brown -- "iTunes 11 Interface Innovations: Good and Bad, but Not Ugly," by Adam C. Engst in TidBITS ("Apple news for the rest of us"). 

What I’m finding the most interesting about iTunes 11 is not its features, which are almost entirely the same as in previous versions, but the way that it thinks about interface in a rather different way from the previous versions. iTunes is sufficiently central to the user experience of most Apple users that its interface changes could give a sense of where Apple might take OS X’s interface. That may be good or bad, depending on your perspective, but it’s certainly something you should keep an eye on.

Continues at link 


Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook: Competition and Antitrust

The December 1, 2012, The Economist: Survival of the fittest: Battle of the internet giants

THE four giants of the internet age—Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon—are extraordinary creatures. Never before has the world seen firms grow so fast or spread their tentacles so widely. Apple has become a colossus of capitalism, accounting for 4.3% of the value of the S&P 500 and 1.1% of the global equity market. Some 425m people now use its iTunes online store, whose virtual shelves are packed to the gills with music and other digital content. Google, meanwhile, is the undisputed global leader in search and online advertising. Its Android software powers three-quarters of the smartphones being shipped. Amazon dominates the online-retail and e-book markets in many countries; less well known is its behind-the-scenes power in cloud computing. As for Facebook, if the social network’s one billion users were a country, it would be the world’s third largest.

The digital revolution these giants have helped foment has brought huge benefits to consumers and businesses, and promoted free speech and the spread of democracy along the way. Yet they provoke fear as well as wonder. Their size and speed can, if left unchecked, be used to choke off competition. That is why they are attracting close scrutiny from regulators.