The Apple I Knew

As usual, John Gruber has the best take on the Apple Watch that I’ve read, and one sentence in particular stood out.

Rather, I think Apple Watch is the first product from an Apple that has outgrown the computer industry.

The Apple that is releasing that watch is not the same scrappy underdog from decades past. This is the new Apple, a massive powerhouse making the best products in the industries they enter. Computers, phones, tablets, and now, watches. This isn’t the same Apple that advertised their new operating system to Unix geeks.

Or, is it?

I don’t think the Apple Watch is a product designed for me, and that’s fine. I’m happy to see Apple grow and mature, as long as we keep seeing hints that they are still the same company with the same values, simply expressed in different ways. The Apple in the Unix ad above valued simplicity, beauty, power, and obsessive attention to detail. When I look at that watch I see the expression of those values in a new product.

The Unix ad above drew me to the Mac, and I’ve stayed because of the community. The community came together because we all shared the values we saw expressed in the products Apple made, and in their own statements. There are always going to be a few missteps along the way, some ham-handed attempts, and inelegant solutions. There will be times when Apple does things that are embarrassing, or just flat out wrong, but they’ve been doing that all along.

Sometimes they don’t pay quite close enough attention in their betas, which worries us:

Why am I worried about iOS 8? I keep seeing things like this: twitter.com/bradleychamber…
Dr. Drang (@drdrang) Sep 16 2014 8:50 AM

Sometimes we see trends with their software quality that worry us:

The sad truth is that EVERYONE is rushing software out the door because of Apple product releases.

Not a sustainable activity for ANYONE…

Craig Hockenberry (@chockenberry) Sep 15 2014 2:16 PM

But, really, these are things we’ve been seeing all along. In fact, it used to be common knowledge that a new OS X release would not be stable till at least the 10.x.3 release.

One of the endearing qualities of Apple is that their grasp almost always exceeds their reach. They are daring greatly, aspiring to do things that the tech industry simply doesn’t understand, and that they may or may not be able to pull off. Stretching a little further, a little wider, straining at times to accomplish their goal.

I think Gruber is right, he normally is, and that the Apple Watch will sell well. How the Mac, OS X, and the rest of the ecosystem evolve along with Apple will be exciting to watch.