Apple design chief Jony Ive recently sat down with Wallpaper* magazine to discuss a variety of topics — ranging from Apple Park to the Apple’s new iPhone X.
The in-depth interview, which was published Thursday, is incredibly insightful and well worth a read for any Apple fan or tech aficionado.
The iPhone X
On the latest Apple flagship, Ive said that the iPhone X will be able to “change and evolve” as time goes on. Even though the new handset is all-screen, “that’s the wrong way to look at it,” according to Wallpaper*.
Ive contends that with the iPhone X, the design is “out of the way” — that is, it’s meant to disappear into the background. With no physical Home button, the iPhone X’s potentials are much more fluid and configurable. And in the future, it means that the OLED handset could gain capabilities that it doesn’t currently have.
“I’ve always been fascinated by these products that are more general purpose,” Ive told Wallpaper*. “What I think is remarkable about the iPhone X is that its functionality is so determined by software. And because of the fluid nature of software, the product is going to change and evolve.”
Focusing on the future, Ive said he’s looking forward to how the iPhone X will evolve over the next year with new software updates — and added that he’s betting that the iPhone X will represent a pivotal moment in Apple’s design history.
“So while I’m completely seduced by the coherence and simplicity and how easy it is to comprehend something like the first iPod,” Ive said. “I am quite honestly more fascinated and intrigued by an object that changes its function profoundly and evolves. That is rare. That didn’t happen 50 years ago.”
Ive also spoke at length about Cupertino’s new headquarters in Silicon Valley, Apple Park — which he had a hand in designing. Ive is described at “giddily excited” when speaking about the new campus, and its design philosophy is part of the reason why.
Like the iPhone X, Ive said, Apple will continue to change and evolve. And that fact alone makes a flexible and configurable campus a must. “I don’t think it is necessary to be explicit about its flexibility, but that flexibility is absolutely as powerful as in buildings where the primary story is, ‘Hey, can you reconfigure this,’” Ive said.
Part of that flexibility is the ability for Apple Park to accommodate different events at a whim. “You can very quickly create large open spaces or you can configure lots of smaller private offices,” Ive said. In addition, due to its layout, different departments and design disciplines can more easily mix than at Cupertino’s old campus.
As far as any hints as to Apple’s future plans, Ive declined to comment. But he did say that his design team is “absurdly curious and constantly looking for alternatives.” Some of Apple’s ideas are currently “beyond the technology” at the moment, but will work to spur Apple to create technology that could make those ideas work.
That lack of hints toward Apple’s future is undoubtedly part of its secrecy culture — something that’s central to Apple, Ive added. “The way we work is quietly. We are conspicuously different in that and it is an important part of who we are.”