Last summer, Sam Henri Gold uploaded hundreds of images, videos, and other historical Apple material to Google Drive from the company’s earliest days to present. The collection didn’t last long. The flood of people trying to download its contents slowed the archive to a crawl, and ultimately Gold took it down.
The archive is back now at applearchive.org as an ad-free website organized by decade. The collection, which Gold has dubbed The (Unofficial) Apple Archive, includes a wide range of materials from press photos and keynotes to TV ads and Mac wallpapers. There is even a healthy collection of unreleased materials, like this unreleased social media ad for AirPower.
The site includes search functionality that makes it easier to find something specific among the hundreds of items or browse an entire product category. Images can be downloaded from the archive, but to deter downloading of videos, Gold is using a restrictive embedded Vimeo player. The desire to stop downloads is understandable, but it also means that the videos cannot be embedded by others writing about them elsewhere, which is a shame.
Between a Vimeo Pro account and Squarespace, Gold says the Apple Archive costs him about $456/year. Because the site is ad-free, Gold is accepting donations to help defray the costs here. To learn more about the Apple Archive project and the story behind it, check out Michael Steeber’s interview with Gold on 9to5Mac.
Benjamin Mayo of 9to5Mac has published an excellent journey down memory lane of Apple’s last decade:
Apple entered the 2010s just as the iPhone began to explode in popularity. The iPhone became the most successful consumer product, ever. Sales surged for another five years and still make up a majority of Apple’s revenues. However, we exit the decade with the iPhone making up a smaller portion of Apple’s business than ever before, as the company diversifies into strong lineups of wearables, tablets and services offerings.
But nothing is a simple straight line. Apple had to graduate through the passing of its founder, juggle relationships with an ever-expanding list of consumer and professional market segments, and adapt to the public attention and scrunity that only comes along as a consequence of being the biggest company in the world. This is a decade in Apple, on one page.
Mayo’s first Apple product was an iMac in 2010, so the timeframe of the decade lines up with his own initial interest in Apple, leading all the way to today, when he’s one of the most prominent Apple reporters. I always enjoy reading Mayo’s perspective on Apple, so it was especially fun getting to hear his personal takes of the biggest moments of the company’s past decade. If you want to spend time basking in the nostalgia of Apple’s last 10 years, Mayo’s story is a great way to do that.
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.
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.
In his keynote introducing the switch to Intel, Steve Jobs introduced the weirdest Mac of all time: the Apple Developer Transition Kit.
After announcing the change, Jobs revealed a secret. The Mac he had been using to demo software all morning actually had a 3.6 GHz Intel Pentium 4 processor inside.
Needless to say, the crowd went wild.
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.
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.
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.
Steven Levy spent more than a year talking to past and present Apple executives and employees about the company’s former headquarters at One Infinite Loop in Cupertino, California. As Levy describes it:
Infinite Loop was the place where Apple’s leaders and engineers pulled off a historic turnaround, and it will always be the source of stories and legends—many of them untold. Until now.
It’s hard to pick among the anecdotes in Levy’s history, but one of my favorites is this from Phil Schiller because it captures the tough choice that had to be made when Steve Jobs returned to Apple and his empathy for customers:
Schiller: We’re like, “Steve! Newton customers are picketing! What do you want to do? They’re angry.” And Steve said, “They have every right to be angry. They love Newton. It’s a great product, and we have to kill it, and that’s not fun, so we have to get them coffee and doughnuts and send it down to them and tell them we love them and we’re sorry and we support them.”
There are fascinating details about Apple’s history in Levy’s piece that you won’t find anywhere else, and he’s done an excellent job weaving them into a cohesive, chronological narrative that shouldn’t be missed.