It’s going to be a big week for Apple. They’re announcing new products on Tuesday in a live event, likely to be a new NFC-able iPhone and some sort of wearable, and last week they made one huge announcement: famed Australian industrial designer Marc Newson will be joining the Apple design team. Vanity Fair broke the news late Friday afternoon, which included a short note about the new union from Jony Ive.
“Marc is without question one of the most influential designers of this generation,” Ive said in a statement provided to VF Daily. “He is extraordinarily talented. We are particularly excited to formalize our collaboration as we enjoy working together so much and have found our partnership so effective.”
In my eyes this is a huge win for Apple. I believe that Newson is one of the best living industrial designers and having his mind join that of the Apple design team is incredible. I have two of his products which I still cherish and use to this day – the Zvezdochka shoes he created for Nike and the Pentax K01, one of the coolest cameras I’ve ever used.
It’s also interesting to think of Newson in regards to the rumors of an Apple wearable. As you can see above Newson does have a history of designing time pieces so it’s not hard to imagine that Newson may be contributing to this effort in some way. In a video with designboom which you can watch below he speaks about designing (and hand building!) watches way back in 1986.
My friend Ed was speculating that the Jony Ive and Marc Newson (RED) Auction at Sotheby’s could have been a ruse to cover up their collaboration on said wearable.
I’ve included a few more of the fantastic pieces he’s made over the years as well, a bike for Biomega and the Ford 021C concept car, to give a sense of the range of products Newson has created over the years. Hell, he’s even designed a space plane. It’ll be fantastic to see how Apple’s industrial design changes with his presence at the company.
Nicolàs Aichino and Tomas Moyano have created a pretty solid concept of what the new iPhone 6 might be designed to look like based on what’s been reported and leaked. I don’t usually see the value in posting what-if work like this but what they’ve done feels like it’s grounded in reality and isn’t aiming to be sensational.
I personally like the idea of the return to rounded corners, much like the first generation iPhone. It’ll also be interesting to see just how thin they can make it. With the supposed removal of the headphone port, using the lightning connector as the new headphone port, this would make the phone even thinner than it was before. But like any well made object it still needs to have some sort of heft and weight to it. Too light and it will end up feeling like a cheap piece of plastic.
There’s a nice interview over on The New York Times Bits blog with Jonny Ive where he speaks about the culture of Apple and how it’s remained unchanged since Steve Jobs’ passing. Below is my favorite part where he speaks about the importance of focusing on the product you’re trying to build, and I think it’s really great advice that I try to follow in my day job.
One of the values of things I learned absolutely directly from Steve was the whole issue of focus. What are we focusing on: focus on product. I wish I could do a better job in communicating this truth here, which is when you really are focused on the product, that’s not a platitude. When that truly is your reason for coming into the studio, is just to try to make the very best product you can, when that is exclusive of everything else, it’s remarkable how insignificant or unimportant a lot of other stuff becomes. Titles or organizational structures, that’s not the lens through which we see our peers.
The winners of the 2014 iPhone Photography Awards have been announced and the results are remarkable. We’re to the point where mobile cameras and photo editing apps can produce photos that rival their more expensive brethren. Examples like the photo above by Yilang Peng and the ones below demonstrate that it’s less about the equipment you have but your ability to see the world in a beautiful way.
Highly recommend checking out the sections of Architecture, Animals, Others, and Sunsets. It’s also interesting to check out the winners from past years, dating back to 2008.
Recently I revisited an old classic, Obsidian, which transforms the the top menu bar of your Mac to black. That’s it? Just makes a bar black? Having become a rcent convert to Obsidian I can tell you it makes a world of difference. The once prominent menu is now brought back to be a secondary element which means it’s easier to focus on the tasks in front of you. Though it’s technically a “hack” Obsidian is really easy to install and I’ve personally had no problems using it.
There’s another app they recommend you install which I would suggest as well. Bartender does a great job of keeping the top right of your menu bar clean and tidy, hiding all of your miscellaneous icons hidden away. I’d say Bartender is useful for those who choose to install Obsidian or not.
Earlier this morning Apple announced CarPlay, it’s plan to integrate iOS like functionality into cars. The system is actually an extension of the iPhone itself, allowing you to easier use some of the features the phone has to offer. Out of the gate you’re able to, with the help of Siri, make phone calls, answer texts, put on music, or get directions. Kind of the standard things you do while driving.
A few weeks back we also saw Matthaeus Krenn’s innovative idea of what a car human interface could be, pushing boundaries using unique touch gestures. I feel like we’re starting to see a trend here, and it makes me wonder if car user interfaces will be the next weather app?
Though they avoided the cost of airing it at Sunday’s Super Bowl, Apple’s new spot for the 30th anniversary of the Macintosh is making its rounds. It’s emotional and gorgeously filmed. And just to prove their promise to “put technology in the hands of the people,” the whole film was shot with iPhones.
Apple sets the bar these days when it comes to electronics. There are few manufacturers who do a better job of producing products that people obsess over, but also at communicating and articulating why they’re so special. While watching the Apple keynote last week, I was impressed with how amazing the production of the new Mac Pro was.