Sunday, October 9, 2011

The innovative side of Apple; What we can thank Uncle Steve for.

    Some technical innovations have been out for so long and have been so widely adopted that people forget a time when they weren't standard.  I'm old enough o remember so let me highlight a few things that we can directly credit Steve Jobs and Apple for.  He and Apple may not have been the original inventor and they may not have been the first to bring it to market.  But you will see that he and Apple were the ones to make them a standard in the industry.

#1 Steve Jobs was instrumental into turning computers from this;
into this;

    This was Steve Jobs innovation #1.  Despite the meager start Steve was the leader in taking the computer into the home.  Before the Apple 1 the vast majority of computers were in cooperate and university environments or scratch built from kits by geeky techy types.  Even if you have never used an Apple computer you have Steve Jobs to thank if you're using your PC and do not have an engineering degree in computer science.

#2 Keyboards on all computers
     Apple 1 was the first to come with a keyboard but the Apple 2 was the first to mass market and force the rest of the industry to adopt keyboards as standard on all personal computers.

#3 Computers in Schools
     It's also safe to say that the Apple 2 was probably the first computer you ever used.  Steve invented the entire concept of marketing the computer to schools below the university level.  This idea created an entire generation of computer savy kids.

#4 The Computer Mouse
     IBM invented the mouse but it remained as a curious lab experiment for years before Steve and the Apple Lisa.  The Macintosh made it an industry standard.

#5 The Graphical User Interface
     How many of us know what that phrase even means?  It's so ubiquitous on every computer has it we forget what an innovation it was to click on an icon and not type in lines of computer code to get the computer to do something.

#6 Color monitors
     Before the Steve advanced the Apple 2 this was what almost all personal computer screens looked like;

then they became this;
#7 Web Browsers
     The first web browser was wrote on one of these;
     The web existed before then but to use it you practically had to be a computer expert.  

#8 The complete computer

     The first to market the "all in one" computer was Apple with the Macintosh.  It was the first computer designed to eliminate the birds nest of cables that dominated the vast majority of computers.  

#9 the USB and Firewire ports
   The first USB and firewire ports I ever saw was on a Macintosh.  Before the USB port the back of most computers was a vast array of various ports.  The USB made life simpler with standardization.  

Firewire mad it faster;

#10  Portable Music
     Portable music existed before the iPod but the iPod is what turned this;

Into this;

#11 Paying for Digital Music
     Despite all the populist and libertarian rage the fact remains that downloading music from a file sharing site is still theft.  Someone created that music with the expectation of being paid and just because you can doesn't mean you should download it without payment.  All credit must be given to Steve Jobs for making that a possibility.  Without him and iTunes the music would still be stuck in an 80's industry mindset and fighting (suing) the public. 

#12 Tablet computers

     Forget the iPad, that's the machine that made it successful.  The first real tablet computer was the Apple Newton.  That one didn't take off but it set the early stage for what did.

#13 Smart Phones
     The iPhone is the basic design that all smart phones are based upon today.   Before it phones were for calling people.  Now they do almost everything.  

#14  Apps

     Micro-programs (apps) didn't first appear in the iPhone.  They've been a feature of computers for years.  The iPhone is what brought them to the phone.

#15 Podcasting

     It's a simple fact that Podcasts are named after the iPod.  The 2 are forever linked.  Without iTunes or the iPod the podcast would have remained a wonky internet thing for geeks and nerds.

    The simple fact remains that without the influence of Steve Jobs and Apple the computer industry would probably still be stuck in the 80's.  Almost everyone of these innovations I listed existed before Steve brought them to the public but it was Steve who forced the industry to advance.  It doesn't matter if you like Apple, Steve Jobs or the products he brought into the world or not but if you're reading this Steve has changed your life.

No comments:

Post a Comment