Stephen Hackett

31 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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A Brief History of The Prompt and Connected

“I think we should talk to Federico about joining the show.”

With that, my podcasting career – and life – got a lot better.

This was the spring of 2013. Myke Hurley and I were packing our bags at Myke’s original podcast network, heading over to 5by5. He and I had been publishing a weekly Apple show named “The 512 Podcast,” but we wanted to do something bigger and better, and Myke had the idea to wrangle Federico into things.

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The Case of the Late-2012 iMacs

The recent iMac updates brought additional power and flexibility to Apple’s all-in-one desktop, but didn’t redesign or modernize the iMac as we’ve known it for many years.

As the 21.5- and 27-inch machines are here to stay for at least a while longer, I thought it would be a good time to look back at the first of their kind, introduced at a press event in October 2012. You probably can’t tell if the press image above is from 2012 or 2019.

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Ten Years Ago, Apple Said Goodbye to Macworld but Set the Stage for the Future

Macworld 2009. Image via Engadget

Macworld 2009. Image via Engadget

In January 2009, Apple took to the stage at Macworld Expo one final time. The company announced the change a few weeks before the show. Phil Schiller would deliver the keynote. News of Steve Jobs’ medical leave would break just weeks later, one day before the keynote.

All of this cast a weird vibe over the event, and while it was far from Apple’s most exciting keynote, it’s worth revisiting Phil Schiller’s three announcements now, ten years later.1

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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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