Posts tagged with "apple"


The iPhone is good at many trivial tasks such as playing games and watching videos, but this week I experienced firsthand how much its portability and apps matter when dealing with an emergency situation.

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Jony Ive on Apple’s Design Process

Brian X. Chen interviews Apple's Jony Ive for The New York Times:

Often when I talk about what I do, making isn’t just this inevitable function tacked on at the end. The way we make our products is certainly equally as demanding and requires so much definition. I design and make. I can’t separate those two.

This is part of Steve’s legacy. Deep in the culture of Apple is this sense and understanding of design, developing and making. Form and the material and process – they are beautifully intertwined – completely connected. Unless we understand a certain material — metal or resin and plastic — understanding the processes that turn it from ore, for example – we can never develop and define form that’s appropriate.

Bits from this interview were used in a Tim Cook profile published last week.


Eddy Cue and Jimmy Iovine Speak at Code Conference, A Brief Recap

Eddy Cue and Jimmy Iovine. Photo via Re/code

Following the news that Apple was acquiring Beats yesterday, Eddy Cue from Apple and Jimmy Iovine from Beats spoke to Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher at the inaugural Code Conference. We’ve run through the liveblogs from Re/code and The Verge and highlighted some interesting moments of the discussion below. If you’re interested, I’d recommend reading the full liveblogs yourself and keep an eye out for the full video of the interview (which we’ll link to once posted by the Re/code team).

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Apple Acquires Beats: News Recap

Jimmy Iovine, Tim Cook, Dr. Dre, and Eddy Cue.

Jimmy Iovine, Tim Cook, Dr. Dre, and Eddy Cue.

Following speculation surfaced over the past few weeks, Apple today confirmed the acquisition of Beats Music, a music streaming service that launched in January, and headphone-maker Beats Electronics, co-founded by music industry executive Jimmy Iovine and rapper Dr. Dre. Beats represents Apple’s biggest acquisition to date: Apple is spending a total of $3 billion to acquire Beats, which will continue to be a separate brand.

In a press release, CEO Tim Cook stressed the importance of music as a cultural tenet of Apple:

“Music is such an important part of all of our lives and holds a special place within our hearts at Apple,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “That’s why we have kept investing in music and are bringing together these extraordinary teams so we can continue to create the most innovative music products and services in the world.”

In the same press release, Apple’s Eddy Cue remarked Beats’ focus on music products and noted how the Beats Music subscription service will be added to Apple’s music lineup, which consists of iTunes Radio, iTunes Match, and the iTunes Store. The Beats Music app for iOS was updated earlier today with a lower-priced annual subscription and an extended free trial; Apple has confirmed that they will keep developing Beats Music apps for other platforms, which at the moment include Android and Windows Phone.

The Beats Music team will be joining Apple and report to Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue.

Beats Music launched earlier this year featuring a selection of human-curated playlists handpicked by an editorial team of music experts, such as former Pitchfork editor-in-chief Scott Plagenhoef and top radio programmer Julie Pilat. In their press release, Apple included a mention of Beats Music’s unique offerings:

Beats Music is a subscription streaming music service that focuses on providing a personalized music experience for each user through a unique blend of digital innovation and musical passion. Programmed by a trusted team of well-respected music experts with over 300 years of experience across all genres, Beats Music delivers the right music for any situation, any time, and any preference, personalized to your tastes. The result is an artist-friendly digital music service that does more than simply offer access to music, but one that establishes an emotional connection to it as well.

The sentiment was echoed by Tim Cook, who wrote about how Beats Music, of all modern music streaming services, was the first one to “get it right” in a company memo published by 9to5Mac:

Beats Music was built with deep respect for both artists and fans. We think it’s the first subscription service to really get it right. Both Apple and Beats believe that a great music service requires a strong editorial and curation team, and we will continue to expand what we do in those areas. The addition of Beats will make our incredible iTunes lineup even better, extending the emotional connection our customers have with music.

In Apple’s current plans, the company will keep the Beats brand separate and sell its popular premium headphones (widely regarded as modern fashion accessories) and music streaming service. In Cook’s words, as reported by The New York Times, the Beats team is “really unique”; he added that the deal – which should close by the end of the fiscal year – was a “no-brainer”.

Beats’ deal with Apple will sever a partnership between the audio company and HP, which integrated Beats branding and software in some of their products. As reported by CNET:

A company spokesman said in an email that HP is allowed to continue developing products with new Beats Audio technologies through 2014. But it’s allowed to continue selling devices with the Beats Audio logo and technology through 2015. HP says it’s planning an aggressive lineup of new products that includes the Beats branding through 2014. These products will have the full Beats Audio experience, the company says. Currently, Beats technology is included in about 15 percent to 20 percent of devices sold by HP.

Another partnership that will terminate after Apple’s acquisition will be the one with Ammunition, the design firm behind popular Beats Electronics products such as Beats Pill and Beats Studio. In a blog post, Ammunition founder Robert Brunner writes:

Over the next few months, the design for Beats will transition away from Ammunition. It’s tough to step down as Chief Designer for a brand I take so much pride in, but it certainly makes it easier knowing we are handing the reigns over to one of the world’s most successful design teams.

Design and engineering of Beats hardware products (headphones and speakers) will fall under the leadership of Phil Schiller, Apple’s Senior Vice President Worldwide Marketing. According to The Wall Street Journal, Beats co-founders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre won’t get any special title at Apple, simply going by “Jimmy and Dre”.

Apple’s Eddy Cue and Beats’ Jimmy Iovine will appear on stage at the Code Conference later today, set for 8 PM PT.

The State of the Apple Developer Ecosystem

There’s no denying that WWDC 2013 was one of the most exciting in recent years - however, for all the new technologies Apple announced the thing that struck me most - the thing that excited me most as someone building things for the Apple ecosystem - was a single phrase in many of the sessions: “Also available on the Mac”.

A thoughtful article by Nik Fletcher, who takes a look at the state of developer technologies for iOS and OS X. Better developer tools typically equal less time spent working around OS limitations or outdated web interfaces, resulting in leaner development workflows, more apps, and faster updates – which is what everybody wants. Nik offers some great suggestions.


Apple Highlights Best App Store Releases In “Best Of April” Section

With today’s weekly App Store refresh, Apple has launched a new curated section highlighting the best app and game releases of April 2014, called “Best of April”. The new showcase, available on the iPhone and iPad App Store but absent from the Mac App Store, suggests Apple’s intention to start offering a monthly recap of the App Store’s best releases, handpicked and curated by the App Store’s editorial team.

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Apple Debuts New ‘Powerful’ iPhone 5s Advert

Apple last night debuted a new advert for the iPhone 5s on US television networks and YouTube. Dubbed 'Powerful', the advert features the song Gigantic by the Pixies amongst a montage of scenes that shows the iPhone 5s accomplishing a myriad of tasks. There is no narration in this advert, but it does end with the slogan "You're more powerful than you think", which aptly sums up many of the more unique uses of the iPhone 5s that are shown. For example, the iPhone is used as a heart rate monitor, a remote to launch miniature rockets, as well as both an instrument and aid to an instrument, amongst other uses in the 90 second advert.

Update: As discovered by MacRumors, Apple has today launched a new section on their website that is dedicated to this advert and it highlights the apps that are featured in the spot.

You can watch the full advert below, or on Apple's YouTube channel.

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Apple Tries to Clean Up Its Carbon-Spewing Ways With New Data Centers

It’s an unusual trip in that its point is to give a reporter exposure to the way Apple works, a departure from the company’s usual maniacal secrecy. But when it comes to the environment, Apple consciously carves out an exception to its standard opacity. Part of the motive, of course, is generating a halo effect from good works. But Apple also hopes to inspire other companies and organizations to embark on similar ecologically helpful enterprises. Though it may not have always been the case, Apple has a good Earth Day story to tell.

Here’s that story: Apple is close to its goal of powering all its facilities 100 percent by renewable energy. Its corporate campuses and data centers are now at 94 percent renewable and rising. (In 2010 it was 35 percent.) The next step is to extend the efforts to its retail stores.

A fascinating insight into Apple's environmental efforts from Stephen Levy at Wired, who was given the opportunity to tour an Apple solar plant and data center in Nevada with Apple's senior vice president of environmental initiatives, Lisa Jackson. It's no surprise that the tour given to Levy is a good news story for Apple, but equally interesting are the things that Jackson notes Apple has yet to achieve - in particular converting their retail stores to renewable energy (which is this year's goal).

Also interesting (but not surprising), Levy was allowed to report on anything he saw, except "the manufacturer of the servers" in the Reno data center.