Apple is one of the most divisive brands on the planet, but there’s no doubting that the company Steve Jobs founded has produced some of the most exciting breakthroughs in computer technology since its inception. Even if it didn’t invent them, which was often the case, it brought cutting-edge technology to the mainstream.
Here are just a few of the highlights:
The iPhone has taken smartphones to a whole new level and helped raise the game. The iPhone 6 is a computer that fits in your pocket. It’s just that good and the progress is almost inconceivable. Apple has also changed the world with the App Store, which holds 2 billion apps covering more or less every requirement and niche gaming fetish.
2. The mouse
Steve Jobs didn’t truly invent the mouse, Xerox did, but he did bring it to the world at large in the 1970s. Xerox planned to introduce a £180 computer mouse, but Jobs took the basic design, simplified it immensely and managed to reduce the price to just £10. That was the start of a revolution in home computing.
This was another case of Steve Jobs striking at the right time. Wi-Fi was actually created by the US government, then standardised by a collection of six major industry players. While PC manufacturers were circumspect, though, Jobs jumped right in and acted as the industry champion for Wi-Fi, including ‘Airport’ as an optional extra on every laptop from 1999.
Apple’s decision to choose USB ports over other legacy ports like ADB and SCSI for the iMac in 1998 was the major motivation for the industry to focus on the connection that we know and love to this day.
Again Apple didn’t invent the technology, but its adoption of other peoples’ hard work was the main reason that USB made such an impact on society at large. Computer support in London became a good deal easier, too, as standardised connections eliminated a major reliability headache in terms of drivers and hardware.
Jobs famously said that product development is all about telling people what they want, not giving them what they ask for. The iPad is a prime example; nobody knew they wanted a sub-laptop tablet computer until the iPad was launched. Now it’s considered a must-have item for any Apple-loving techie.