Stephen Hackett

28 posts on MacStories since November 2016

Stephen is the co-founder of Relay FM, where he hosts several podcasts. He also writes the blog 512 Pixels and shares a home office with way too many old Macs. He’s been covering Apple since 2008 and has a dogcow tattoo on his right ankle.

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Magnets: A Common Apple Magic Trick

As a young kid, I thought magnets were about the coolest things ever. Here in my 30s, I kind of feel the same way.

Magnets made nerdy headlines recently, with the new iPad Pro, which is chock-full of them to keep its Smart Keyboard Folio in place. Marques Brownlee had a tweet showing off just how many are in the tablet's thin chassis:

Apple's use of magnets in its products goes back further than the most recent iPad Pro, with its keyboard and Apple Pencil, or even the fun and functional AirPod case. Magnets allow Apple to do things without the need of mechanical components, keeping the design of its products clean and streamlined. Here are a few of my favorites over the years.

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A Look Back at the Original iPad mini

For the first several years of its existence, the iPad was defined by its 1024x768 9.7-inch screen.

The original iPad weighed in at 1.5 pounds, but with the iPad 2 shaved that down to just 1.3 pounds, thanks to advances in the technology inside its revised design.

Despite the iPad becoming lighter and easier to hold, many people were clamoring for an even smaller iPad. In October 2012, Apple answered their call with the iPad mini.

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Some of Apple’s Forgotten iOS Apps

Apple has just about always offered iOS apps on the App Store, separate from what apps come bundled on its devices from the factory.

Sometimes, these apps get promoted to being part of the iOS image, like Podcasts and iBooks have. Once stuck hanging out on the App Store, they now ship on the iPhone and iPad by default.

A lot of other apps weren't luck enough to get that lifeline, and have since been removed from the App Store. Let's take a look at a few examples.

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The iPhone 4S

We are used to a fall release schedule when it comes to iPhones, but that hasn't always been the case. The first four iPhones came out in the summer, usually after being announced at WWDC.

2011's iPhone 4S changed that for good, and in some ways that phone draws parallels to the new iPhone XS. Both are the second generation of a radical new design, and both boast improved cameras, networking, and battery life. That's not to mention how Siri is at the heart of the iOS version they both ship with.

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The History of Aperture

For years, iLife defined the Mac experience, or at the very least, its marketing. An iMac or MacBook wasn't a mere computer; it was a tool for enjoying your music, managing your photos, creating your own songs, editing your home videos, and more.

iLife was brilliant because it was approachable. Programs like iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD, and GarageBand were so simple that anyone could just open them from the Dock and get started creating.1

Of course, not everyone's needs were met by the iLife applications. iMovie users could upgrade to Final Cut, while Logic was there waiting for GarageBand users. And for those needing more than what iPhoto could provide, Apple offered Aperture.

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10 Years of App Store: A Timeline of Changes

It's hard to remember using an iPhone before the App Store. However, for the first year, the iPhone could only run the handful of apps that Apple created for it. Anything else required using mobile web apps in Safari.1

On March 6, 2008, just nine months after the original iPhone went on sale, Steve Jobs and Scott Forstall announced that Apple would ship an SDK for third-party developers to write applications that could run natively on the iPhone, without the clumsiness inherent in web apps.

After Forstall took some time going through the details of the SDK, Steve Jobs came back on stage to answer a question that had no doubt been circulating the room:

How do you distribute software on a device like the iPhone?

The answer was an App Store.

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