Two weeks ago, at Fast Company's Innovation by Design conference, Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts spent time on stage praising her company’s recent collaboration with Apple for a fashion show. What Ahrendts neglected to mention, however, was that her partnership with Apple would soon extend beyond the runway.
Today, Apple announced that Ahrendts would be joining the company as senior vice president of retail and online stores, a newly created position, reporting to CEO Tim Cook. In her role, Ahrendts will “have oversight of the strategic direction, expansion and operation” of the Apple “consumer experience on and offline,” according to a statement Apple released late Monday evening. Most significantly, she brings a reverence for design and customer experience that’s consistent with Apple’s DNA—unlike her predecessor John Browett—which will be crucial in rejuvenating Cupertino’s retail experience.
Less than a year after it refreshed its iMac line of desktops with a new, thin design, Apple has updated it yet again, this time, with more power under the hood. Like the Macbook Airs that launched in June, the iMacs now include fourth generation Intel Haswell processors, which should mean a significant improvement in graphics performance. The flipside? There’s still no sign of that retina display, something customers have long been clamoring for.
“Even if the attack proves to be real, this isn’t a casual, fast trick. The attacker would have to be lucky enough to get a perfect print of the correct finger to unlock the iPhone, which means they’d have to find that specific print, or be forced to try several fake prints. Anyone this intent on hacking your iPhone would need prolonged access to it.”
Apple had to do a lot of work just to make the sensor accessible in mobile devices. “You’re basically exposing a piece of silicon that’s going to be in your pocket with hard keys and coins. We were able to evolve the technology to address aesthetics and durability.”
As far back as the early 2000s, fingerprint sensors were embedded in a slew of devices, from laptops produced by HP and Toshiba to phones made by Nokia and Motorola. But while Apple was able to make fingerprint sensors feel like a fresh idea, its competitors were only capable of making the technology feel superfluous, stale, and unready for market.
Apple has scheduled a big press event tomorrow, at which it promises it will “brighten everyone’s day.” This, we presume, is a veiled reference to the colorful plastic iPhone ”lite,” possibly called the iPhone 5C, that has been revealed in a number of leaks through the summer. But what else may Apple have planned for us tomorrow? (We’ll be live-blogging the entire event here).
“I can picture Steve [Jobs] running into the Macintosh design group and saying really excitedly, ‘We’ve got this fantastic concept.’ His idea was that a nontechnical secretary should be able to go into a room alone with a Mac in a box and a letter opener and be doing useful work in one hour.”
“All of the wonks were saying the personal computer was dead. And then one day—you never quite knew where Steve would get his ideas, because he would sometimes lay claim to others’ ideas as his own—Steve woke up and decided not only was the computer not dead, but it was more important than ever. The computer was the center of this ecosystem and there were spokes: pictures, work, music.”
"I designed the boot image-a happy Mac-because we wanted the computer to be friendly. That was a word we tossed around a lot. The icon was inspired by those yellow smiley-face buttons, of course, and by the kind of things I used to draw when I was fourteen years old. We did the happy Mac, and then we did the unhappy Mac, which was never supposed to be seen. You know, like the bomb.”
Our new book, “Design Crazy," is the first oral history of Apple design, as told by the designers who were there. It’s fascinating. Check it out.