fastcompany.com


'fastcompany.com' Articles

Tim Cook Says Apple is Always Focused on 'Products and People' Over Wall Street Expectations

Fast Company today published an interview with Tim Cook after naming Apple the world's most innovative company yesterday. Image Credit: Fast Company/Ioulex Photography Apple's CEO primarily reflected on the iPhone maker's culture and approach that has led to products such as the iPhone X, Apple Watch, AirPods, and HomePod, and as to be expected, he talked up the company he runs. Cook said Apple's focus is always on "products and people," for example, rather than the company's earnings results or stock price.Fast Company: What makes a good year for Apple? Is it the new hit products? The stock price? Tim Cook: Stock price is a result, not an achievement by itself. For me, it's about products and people. Did we make the best product, and did we enrich people's lives? If you’re doing both of those things–and obviously those things are incredibly connected because one leads to the other—then you have a good year.Apple is "not in it for the money" with Apple Music, for instance, according to Cook, who says the streaming music service is more about ensuring that artists are funded in order to have a "great creative community."Fast Company: Music has always been part of the Apple brand. Apple Music has had a lot of user growth, but streaming is not a major money­maker. Do you think about streaming as a potential stand-alone profit area, or is it important for other reasons? Tim Cook: […] Music is a service that we think our users want us to provide. It's a service that we worry about the humanity being drained out of. We worry about it becoming a bits-and-bytes kind

Apple Named World's Most Innovative Company Due to Focus on Hardware and Software Integration

Fast Company today published its annual rankings of the 50 most innovative companies in the world, and this year, Apple is the number one company on the list for "delivering the future today." Apple was picked for its impressive list of accomplishments in 2017, which included the iPhone X, the Apple Watch Series 3, ARKit, and its unique focus on hardware and software integration that sets it apart from its competitors. Apple designs its own chips that are optimized for its operating systems, resulting in performance that blows the competition away. But creativity is more than skin deep--and Apple's approach to the hardware and software engineering that creates its experiences has never been more ambitious. Other makers of phones and tablets buy the same off-the-shelf chips as their competitors. Apple, by contrast, designs its own chips--so an iPhone packs a processor designed specifically optimized for Apple's operating system, apps, display, camera, and touch sensor. The company has gotten so good at chip design that the A10 Fusion inside the iPhone 7 trounces rival processors in independent speed benchmarks.Apple also topped the list for its focus on privacy-based artificial intelligence advancements, its growing entertainment business, and its work to improve medical care with CareKit and ResearchKit. Its accomplishments boosted it up three spots from last year, when it was ranked the number four most valuable company in the 2017 list. To create these rankings, Fast Company says that more than three dozen editors, reporters, and contributors surveyed thousands

Persistent Software Problems With iPhone 8 Wireless Charging and 3D Sensor Causing 'Panic' at Apple

As the prospective September launch date of the iPhone 8 fast approaches, designers and engineers at Apple are said to be working "feverishly" to fix software problems in the device that could lead to production delays, reports Fast Company. Citing a source "knowledge of the situation," the site says there's a "sense of panic" in the air because should the problems not be resolved, the device might ship without major features enabled. One feature that might be delayed is wireless charging. Apple is said to be planning to implement inductive wireless charging in the iPhone 8, but rumors suggest it will be enabled through a standalone charger purchased separately. As previously shared by Apple blogger John Gruber, Apple may not ship the inductive wireless charging accessory until later in the year alongside an iOS 11.1 update. iPhone 8 renders from iDrop News While Gruber didn't offer an explanation, Fast Company says software issues, not components, are the problem. If the software isn't ready, wireless charging could be unavailable when the phone first begins shipping. Apple is also said to be struggling with the 3D sensor expected to be built into the front-facing camera, which is rumored to enable a facial scanning system that could replace Touch ID.Without confirming that's what the front-facing 3D sensor is for, my source says Apple has been struggling to get the sensor to work reliably. Again, the sensor hardware is not the problem, but rather the accompanying software. The source believes Apple will likely have the 3D software working in time. But if

The 2017 iPhone Could Cost Upwards of $1,000

Apple's 2017 iPhone, which is expected to feature premium parts and radical design changes, could cost "north of $1,000," reports Fast Company, citing a source with "knowledge of Apple's plans." Rumors suggest the upcoming iPhone, which may be called the iPhone 8, will feature an OLED display that's more expensive than traditional LED displays. Other improvements, such as an increase in memory and wireless charging functionality may also drive up the price. It's not hard to imagine the iPhone hitting that price point when the 256GB iPhone 7 Plus is already at $969 in the United States, and previous rumors have also suggested it will be a "premium" device. Fast Company's source also confirms some iPhone 8 design rumors, describing the device as "something like a smooth black monolith, with few visual interruptions to its sleek design." That jibes with rumors indicating Apple design chief Jony Ive has been aiming for an iPhone that looks like a single sheet of glass with the Home button and Touch ID fingerprint sensor located under the display. iPhone 8 concept image via Thadeu Brandão The Home button technology is still "evolving" according to Fast Company's source, but Apple's goal is to get it done in time for inclusion in the iPhone 8. Physical buttons, such as the volume button, power button, and mute switch could also be eliminated, a rumor we haven't heard before, and the iPhone 8 is said to include a "far bigger battery." The source also claims Apple is working with Lumentum to develop 3D sensing technology that will be used in the device, but did not

Apple Acquires Personal Health Data Recording Platform 'Gliimpse'

Apple has acquired personal health and wellness startup Gliimpse, continuing its push into the health and fitness landscape that it began focusing on with the launch of the Apple Watch. The company made the acquisition earlier in the year, according to Fast Company, but Apple has now confirmed the purchase with its usual response: "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans." Gliimpse is a personal health platform that collects various fitness-related pieces of data for its users "to collect, personalize, and share a picture of their health data" at different stages of their personal journey. The company was funded by entrepreneur Anil Sethi and was founded in 2013, following Sethi's inspiration to create an easy way to track health data as he watched his sister battle breast cancer. Gliimpse™ began with a simple idea – everyone should be able to manage their health records, and share them securely with those they trust. Currently in stealth, Gliimpse is healthcare’s platform for building patient-centric apps. By unlocking hospital silos, we aggregate fragmented data into Medicare mandated patient summaries. Gliimpse is your personal health history, in the palm of your hands. As seen on the company's website, Gliimpse also lets users make daily journal entries to chronicle their emotional state of mind, track lab results, record levels of pain to inform a physician, and other privacy features that ensure each user's data stays secure. These features mark Gliimpse as a more healthcare-focused

Apple Says 'You're Only as Good as the Last Thing You Did' Amid Sales Slowdown

After recording its first quarterly sales decline since 2003 this year, the doom and gloom sentiment surrounding Apple has reemerged. Some critics believe that Apple is doing too many things at once, or wrongly placing its focus on areas like Apple Watch bands rather than its core product lineup. MacRumors Buyer's Guide for Macs The most vocal critics often point towards the state of Apple's current Mac lineup, which is beginning to stagnate. It has been 447 days since the last MacBook Pro release, while the MacBook Air has not been updated beyond a RAM bump in 518 days. Mac mini: 662 days. Mac Pro: 963 days. Apple's stock also remains down over 13 percent from its 52-week high, and investors perhaps have at least some reason for concern. Rumors suggest, for example, that the next iPhone will be an incremental improvement over the iPhone 6s, with more significant changes not coming until 2017. In a new Fast Company interview alongside CEO Tim Cook, Apple services chief Eddy Cue acknowledged that technology companies are "only as good as the last thing" they did."Look," says Cue, who somehow manages to look both like a man who just woke up and a compact ball of perpetual energy, "one thing you know if you’ve been in technology a while, you’re only as good as the last thing you did. No one wants an original iPod. No one wants an iPhone 3GS."Cook admitted that Apple can "sometimes fall short," but indirectly added that the "Apple is doomed" narrative has existed during his entire 18-year span at the company."Is Apple making more mistakes than we used to? I don’t

Apple Secretly Pursuing Deep Push Into Original Television Programming

In a longer piece covering the streaming television and video ambitions of Apple, Alibaba, Facebook, and Google, Fast Company suggests Apple is covertly pursuing original television programming deals that would establish it as a major player in the entertainment industry. Apple is said to be seeking deals with "triple A-list" talent to create a full roster of shows to put it on par with Netflix and Amazon, both of which have successfully launched popular original television shows like House of Cards, Jessica Jones, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Sources that spoke to Fast Company say Apple is aiming to run several major shows at once, perhaps as part of a major launch. At last year's Sundance Film Festival, Apple created an iTunes Lounge where it hosted private invitation-only events for film makers, producers, and other talent. At the event, described as sleek and understated, attendees said Apple was "definitely talking to the talent." As has been previously rumored, Apple execs also traveled to Los Angeles to hear ideas for original television shows, with Apple's original programming efforts being led by Robert Kondrk, vice president of iTunes Content.The iTunes Lounge was in fact part of a stealth effort by Apple to establish a new, more active role in delivering entertainment. In the weeks that followed, Apple execs were in Los Angeles hearing pitches for original TV series that it plans to launch on an "exclusives" app on Apple TV and within iTunes. Apple wants to work with "triple A-list" talent, according to a source, and build up a roster of must-see shows

iPhone 7 May Feature Thinner, Waterproof Body With No Headphone Jack and Wireless Charging

Apple's iPhone 7 may feature wireless charging and a thinner waterproof body with no headphone jack, according to a new report from Fast Company that is in line with previous iPhone 7 rumors from the Asian supply chain. Citing a source with "knowledge of the company's plans," Fast Company says the iPhone 7 will not include a headphone jack in an effort to make the device even thinner than the iPhone 6s. The device will also "very likely" be waterproof and support some form of wireless charging. Apple is said to be working with Cirrus Logic to adapt the audio chipset in the iPhone to work with the Lightning port. With no 3.5mm headphone jack, the Lightning port, which is currently used for charging, will also be used to transmit sound to wired headphones. The chipset may also include new noise-canceling technology to remove background noise during music playback and phone calls. According to Fast Company's source, Apple may not ship Lightning-connected EarPods alongside the iPhone 7, instead opting to sell noise-canceling Lightning-connected headphones separately under its Beats brand. It is not clear if that means the iPhone 7 will come with no EarPods or if Apple will ship standard EarPods with some kind of adapter. Would you prefer the iPhone 7 have a 3.5mm headphone jack or all-in-one Lightning connector? https://t.co/ZsmMqskbOB— MacRumors.com (@MacRumors) November 30, 2015 While Fast Company's source sounds sure of the removal of the headphone jack, there is a caveat about the potential inclusion of wireless charging technology and waterproofing. Apple is