During this week’s earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook answered a question on virtual reality by saying “I don’t think VR is a niche…It’s really cool and has some interesting applications.” It looks like Cook’s statements have some background to them. According to a new Financial Times report, Apple had reportedly been prototyping VR headsets in the past under Steve Jobs in the mid-2000s, but the project was eventually abandoned once the technology was found to still be immature. With new acquisitions and a dedicated VR team, the effort is said to be once again a new focus.
Jonathan Ive Stories January 29, 2016
Jonathan Ive Stories November 18, 2015
There will be no Apple Pencil bendgate: you really have to try hard to break one [Video]
The Apple Pencil may be a very clever piece of technology, but one thing a number of people have been wondering is how vulnerable it might be when charging. At first glance, having it sticking out of the iPad Pro like that doesn’t seem the smartest of ideas.
But it appears Apple has thought it through, and there’s a hinge mechanism inside the connector designed to take the strain if the Pencil is knocked.
Video blogger Zach Straley did his best to break it, and while he did eventually succeed, he had to work very hard to do so. Check out the video below. Try not to curse him too much if you’re still waiting for yours to arrive …
Jonathan Ive Stories November 11, 2015
Apple’s design chief Jony Ive told the Telegraph that while his own team has worked using paper sketchbooks for more than 20 years, they are for the first time starting to use the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil instead.
Many of us in the design team have worked together for 20 plus years. We’ve always drawn in our sketchbooks, and for the first time – despite flirting with some alternatives a couple of years ago – I’m seeing people starting to use the iPad and Apple Pencil. Our personal experience has been that there are definitely affordances and opportunities now that you have a much more natural and intuitive environment to make marks, there are clearly things you can do sketching and writing on the iPad which you could never dream of doing in the analogue world.
He said that while he’d started off demonstrating it, he’d then found himself using it for his work … expand full story
Jonathan Ive Stories October 5, 2015
If you haven’t yet found your perfect Apple Watch strap among the company’s own offerings or the numerous third-party options, Apple has today officially launched its partnership with French leather fashion company Hermès.
Uncompromising craftsmanship. Pioneering innovation. Groundbreaking functionality. Apple Watch Hermès is the culmination of a partnership based on parallel thinking, singular vision and mutual regard. It is a unique timepiece designed with both utility and beauty in mind. With leather straps handmade by Hermès artisans in France and an Hermès watch face reinterpreted by Apple designers in California, Apple Watch Hermès is a product of elegant, artful simplicity — the ultimate tool for modern life.
Splashing out between $1100 and $1500 gets you a special version of the stainless steel Watch, with Hermès branding on the back, a number of special watch faces and a choice of three leather straps. Color options depend on the strap, some with suitably exotic-sounding names … expand full story
Jonathan Ive Stories July 2, 2015
Jony Ive’s well-documented aide Harper Alexander, who managed Apple’s secretive design studio, appears to have left his role at Apple. In his own words, Alexander was previously in charge of Ive’s design studio, calendar, security, meetings, expenses, and personal projects, since 2009.
Referenced in multiple recent profiles as Ive’s top assistant, Harper updated his LinkedIn on July 1st, Ive’s first day in his new “Chief Design Officer” role, to indicate that he no longer runs Ive’s design studio or serves as executive assistant to Apple’s CDO. On July 1st, this is what became of Harper’s biography:
Jonathan Ive Stories May 26, 2015
The Apple world this morning seems divided between those who seemingly haven’t grasped the implications of Apple’s ‘promotion’ of Jony Ive, merely taking Cook’s memo at face value, and those switching into full-on ‘Apple is doomed’ mode. The reality is, I think, a little more nuanced.
It seems pretty clear that this move is, as Seth outlined earlier, about Ive taking more of a backseat role – and especially being able to spend a lot more time back in England. Apple’s decision to announce the news on a day when the US markets were closed was obviously not coincidence.
Apple didn’t want to see a knee-jerk panic reaction on Wall Street setting its stock diving. But is there reason to panic? Or is it all much ado about nothing? Or something between the two … ? expand full story
Jonathan Ive Stories May 25, 2015
A lot of folks are taking Sir Jonathan Ive’s just announced title as Chief Design Officer at face value. Congratulations are in order and all that. But there is a lot more going on than a title change.
Ive was willed free reign at Apple by Steve Jobs and can do or have just about anything he wants. Titles aren’t of any significance, especially to someone with as little ego and indifference to such things as Ive. There is clearly more to the story than Apple is telling us. expand full story
Apple’s Jony Ive has served as the company’s Senior Vice President of Design for several years now, but Apple has announced today that the executive is being named Chief Design Officer (a newly-created position). Additionally, Ive and will be handing the managerial reins of both the industrial and software design units at Apple over to two new leaders on July 1st.
Jonathan Ive Stories April 30, 2015
Apple Watch Edition suddenly looks cheap as Marc Newson chair sells for $3.7M
If you wanted to get your hands on something (partly) designed by Marc Newson, the Apple Watch is probably the cheapest option out there. Even the $17,000 top-of-the-range Edition model might look a little more reasonable after learning that a Newson-designed lounge chair just sold at a London auction for $3.7M.
Still, when you’re laying out a few million on a chair, you can at least be confident it’s the most comfortable chair in the world, right? Apparently not: Newson told the BBC that it was “not really meant to be comfortable.”
Newson, a close friend of Jony Ive, joined Apple last year to work on a number of projects, among them a special edition Red Mac Pro (which sold for a mere $977,000) and, of course, the Apple Watch. Newson and Ive spoke at the Condé Nast luxury conference last week, discussing the design and materials of the watch.
Via Business Insider
Jonathan Ive Stories April 22, 2015
Apple design head Jony Ive has given the opening interview at the first Condé Nast International Luxury Conference, in which he justified the concept of a mass-produced Apple Watch as worthy of the label ‘craftsmanship.’
It’s not so much about things being touched personally – there are many ways to craft something. It’s easy to assume that just because you make something in small volumes, not using many tools, that there is integrity and care – that is a false assumption.
Jonathan Ive Stories April 14, 2015
Original Mac designer Andy Hertzfeld says Jobs would not have liked ‘Becoming Steve Jobs’ book
Becoming Steve Jobs, the latest Jobs biography, written by Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli, received high-praise and support from Apple and its executives. One of the original members of the Macintosh development team, however, has published a post on Medium outlining why he thinks Steve Jobs would have not liked the biography. Andy Hertzfeld says that the harsh and negative tone applied to the early part of Jobs’ career at Apple and NeXT is unfair and not true.
Jonathan Ive Stories April 8, 2015
There’s an oft-told story about Steve Jobs insisting the wiring inside the Macintosh be made to look neat even though few owners would ever see it. Apple’s human-interface chief Alan Dye, interviewed in Wired, says the same attention to detail lives on in Apple today, and is reflected in the care that went into the Apple Watch.
We have a group of people who are really, really super-talented, but they really care. They care about details that a designer might not show in his portfolio because it’s so arcane. And yet getting it right is so critical to the experience.
Dye illustrated the point by referring to the animated faces of the Apple Watch … expand full story
Jonathan Ive Stories March 26, 2015
Fortune has today named Tim Cook #1 on its list of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders, publishing an extensive profile of the Apple CEO in which he reflects on the lessons he’s learned in the time he’s been running the company.
Taking over from Steve was not, he said, an easy transition, and he gained a new appreciation for the way that the co-founder had shielded him and the rest of the team from public criticism.
What I learned after Steve passed away, what I had known only at a theoretical level, an academic level maybe, was that he was an incredible heat shield for us, his executive team. None of us probably appreciated that enough […] but he really took any kind of spears that were thrown. He took the praise as well. But to be honest, the intensity was more than I would ever have expected.
Claims that Apple had lost its ability to innovate under Cook’s leadership were, he said, something he had to learn to block out … expand full story
Jonathan Ive Stories March 23, 2015
The conflicting biographies of Steve Jobs, one authorized by its subject prior to his death, the other endorsed by Apple, paint quite different pictures of the man. Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs focuses more on his flaws, while Becoming Steve Jobs describes a softer, more rounded person.
A tech journalist who knew Steve well, Steven Levy, has weighed in with his own take in an interesting blog post, The War Over Who Steve Jobs Was. He said that one quote from Becoming Steve Jobs summed-up the view presented by Schlender and Tetzeli.
He could be a jerk, but never an asshole.
Levy says that many of those close to Steve shared the view expressed by Tim Cook on Isaacson’s biography, published soon after Steve’s death, that it did a “tremendous disservice” to him. Jony Ive said that his own regard for the book “couldn’t be any lower” … expand full story
In the first official statement about Apple’s decision to allow Tim Cook and other senior executives to be interviewed for Becoming Steve Jobs, company spokesman Steve Dowling said it was from a sense of responsibility to Steve’s memory.
After a long period of reflection following Steve’s death, we felt a sense of responsibility to say more about the Steve we knew. We decided to participate in Brent and Rick’s book because of Brent’s long relationship with Steve, which gave him a unique perspective on Steve’s life. The book captures Steve better than anything else we’ve seen, and we are happy we decided to participate.
Jonathan Ive Stories March 6, 2015
London’s Financial Times today carries a profile of Jony Ive in which he discusses how the Mac changed his dislike of computers, why he is consumed by design and disinterested in sales, the difference between designing a phone (and its slim battery) and designing a smartwatch–and why Apple decided to take a low-key approach on even the top-end Edition watch.
Jonathan Ive Stories November 13, 2014
UX designer Joseph Shaffery shared some quotes from a talk Apple’s design head Jony Ive gave (another account) to an audience of designers last night at London’s Design Museum – together with his take on the three top tips a designer should take away from the evening … expand full story
Jonathan Ive Stories September 29, 2014
Update: Both relevant photos have since been removed from Instagram.
Following a report earlier today that Apple and French fashion retailer Colette were teasing a one day in-store experience, there’s now more evidence the collaboration might be for Apple’s upcoming Apple Watch. It appears that Apple’s design team could also be headed to the event or at least to the same city, lending more weight to the idea that Apple Watch is about to get some stage time during Paris Fashion Week. expand full story
Jonathan Ive Stories June 16, 2014
Following a few quotes from a Jony Ive interview with The New York Times appearing in a longer piece about Tim Cook over the weekend, the publication has now published a longer transcript from the interview. In the interview, Ive was asked about working with Cook, how things have changed post Steve Jobs, and he also gave some insight into his daily work routine. “We meet on average three times a week. Sometimes those meetings are over in his space, sometimes here in the design studio. We all see the same physical object. Something happens between what we objectively see and what we perceive it to be.”
Jonathan Ive Stories June 15, 2014
Ive says ‘I don’t think anything changed’ in new report on Cook’s leadership
The New York Times has published a new report that largely reaffirms what countless observers have said before. In comparison to Jobs, Cook is less connected to the “minutiae” of product development, instead preferring to delegate to his other executives to lead design. This does not mean Cook is not involved at all. Interestingly, the profile says Cook himself pushed the iPad mini project to release.
Mr. Cook “thought the world would love a smaller and less expensive tablet,” said Robert A. Iger, the chief executive of Disney and a member of Apple’s board. It was a product that Mr. Jobs thought did not have a market, he said.
Jonathan Ive Stories May 8, 2014
Jony Ive, Apple’s revered Senior Vice President of Design, is set to receive a Lifetime Achievement award from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (MOMA). The 2014 SFMOMA award will be presented to Ive on October 30th, and Ive will follow a legendary list of previous recipients that includes Star Wars creator George Lucas. In a statement, the Museum calls Ive “our generation’s most innovative and influential figure in the field of industrial design:”
Jonathan Ive Stories March 16, 2014
The UK’s Sunday Timespublished a massive, five-page interview (paywall) with Apple SVP of Design Jonathan Ive today that takes a look at the history and future of Apple from the perspective of the man who designed some of the most iconic devices of the past decade.
In the interview, Ive discusses (among other things) his approach to designing new products, which allows a device’s function to dictate its form:
Ive starts a new project by imagining what a new kind of product should be and what it should do. Only once he’s answered those questions does he work out what it should look like. He seeks advice in unlikely places. He worked with confectionery manufacturers to perfect the translucent jelly-bean shades of his first big hit, the original iMac. He travelled to Niigata in northern Japan to see how metalworkers there beat metal so thin, to help him create the Titanium PowerBook, the first lightweight aluminum laptop in a world of hefty black plastic slabs.
With regard to manufacturers like Samsung “referencing” Apple’s design in their products, Ive called the practice “theft” of “thousands of hours of struggle.” expand full story
Jonathan Ive Stories March 6, 2014
An SEC filing reveals that six of Apple’s top execs were each awarded 35,000 Restricted Stock Units (shares that cannot be immediately traded), with a current value of more than $19M. Of this, $12M is awarded outright, subject only to remaining with the company until at least April 2018, with a further $7M dependent on Apple’s stock performance.
The bonuses were awarded to Senior VPs Eddy Cue, Craig Federighi, Dan Riccio, Phil Schiller, Bruce Sewell and Jeffrey Williams. It’s likely that Jony Ive will receive the same, though his stock awards do not have to be reported to the SEC … expand full story
Jonathan Ive Stories February 26, 2014
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 … expand full story