Six clicks: Revolutionary advances in mobile from Apple

Six clicks: Revolutionary advances in mobile from Apple

Summary: This time of year thoughts turn to the ideas that emerged to form a new country. On a lesser scale, it's appropriate to think about the ideas that formed the mobile space as we know it today. Among those are a few from Apple that have shaped both the smartphone and tablet segments.


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  • Apple — not always first but often significant

    Whatever you think about Apple the company and how it does business, there’ s no denying the impact it has had on the mobile space. It may not always be the first to do something, but it certainly does things in ways that make a big difference in how we use mobile devices.

    From the iPod, then the iPhone, and now the iPad, what makes Apple so impactful is not the technologies it invents, it’s how it packages its own and existing technologies into a compelling gadget. Apple may not always be first, but historically its been one of the best at making products that resonate with the things customers want.

    These advances in technology and concepts have been significant contributions by Apple in the mobile space.

    This is the first installment in a series of daily Six Clicks galleries that are designed to celebrate revolutionary hardware and software advances that we'll be seeing in the near future. Let the 4th of July fireworks begin.

    Previously on Six Clicks:le 


  • Real touch screens

    Apple forever changed mobile devices with the use of a capacitive touch screen on the iPhone. Resistive touch screens, those requiring a little pointy stylus for accuracy, had been around for years. With the introduction of the capacitive touch screen on the iPhone, Apple demonstrated how enjoyable natural interaction with a mobile device could be. Users simply touched the screen with the fingertip, and good things happened.

    The real touch screen on the iPhone changed things for the better in three significant ways:

    No stylus

    Dropping the need for a stylus to work with the iPhone was a big move. Owners of Apple's phone were able to simply pick up the gadget and touch things on the screen. This led to the second benefit of a real touch screen below.

    Natural and engaging

    The touch screen on the iPhone quickly led owners to feel like the phone was part of them. They took the iPhone out of the pocket or bag, assuming it wasn't already in hand, and started touching things to make stuff happen. This soon made the iPhone an integral part of their lives.

    Zooming in on the essential

    The capacitive touch screen on the iPhone made the pinch-and-zoom thing possible. This was revolutionary at the time and such a big impact on how we work with our mobile device that it's commonplace today

Topics: Tapping M2M: The Internet of Things, iPhone, iPad, Mobility, Smartphones, Tablets

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  • New title

    Revolutionary advances in mobile technology that Apple "borrowed" from other innovators and claimed as their own.
    • Re: New Title….

      Knew the Anti-Apple brigade would be on to this.
      • Its not anti-Apple

        Sometimes the truth just hurts.

        See here for example where they talk about the capacitive touch screen being invented in 1965 and finding a practical use at CERN in 1973.

        Apple really can't claim to have invented any of the hardware it uses in an iPhone or iPad. They even got sued and paid off $60 Million over the iPad name which was someone else s trademark.

        If you want to show their innovation, hardware is the wrong place to look. Its really iOS that made the iDevices what they are.
    • Way to entirely miss the description of

      Apple's innovation right there in the opening paragraphs.

      Let me simplify it for you.

      Apple's genius: Taking what's out there and making it not suck.
      • Not the biggest Apple fan but...

        ...what you say is truth. Apple is not really that innovative but they are fantastic at packaging existing tech and making it work with little flaws. If something is not close to 95% working, they leave it out till it is. And their marketing is bar none they best.

        Give credit where its due.
        Rann Xeroxx
        • Nice job contradicting yourself.

          Even if you don't realize it.
  • Marketing

    Marketing is what Apple was good at. Making the consumer think that they were looking at something new. (Something that just wasn't marketed by the actual innovator, either at all or marketed poorly.)
    Take the "touch capacity" of the iPxx products. I had that on my Palm Pilot, Treo, and Sony pda long before Apple had an iPhone or an iPad, AND I could use a stylus.. (my finger tip and your finger tip are far too large to do any detail work on ANY device)
    All of the technologies you mentioned were adopted by Apple. But they masters of marketing. (Microsoft falls short on innovation as well and they are not as good at marketing as Apple. So this isn't a bash Apple rant.) It's just that the biggest thing they have done is to market mobile technology and make it cooooool!!!!
    Anybody using and utilizing mobile technologies owes a debt to Apple for the excellent job of marketing they have done, without them a lot of things might have disappeared. Like the mouse (IBM), touch screens (Palm and others), applications for small devices (again palm and others). The list goes on and on, but without the marketing genius of Apple these things we all use everyday would be drawings in someone's files.
    • No you didn't

      If it was just touch that were the thing, sure. I used a touch bezel on a Xerox Alto decades ago.

      It isn't.

      There are only two companies that had working multitouch eight years ago.... Microsoft (with their tabletop Surface product) and Apple.

      It isn't just marketing. They had something Palm and Blackberry just weren't doing. If they had been, things would be different today.
      • Hello fellow Alto user!!!!

        Nice to know some of the people here comment on Xerox and UI issues actually know the system they keep posting about! :)
        • Yeah, I think it's actually a very cool thing

          that I had occasion to use it. Xerox used them to drive some of their big hardware rasterizers (that used another PARC invention, something called InterPress, the first page description language.)

          Most people don't realize how advanced the Alto was. They didn't just have the mouse pointer worked out, but a nice touch screen implementation as well.
    • Marketing buys you an initial

      sale. Desirable products buy you customer loyalty. All the marketing in the world can't fix suckage. Just ask MS and the Zune.
  • Better put on your helmet and body armor, James.

    Here comes the AA* crew.

    • everyone builds on everyone elses tech...

      except apples, if you build on theirs, they will sue you.

      never mind that apple borrowed music playing phones from Samsung (99), touchscreen phone from IBM (94) GPS phone, Geocentric (99), camera phones from Kahn, (97). There is more too.. (for example Nokia were doing icon based layouts long before the iphone came out) but you get the idea.. what Apple did, was package it all up, make it pretty and market the hell out of it.. not a huge amount of innovation as they were standing on the shoulders of the giants. But definitely a well polished product and great marketing.

      I'd like apple a lot more if they'd just acknowledge the others that made it possible. But they keep suing for additions they created that build on the work of others. If Samsung (for example) had patented the ability of a smartphone to be a portable music player back in 98 when they had the idea, it's unlikely apple would be where they are now. (ditto with the other actual companies and folks that had the idea to put cameras, gps, browsers, multitasking etc etc into phones). admit it Apple and we might all love you again for at least being honest.
      • Wow, way to TOTALLY miss the point

        And make clear you don't know what you're talking about. But good job regurgitating statements and memes started by other people and packaging them up as your own original thought. Oh wait….

        As for your content, first, the things you listed are telling in that NONE of them are examples of things that Apple ever sued anyone over!!!!
    • Not anti-Apple

      But when you make absurd statements, expect corrections. It would be like substituting Apple with Microsoft or Google in that title, it would be just as absurd.
      Rann Xeroxx
      • And as no "absurd statements" were made?

  • Did you know?

    The Universe is totally solid. Time is a master form of energy. All motion is by replication. Never mind, it won't change anything. Innovation is a step in a products life. I can dream up a product idea or come up with a modification to someone else's product but I can't make millions of them myself.
  • Closed Ecosystem

    "Apple has long been blasted for its closed software ecosystem, but there’s little doubt this played a role in the rapid adoption of both the iPhone and iPad." - The closed system played no role in the rapid adoption of the iPhone and iPad, in fact, many people cite the closed system as a reason they avoid iOS. The closed software ecosystem has allowed Apple to keep malware and viruses out which has been a boon for use in schools and enterprise. That's the key factor to keep in mind here. It's one big reason Android has failed to gain much, if any traction, in this space.