Wishful thinking: Why it’d be nice if Apple created a line of Ive-designed office technology products

Image: deskology.com

Image: deskology.com

I have a number of friends who can’t understand why I pay what they refer to as ‘the Apple tax': the premium paid for Apple products over alternatives that offer much the same functionality.

I can argue about the functionality, of course. The usability, stability and (usually!) security of OS X are all things worth paying for in my view, but I’m not ashamed to admit that aesthetics also matter to me. When I’m going to spend 8+ hours in front of a computer, I’d rather I was looking at something sleek and beautiful rather than something plastic, ugly and a chore to use and understand.

I feel the same way about the other technology on my desk and in my office, but it isn’t always easy to find kit that works well and looks the part too. I can’t help thinking there’s a lot of office technology that could use the Jony Ive touch …  Read more

Jony Ive disappears from Apple’s online executive list (Update 2x: Back, PR comment)

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(Update: He’s back. Whew!)

Early Monday morning, Jonathan Ive, Apple’s VP of design, disappeared from the list of executives on Apple’s website. While this type of thing has usually only happened when an executive left the company, there’s no reason to believe this is more than a website glitch at this point.

In the past whenever someone has been removed from the list, his accompanying personal page was also deleted. For example, the link to Scott Forstall’s bio now leads to an error page. Ive’s, on the other hand, is still up and running. Apple would also likely issue a press release if such a high-ranking member of its team was suddenly out.

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Apple SVP Jony Ive and Marc Newson on Charlie Rose [Video]

The Charlie Rose Show has tweeted that Jony Ive and Marc Newson are interviewed on the show, which aired last night in some markets and is shown tonight in others.

The two previously appeared in a five-minute video talking about the items they designed for tomorrow’s charity RED auction, which include special editions of the Mac Pro and Leica M camera, and an aluminum desk …  Read more

Apple book season: tidbits from Dogfight as unofficial Jony Ive biography goes on sale

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For fans of books about Apple, this is a epic time. Earlier this week, Fred Vogelstein’s book Dogfight went on sale, and today, Leander Kahney’s The Genius Behind Apple’s Greatest Products book about Apple Senior Vice President of Industrial Design Jony Ive went on sale.

Dogfight focuses on the emergence of both Apple and Google as the world’s two preeminent technology companies, and it details the competition of the two companies and the respective product development cycles of early iPhones and iPads and devices running Android. The book provides first-hand accounts of life working under Steve Jobs, and details the incredible run-up to the launch of the first iPhone in early 2007…

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Apple’s multi-billion dollar spend on gadgets you’ll never see

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Bloomberg claims to have some info on how Apple plans to spend some of the $10.5B it has set aside for capital expenditure over the next year, saying that the investments will span everything from lasers to robots.

Apple is spending more on the machines that do the behind-the-scenes work of mass producing iPhones, iPads and other gadgets. That includes equipment to polish the new iPhone 5c’s colorful plastic, laser and milling machines to carve the MacBook’s aluminum body, and testing gear for the iPhone and iPad camera lens …  Read more

A look at the hardcover catalog for Jony Ive’s Sotheby’s (RED) Auction

As we’ve been covering, Jony Ive and Marc Newson have teamed with Sotheby’s to host an auction for Bono’s Product(RED) Charity. The auction, which takes place on November 23rd, is highlighted by several items hand picked by the two world-famous designers. The auction includes one-of-a-kind items such as gold-plated Apple EarPods, an aluminum unibody Leica camera, and a red next-generation Mac Pro.

In addition to the images and online catalog of the products, we thought it would be interested to provide a look at Sotheby’s hardcover version of the catalog. As you can see in the images above, the book has an intriguing front and back cover design that showcase cartoon-like representations of both Ive and Newson. Inside, the catalog provides an in-depth look at the items on auction.

You can see our full gallery of images of the catalog below, courtesy of 9to5 reader Chris:

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After the (RED) Leica, the (RED) desk (in aluminum, of course)

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Following the interview in which Jony Ives and Marc Newson talked about their collaborative design of the one-off Leica M camera for the (RED) charity auction, the one-of-a-kind desk designed by the two has also been unveiled.

As you might expect, it’s made from machined aluminum, fabricated by renowned aluminum specialists Neal Feay Studio. The design is, though, not quite as minimalist as I’d expected, featuring a mosaic pattern on its surface. More photos below the fold …

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Jony Ive and Marc Newson talk collaboration and development of one-off Leica for (RED) auction

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Earlier this week, we reported on some details and photos of the one-off Leica camera designed by Apple’s Jony Ive and Marc Newson for the Product(RED) campaign. Leica originally shared some interesting tidbits about the functionality and development process of the camera, but now, Vanity Fair has published an extensive interview with Ive and Newson about the process. The report provides an interesting look into Apple PR’s process of organizing interviews of its executives: Read more

Original iPhone radio engineer details the heart (and Scotch) pounding moments that lead up to the Steve Jobs iPhone announcement

Fred Vogelstein, author of Dogfight: How Apple and Google Went to War and Started a Revolution, has published a massive, detailed account of the atmosphere around Apple in the lead up to the historic announcement of the original iPhone in 2007. This particular profile, which is entitled “And Then Steve Said, ‘Let There Be an iPhone,'” appears in The New York Times Magazine and portrays the exceptional excitement and nervous energy that encompassed the people who worked tirelessly to deliver what we now love and know as the iPhone.

Vogelstein begins with describing how Andy Grignon, the senior engineer behind OS X’s Dashboard and iChat, felt terrified ahead of his boss Steve Jobs demoing the iPhone publicly to world, namely because Grignon was responsible for the iPhone’s radios and his work was facing the ultimate challenge of sink or swim in front of the entire world, and more particularly the press.

 Grignon and some colleagues would spend the night at a nearby hotel, and around 10 a.m. the following day they — along with the rest of the world — would watch Jobs unveil the first iPhone.

But as Grignon drove north, he didn’t feel excited. He felt terrified. Most onstage product demonstrations in Silicon Valley are canned. The thinking goes, why let bad Internet or cellphone connections ruin an otherwise good presentation? But Jobs insisted on live presentations. It was one of the things that made them so captivating. Part of his legend was that noticeable product-demo glitches almost never happened. But for those in the background, like Grignon, few parts of the job caused more stress.

Much of the piece illustrates the colorful gems of reality for the team behind the iPhone:

By the end, Grignon wasn’t just relieved; he was drunk. He’d brought a flask of Scotch to calm his nerves. “And so there we were in the fifth row or something — engineers, managers, all of us — doing shots of Scotch after every segment of the demo. There were about five or six of us, and after each piece of the demo, the person who was responsible for that portion did a shot. When the finale came — and it worked along with everything before it, we all just drained the flask. It was the best demo any of us had ever seen. And the rest of the day turned out to be just a [expletive] for the entire iPhone team. We just spent the entire rest of the day drinking in the city. It was just a mess, but it was great.”

Read on for more entertaining anecdotes and tales of what happened behind-the-scenes (and in the fifth row, in this instance) that made Apple’s tremendous announcement possible (and endurable). Read more

iWatch watch: a roundup of some of the more interesting concepts

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Some iWatch concepts are, well, just a bit silly. But this concept by Stephen Olmstead has the kind of restrained design one might expect from Apple. Sure, the hardware design doesn’t quite have the finesse and finish of something Jony Ive would create, but it strikes me as along the right lines. The matching colored wallpaper and straps are a good fit with both iOS 7 and what we’re expecting from the iPhone 5C.

Some of the screens look a little unrealistic – I don’t see anyone scrolling through apps one at a time like that, or hitting a date on a calendar of that size – but Siri, Weather and Compass all look good. And Facetime on the iWatch? Hell yeah: we’ve all been wanting wristwatch videophones since those SF programs we watched as a kid, right?

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Martin Hajeck always produces interesting work. While I’m not a fan of the rather chunky-looking hardware shown here (I’d hope Apple can create something sleeker), the colored, embossed leather straps look every inch the sort of thing you’d expect Apple to produce…. Read more

Apple continues website redesign, flattens support pages

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As noted by several 9to5 readers, Apple has just recently updated its Support pages through Apple.com to better reflect the redesign the rest of the site has been receiving in recent months.  Today’s update provides a new design for the majority of support pages available through Apple.com/support, including: Videos, Manuals, Tech Specs, and Downloads.

Apple used to present these pages using a design that was a few generations behind the rest of the site and displayed links in a search result style list. Today’s update brings a flat grid style layout that allows users to select or search for a product in order to find related manuals, videos, tech specs, etc, but also displays search results by product in the grid layout.

Apple.com’s search result pages also get a cleaner look today to match the recent Apple online store design (pictured below). Read more

From beta 1 to release: how each major iOS version has transformed

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Following its introduction earlier this month, Apple’s newest operating system has fallen under criticism and scrutiny from both designers and casual users alike. Due to both the tight development timetable and the new design direction under Jony Ive, following the removal of former iOS SVP Scott Forstall last fall, iOS 7 is, understandably, the most controversial and intriguing iOS version yet.

In response to much of the negative criticism directed towards iOS 7, some have suggested that iOS 7 will change substantially before it is released to the general public. Looking back at previous versions of iOS reveals a long trend of subtle refinements to the operating system during beta periods, not dramatic changes. Let’s take a look at how each version of iOS has transformed:

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