Every month, we’ll be bringing you a selection of vehemently vetted, if slightly longer, reads about the wonderful world of Apple. Sometimes they’ll be interviews with former Apple employees, discussion around how Apple’s user interface is changing (some say for the worse), or odes to a device long lost in amongst a billion iPhone sales. Bring your own Instapaper account, because this is Good Reads.
- Over at The Macro, Craig Cannon interviews Apple employee numero uno, Bill Fernandez. In a series that focuses on early employees at tech companies, Fernandez tells the story of how he became the first employee after Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Mark Makkula incorporated the company. “Startups” weren’t really a thing back in the days when Apple was in its infancy, and just like Jobs, Fernandez was laid off from Apple only to rejoin the Mac team in the early 1980s.
Well, I definitely wanted to work with them. You know, I had worked with Woz and Jobs on projects for years and they were two of my closest friends and we got along well together. And sure, it was great working with my friends. It was also great having the opportunity for us to build our own computer, so yeah. It was great. I just thought, “Let’s go build our own computers. This is awesome.”
Bloomberg reports on the current state of Apple’s car project. Under the direction of Bob Mansfield, Apple’s Project Titan has shifted strategies to focus on an autonomous driving system, instead of an actual car. To achieve this, Apple has also hired the former head of Blackberry’s automotive software division Dan Dodge, who was the former CEO and founder of QNX, acquired by Blackberry in 2010. It’s claimed he’ll be placed into the software team in Project Titan, under the leadership of Apple veteran John Wright.
One billion. That’s how many iPhones Apple has sold, and the official announcement shows Apple CEO Tim Cook holding the billionth iPhone high at an employee meeting. Cook says: “iPhone has become one of the most important, world-changing and successful products in history. It’s become more than a constant companion. iPhone is truly an essential part of our daily life and enables much of what we do throughout the day”.
Apple has picked up the rights to James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke TV series. Apple SVP of internet software and services Eddy Cue says that Carpool Karaoke is a perfect fit for Apple Music, giving subscribers “access to their favourite artists and celebrities who come along for the ride”. Apple’s license covers 16 episodes, which will stream worldwide for Apple Music subscribers.
The Wall Street Journal reports that former Apple executive Bob Mansfield is now overseeing the Apple Car project. The Wall Street Journal notes that Mansfield stepped away from day-to-day duties at Apple a few years ago, after heading up the hardware departments responsible for the MacBook Air, iMac, and iPad. Mansfield also wanted to leave the company entirely in 2013, but Apple CEO Tim Cook convinced him to stay to work on special projects, one of which now includes Apple’s Project Titan.
Rumour has it this year’s iPhone will come with a Lightning to headphone jack adapter, instead of a set of Lightning-equipped EarPods. Supply chain sources indicate that with the lack of a headphone jack on the device, Apple will go down the path of Lightning to audio adapters instead of going all-in on Bluetooth, potentially easing the pain of switching away from a near-ubiquitous port in favour of whatever other innovation this year’s iPhone will bring.
Photos and video of new iPhone mockups show off the device in the three colour choices it may be available in. Gone is the “Space Grey” colour option, replaced with a much darker “Space Black” that is probably what people were mistaking for a “Dark Navy” a few months ago. Along with the redesigned antenna bands, larger camera cutout, and no headphone jack, it’s the best look at possible designs we’ve seen thus far.
Apple’s latest acquisition is cloud-based music provider Omnifone, or at least so it appears. There’s been no confirmation from Apple about it buying the music service used by many telcos for partnerships, and even the original report only hinted at the suggestion Omnifone had been purchased for $10 million. Omnifone previously powered Sony’s Music Unlimited service and BlackBerry’s BBM Music, as well as Samsung’s Milk music service, but all Apple was after were its patents.
AppleInsider casts doubt on recent iPhone part leaks, which were supposed to show the redesigned camera holes and antenna bands of this year’s iPhone. Instead, they claim that recent part leaks are simply mockups of a design from an Apple manufacturing partner and not an actual part, throwing their entire authenticity into doubt. Note that all of this is pretty normal for Apple rumours.
Rumours of separate iPhone “Plus” and “Pro” models have surfaced. The Plus in this case is pretty standard in that it will be like the current Plus-sized model — minor improvements, but with a larger 5.5-inch display. The Pro version of the iPhone then features the same sized display as the Plus, but with that dual-lens camera system we’ve been hearing about, as well as a Smart Connector for accessories. While it seems unlikely Apple would want to fragment the iPhone lineup into three distinct models, anything is possible at this stage.