Steve Jobs was working on television, text books, and photography

Steve Jobs was working on television, text books, and photography

Official Steve Jobs biographer Walter Isaacson has given an interview to the New York Times where he reveals what Steve Jobs was going to tackle next at Apple, including television, text books, and photography.

He had three things that he wanted to reinvent: the television, textbooks and photography. He really wanted to take these on. I didn’t go into details about these products in the book because it was implicitly Apple’s creations and it’s not fair to the company to reveal these details. But, he did talk about the television. He told me he’d “licked it” and once said, “There’s no reason you should have all these complicated remote controls.”

While an Apple television set has been rumored for a while now, and the iPad certainly seems part of a textbook plan, photography is interesting to see on the list. What about photography now is broken and in need of a Steve Jobs-style fix?

Source: NYT

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Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, Vector, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Steve Jobs was working on television, text books, and photography

22 Comments

What about photography is broken?
I've got 5.000 photographs that predate digital photography; that's problem no. 1. Some day I would like them scanned, dated, geo-tagged and tagged with individuals in the photos. I wonder whether I'll ever get 1 % completed.
Problem no. 2 is that I've I've got a 30.000 photographs made with a digital camera that predates geo-tagging. Some day I would like them geo-tagged and tagged with individuals in the photos. I wonder whether I'll ever get 5 % completed.
Problem no. 3 is that I've I've got a 1.000 photographs that are geo-tagged, but not tagged with individuals in the photos. I wonder when I'll get a software that's smart enough to sort it all out for me.
And I don't even dare to think of my home movies in VHS-C format, and on DV cassettes; I probably don't even have anything to play them on any longer! But that's another story.

I love photography, but it's broken. Aperture and Lightroom were a decent first step, but we also need wireless PC transfer, cloud integration, and social network linking as standard features.

I agree. I want to be able to do all of the things with photos and videos shot on my DSLR that I do with the ones shot on my iPhone.

These aren't problems with photography, they are mostly record-keeping problems. The ones that aren't are just obsolescence and the problems that creates.

That''s the thing with Steve, he wouldn't limit himself to the act of just taking a photograph. He would think about the whole experience and all the associated challenges and opportunities that entails, including record keeping.

What about photography is broken?
I've got 5.000 photographs that predate digital photography; that's problem no. 1. Some day I would like them scanned, dated, geo-tagged and tagged with individuals in the photos. I wonder whether I'll ever get 1 % completed.
Problem no. 2 is that I've I've got a 30.000 photographs made with a digital camera that predates geo-tagging. Some day I would like them geo-tagged and tagged with individuals in the photos. I wonder whether I'll ever get 5 % completed.
Problem no. 3 is that I've I've got a 1.000 photographs that are geo-tagged, but not tagged with individuals in the photos. I wonder when I'll get a software that's smart enough to sort it all out for me.
And I don't even dare to think of my home movies in VHS-C format, and on DV cassettes; I probably don't even have anything to play them on any longer! But that's another story.

after reading the book, i am of the belief that Isaacson is something of a hack who doesn't really know what he is talking about when it comes to technology.
for all we know, Jobs was talking about photostream one day and now Isaacson is blowing that all out of proportion as reinventing photography.

I'm not sure what is broken about photography -- the means in which we take a picture. Perhaps Jobs was referring more about distribution, more than the means of capturing the image, and PhotoStream was/is the first push into that arena.

Cameras rarely capture things as we see them (exposure, contrast, perspective, etc) I'm always editing images, not always to enhance them, but just to make them look closer to reality. Maybe he was imagining perfecting cameras with some sort of smart intelligence, similar to the way our brain processes the information our eyes send to it.

That is a good point -- as a photography junkie dating back to (gasp) film, camera adjustments are almost second nature to me, to the point where if I ever find myself consciously thinking about them, it is almost always to achieve some specific effect. But I can certainly see how 99% of people taking pictures would rather it done for them, if possible.

That is a good point -- as a photography junkie dating back to (gasp) film, camera adjustments are almost second nature to me, to the point where if I ever find myself consciously thinking about them, it is almost always to achieve some specific effect. But I can certainly see how 99% of people taking pictures would rather it done for them, if possible.

I still have all of my film SLRs, lenses, accessories, and dark room equipment in storage. Maybe I'll go to one of those antique road shows, when I'm 90, and unload it all.

Are people unaware of the Bose TV that came out earlier this year? It's expensive, but it has a simplified remote that seems to really work.

My Bang and Olufsen is from 1999 and it has a killer remote in heavy, nice to the touch aluminum, which controls the lights in my house, stereo, dvd, cablebox etc. It's all linked to my homephones from 1999, with the clickwheel that inspired the Ipod. I can turn down the TV and Stereo sound with the phone when I answer a phonecall. B&O have had the right idea for a very long time, it's called Beolink. Too bad they never managed to turn it into an Apple like commercial success.

Like iCards was supposed to revolutionize cards? Apple spend more than 30 minutes talking about that on the last keynote, is anybody even using that? Or like the iPad and the Newstand app were supposed to revolutionize magazines? How is that going? Wasn't the iCloud supposed to be a revolution of some sorts too?
Now that Steve Jobs is dead the myth will go on, and people will daydream about how things would be magical and fantastic if he just had time to do them, but the last "revolutions" that came out of Apple under his watch were very much less than impressive.
Apple has been tacking TVs with less tha stellar success for over four years, Jobs just coudn't repeat his other successes there. If he had done to photography what he did for cards, I for one wouldn't call it a revolution.

I think the iphone 4 has done a pretty good job of distrupting the status quo of photography, and the 4S will only continue this.

Oh come on, nobody MAKES pelpoe work in terrible conditions. It is their choice. They choose to work at Apple. They can quit any time if they want. They are willing to do it. Apple's products were made by pelpoe who are willing to do this type of labor. What do you want them to do? They don't know how to do anything else.