For some people, Apple became popular because of its revolutionary iPhone and iPad devices. However, the company was already groundbreaking before that.
The company, which was founded by the late Steve Jobs and his partner, Steve Wozniak, had already made a name for itself with innovative products whose attributes ended up widely emulated by their competitors.
You could see that for yourself in the current technology that we have. With an appreciation of what Apple has done for today’s society, let’s take a look at the other important inventions Apple has dished out to the market.
It Introduced Mice and GUI Through the First Macintosh
Lovingly referred to nowadays as the “Mac,” the first Macintosh was launched in 1984 to great acclaim. It was the first Apple product to introduce something no one has apparently thought of before.
According to The Independent, the first Macintosh introduced the concept of the GUI or a graphical user interface. Simultaneously, Apple is also the first company to use an external device to interact with the GUI.
In other words, it introduced the ubiquitous mouse that you’re probably holding on to right now to move the pointers around.
Before the first Mac, computers relied heavily on keyboard shortcuts to open files and programs. These keyboard shortcuts are still around today, and what Apple did was to introduce something that made interaction a lot easier and more convenient.
The technology was so revolutionary that, Techworld says, Microsoft took the concept, combined it with some stuff from Xerox, and created Windows. The rest is history.
The fact that the technology it released to the market transformed the use of computers in various industries speaks volumes on the importance of Apple to today’s generation and the ones before.
It Brought Music to People’s Fingertips With The iPod and iTunes
Of course, Apple is not the first company to introduce a portable means of playing music. Sony had achieved a similar feat before with the Walkman.
However, what Apple did is to bring a much larger library of music literally at the fingertips of end users. It did so with the iPod and the iTunes Store.
While MP3 players have undoubtedly predated the iPod -- but still unable to compete effectively with portable CD players and the Walkman -- Steve Jobs’ revolutionary concept significantly improved the end user experience.
The iPod singlehandedly changed the landscape for the music industry. For instance, the iPod synchronizes with the user’s account in the iTunes store through the similarly named front-end software.
Every time a song is bought and downloaded through iTunes, the user only needs to synchronize his iTunes library through a PC or through the Internet.
For the first time, the potential of digital music download for the music industry was realized. People can now easily access a large library of music to be bought without physically visiting a store.
Much of what Apple introduced through the iPod and iTunes are now permanent parts of the music industry and its end users’ experience up until today.
It Combined Communications, Computing, Ergonomics and Entertainment Together with the iPhone
Before the first iPhone was introduced by Steve Jobs in a media event in January 2007, nobody -- except for science fiction writers -- has ever thought that touchscreen technology was possible.
What Steve Jobs and Apple did with the first iPhone was maximize the potential benefits of touchscreen technology.
For starters, it improved ergonomics. No one has to suffer the discomfort anymore of using small and fixed-size keypads, especially when they have meaty hands.
With settings to change keyboard size, typing SMS messages is easier and more comfortable.
The technology’s effect was also holistic. It’s now possible people to tap away at things they want to access on their phone. If you look closely, the iPhone and iOS simply built up on the GUI experience that Apple pioneered with the first Mac in 1984 by simply combining it with touchscreen technology.
With that, the first iPhone was basically the first touchscreen-based mobile computing system. You can download apps from the Apple Store that do all kinds of things.
This system made it possible for you to access your documents, write reports, open up spreadsheets, play games and browse the Internet directly using your iPhone. All of these with the tap of a finger.
Best of all, the iPhone built up further on the experience introduced by iTunes and iPod. Now, people can also use the same technology on a mobile phone, instead of having to have a cellular phone and a music player separately.
An article at Forbes speculated that Apple may have cannibalized on the popularity of the iPod with the iPhone, but it appears to be just a natural step in the natural process of things in the digital world.
It Introduced Mobile Computing to Various Industries Through the iPad
The launch of the iPad didn’t attract much attention the way the first iPhone did. However, in a span of just one year, it found its way to various applications no one has ever thought of before.
For instance, ABC News reports in April 2011, the iPad somehow became an instrument of choice of medical professionals.
In fact, the report said, the Kaweah Delta Healthcare District immediately purchased 100 units of the device just days after its launch. The new devices were meant to assist doctors in conveniently accessing lab results and other important functions.
ABC News also highlighted a move by the Sacramento Country Day School in summer of 2011. The school’s management evidently decided that iPads will be instrumental to children’s learning.
The result? Sacramento Country Day School gave away iPads to its sixth grade pupils. Yes, that’s free of charge.
Other schools across the United States then followed suit, and across all learning levels.
That was only the beginning, of course. Nowadays, the iPad, together with its competitors, can be seen in use in a wide range of industries.
Artists, surgeons, flight instructors -- any industry you can think of, check them out and, more often than not, someone is working there with an iPad on his or her side.
Looking for iPhone or iPad Accessories?
People who have eye problems will definitely want to get their hands on the Anti-Glare Screen Protectors. It minimizes the amount of painful radiation that emanates from your screen, and is sturdy enough to protect the screen from blunt impact.