Entire books have already been written on the contributions Steve Jobs has made to Apple, the company he helped found 35 years ago. In many ways, the most significant ones took place after 1997, when he returned to Apple from exile and set about to change not just the company but entire industries.
Stories by Ryan Faas
Since Google Docs officially went out of beta on July 7, 2009, the Web-based office application suite has steadily gone through a series of changes and tweaks.
Since its release on July 20, Apple's newest version of OS X, known as Lion, has been bought, downloaded and installed by more than a million users. As an operating system, it represents a new paradigm: Apple's desktop platform is becoming more iOS-like. To date, most of the focus has been on new features like gestures, Mission Control, the new download-based install process, and user interface tweaks that are the biggest since the OS X public beta was introduced in 2000.
More than a year after its introduction, Apple's iPad continues to dominate a tablet market that has grown crowded with a variety of would-be rivals. Most of these are Android tablets like Samsung's Galaxy Tab and Motorola's Xoom. (The Xoom became the launch vehicle for the tablet-optimized version of Android, better known as Honeycomb.)
Apple and Google now dominate the world's smartphone and mobile device markets and both are now pushing quickly into the cloud. While Apple this week finally acknowledged the cloud as the future of computing -- and will finally allow iPads and iPhones to be set up and backed up without being tethered to a computer running iTunes -- many Google fans accurately note that Apple's iCloud doesn't bring a lot of new features to the table.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs is known for wowing audiences with his presentation style and with new and polished technologies for Apple's desktops, mobile devices and media services.
The Windows 8 demo from the All Things Digital conference left me kind of confused. More accurately, it left me thinking Microsoft is kind of confused. Perhaps most important, it left me thinking that most end users who pick a Windows 8 device are likely to be confused.
Recently, Apple previewed more features that will be available in its upcoming release of Mac OS X 10.7, "Lion." We first got a glimpse of Lion at Apple's Back to the Mac event in October, when CEO Steve Jobs said that several technologies developed in Apple's iOS mobile operating system would be brought back into Mac OS X as part of Lion. Since iOS evolved from earlier versions of Mac OS X, the "back to the Mac" moniker made sense.
With a second preview version now in the hands of app developers, Apple's next generation of Mac OS X, called Lion (Version 10.7), appears to be on track for its planned release to the public this summer. The company has announced several new features for the upcoming Macintosh operating system (some of which are lifted straight from iOS, Apple's mobile platform) including the following:
Apple's Back to the Mac event yesterday was preceded by plenty of speculation. Some of it was dead on -- such as predictions of revamped MacBook Air models -- while some of it missed the mark a bit: Apple didn't unveil a touch-screen iMac (in fact, CEO Steve Jobs referred to the idea as "ergonomically horrible") and, while FaceTime is coming to the Mac, it is as a standalone application, not as part of iChat.
With all the features of Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 now out in the open -- along with details about the handsets available on AT&T and T-Mobile here in the U.S. -- comparing the new mobile platform to Apple's iOS 4 is a natural. The long-running debate about Windows vs. Mac can now move into the world of mobile operating systems.
RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook, unveiled last week, is the latest entry in what has become a rapidly growing field of iPad competitors. But unlike most upcoming Android tablets -- the big exception being Cisco's Cius -- the PlayBook isn't meant to compete with the iPad in the consumer market. Despite its touted capabilities for multimedia, the PlayBook is primarily designed to be a business and enterprise tablet.
The big iOS-related news from Apple this week was the release of iOS 4.1, an update that included fixes for common bugs in the initial iOS 4 release for the iPhone and iPod Touch. It also introduced FaceTime for the fourth-generation iPod Touch, which began shipping to customers on Wednesday, and Apple Game Center, which introduces a multiplayer gaming system that all iOS game developers can integrate into their products.
There were a lot of rumors and expectations ahead of Apple's much-hyped music event yesterday. As expected, Apple unveiled a new touch-based iPod Nano, and an iPod Touch sporting the company's A4 processor, its super-high-resolution Retina display, and front and rear cameras offering HD video recording and video chat via FaceTime. There was also a new iPod Shuffle, which thankfully returns to the previous iteration's design with on-device buttons and a clip to make it wearable.
Apple Inc.'s iPhone has always had something of an image problem in the workplace, which isn't surprising given that Apple has always marketed its smartphone more to consumers than to the business world.