If you’re an Apple fan, you know that the folks over in Cupertino, California are a fun and clever bunch. But if you need evidence of that, just consider the fact that Apple likes to hide easter eggs and other clever details in its software. It’s true. Back when it was called OS X, the Mac operating system was chock-full of easter eggs. These days, Apple doesn’t appear to hide as many in its platforms — but you can still find many of them. Continue reading to learn more about 11 of Apple's Greatest Hidden Easter Eggs.
Voice Memos Icon
Take a look at the Voice Memos app on your iPhone or iPad. Now, open the app and record yourself saying the word “Apple.” You probably already know where this is going. The app icon for Voice Memos is, in fact, cleverly designed to be the waveform for a person saying Apple. That’s attention-to-detail.
Apple’s Think Different campaign is legendary. You’re probably familiar with it: “Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers…” While that campaign concluded in 2002, it still lives on today in random places across Apple’s ecosystem.
For the longest time, the OS X TextEdit app icon contained the quote in a letter format (although it no longer does). But try zooming in on the open book emoji on an Apple platform. You’ll find the exact quote in its entirety.
Blue Screen of Death
Apple and Microsoft are known for being friendly-but-fierce rivals. And neither company is above small digs at the other. If you’re on a network that contains at least one Microsoft computer, you can see one of these small digs.
Just open the Finder and click on the Network option under the Locations subheading. If there any PCs on the network, you’ll see them represented by a clunky-looking computer icon with Microsoft’s infamous “Blue Screen of Death” on its display.
iPhone 11 Keynote Message
Speaking of the infamous Windows error screen, Apple’s most recent easter egg also referenced the Blue Screen of Death (BSoD). Unlike the other items on this list, this easter egg wasn’t in Apple’s software. Instead, it was hidden within an Apple YouTube video.
The video was Apple’s “Apple Event in a flash” recap clip. And around the 1:24 mark is an BSoD-style image that contains a message and some binary code which basically said to “you took the time to translate this? We love you.”
Hidden Cookie Recipe on Macs
Your computer likely has some internet cookies on it. But you might not know that it has actual cookies, too. Well, it’s a recipe for cookies. But yes, there’s an actual recipe for Mrs. Field’s cookies hidden within your Mac.
If you feel like doing some baking, you can pull up the recipe pretty easily. Just open a Terminal window, paste this command without quotes: “open /usr/share/emacs/22.1/etc/COOKIES” and hit Return. You should see the recipe pop up in a new text window.
Terminal’s Hidden Games
While Macs haven’t really had a reputation for gaming, there are some hidden games right in the Mac operating system. What’s more, they’re probably in the one place that you’d least expect games to be: the Terminal.
Try it out. Open a Terminal window and type in “emacs.” Then, hit Esc and X at the same time. Once you see a new text prompt pop up, type in “tetris” “pong” or “snake” without quotes. From there, you’ll be able to play the classic, OG games right within the Terminal window.
Steve Jobs’ Glasses
Across the Apple ecosystem, the company’s Safari browser supports a user-created Reading List. You can add websites and articles to the Reading List through the Share sheet — just tap on the glasses icon.
But if you’re an eagle-eyed Apple fan, you may have noticed something familiar about those glasses. They are, in fact, modeled on the iconic eyeglasses worn by late Apple cofounder and CEO Steve Jobs.
Incomplete App Download
If you are currently downloading an app or there’s a download that is incomplete, the modified date for said file is a clever easter egg that references the history of the Mac.
Although it can be tough if you have a speedy internet connection, try right-clicking and hitting Get Info on an in-progress or incomplete download. The modified date should say January 24, 1984 — which is the exact day that Steve Jobs first introduced the original Macintosh.
Apple Maps Logo
Apple Maps has gotten a lot better in recent years, which likely means that more people will be using it. The next time you go to tap on the Maps icon, take a closer look at its design.
It’s not just a random representation of road routes. The 280 freeway is, in fact, real. And it runs right through Cupertino, California — where Apple’s old campus and its new “spaceship” headquarters are located.
Vinyl Record Icon
macOS lets you choose an avatar for your user profiles. One of the default options is a vinyl record. And while it’s tough to spot, the track listings on the vinyl records are references to Apple’s late cofounder.
Try it out yourself in System Preferences > Users & Groups. The text on the record includes “Magic,” “Revolution,” “Boom!” and “Unbelievable.” Those are all common words uttered by Steve Jobs during keynote events.
Fun Facts in Terminal
Want to learn about fun historical facts? If you own a Mac, you don’t even need an internet connection to get a list of facts for every single day of the year.
Just open up a Terminal window and paste the following command without quotes: “cat /usr/share/calendar/calendar.history” — you’ll be greeted to a list of historical facts right in the Terminal. Just type Clear to delete them.