Ap­ple says goodb-i to a de­sign pi­o­neer

Llanelli Star - - TECH NOW - With Justin Con­nolly

SO it’s farewell to the man who made the iPhone and changed our lives.

Ap­ple re­vealed this week that its Chief De­sign Of­fi­cer, Jony Ive, was to leave the com­pany after al­most 30 years to cre­ate his own de­sign com­pany.

Ap­ple says that com­pany – to be called LoveFrom – will con­tinue to work for Ap­ple on var­i­ous projects well into the fu­ture.

Ive joined Ap­ple in 1992, but rose to promi­nence when co-founder Steve Jobs re­turned to the com­pany when it was in dire straits in 1997.

Pro­mot­ing Ive to the head of de­sign was per­haps the most im­por­tant de­ci­sion Jobs made in re­build­ing Ap­ple’s for­tunes – and there is no deny­ing the in­flu­ence he had as Ap­ple rose to be­come not only the big­gest com­pany in the world, but the big­gest in­flu­ence on trends within the tech in­dus­try it­self.

Some have sug­gested Ive mov­ing on will be trou­ble­some for Ap­ple but he leaves a su­perb team be­hind... and some of the most iconic de­sign work ever seen.

Here are five things that came out of Ap­ple un­der Ivy’s watch that changed ev­ery­thing:

iMAC

THE first com­puter Ap­ple made after Jobs and Ive be­gan their re­mark­able col­lab­o­ra­tion was the iMac, and it set the tone for the decades to come. It looked like no com­puter that came be­fore it, with its translu­cent shell, and was al­most as re­mark­able for what it didn’t have than what it did.

For a start there was no floppy drive – un­heard of at the time.

Com­men­ta­tors sug­gested at re­lease that the iMac dropped the floppy too soon and that would prove fa­tal for the ma­chine. They were very wrong about that.

iPOD

THERE were por­ta­ble MP3 play­ers be­fore the iPod came along, but they were noth­ing like the next thing

Jobs and Ive came out with – the sleek white iPod.

It was a lim­ited de­vice at first – you needed a Mac to sync it to, and it held only 1,000 songs on a 5gb hard drive.

Re­leased in late 2001, it was a per­fect ex­am­ple, not only of Ap­ple’s new di­rec­tion, but also of its creative marketing skill. And it be­came a mas­sive hit that rev­o­lu­tionised the en­tire mu­sic in­dus­try – the reper­cus­sions are still be­ing felt to­day, al­most 20 years later.

iPHONE

THE iPod was a game-changer for the mu­sic in­dus­try, but six years later, buoyed by the suc­cess of the lit­tle white mu­sic box, Ap­ple re­leased a de­vice that would change the rest of the world.

It’s hard to re­mem­ber what smart­phones were like be­fore the iPhone was re­vealed back in 2007.

Now they all look like Ive’s iPhone – a rec­tan­gu­lar slab of metal with an all-screen face. Some even laughed at the iPhone, claim­ing, as they had with the iMac, that it was too ex­pen­sive and lacked too many fea­tures. They are not laugh­ing now.

MACBOOK AIR

A YEAR after the iPhone broke the mould, Ive re­turned his at­ten­tion to com­put­ers.

The Macs that have come out of his de­sign stu­dio over the years have shared two fea­tures – they have con­tin­ued to get thin­ner and sim­pler. Nowhere is this most ev­i­dent than in the MacBook Air.

Like the iPhone be­fore it, it set a stan­dard that oth­ers would fol­low – there are many com­put­ers from man­u­fac­tur­ers to­day that look like that orig­i­nal MacBook Air. Ap­ple still sells a model that re­mains largely un­changed on the out­side from the one that was shown off in 2008.

AP­PLE PARK

IN the years since the MacBook Air’s re­lease, a num­ber of de­vices from Ap­ple have show­cased Ive’s ge­nius (the iPad and the Ap­ple Watch to name but two).

But his big­gest project was the de­sign of Ap­ple’s HQ, Ap­ple Park.

The huge cir­cu­lar struc­ture in Cu­per­tino, just south of San Fran­cisco, was con­ceived dur­ing the fi­nal years of Steve Jobs’ life – his last pub­lic ap­pear­ance be­fore his death in 2011 was be­fore a plan­ning com­mit­tee meet­ing to present the idea for the build­ing and gather sup­port for its approval.

After Jobs’ death, Ive saw the project through to com­ple­tion, per­haps as a way to honour his friend. One of the build­ings at Ap­ple Park, left, is named after Jobs in recog­ni­tion of this.

Even if Ive con­trib­utes no more to Ap­ple, his in­flu­ence will long live on in the team and cul­ture he helped to build, and in the build­ing in which Ap­ple now calls home.

Game chang­ers: The iMac (above) and the iPod (right) Jony Ive, left, with Ap­ple CEO Tim Cook Steve Jobs launches the iPhone and, be­low, MacBook Air

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