Tag Archives: Apple

California: Designing Freedom | The Design Museum

If you haven’t been to the new building for the Design Museum which recently relocated to Kensington, you are missing out. The architecture and gift shop alone are worth a visit!
The exhibition “California” caught my eye based on the parts that explore ‘freedom’. The exhibition explores more than just the expression of human rights freedom:

California: Designing Freedom explores how the ideals of the 1960s counterculture morphed into the tech culture of Silicon Valley, and how ‘Designed in California’ became a global phenomenon.

The central premise is that California has pioneered tools of personal liberation, from LSD to surfboards and iPhones. This ambitious survey brings together political posters and portable devices, but also looks beyond hardware to explore how user interface designers in the San Francisco Bay Area are shaping some of our most common daily experiences. By turns empowering, addictive and troubling, Californian products have affected our lives to such an extent that in some ways we are all now Californians.

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Aside from the array of Apple inventions and iconic technological advances that California has blessed the world with, the most interesting part of the exhibition for me was “Say What You Want”. Described as “tools of self expression and rebellion”, this part of the exhibition showcased artefacts that were created to highlight racism, sexism and homophobia:

P.S. sorry for the awful photo quality! Taken on my phone.

It was incredible being able to be so close to relics that were created to protest against the biggest human rights movements in the world. They even displayed newspaper articles from the past, and contemporary pieces created against Trump’s America.
I cannot recommend this show enough. It has to be one of my (if not THE) all time favourite exhibitions.

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Aardman | Morph: emoji stickers for iMessage

Aardman’s ‘Morph’ is a serious trip down memory lane for me – a real childhood favourite on SMart, and an immortal TV icon. Animation studio Aardman have previously released ‘Face Bomb’ stickers for iMessage to celebrate 40 years of animation history in 2016:

Now, they have released ‘eMorphjis’ for iMessage as animated stickers that can be sent as emojis or incorporated into photos:

The Face Bomb sticker pack looks like it works better as face filters on photos, rather than emojis. What makes Morph so perfect for this social campaign is his recognisable face and adorable emotive expressions. Also, Morph as a character is a universal face that on TV often replied to presenter Tony Hart in gobbledygook, but with meaningful gestures that could be understood by all ages and languages.
Morph co-creator Peter Lord made each of the emojis from modelling clay before graphics and animations were added:

When someone said to me; ‘We could do Morph emojis’ it was like this huge lightbulb going on. Of course. That’s just perfect! Morph has a lovely round face and he does great expressions; he really is like a living emoji. Who wouldn’t want Morph’s happy (and sometimes grumpy) face all over their messages? Bless him. So I jumped on the idea, and I’m so happy with the way they’ve worked out, they’re really funny and charming.

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Nike: The Man Who Kept Running

Kevin Hart stars in Nike’s Apple Watch campaign, created by Weiden + Kennedy (Portland), featuring a series of hilarious sketches focusing on the “Are we running today?” feature. It’s no wonder Kevin has been snapped up by another brand to do their ads, as he makes a very convincing self-sufficient, delusional wanderer.

My main concern is, how did he charge is Apple Watch? MYSTERIOUS.

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Apple’s Priorities: Are Driverless Cars to Blame for the New MacBook Pro fail?

Apple has finally admitted that it is going to heavily invest in the self-driving car industry, wanting to utilise their software expertise. Despite safety and privacy concerns, Apple are wanting to have a head start on its competitors (e.g. UK’s first self-driving car Oxbotica) in what could be a highly profitable industry.
Not only did Paul Newman from Oxbotica turn a hacked Nissan Leaf into a system that can make any vehicle self-driving, Google have also tested a driverless car. However, in September, the Google car collided with another vehicle after the jumping a red light.

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Uber also swiftly managed to get ahead of the game by testing ‘Ford Fusions’ in Pennsylvania, USA, whilst collaborating with Volvo to develop a driverless car.

Steve Kenner, Apple’s Director of Product Integrity said:

The company is investing heavily in the study of machine learning and automation, and is excited about the potential of automated systems in many areas, including transportation.
Executed properly under NHTSA’s guidance, automated vehicles have the potential to greatly enhance the human experience — to prevent millions of car crashes and thousands of fatalities each year and to give mobility to those without.

Could this be the reason for the half-arsed attempt at the new MacBook Pro? If Apple are wanting to invest their time and money into this new lucrative industry (it could be worth £900bn by 2025), will they have time for their original fanbase – creatives?
Watch this space for ‘iCar’, which will happen sooner rather than later to get ahead the likes of Uber and Google

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Dear Apple pt.2: New MacBook Pro ad

Great ad, great song, great art direction.
If you read my previous post (Dear Apple. Are you high?) on Apple’s new MacBook Pro, you’ll see the irony in the strapline “Ideas push the world forward”.
Where do ideas come from? They come from creatives, thinkers, do-ers, makers, technologists, artists… all of those people that Apple decided to forget about when re-designing the new MacBook Pro. So, using the line “Introducing a tool for all the ideas to come” bears no relevance to the “new” product, because it has no congruence towards Apple’s most important target market – creatives!

*face palm*
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Apple: Frankie’s Holiday

Ok this isn’t the last Christmas advert post. “Open your heart to everyone” – another politically fuelled message incorporated into a seasonal holiday ad. Featuring Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein’s monster, the narrative goes beyond the typical story of Christmas with the loved ones, focusing on those who may not have a lot and feel as if they do not belong.
Apple describes the advert as:

An unexpected holiday visitor finally receives the warm welcome he’s always yearned for.

The ad was directed by Lance Acord (Park Pictures). Whilst the spot is quite strange, magical yet heartwarming, it mainly emphasises a sense of unity and inclusiveness in a current political climate filled with fear and division (whilst of course featuring the latest iPhone!)

P.S. don’t cry

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Dear Apple. Are you high?

Almost a week ago, Apple‘s highly anticipated event became big news in the creative and tech world – but for all the wrong reasons. The new MacBook Pro features a Touch Bar display, high resolution retina display (not massively different) and Touch ID, along with a tummy-tuck, resulting in a lighter device at 17% thinner. So… it’s a new MacBook Air? Not a MacBook Pro?

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Apple’s main demographic – creatives – seem to have been forgotten about with this update… it’s as if Apple have entirely ignored all feedback and requirements of the rapidly evolving creative industry. The Touch Bar and Touch ID seem like just another gimmick – that should be left to the iPhones and iPads – and another way to encourage consumers to purchase the next new thing. MacBook Pro has always been the best notebook for creatives and developers, but now that we’re presented with two MacBook Pro’s, what’s the difference other than a touch function bar? WELL it has two less ports, slower memory and a worse GPU. Great.

Apple decided to dive in headfirst with the introduction of USB Type-C ports on the MacBook Pro (which is a good thing, as it will happen eventually), providing four USB Type-C/Thunderbolt connections. Each connection can be used as a power, thunderbolt, USB, display port, HDMI, or VGA port. That’s pretty awesome and innovative but of course you have to buy an adapter for your ‘old’ USB ports and wires. How much will that cost on top the 15-inch costing £2,349?! If I buy a cheaper version on Amazon will it set alight and burn my house down?

There seems to be a strong disconnect between not only Apple’s target market and their needs, but also the rest of Apple’s products. Remember Lightning headphone gate? Well, despite Apple claiming wireless headphones are the future, the new MacBook Pro has a headphone jack. This works vice versa for iPhones as it’s release didn’t come with the right cable for the new MacBook Pro. Need to charge your Lightning mouse? You’ll probably need an adapter for that now too. It feels like switching from VCR to DVD all over again.

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Following a hilarious Reddit thread (“It just works” – Apple), users showed what a nightmare the removal all wires and the handful of dongles is, resulting in having to carry around even more wires in the fist place! Don’t forget, you can’t use wire headphones with the iPhone 7 whilst plugged into the new MacBook Pro. By the way, the USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter is £69.00. I wouldn’t even spend that on a pair of shoes.

Beyond the total cost, (which is a huge issue in itself as Apple should be aware that young creatives may struggle to afford MacBooks at school or at university – I had to receive financial help from my parents on both my MacBook and MacBook Pro, and could only afford an iMac after 2 years of working) once more the main issue here is the lack of consideration for creatives – the SD card slot has disappeared! What about photographers? That will be another adapter they have to buy on top of their already expensive cameras. (Clearly Apple gives no fucks about Photographers after they killed off Aperture in 2014, the beloved photo-editing software, RIP).

The vibe I’m getting from the launch is that Apple wanted to release something as quickly as possible (even though it took 4 years…). There seems to be a lot of loose ends and a huge disconnect between product and consumer. Apple’s main success is their involvement in the creative industry from the very beginning. As technology advanced Windows didn’t catch up, missing the boat on a huge demographic, however, the tables seem to be slowly turning… the updated Mac isn’t suitable for the heavy graphics, virtual reality or 3D work, but Windows 10 have just released a huge update called ‘Creative Update‘ that focuses on 3D, gaming, VR and social.

Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella:

We are the company that stands for the builders, the makers, the creators.

I don’t know the last time I laid a finger on a Windows machine, but as a digital designer I’m expecting to see a lot more of Windows in the workplace, unless Apple steps up their game. Microsoft wants Windows 10 to be a home for not only virtual reality, but also augmented reality and holographic computing – this is all hugely on the rise in every aspect of the creative industry, so why did Apple ignore this? Unlike Apple, Microsoft are clearly aware of the average consumer’s budget as not only will the latest version be free to update, they are also teaming up with a number of tech firms to make accessing VR cheaper. It’s as if the new MacBook Pro features were pitched 4 years ago, and they decided to just stay with those ideas despite an enormous technological breakthrough in that short space of time.

There is a huge disassociation between marketing and consumers, particularly when it comes to who needs a MacBook Air and who needs a MacBook Pro. The new MacBook Pro isn’t faster, only thinner. Apple marketing VP Phil Schiller suggested the 13-inch MacBook Pro (without the Touch Bar) was designed for MacBook Air buyers:

We think that a lot of potential MacBook Air customers are going to be very excited by this product, too.

The creative industry doesn’t care for the MacBook Air. I’d probably throw myself off a tall building if I had to do photo-retouching or mobile banner design on a MacBook Air! Whilst the new Microsoft Surface Studio and Surface Book seem pretty niche (the niche being creatives), I still can’t imagine them being as popular as Macs in design and advertising agencies. I could be wrong.

The “you can’t do that on a Mac” ads really pissed me off up until the Apple launch. I found myself yelling “SHUT UP!” every time the annoying animator couple demonstrated their skills on the Surface Studio by Windows:

However, now it’s totally gone in Windows favour as the new Apple update is simply not for artists and graphic designers who use pens or touchscreens to do their work (or anyone who needs more than 16GB of memory).

HEY maybe they’re saving all the special features for creatives for a new iMac next year! Let’s pray.

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Apple TV — The Kiss

 

New ad for Apple TV – polar opposite to the usual ‘inspirational music’ vibe they usually go for in Apple campaigns.

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Experience the power of a bookbook™

Ikea mocking Apple… hilarious!

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