11 Times Apple Completely Changed The Face Of The Future
Technology will never be the same...
While this may be the newest product, and the jury is still out on exactly what might happen, it's set itself up to be a completely revolutionary device to change our lives in a similar way that the iPhone and iPad have. The Apple Watch is still in its infancy, but we're calling it now: If Apple continues with the trend of watch autonomy and processing upgrades, then this device may soon replace our iPhones in some very real ways. Apple's new AirPods seamlessly connect with your iPhone and by proxy your Apple Watch. But what might happen when the Apple Watch becomes completely autonomous of the iPhone, as the recent trend suggests? The answer is simple: Why carry a clunky device in your pocket when you have all the same functionality on your wrist; even better is the fact that it's actually less distracting than your smartphone and offers a simple and streamlined way to access your data. They could even acquire the recent Israeli technology of projecting a full touchscreen onto one's forearm to replicate the entirety of iOS. Oh, and it'll still be waterproof. The iPhone would just become an even mini-er iPad, which isn't the worst idea at all. In fact, given it's retail price, the autonomous and independent Apple Watch could become a standard low-entry Apple device as your phone, much how the iPod Shuffle evolved.
The Apple II
This is where it all began. In the late 1970s, Apple was a fledgling company that was at the forefront of personal computing, and it all started with the Apple II. It was one of the first mass-produced personal computers and the first one to have a color interface. It had expansion slots that you could plug floppy drives into as well as cassette-based programs and games. Steve Wozniak made novel leaps that instantly became industry standards, many of which we take for granted today. It revolutionized the input and output (I/O) of personal computers and inspired the competition to try and beat the king. The Apple II would become the standard by which personal computers would be based until the company released the monumental Macintosh in the mid-1980s.
While initially introduced as a "hobby" back in 2006, the Apple TV started as a basic media server and evolved into a serious set-top TV accessory with its 2nd and 3rd iterations. But it was the preeminence of Apple's ecosystem that really began to change the nature of the TV market.When Apple updated the Apple TV to be a streaming set-top box, it gave iPhone, Mac and iPad owners an easy way to stream media from their devices to their TVs on top of the dedicated apps like Hulu, Netflix and the iTunes Store. This would signal a massive change to come in the TV market as the "cord-cutter" movement began to grow. Suddenly all you needed was a subscription-less box to get arguably better service than your clunky old cable provider. Since then, many networks have attempted to pivot to the streaming sphere that Apple essentially invented. The Apple TV's latest release in 2015 added Siri compatibility and a true-to-form App Store that increases the continuity with the Apple ecosystem even more so, proving that Apple has drastically effected how people watch TV in the last decade, and promising to continue that revolution and bring TV out of the 1970s.
The trackpad has come a very long way since its first debut in the PowerBook 500 series back in 1994. While at first it may have been clunky and difficult to use; it ultimately would redefine how we interact with our portable devices, and then our stationary ones.Over time, the trackpad became THE way to interact with our devices. By 2008, it had made a massive leap forward in the MacBook and MacBook Pro, with a multi-touch tactile interface. Most of the gestures that now come standard on laptop trackpads like two-finger scrolling were first introduced by Apple and their portable line of computers. Eventually, Apple would release the Magic Trackpad, which would bring the same intuitive and gesture-based interaction to the iMac desktop computers. Nowadays, those gestures are an integral part of the way we experience and interact with our devices, even as Apple continues to advance the technology with the addition of "Force Touch," which adds a sense of depth to the trackpad experience.
GarageBand was created by the same team that developed Logic, which Apple acquired back in 2002. Its first iteration was released in 2004, with subsequent releases improving audio processing, virtual instruments, and intuitive user experiences with each new iteration, but that's not really why it's on this list...When GarageBand became part of the iLife suite, suddenly anyone who was ever remotely interested in being a recording artist could give it a shot in the way that's only recently become recognizable. At a time when most professional DAWs (Digital Audio Workstation) were retailing for well over $400, GarageBand served as the first production experience for a whole new generation of artists and musicians. Real music could be created and the production quality of "demos" shot through the roof. For those who wanted to take the plunge into pro audio, Apple made the Logic Pro price only $199, which is still the best deal on the market for an industry-standard DAW. As GarageBand and Logic Pro continued to grow, they became more alike in features and user interface, making the switch from one to the other extraordinarily intuitive. Since 2011, you can even create music right from your iPad, further democratizing music technology in a way that was unimaginable even just 10 years ago.
iTunes & App Store
Apple literally reinvented the record industry in the early 2000s. The iTunes Music Store launched as the very first digital music retailer, offering the first legal alternative to the upending trend of illegal downloading through peer-to-peer networks like Napster. At the time, the future of recorded music was very uncertain. No one really knew exactly where it would go, but Apple offered an answer that everyone seemed happy about. They would follow up on this model by adding movies, and would eventually launch the App Store in 2008 for the iPhone. In a very real way, Apple set the bar, yet again, for how we interact with our content for both mobile devices and traditional computers and laptops. The iTunes Store became the gold-standard for online distribution and the model for all other digital marketplaces to come.
Mac OS X
When Mac OS X debuted in 2001, it was both loved and hated. The new interface was both fresh and hearkened back to it's predecessor, Mac OS 9. At the time, Apple prestige was at an all-time low, with Steve Jobs barely a few years in to his return. But his vision paid off, as the rush to improve both performance and design resulted in annual updates to the operating system. This upgrade interval shocked the market, especially when each newer version was able to solidify major performance and design improvements at a low cost; the result was Apple's competition struggling to keep pace. Since its inception, Mac OS X has become the most intuitive GUI (graphical user interface) while also maintaining the highest upgrade rate of any computer operating system to date. Apple showed us what computing would look and feel like just as much with OS X as with the hardware it ran on. They eventually abandoned upgrade fees altogether, making each new iteration completely free for all Mac users.
The history of the iPad goes back a lot farther than one would at first think. It goes all the way back to Apple's first jaunt into the mobile sector with the Newton MessagePad 100 in 1993. The line of tablets was discontinued when Steve Jobs returned to the company as he put Apple into a heavy R&D mode that would be the seed of its magnificent revival less than a decade after his return. According to the history, the iPad goes back even further. Jobs conceptualized it back in 1983 calling it a "computer in a book," and described it as the main goal of Apple as a company. Actual development of the iPad started as early as 2004, with Steve Jobs ultimately giving the main focus to the iPhone, which held similar innovations as the iPad, but with much greater mobility and scope. The iPad completely revolutionized how we consume our media, especially visual media; it has even effected the game industry! Before the iPad, the idea of having a touchscreen computing device was a bit unheard of; it wasn't until other companies attempted to copy and out-do it have we seen the rise of hybrid devices such as tablet-notebooks and the like. These days, Apple is revolutionizing the role of the iPad in the professional sphere with comprehensive audio processing and graphical input that feels just like writing and drawing on paper. What will it do next?
Apple has a knack for taking existing technology, repackaging and reimagining it, and then changing the world. It goes to show that technology itself doesn't change much at all without proper application and an intuitive way to use it. Such is the case with the product that put Apple back on the map: the iPod. In 2001, Apple released the "Walkman of the 21st Century" that put 1,000 songs in your pocket. At this time, existing MP3 players were either clunky and hard to use, or tiny and hard to use. But the iPod was both elegant and functional all at once. It blew away the competition, especially after widening support for it and iTunes on Windows PCs. It became the digital gateway to the new century and a new, seemingly upside-down music industry. Ultimately, it was the iPod that returned Apple's good name to the public, which it had largely lost in Steve Jobs' absence from the company. It was the backbone of Apple ingenuity until it broke the world again just a few years later.
The original Macintosh 128k personal computer debuted with the now renowned software back in 1984. While there were competitors around like the Commodore 64, it was the original Macintosh that completely changed the way people interacted with computers.The Macintosh Operating System introduced the Graphical User Interface (GUI) that today has become a complete given. Before the Macintosh GUI, personal computing was essentially just text on a black screen, with very little graphic or visual interaction at all. But the Macintosh changed all of that. The GUI changed the entire game, birthing the way we interact with our computers, even to the point where Microsoft Windows can trace its origins back to the original Macintosh. Without this, computing just would not be the same as it is today.
The introduction of the iPhone in 2007 was the realization and convergence of five separate devices into one entirely new mobile device: a smartphone. Before then, you had an MP3 player (most likely an iPod), a cell phone, a camera, a GameBoy and a laptop. All of these became squashed into one crazy powerful, feature-rich device. For the first time, you could carry one device to talk with your friends and family, take photos, play games, browse the web, watch videos and more. In many ways it was literally the birth of a whole new way to communicate with the world. Suddenly, you could do more from your fingertips than ever before. It packed more power than the entire Apollo 11 moon mission and completely redefined the way we interact in the digital age. Not only that, but it was a cinch to use. It just worked.To this day, Apple stands as a beacon of the convergence between elegant design, functionality, and interface. The iPhone is the ultimate example of how one company completely changed the way we look at and use information itself. Without the iPhone, smartphones would not be the same. We may even still be carrying four devices instead of just one...
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