Are we really in the "post-PC" era? Apparently Microsoft doesn't think so, as Redmond is reigniting the old "Mac vs. PC" debate in a trio of new television commercials. (We all remember how that worked out for them with Apple's "Get a Mac" campaign.) Today's edition of the Morning Report also offers a glimpse inside Apple University, where employees learn how Cupertino makes its mojo — read on for the details!
It's a question many of us have asked ourselves at one point or another since Steve Jobs passed away in 2011: Is Apple still the design leader it once was? Apple's design chief Jony Ive certainly seems to think so, or so he claims in an Q&A with the New York Times on the heels of the Gray Lady's larger piece on Tim Cook. Not only is Apple's approach to design in a good place, Ive says, but the company is about to extend it to products with "materials we haven't worked in before."
iOS 8 may have gotten most of the attention at Apple’s WWDC keynote, but the fun stuff isn’t limited to iPhones and iPads. Yosemite will bring the biggest update to OS X in years, combining desktop-level power with the elegance of iOS to create a stunning environment that will make even old Macs feel new again. Here are the features we’re looking forward to the most.
One of the most commonplace assumptions about Apple states that the company starts with design and works its way down to engineering, but a Fast Company interview with former Apple senior designer and user experience specialist Mark Kawano suggests that's not the case. According to Kawano, in many ways the engineers and designers at Apple are actually the same people.
Something is rotten in Cupertino. After more than 20 years with Apple, Greg Christie, who played a key role in the development of the original iPhone and other major Apple products, is allegedly leaving the company due to "friction" (to use 9to5Mac's word) with design chief Jony Ive. As a result, Ive will have even more direct control over the design of Apple's software.
You would be forgiven for mistaking Steller for a Storehouse companion, but in actuality they're independent variations on the same social storytelling theme: simple, elegant narration. Like Storehouse, Steller doesn't overwhelm you with design options, but it gives you just enough to get your creative juices flowing while inspiring you to turn your life into art.
It's easy to overlook, but there's a very simple formula for Apple's success. It's the reason why you can take an iPhone or an iMac out of its box and it just works, and the reason why Samsung is secretly working on its own mobile OS: control. Steve Jobs summed it up perfectly during the 2007 Macworld keynote: "Now, you know, one of the pioneers of our industry, Alan Kay, has had a lot of great quotes throughout the years. And I ran across one of them recently that explains how we look at this. Explains why we go about doing things the way we do, because we love software. And here’s the quote: 'People who are really serious about software should make their own hardware.'"
On Steve Jobs' birthday last week, Tim Cook tweeted a remembrance of his friend and mentor that summed up Steve's genius in just a few words: "Details matter, it’s worth waiting to get it right."
Meanwhile, a few thousand miles away Samsung was getting ready to announce its newest "next big things," the Galaxy S5, along with a couple of Galaxy Gears, a fitness tracker and some refinements to its TouchWiz interface.
The overlapping dates were a happy coincidence. The choice of quote was not. Cook was sending a message to anyone criticizing Apple for bringing up the rear in the smartwatch race: Slow and steady is how we win.
I could write a month's worth of columns on my distaste for Samsung. From its petty Apple-bashing ads to its shameless and slavish implementation of every good idea it sees, Samsung is unapologetically unoriginal, slapping its name on anything it thinks can make a buck. Many of its products have no discernible value, often created to fill a seemingly underserved niche and sold to unsuspecting consumers who think they're getting something better than they are: cheap, compromised smartphones with crippled processors, low-resolution screens, and tiny batteries that force consumers into decisions they regret for the majority of their 24-month contract.
For years we've been trying to figure out what Steve Jobs meant when he dropped this juicy nugget to Walter Isaacson while being interviewed for his biography:
“I’d like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use. It would be seamlessly synced with all of your devices and with iCloud. It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it."