Damn, HomePod mini looked pretty great in Apple’s unveiling last week.
They had me from the first image where it sat elegantly on the side table. Simple. Clean. Not a cord in sight!
It was my ultimate music-player-intelligent-assistant fantasy come true. A gorgeous device I could put absolutely anywhere.
Until it wasn’t.
Silly me. I made the unforgivable error of believing my eyes. At the very end of that scene, for just the briefest moment, came a glimpse of a cord trailing away from mini.
From there, Apple took us on a winding path visually, with the vast majority of shots showing a “cordless” HomePod mini. A casual viewer could be forgiven for drawing the wrong conclusion.
Out of curiosity, I went back for a re-viewing. Continue reading…
I am eternally grateful that no one ever asked me to write a PR release for a company in trouble.
It’s a thankless job, and nobody believes what you write—but write you must.
That’s why so many surrender from the start, dipping into a reservoir of classics like, “He’s leaving to pursue other opportunities.”
This was the challenge served up to the spokeswoman at Apple’s agency, Media Arts Lab, to explain the recent layoffs of 50 people.
Thankfully, she didn’t ask us to believe that those 50 simultaneously decided to pursue other opportunities. What she did ask us to believe was something equally absurd. Continue reading…
Somewhere in an alternate universe, Tim Cook is busy rehearsing his September 10th event.
He’s nervous. He’s about to do something incredibly bold. Maybe even crazy.
Going through his show, he pauses when he gets to the iPhone branding slide, imagining how the audience’s collective jaw will drop.
Despite the rumors, there is no number 11. There’s no X, R, S, SE, Plus or Max in sight. And that’s just the tip of this boldness iceberg.
Alternate Tim takes a deep breath, then drops the bomb.
“Our new iPhones are so new, so totally amazing, so far beyond any iPhone we’ve made before, we’re not even calling them iPhones anymore,” he says. “Meet the new Apple Phones.”
After a 21-year run, the i is finally dead. Continue reading…
Help. I feel queasy. I visited apple.com and did something I deeply regret—I opened my eyes.
It’s half disappointment and half disbelief. How does the company that wrote the book on website simplicity unleash a home page that’s so amateurishly busy?
For those who celebrate Apple’s illustrious history as a world leader in design, creativity and smart marketing—it’s a shocker.
That’s because it stands in stark contrast to the website principles enforced by Steve Jobs. Continue reading…
Ben Franklin said that the only certainties in life are death and taxes. Until last week, I would have added “Jony Ive product videos” to that list.
Apple had a formula for these videos and it wasn’t about to budge—beauty shots and engineering animations, accompanied by Jony’s intelligently philosophical voice.
It’s gone on for so many years, I’ve actually lost count.
It’s not like the videos didn’t work. Apple sales certainly never suffered. It’s just felt odd that a company that puts creativity front and center would become so formulaic.
But all that changed last week when Apple unveiled two new videos—for MacBook Air and iPad Pro—and we didn’t hear a peep from Jony. I’m still recovering from the shock.
Thank the marketing gods for giving Apple a much-deserved kick in the butt. Continue reading…
Every September, I eagerly await the unveiling of the new iPhones. I also feel a sense of dread, wondering what Apple is going to call them.
That’s because, when it comes to iPhone naming, Apple seems to wage a war against common sense.
Last year’s models set new standards for complexity. We had an 8, 8 Plus, X and SE. That’s two numbers, one Roman numeral, one paring of letters, plus an odd numerical gap between 8 and 10. Or, in Apple lingo, between 8 and X.
It’s hard to imagine how a family of only four products could end up with such needlessly complicated names—especially coming from the company that wrote the book on simplicity.
So how do the iPhone names look in 2018?Continue reading…