Whether your an Apple-fan or not, you have to agree that the Cupertino company has played an important role in how we perceive and use computers. Below is a list of a few computer technologies unbeknownst to popular belief that Apple has innovated and made popular to become a 'commercial standard'... not only with the Mac, but with PCs as well :)
With these key/major tech-innovations and design-direction 'risks', it's no wonder that other companies are playing catch up...
|Ok, let's start off with a big one... |
The Computer Mouse as we know it was invented by Douglas Engelbart back in 1963, but Apple first made the device popular and eventually a computer desktop standard when it was first introduced on the Macintosh back in 1983... Today, the mouse is the most popular way of navigating on a computer across all platforms.
Apple was the first to bring the computer out of the tech-exclusive world in 1977 and into the home by making the first consumer personal computer and again in 1984 with the official release of the Macintosh. Thus making the 'PC' a household name.
|Apple did not invent MultiTouch, but they did make it mainstream when it was first introduced on the First-Gen iPhone in 2007, the concept of MultiTouch and Virtual QWERTY keyboards were even ridiculed by Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer... Today full-glass multitouch displays are a SmartPhone standard across all platforms.|
|It's no secret that Apple has had a tremendous impact on the SmartPhone market, and that includes the overlooked key feature: the Accelerometer. Before it was made popular on the iPhone and now a standard on all SmartPhones, Apple has used Accelerometers in their laptops since 2005. 'If the accelerometer detected that the laptop was dropped, heading for a hard impact on the floor, the machine knew to park the disk head and minimize data loss'.|
Today it is an expected feature when a simple rotation of the display automatically flips portrait to landscape mode. It is also popular in many gaming Apps as well...
|Shortly after the introduction of the iPhone, Apple introduced the App Store in 2008 where third-party developers can create and sell applications. This was a huge hit not only for Apple, but also for the everyday developer creating a whole new market for software development and revenue.|
Other major companies such as Microsoft, Android and Google are taking a cue and following in Apple's footsteps by creating and updating their own version of an App Store...
|Tablets tried to make their way into the market back in the 80's... but failed. |
Apple not only brought it back with the iPad in 2010, but they also created a whole new market with over 200 other tablet competitors playing catch-up.
With all this new competition, the iPad still accounts for 97% of the tablet internet traffic and still the number one Tablet in this ever developing Post-PC world...
|Today we can't imagine a Laptop without it... TrackPads. |
Before Apple shipped their laptops in 1994 with what we know as the modernday TrackPad, previous laptops had a bulky/ cumbersome trackball that mimicked the movement of a mouse. Apple's TrackPad was stated as a "breakthrough in pointing-device technology".
Today Apple is re-inventing their trackpads by incorporating their MultiTouch technology.
...Another detail to note is that Apple pioneered the design layout by repositioning the keyboard with the Powerbook in 1991.
Oppose to the competition, the design positioned the keyboard closer to the display offering a palmrest on either side of the pointing device. This simple hardware configuration set the design standard in laptops across all platforms.
When it comes to our mobile devices, we expect WiFi to come standard...
That wasn't the case until Apple introduced the iBook G3 in 1999. It was the first laptop shipped with a WiFi card built-in. Shortly after, the competition released their products with the wireless tech built in as well.
|Betcha didn't know about this one huh? |
Every single computer out there has one now... Although Apple did not invent the USB, they did make it popular when they had it on their iMacs in 1998. The original iMac in fact the first computer shipped with USB Ports, replacing the bulky and slower ADB and SCSI ports.
Today USB is a computer standard.
|Like the Computer Mouse, GUI (Graphic User Interface) is a major feature that is greatly overlooked and taken for granted... Apple innovated the concept of GUI from Xerox and introduced the technology in the Macintosh Lisa in 1983 and in the Mac in 1984. This introduction brought GUI to the mainstream and is evident in all modern computer operating systems. |
GUI features include: opening windows, creating folders, pull down menus, dragging and dropping, double clicking (to name a few)
|Apple's Thunderbolt could be the next big thing and possibly a new computer standard, replacing the mighty USB. Thunderbolt was first introduced on Macs in early 2011 and is now being adopted by other big-wigs a such as Microsoft and on it's way to becoming a household name.|
What Thunderbolt has that USB doesn't is speed. It is 20 times faster than USB 2.0 and 12 times faster than FireWire 800. Thunderbolt can process data at 10GB per second... for example you can transfer a full 3 hour movie in as little as a few seconds!
Apple's innovation of the micro-Sim card in 2012 was heavily contested and finally approved to be the official industry standard. The design offers the same performance as today's SIM cards, but is 40% smaller offering additional valuable space within todays mobile devices.
Sure, cloud sharing services have existed in the recent past, but Apple took it to the next level with their iCloud service by seamlessly/effortlessly syncing your information across all your devices. After their public release of their iCloud services Microsoft and Google have taken note and created and updated their cloud services.
Voice dictation has been on mobile phones for many many years...
But it wasn't until Apple purchased the company SIRI and integrated it into their iOS in 2011 that changed voice dictation forever. SIRI technology allows commands with 'natural-speaking' oppose to the strict/restricted voice commands that we were used to. Today more and more natural-speaking apps are being developed to match the ease and flexibility of Apple's SIRI.
...Simply ask and you will receive :)
Touch ID may become the new standard in mobile devices. Not long after Apple's release of the new bio-sensor tech, Samsung announced their version of it on their flagship phone. Currently this new way of securing your phone is available on the iPhone 5S, 6 and 6+ as well as the latest iPad Air and iPad Mini.
Apple Pay is making their way into the mainstream not long after it was announced this September (2014). Even though it has mixed reviews at the start, it has already gained more popularity than previous mobile payment ventures. Apple has partnerships with over 500+ retailers and is still gaining traction.
The public seems to agree... In just 24 hours of its release, Apple had over 1-Million downloads of OS Lion in the Mac App Store alone. It's only a matter of time until other computer brands follow suit...
What does the future hold in Apple innovations...? I can't wait to see :)