10 Ways Apple has Changed the Technology World
Technology is ever-changing and will be for years to come. We at Digital Trike do what we can to stay up-to-date with the most current technology trends to better serve our clients. When looking at the types of technology we currently have available, a lot of it comes from the creative minds at Apple. In most cases, they were and continue to be the first to come up with a new idea. Other companies use Apple’s ideas to come up with ones similar for their own products. Whether you want to admit to it or not, Apple has been a huge if not the biggest contributor to today’s technology.
An article from TechRadar shows 10 ways Apple has revolutionized the technology world using 10 different Apple products as examples.
1. The Apple-1 (no more switches, no more lights.) – This was the first modern personal computer. Before this, computers were sold in kit form, not in assembled machines. They also used switches and lights instead of keyboards and monitors for their input and output. You still had to bring some of your own bits, such as a power supply, keyboard and display, but as Apple promised, “initial setup is essentially ‘hassle-free’ and you can be running within minutes.” The Apple-1’s low upkeep made it a desirable item.
2. iMac (chic, not geek) – The original iMac was important for three main reasons. First, it was the first legacy-free PC, killing off the floppy disk, and relied on USB connections instead of expansion cards. Second, it was designed as an internet-focused computer, with Apple describing it as “the ultimate internet appliance” and “the first computer to bring the ease of use long associated with Macintosh computers to the arcane world of the internet”. Third, it looked completely different to any other PC on the market, with its bright, translucent plastics and swooping curves. The iMac inspired not just other computer manufacturers, but makers of grilling machines, games consoles, steam irons and many other consumer products.
3. iPhone (an iPod, a phone, an internet mobile communicator) – When the iPhone was first introduced in 2007, it was completely different than any other phone ever created. Before the iPhone, smartphones either looked like big bulky BlackBerries or an unattractive device from Nokia. After the iPhone, BlackBerries and Nokias soon had a similar look and function as the iPhone. The iPhone transformed the industry too, with BlackBerry and Nokia left behind and Microsoft binning its mobile platform altogether.
It changed the way we go online and it’s transformed Apple, too – thanks to its worldwide sales Apple is now the world’s richest technology company.
The iPhone was and continues to be very popular and highly influential.
4. iPod and iTunes (1,000 songs in your pocket) – The iPod made digital music mainstream. The original 2001 iPod didn’t have the impressive tech specs of the Creative Nomad MP3 player – but the Creative Nomad didn’t have the iPod’s stunning good looks and ease of use, and neither did any other MP3 player. They didn’t have Apple’s clever marketing either.
iTunes made it easy to transfer music you downloaded to your iPod, but there was a piece of the jigsaw missing. That piece turned up in iTunes 4 in the form of the iTunes Store. iTunes made it easy to get music, and effectively locked you to the iPod – copy protection meant you couldn’t take your music with you to rival devices. That protection is gone, but the business model with Apple providing the player, the software and the shop – continues to work well for the company in music, movies and apps.
Although other MP3 players were good, none offered the whole package like Apple did.
5. GUI (a radical change in how users work with computers) – The graphical user interface, or GUI for short, was a huge leap forward. Instead of trying to remember commands and their syntax, you could control your computer by pointing, clicking and moving things around with a mouse. Apple didn’t invent the idea – some of its GUI was based on a system by Xerox PARC, who invested in Apple – but it was the first company to ship a commercial GUI-based computer, the 1983 Apple Lisa.
Apple’s GUI was refined for the Macintosh, the first popular computer with a GUI. Its MacPaint software brought digital art to ordinary computer users, and its GUI enabled the creation of programs such as PageMaker and Photoshop, apps that would go on to transform publishing.
As you can see, Apple didn’t invent graphical interfaces, but it made them the standard.
6. iPad (a truly magical and revolutionary product) – Before the iPad, if you wanted to do something on a computer you needed to learn how to use the computer first. With the iPad, you just do what you want to do. Play piano? The iPad’s a piano. Write a letter? It’s a typewriter. Read a book? It’s a book. Fire exploding birds? It’s a catapult.
The iPad created a new category of computer, which has been bad news for Intel and Microsoft. Analysts agree that sales of tablets will outnumber sales of laptops within one or two years. Apple could remain the biggest single manufacturer of tablet computers, meaning people are buying devices running ARM/Apple processors and Apple’s OS, not Intel chips and Windows. The whole personal computing landscape is gradually changing.
As those at Apple would say, “You didn’t know you needed a tablet until Apple made one.”
7. Stevenotes (“…and there’s one more thing.”) – Steve Job’s keynote speeches were legendary, and they’ve been widely imitated. Why? Because Jobs was an extraordinary and disciplined showman. He focused on the details, refining and simplifying and using positive language, real-world scenarios, humour and passion to get the message across. Whenever you see a CEO deliver a three-act presentation with numbers at the beginning, a simple, positive message, then a big reveal at the end, you’re watching someone who has watched Jobs.
For the launch of the original MacBook Air, other presenters would have stuck a spec sheet on a slide, showing its dimensions. Steve Jobs put the Air in an envelope and showed that instead.
As Apple set the pattern for tech, its founder showed the way for business leaders.
8. The App Store (we’re going to put it on every single iPhone) – The iPhone launched without apps a decision that was quickly reversed. Tim Cook says that “the average customer is now using over 100 apps.” iOS and its App Store is the same closed-ecosystem model as the iPod and iTunes one, and, like that ecosystem, the App Store has been copied by everyone else.
Apple’s approvals process can sometimes seem a bit heavy-handed, but that policy has kept malware and scams away.
The combination of safe apps and low prices encourages people to buy more software, and Apple has helped drive that by pricing its own apps at exceptionally low prices. As the ads put it back in the 1970s, “our philosophy is to provide software for our machines free or at minimal cost.” Apple has also now brought the model to OS X.
Every hardware producer wants their own app store, and Apple got there first.
9. AirPort (it’s a liberating experience) – A favorite Steve Jobs moment was when he showed off the new iBook at the MacWorld Expo in 1999. He started web browsing, picked up the computer, took it for a walk and then passed it through a hula hoop.
The audience cheered, yet wondered what kind of witchcraft they were seeing. The internet? Without wires? Apple didn’t invent Wi-Fi, but it worked with Lucent to give the nascent IEEE 802.11b Direct Sequence WLAN technology a new name. The result was AirPort and the innovative AirPort Wireless Base Station. Before AirPort, wireless networking was too expensive for the home. Now you could do it for only $299 – and because it was Apple, it just worked.
Apple made it possible for even the average person to bring wireless into their own home, changing the way we use the internet forever.
10. iOS 6 (maps take a whole new turn) – iOS 6’s Maps app changed the world, but not in the way Apple expected: Apple’s replacement for Google Maps came with a lovely interface, turn-by-turn navigation – and maps of a strange, not-quite-Earth planet where familiar landmarks morphed into sinister, surreal shapes. This was not a good thing.
The map’s errors made it a laughing stock. The mess was reported by Mad Magazine, which revisited an iconic New Yorker cover and claimed to use Apple Maps data: in its version, New York’s 9th Avenue joined the Champs-Élysées, just down the road from the Sea of Galilee, Kuala Lumpur and Chad. One wag on the London Underground wrote on a poster: “For the benefit of passengers using Apple iOS 6, local area maps are available from the booking office.”
The error-strewn Maps launch reshaped the globe – in an awful way. However, today Apple’s iOS makes for a much more better experience, one that leaves an impression on those that use it.
By recognizing the way Apple has changed the technology world, it allows for us here at Digital Trike to take our own technology to the next level as well as imagine the endless possibilities we can provide to our clients. We’re always looking forward to what Apple comes up with next so we can see how we can implement their ideas into our own projects.