Examples of how Apple pays attention to the “little things”

Fri, Jul 17, 2009


Apple’s attention to detail when it comes to hardware and software design is arguably unparalleled in the computer industry.  Often times, many of the tweaks and “oh wow, that’s cool!” moments pop up out of nowhere and in a nerdy and uniquely Apple way, leave you with a smile on your face.

With that said, the good folks over at The Apple Blog have given us a few examples which exemplify just how closely Apple pays attention to the little things.  In the grand scheme of things they may not be all that important, but they undoubtedly help complete and enrich the user experience. Here are 2 examples from the list that we can humbly admit to being wholly unaware of.

The sleep/indicator light

As many people leave their Macs running non-stop throughout the day, they have likely stumbled upon the infamous sleep light. Much like a heartbeat (or “snoring”), the little light pulses while your Mac sleeps. When the iMac G5 originally shipped, its sleep light indicator was bright! It didn’t bother people during the day, but for those who kept their iMac in an office or bedroom, it could light up the whole room at night. Apple issued a firmware update that reduced the sleep light’s brightness during evening hours, giving a much more relaxing pulse than before.

Beyond sleep lights, other indicators on newer Macs are typically hidden until needed. Take for instance the iSight indicator light, built into displays, which is seemingly non-existent until the camera is activated. Similar to the sleep light on the unibody MacBook Pros, the power light on the new aluminum Apple Wireless Keyboard blends in seamlessly until its activated. The thin aluminum that has been perforated with tiny holes for the light to shine through, but when there is no light, the keyboard looks seamless.

Product Shots

The next time you see a promotional shot for an Apple product, take notice of the time. For many years, whenever a Mac has been shown displaying the OS X desktop, the clock indicates the system version that the Mac ships pre-installed. This trend even carries forth to Apple’s retail stores, where display signage and wall banners that showcase Leopard prominently feature the system clock at 10:50. Due to only having 60 minutes in an hour, showing a clock at 10:60 for Snow Leopard would not make much sense. Pre-release screenshots from Apple still display 10:50, so this trend will likely end soon.

You can check out the full article from TAB over here.


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