The Story Behind “I’m a Mac,” “I’m a PC”

Douglas Queneua of Campaign US has put together an extensive oral history of Apple's famous "Get a Mac" ad campaign. Written in two parts, the history is told by actors Justin Long (Mac) and John Hodgman (PC), as well as many of the creative minds that birthed the campaign.

In September 2005, Steve Jobs gave his advertising agency, TBWA\Chiat\Day, an assignment: Come up with a campaign that clearly demonstrates the Mac's superiority to the PC. There was no deadline.

Seven months, dozens of tense meetings and countless discarded ideas later, the agency produced "Get a Mac." It would go on to become one of the most succesful and admired ad campaigns in Apple's history, no small feat when "1984," "Think Different" and "Silhouette" are the competition. Among those legendary ads, "Get a Mac" stands out as the most overtly comedic and one of the most expansive: The team shot 323 spots over three years just to get the 66 that made it on air.

To mark the 10-year anniversary, Campaign US asked members of the creative team, the crew and the actors to share the untold stories of how the campaign came to life. What follows is their recollections—inconsistencies, errors, biases and all—lightly edited and condensed for clarity.

There are plenty of great stories shared here from a memorable campaign.

One of my favorite tidbits from the article is that Justin Long initially assumed he would be playing the PC role, because up until then he had been playing primarily nerdy parts. "Nerdy parts," he says, "suited my natural personality."

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Ulysses Gains Touch Bar Support, Tabs, TextBundles, and More

The Soulmen updated Ulysses for macOS and iOS with interesting new features today. On macOS, Ulysses added support for Apple's latest hardware and software features. If you have a new Touch Bar MacBook Pro, you can customize the Touch Bar with Ulysses functionality. In addition, if you have Sierra installed, multiple sheets can be open at one time in tabs, which is something that I've found handy as I work on things like the MacStories Weekly newsletter where I tend to jump among multiple documents editing and checking formatting.

Another addition to Ulysses on the Mac and iOS is TextBundle and TextPack file support. TextBundle is a specification for bundling together Markdown text and referenced images in a way that’s portable and avoids sandboxing issues for apps sold on the Mac and iOS App Stores. TextBundle files work with documents stored in external folders. I had no trouble creating TextBundles on my Mac, but on iOS, where I had less time to test the update, I could create a TextBundle document, but I was unable to add images to it.

On the Mac, right-click an external document and choose edit to save sheets as TextBundles.

On the Mac, right-click an external document and choose edit to save sheets as TextBundles.

The update to Ulysses also added support for importing Evernote ENEX files on the Mac, but I had trouble with it on one of my machines. After you export notes from Evernote as an ENEX file you should be able to drag the ENEX file into a Ulysses group, the sheet list, or onto the Ulysses Dock icon to import the file. That worked for me on one Mac, but not another where it crashed Ulysses. I can’t tell if my situation is an edge case, but in any event, The Soulmen are working on a fix. In the meantime, I suggest testing Evernote importing with a single note before trying to import a more extensive set. Finally, Ulysses already included the ability to set character, word and page goals for your writing, but with the Mac and iOS updates today, you can also set reading time goals.

Ulysses 2.7 is a free update to existing customers. New users can purchase Ulysses from the Mac App Store for $44.99 and the iOS App Store for $24.99.


Sony’s PlayStation Division Will Release iOS Games in 2017

Reuters reports that Sony's PlayStation division is working on ten mobile games, six of which will be released next year for iOS and Android. The games, which include Everybody's Golf, will debut in Japan followed by other Asian countries. The Reuters report doesn't indicate what plans, if any, Sony has for the games outside Asia.

According to Reuters the other games in the works for mobile release include PaRappa the Rapper and Arc The Lad. Kotaku also reports that Wild Arms is in development for mobile platforms. Kotaku's coverage includes this preview video of Arc the Lad and Wild Arms from ForwardWorks:

Competition from mobile gaming continues to increase, so its not surprising that console vendors like Sony are following Nintendo's lead by testing the smartphone waters.

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Apple Publishes Best of 2016 App Store Lists

Today, Apple unveiled the 2016 edition of its annual Best of App Store lists for iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, and Apple TV. The lists highlight the best apps and games released by third-party developers on each platform during the past year.

The top picks this year for each platform are Prisma (iPhone), Sketchbook Motion (iPad), Bear (Mac), MySwimPro (Apple Watch), and Twitter (Apple TV). The games of the year are Clash Royale (iPhone), Severed (iPad), Life is Strange (Mac), Field Day (Apple Watch), and Riptide: GP Renegade (Apple TV).

In addition, this year Apple published lists of the '10 Best Apps of the Year' and '10 Best Games of the Year' on the iOS App Store and Apple TV App Store, and an extended list of the 'Best Apps & Games of 2016' on the Mac App Store.

Like last year, Apple has picked a mix of paid and free apps from developers big and small. Among the notable indie picks are apps from Shiny Frog, Devolver Digital, and Drinkbox Studios. A recap of all the winners and runners-up (from the US App Store) and links to MacStories reviews where applicable is available below.

iPhone

App of the Year

Prisma

Runner-Up

MSQRD

Game of the Year

Clash Royale

Runner-Up

Reigns (MacStories review)

iPad

App of the Year

Sketchbook Motion

Runner-Up

Bear (MacStories review)

Game of the Year

Severed (MacStories review)

Runner-Up

Chameleon Run

Mac

App of the Year

Bear

Game of the Year

Life is Strange

Apple Watch

App of the Year

MySwimPro

Game of the Year

Field Day

Apple TV

App of the Year

Twitter

Game of the Year

Riptide GP: Renegade


Connected, Episode 120: Perennial State of Worrying

Federico is back with some new purchases in tow. Stephen published a book. Myke wants more from his Echo. Everyone has wishes for iOS 10.

On this week's Connected, we checked in with iOS 10 three months after its launch and listed the features we're liking best so far, as well as those that left us disappointed. You can listen here.

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Remaster, Episode 24: PSX and Pokémon

Federico and Myke break down the announcements from PSX, and give their review of Pokémon Sun/Moon so far.

Lots of PlayStation games on Remaster this week, plus a first discussion on the new Pokémon games, where Myke and I are taking two deeply different approaches. You can listen here.

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Spotify Adds Direct Sonos Playback to iOS App

Spotify:

We’ve teamed up with Sonos to make it easier than ever to keep the music going strong. Now Spotify Premium users can control their Sonos straight from the Spotify app using Spotify Connect. Use all the features you love about Spotify: the curation, discovery, and sharing and hear it all throughout your home in crystal clear sound. You can also access the multiroom power of the Sonos home sound system directly in the Spotify app. We’ve brought out the best of both worlds to give you the smartest and most seamless home sound system yet.

I've been trying this in beta for the past couple of months, and it has worked well with my Sonos PLAY:1. The feature is based on Spotify Connect, which is fast and doesn't route all system audio to a single device. In my experience, using Spotify Connect with a Sonos speaker has been much more reliable than streaming music to AirPlay or Bluetooth speakers.

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Single Sign-on Launches for tvOS and iOS

Today Apple launched its new Single Sign-on feature to all devices running version 10 or later of tvOS and iOS. The feature requires no software update or any other user action to get it.

Announced at this year's WWDC, Single Sign-on was originally intended to ship with tvOS 10 in September, but ended up being delayed to later in the fall. The feature, which is available only in the U.S., allows users to enter their TV credentials once to gain access to content their TV plan entitles them to from a variety of video apps like NBC or USA NOW. Its delay was a disappointment to anyone who has experienced the annoyance of repeatedly proving that they pay for cable or satellite service. Now that Single Sign-on has officially arrived, its usefulness depends entirely on whether your TV provider is a launch partner.

Apple has a support page listing the details of which TV providers currently support Single Sign-on, and also which apps support the feature.

TV Providers:

  • CenturyLink Prism
  • DirecTV
  • Dish
  • GVTC
  • GTA
  • Hawaiian Telcom
  • Hotwire
  • MetroCast
  • Sling

Apps:

  • A&E (iOS only)
  • Bravo Now (tvOS only)
  • E! Now (tvOS only)
  • Hallmark Channel Everywhere (iOS and tvOS)
  • History (iOS only)
  • Lifetime (iOS only)
  • NBC (tvOS only)
  • Syfy Now (tvOS only)
  • Telemundo Now (tvOS only)
  • USA NOW (tvOS only)
  • Watch HGTV (iOS and tvOS)
  • Watch Food Network (iOS and tvOS)
  • Watch Cooking Channel (iOS and tvOS)
  • Watch DIY (iOS and tvOS)
  • Watch Travel Channel (iOS and tvOS)

Look for Apple to update these lists in the weeks and months to come as more TV providers and apps come on board.


WWDC App Updated With Filters, 3D Touch, and Apple TV Dark Mode

Apple’s WWDC app typically gets a major update in the run-up to its annual developer conference. The remainder of the year, it’s unusual for the app to receive updates other than bug fixes and compatibility updates.

Now, you can filter WWDC session videos by whether they have been downloaded or watched.

Now, you can filter WWDC session videos by whether they have been downloaded or watched.

Today’s update of the WWDC app is a little different. Apple has introduced three substantive changes to the WWDC app:

  • Filters to show whether a session video has been downloaded or watched;
  • 3D Touch support for peeking and popping session lists; and
  • Support for dark mode on the Apple TV.

For developers, the WWDC app’s utility extends beyond the conference itself, so it’s nice to see Apple refining the app this late in the year. With hundreds of videos available, the new filters are a welcome way to weed out watched, space-hogging videos.