Company- and product building are not that different. Screws and bolts can be interchanged with people, buildings, skills, and activities. Apple is a collection of all four, combined with a strong, if not very secretive vision of the future, centred entirely around quality and “being different.” It doesn’t matter what Apple machine I’ve owned, iBooks, Macbooks, iPods, iPhones, or iPads, there’s a logic behind all of them, both in “product – market fit” and in the construction of hardware and software.
iOS 7 has been called the “harkening back to the original coloured iMacs” days and you can perhaps recognise the initial playfulness, largely inspired by Johnny Ive’s work, in iOS 7 (also under Ive’s supervision).
Jonathan Ive’s and Craig Federighi’s collaboration for iOS 7 represent what I think the ideal state is for Apple, the perfect melding of hardware (Ive’s territory) and software (Federighi used to be responsible mostly for Mac OS X, but now largely for both OS X & iOS 7). Good article on that here, but don’t expect to find the answer to everything. I love this quote from Federighi:
OK, I’m a technology freak, but I think probably if someone mapped my brain, you would find that there were moments when I lit up the love pattern in my neurons in association with our products. I mean, literally, there is love, and I think that is true of many of our customers. I think when we build something we love and that others love, then we have done our job.
When I see the little tidbits in iOS 7, I see Love. When I see Game Center, I see playfulness. When I see the whole thing, I see logic that transcends individual apps, software, and even hardware.
Why this affects Mac OS 11…
Mac OS is the Apple device OS. Just because it’s called “Mac OS” doesn’t actually mean that it’s the operating system for the Mac computer, but it’s simply the software that Apple writes for its computers. So, Apple TV, iPod, iPhone, iPads, they are all computers. And the only reason Mac OS looks different is because the interface needs to be different and the hardware capabilities have (so far) been different. A laptop or a desktop will never become a “touch” device, it doesn’t make ergonomic sense. But what we have to focus on here is the greater achievement of iOS 7 and devices like the iPhone 5C (color). The strengthened interplay between software and hardware.
Clearly a prediction, but everything suggests that for new computing devices this bond is meant to become stronger. Apple products are neither meant to be hardware or software, but tools that are useful, that we love to spend time with, and that don’t get in our way. Apple is slow when it comes to changing things that work, so I don’t believe that Maverick will do anything revolutionary to bridge the software – hardware gap. But Ive’s & Federighi’s collaboration is sure going to be applied to their “traditional” devices as well, which means that we will see more of iOS 7 (maybe not the visuals, but the ideas behind it) in Macs and Apple TVs as well.