8 things we’ve learned about Jony Ive, from Jony Ive

jony ive iwatch is super cool could disrupt watch industry

Apple’s Senior Vice President of Design, Jony Ive, has been interviewed by The Sunday Times Magazine in the UK. It’s a five-page, in-depth piece looking at the man himself and his famed career at Apple. The newspaper traveled to Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California to meet with Ive on his 47th birthday. Here are our favorite quotes, snippets and factoids from the resulting conversation.

He’s not a show-off

Ive owns one house in the Pacific Heights area of San Francisco, avoids publicity, and “hates fuss and relishes simplicity.” Something which shines through in the products he designs. He’s a car fan who owns a few Bentleys and a “1960s Aston Martin DB4 in a silvery blue.” The rumored Apple iWatch didn’t adorn his wrist during the interview, and he instead wore a Jaeger-LeCoultre watch which he designed himself. There are only three in the world.

Unsurprisingly, he’s an Apple fanboy

When he was a student, he apparently considered himself “technically inept” after trying and failing to work computers. He then discovered Apple’s hardware, and said the “intuitive mouse-driven system suddenly made it all seem so simple.”

Ive says he’s a maker, not a designer

apple iphone 5c vs 5s rear

“There is a resurgence in the idea of craft,” Ive told the interviewer. “I want to know what things are for, how they work, what they can or should be made of, before I even begin to think what they should look like.” As a child, Ive says he was obsessed with taking things apart and putting them back together again. It apparently hasn’t abated. Ive says he did the same thing to his iPhone, just to show he hadn’t lost the skill. It’s this creativity and “love of making” which brought Ive and Steve Jobs together.

Only a select few can enter his top secret office

Ive’s corner of 1 Infinite Loop is separated from the other offices by opaque sheets of glass, so no-one outside can peek in and get a glimpse of all the top-secret toys Ive may leave on his desk. Think we’re joking about the toys? Ive admits it, saying “It’s the one place you can go and see everything we’re working on. All the designs, all the prototypes.” Only Ive’s “core team and top Apple executives” can go inside.

He’s a perfectionist, and Steve Jobs couldn’t choose a hotel

It’s a bit of a “duh” one, but guess what, Jony Ive is a perfectionist. He spent many months perfecting the iMac’s desktop stand, and once a product or piece has been finished, he’s “haunted by the idea: Could I have done better?” It’s an affliction designers (hold on, shouldn’t that be “Makers” Jony?) are cursed with” he says.

The late Steve Jobs and he were clearly a customer service nightmare. Ive recalls his travels with Jobs, where upon reaching their hotel, he wouldn’t unpack but would sit and wait for an apparently inevitable phone call from Steve, saying “Hey Jony, this hotel sucks. Let’s go.”

He’s not a fan of the competition

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 (front)

“We’re surrounded by anonymous, poorly made objects,” he says, and adds that the people who make them “don’t care.” Apple, he says, is different, and he’s rightly proud of his work there. “We make and sell a very, very large number of (hopefully) beautiful, well-made things,” he says. He ruins it by being a bit of a luvvie, adding, “Our success is a victory for purity, integrity – for giving a damn.”

Copying is theft

When asked about Apple’s designs being copied by others, Ive calls it theft. “What’s copied isn’t just about a design, it’s thousands and thousands of hours of struggle,” adding that those products which are worth pursuing take “years of investment, years of pain” to perfect.

The best is yet to come from Apple

Ive will be our barometer for when (or if) Apple entirely loses its mojo. He says he’d quit and make things for himself and friends at home, should Apple no longer “push the envelope.” He closes in typically understated fashion, saying “I hope so,” in response to the question of whether the best of Apple, and Ive, is still to come.

Movies & TV

‘What We Do In The Shadows’ turns Jemaine Clement into a creature of the night

With a career as unique as the man himself, Jemaine Clement’s star is still rising. From his HBO show (and band) Flight of the Conchords to his TV spinoff of What We Do in the Shadows, we dig deep into the funnyman’s many roles.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'The Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘The Good Place’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in November, from 'The Witch’ to ‘Dracula’

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.

Which smartphone has the best camera? We found the sharpest shooters

They say that the best camera is always the one you have with you and that makes your smartphone camera very important indeed. Join us for a closer look at the best camera phones available right now.

Google honors Veterans Day by highlighting military service stories

For Veterans Day, Google is honoring the heroes that served the country with a new Google Doodle that highlights the stories of five veterans from the five different branches of the military.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: 1-handed drone control, a pot that stirs itself

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Make some time for the best smartwatch deals for November 2018

Smartwatches make your life easier by sending alerts right on your wrist. Many also provide fitness-tracking features. So if you're ready to take the plunge into wearables and want to save money, read on for the best smartwatch deals.

Bigger than Black Friday: Don’t miss the best Single’s Day deals

Thanks to AliExpress, Single's Day – the world's largest retail day – is no longer a foreign affair. If you're ready to do some early holiday shopping or want to score some discounts ahead of Black Friday, we've rounded up some of the…

Our favorite ebook reader is not a Kindle. Here are all the best options

If you're a bookworm, an ebook reader can be an important part of your life, one that allows you to read your books whenever and wherever you like. But which should you get? Here are five of the best ebook readers available.

Samsung made a $2,700 flip phone with the brains of a smartphone

The Samsung W2019 is a high-end flip phone that comes with flagship specifications such as 6GB of RAM and Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845. The device features a pair of S-AMOLED displays, a dual rear camera setup, and an eye-popping price tag.

Google, Samsung, OnePlus, and Huawei face off in an Android battle royale

The good news is that there are some great options in the Android smartphone market right now. The bad news is that too much choice makes it tough to decide. We compare the Pixel 3 XL, the Galaxy Note 9, the OnePlus 6T, and the Mate 20 Pro.
Product Review

It's so fast it has a clip-on fan. But the Asus ROG phone isn't just for gamers

Is a gaming smartphone only something a mobile gamer should consider buying? In the case of the Asus ROG Phone, the good news is the device is so capable, and a genuinely impressive all-rounder, that everyone should take a closer look…

Apple to boost its Amazon presence with listings for iPhones, iPads, and more

Apple is about to start offering more of its kit on Amazon. The tech giant currently only has very limited listings on the shopping site, but the deal will see the arrival of the latest iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, and more.