Jony Ive shakes up Apple’s software design group, iPhone interface creator Greg Christie departing

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Following friction between top Apple Human Interface Vice President Greg Christie and Senior Vice President Jony Ive, Apple’s hardware and software design is being dramatically shaken up, according to sources familiar with the matter. After adding human interface design direction to his responsibilities in 2012, Ive will soon completely subsume Apple’s software design group, wresting control away from long-time human interface design chief Christie, according to sources briefed on the matter. Previous to this shakeup, all Apple software design has been led by Christie, who has reported to Craig Federighi, and Ive has been attending interface design meetings and providing instruction…

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iOS 8: Apple polishes Maps data, adds public transit directions service

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Apple is readying an upgraded version of its iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch Maps application for the next major release of iOS in an effort to battle Google for mobile maps supremacy, according to sources briefed on the plans. Apple CEO Tim Cook, Senior Vice Presidents Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi, and Maps head Patrice Gautier are using the new app to move toward fulfilling a promise to users that the iOS Maps application will eventually live up to the “incredibly high standard” of Apple’s customers…

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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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Henri Lamiraux, Apple’s top iOS Engineering Vice President, leaves company after 23 years

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Henri Lamiraux, Apple’s top Vice President of Engineering for the iOS iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch operating system has left the company, according to a source and corroborated by his LinkedIn profile.

Lamiraux confirmed his departure to me via email. He says that he retired from Apple a “couple of weeks” ago, following the release of iOS 7.0.3. Lamiraux decided a “little while ago” that iOS 7 would be his last release…

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Reuters Tim Cook Profile: How the Maps fiasco led Apple to rethink the future of iOS, and being tough and decisive when it counts

Image: reuters.com

Image: reuters.com

Reuters is today running a profile on Apple CEO Tim Cook. There’s of course the inevitable angle in there: stock down, no major new products launched, questions asked about whether Cook has what it takes.  But what emerges is a picture of a man who knows he isn’t Steve Jobs and isn’t trying to be.

In the day to day at Apple, Cook has established a methodical, no-nonsense style, one that’s as different as could be from that of his predecessor. Jobs’ bi-monthly iPhone software meeting, in which he would go through every planned features of the company’s flagship product, is gone. “That’s not Tim’s style at all,” said one person familiar with those meetings. “He delegates.”

Yet who also doesn’t shy away from making big decisions in tough circumstances.

[The Apple Maps fiasco] prompted him to fast-track his thinking on the future direction of the critical phone and tablet software known as iOS, a person close to Apple recounted.

Cook soon issued a public apology to customers, fired Forstall, and handed responsibility for software design to Jony Ive, a Jobs soul-mate who had previously been in charge only of hardware design.

“The vision that Tim had to involve Jony and to essentially connect two very, very important Apple initiatives or areas of focus – that was a big decision on Tim’s part and he made it independently and very, very resolutely,” said Bob Iger, CEO of Walt Disney Co. and an Apple director …  Read more

The era of unshackled Apple executives [Opinion]

"Can't innovate anymore, my ass."

“Can’t innovate anymore, my ass.”

Over the past few months, it feels as if Apple is on a media and publicity roadshow. Tim Cook has appeared on Rock Centertestified at the Senate’s corporate tax hearing, and was interviewed at All Things D’s D11 conference. In addition, as was mentioned during today’s Happy Hour podcast, the Apple executives took many opportunities during the WWDC keynote to speak directly to recent criticisms about their design decisions and abilities to innovate in the tech industry.

This is, quite simply, the era of unshackled and vocal Apple executives.  Read more

Jony Ive’s new look for iOS 7: black, white, and flat all over

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With the grand unveiling of Apple’s next operating system for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch approaching, sources have provided detailed descriptions of what users and developers alike could expect from the software’s fresh look.

As we reported in April, Apple Senior Vice President of Industrial Design Jony Ive has been leading a thorough overhaul for iOS 7 that focuses on the look and feel of the iOS device software rather than on several new features.

Sources have described iOS 7 as “black, white, and flat all over.” This refers to the dropping of heavy textures and the addition of several new black and white user interface elements.

Sources say that over the past few months, Apple has re-architected iOS 7′s new interface several times, so until the new software is announced at WWDC, interface elements could dramatically change from what Apple has been testing internally in recent weeks.

Nonetheless, you can find what we have been hearing about iOS 7′s new user experience below:

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Apple’s recent design changes betray a big design shift in the works

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When Jony Ive took over the role of leadership for Apple’s Human Interface in October of last year, many speculated that the style of Apple’s design language across iOS and Mac OS X would also shift towards a flatter, more clean style. This speculation was fueled mainly by Ive’s feelings towards skeuomorphism and his minimalist design aesthetic.

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New quick app switching & other concepts show options on the table for iOS 7 [Videos]

With the recent departure of longtime iOS chief Scott Forstall, many expect some big changes in iOS 7. Not only is Jony Ive taking over design responsibilities related to iOS, but also Apple is increasingly coming under criticism for its aging core iOS apps and highly requested features already available on other platforms that it has yet to implement. We discussed some of the big software features iOS 7 might have in store, but today we present a roundup of the best iOS 7 concepts we could find starting with a new one from the creator of jailbreak tweak Auxo.

Sentry, the original designer behind the popular Auxo jailbreak tweak, yesterday posted the new Quick App Switching concept above (via iFun). While Auxo provided a screenshot of running apps integrated into the iOS multitasking tray, the concept above takes a different approach and aims to add speed to the app switching process.

This next concept comes from YouTube user imjeanmarc and shows a tray accessible from the lock screen, providing quick toggles for Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, etc.:

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Former Apple folks sing praises of Scott Forstall, say he ‘was the best approximation of Steve Jobs that Apple had left’

There have been several reports that have noted ex-iOS chief Scott Forstall’s fiery relationship with several Apple executives like Jonathan Ive. Despite this, according to a former Apple senior engineer, Michael Lopp, firing Forstall was a mistake. Lopp posted his thoughts on his blog, and the theme of the post was that Apple will eventually be replaced by another company’s innovations (as most usually are). He wondered if the firing of Forstall is where the downslide will begin.

Lopp said Forstall “was the best approximation of Steve Jobs that Apple had left.” He added that several people chatting in Apple’s Caffe Macs cafeteria viewed Forstall as the only real successor to Jobs. Even though it appeared Forstall did not work well with several of his co-workers, being called an “asshole,” he was successful in what he did. Lopp said this is why he could have been the next Jobs.

With the executive shakeup, Apple said this would lead to more collaboration within the walls of Apple. Lopp said this is not necessarily a good thing:

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Apple’s Eddy Cue joins Ferrari’s board of directors

Ferrari announced in a press release for its 2012 financials today that Apple’s Senior Vice President Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue is joining its board of directors. Ferrari chairperson Luca di Montezemolo made the announcement during a meeting of the company’s board of directors earlier today:

I am delighted that Eddy Cue, one of the main driving forces behind Apple’s range of revolutionary products, has now joined our board. His huge experience in the dynamic, innovative world of the Internet will be of great assistance to us.

Cue, who recently took on new responsibilities leading Siri and Maps following the departure of iOS chief Scott Forstall, also provided a statement regarding his nomination for the board:

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Bob Mansfield’s new group implied to be heading transition away from Intel processors on Macs

Apple allegedly plans to one-day abandon Intel to implement a version of chips into Macs that currently power its mobile devices.

Bloomberg first reported the story, citing “people familiar with the company’s research,” and said Apple believes mobile device chips will eventually run its computer lineup. Apple previously mentioned semiconductor development during its management shift announcement on Oct. 29.

Bob Mansfield, senior vice president of Apple’s new “Technologies” group, is apparently leading the chip research, and Apple specifically said its semiconductor teams have “ambitious plans for the future.”

The Cupertino, Calif.-based company first began using Intel processors for Macs in 2005, but two of Bloomberg’s sources noted Apple would continue to rely on the tech for at least a few more years:

As handheld devices increasingly function like PCs, the engineers working on this project within Apple envision machines that use a common chip design. If Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook wants to offer the consumer of 2017 and beyond a seamless experience on laptops, phones, tablets and televisions, it will be easier to build if all the devices have a consistent underlying chip architecture, according to one of the people.

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