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Posts Tagged ‘Steve Jobs’

Is Apple’s Design Sense Dated?

For a company often praised for its sleek, hyper-modern design aesthetic, Apple seems conflicted about the future of its user interfaces. In the wake of a staffing shake-up that went under-reported thanks to Hurricane Sandy, the company seems to be in the midst of a subtle but certain visual re-branding.

A New York Times report that will get a lot of design nerds excited notes the importance of the Monday departure of mobile software development leader and Steve Jobs loyalist Scott Forstall, who was dedicated to the company’s current “retro”, real-world visual style. A few widely maligned examples of that old-school aesthetic include this faux-leather “find my friends” app:

Don’t think any Apple fans will miss that one. A podcast app modeled after an old-timey tape machine won’t be a big loss either:

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‘Apple’ Secures The Beatles’ Granny Smith Logo

Well, it’s official — the iconic Granny Smith symbol of The Beatles‘ record label, Apple Records, no longer belongs to the timeless band that made it famous, but to the monopolizer of all things apple-related: computer and electronics giant Apple.

Thus ends the final chapter of what has been a years-long saga of legal battles between the record label and the computer company. In 2007, the two parties settled their major dispute: Apple agreed to purchase all of the Beatles’ related trademarks and then license them back to the band’s estate.

“We love the Beatles,” Apple founder Steve Jobs said following the 2007 settlement. “And it has been painful being at odds with them over these trademarks. It feels great to resolve this in a positive manner, and in a way that should remove the potential of further disagreements in the future.” I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together.

Even after the settlement, though, it seems Apple wasn’t quite ready to “let it be”. In an apparent effort to tie up any loose ends, Apple moved to secure its rights to the Granny Smith trademark in 2011–and that right was granted last week.

On a side note, I was able to go apple picking last week without the orchard paying any royalties to Apple (that I know of), so at least there’s that.

Google’s Eric Schmidt: ‘It’s Very Easy to Criticize a Company That You’re Not In’

Google’s executive chairman expressed the headline’s sentiment during a discussion with Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher of All Things D at New York’s 92 Y yesterday evening. Schmidt’s comments varied from scripted to candid when discussing his Silicon Valley competitors and Google’s innovative products such as driverless cars.(Google’s Street Views Car, pictured at left, is currently on display at Mountain View’s Computer History Museum)

Schmidt leveled his harshest criticism at Microsoft, a company he excludes from his list of four major industry players (Google, Apple, Amazon and Facebook). He said, “They’re well-funded, but they haven’t been able to bring out state-of-the-art products in key areas. Let’s see what their new set of products does.”

Yet Schmidt sympathized with HP‘s recent struggles, describing his friend Meg Whitman as a “capable CEO.” He noted, while enterprise businesses once had lots of time develop various strategies, they’re now under considerably more pressure to find solutions to pressing problems as quickly as possible.

Schmidt also cut Facebook some slack, saying that “with a billion users, they can find ways to make money.” While acknowledging Facebook’s enormous database of registered users, he also pointedly noted, “Google wants more registered users, but we’re not forcing customers to sign up.”

Schmidt also lauded Twitter for doing “an excellent job of celebrity branding” while referring to the many stars who have used the platform to expand their followings and expressed hope that Google+ might one day become a key competitor.

Despite Schmidt’s widely quoted critiques about Apple’s inferior iPhone maps, he saved his highest praise for his main rival. “Apple did a phenomenal job of building integrated solutions and they did a tremendous job with tablets.” He also emphasized that Apple has more cash. He said that Apple “still has a special place in his heart”, which makes sense–Schmidt once served on Apple’s Board and had a close personal relationship with Steve Jobs.

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Remembering Steve Jobs on the Anniversary of His Death

Steve Jobs died one year ago today.

The best thing about time is that, when given enough of it, we can gain perspective on just about everything.

This sad anniversary is not only a time to reflect, as Apple has done in the above video, but to assess and even speculate. It’s what Steve Jobs would have done. People typically don’t like change because we’re afraid of what we don’t know. So when Steve Jobs passed and an uncertain future faced Apple, many feared the worst, whispering in gloom-and-doom tones like that paranoid aunt we sit next to at Thanksgiving dinner. But instead of veering into financial collapse, the Apple brand awoke this morning as the most successful company in America.

And you can thank Steve Jobs for that. The public is discerning and critical by nature, but what Steve Jobs gave the public wasn’t just a string of innovative, sleek and disarmingly useful products that many of us can’t live without; he gave us a legacy. For most of us legacy is relegated to family members, but we’re not exaggerating when we say that Steve Jobs changed the world–and the way we interact with it.

A legacy takes a lifetime to create, and through energetic diligence, bombastic discipline and a humming internal nuclear reactor of creativity, Steve Jobs revolutionized our lives to such a degree that his death was much more than just a physical event. He lives on through the way we use technology in our everyday lives both personal and professional–and these changes will extend to our children and their grandchildren. The public still loves Steve Jobs, flaws and all, because he made a positive and lasting impact on the world (unless, of course, you are a button).

With each passing year the anniversary of Steve Job’s death will receive less and less coverage. But as PR people, today, we’d like to do what we can to stem the tide of time and call attention to a true innovator. RIP Steve Jobs. The public knows what you did. Thanks.

Tim Cook Is, Like, So Sorry for Apple Maps

The public doesn’t know Apple as a company prone to apology. We imagine its communications team would be far more comfortable issuing a statement to the effect of “the obvious superiority of our products speaks for itself, hahaha”. Hey, we understand—apologies acknowledge the imperfections that come with being human, and CEO’s aren’t generally too big on humility (with good reason).

And yet, CEO Tim Cook felt the need to release an official statement to customers today in order to control the spread of bad publicity stemming from the awfulness that is Apple Maps.

We can’t imagine Cook enjoyed writing this little letter, and we wonder what finally led him to draft it: Was it Motorola’s viciously effective #iLost ad? Was it this hilarious tumblr page? We’re not sure, but we do admire Cook’s ability to acknowledge that his company made a completely terrible product!

Readers should note Cook’s unreservedly apologetic tone in writing that Apple “fell short on this commitment”. Unlike the other big “damage control” missive released this morning, Cook’s note includes the word “sorry”. A real-life apology! We just might be impressed!

Cook promises to get to work on improving the map app, and we’re sure that a few programmers have had anxiety attacks this week–but what will the CEO’s next move be?

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Why Did the Prez Pick Steve Jobs over Google?

The President did what he had to do in his speech last night: rallied the troops, laid out his general campaign themes and gave a few shout-outs to key constituencies. But one particular last-minute editorial change has sparked the internet’s interest this morning: Obama decided to drop a reference to Google and substitute Steve Jobs as the prototypical American business innovator. Why did he do that?

It may have been because his opponent Mitt Romney also mentioned Jobs in his acceptance speech last week. It may have been because Jobs’s death less than a year ago is still relatively fresh in the minds of the American public. It may have been because Jobs was a man and Google is a corporation (and no, they are definitely not the same thing).

Here’s the line:

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Elevator Pitch: Storyville Wants to Do for Short Stories What iTunes Did for Music

In the latest episode of mediabistroTV’s “Elevator Pitch,” host Alan Meckler meets with Storyville co-founder Paul Vidich. Storyville is a mobile app for short stories that connects readers and authors.  A former music executive, Vidich helped Steve Jobs bring music singles to iTunes. He hopes Storyville will do for the short story what iTunes did for the single.

For more videos, check out our YouTube channel and follow us on Twitter: @mediabistroTV

Also, find out who’s hiring on the Mediabistro job board.

Skip the Meeting, Change The World

Meetings, tweeting, brainstorming, open floor plans. How much of your work in PR is done alone? From workplace trends in the past 20 years, one would guess very little. This “groupthink,” or herd-style working, could be leading to less creativity, says one author.

Susan Cain, who wrote Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking cites Apple’s Steve Wozniak and Isaac Newton as two famous loners who  prove her point. Some people can be friendly but just don’t like being part of a crowd. They need alone time to recharge. Quiet time, without jabbering or constant interruption, is when they do their best work. Not that I’m projecting or anything.

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5 Things You Need to Know This Week: Steve Jobs, Coldplay, and a Haunted Hayride

In this week’s episode of “5 Things You Need to Know This Week,” we dance like Chris Martin, get spooked by Angela Merkel, and talk to Siri about the Steve Jobs biography. Oh, and the world’s population increases.

For more videos, check out Mediabistro.tv, and be sure to follow us on Twitter: @mediabistroTV

Apple Launches a Website for Steve Jobs Tributes

Photo: AFP, Jim Watson

Apple launched a web page today, Remembering Steve, featuring some of the many messages of condolence over the death of Steve Jobs. You can still share your thoughts at rememberingsteve@apple.com.

The launch was coupled with a 90-minute closure at 1p.m. ET of Apple stores around the country for a memorial service held at the company’s Cupertino, CA HQ.

Apple continues on a successful path, announcing that four million iPhone 4S devices were sold in the first three days and releasing impressive earnings (though they were below expectations).

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