- Apple isn’t just “the iPhone company.”
- Apple has released several game-changing inventions over the years, some of which could be even more important than the iPhone.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
For its first 20 years of existence, Apple was “the Macintosh company.”
Then, around the turn of the millennium, Apple quickly became “the iPod company” thanks to the rise of iTunes and Apple’s portable music player, the iPod.
Just over 10 years ago, Apple introduced its first smartphone to the world – and it’s been “the iPhone company” ever since.
But over the last several years, Apple has released some incredible innovations; perhaps soon, Apple will be known for them above all else.
These are Apple’s three best inventions since the iPhone:
- Hollis Johnson
The Apple Watch is a rare invention that actually justifies the real estate it takes up on your body.
The Apple Watch is Apple’s only wearable device. It can do a lot of things your phone can do – give you notifications, let you answer phone calls and texts, etc. – but it also does a lot of things that are truly unique.
The Apple Watch is one of the best ways to learn about your health habits, and improve them. It tracks your movements throughout the day – and it knows the difference between movement and real exercise, so you can’t cheat the system – and gives you feedback to help you meet activity goals to stay healthy. It can even remind you to perform breathing exercises, which helps if you’re feeling stressed.
The Apple Watch is great for its many abilities, like acting as a remote control for your music or TV, or using it to pay for goods with your wrist. But while it’s an excellent smartwatch, it’s perhaps even better as a health tool. There’s no better way to get real-time feedback about your heart, stress, and activity levels, and it benefits those who work out a lot, or who don’t work out very often. The Apple Watch is only four years old, but it already feels like a complete experience.
Apple Pay was designed to make paying for goods easier, faster, and more secure.
Plastic credit cards, according to Apple, are outdated and vulnerable. A credit card can be stolen, and its important numbers and security codes are exposed by default.
Apple Pay offers a more elegant and secure way to pay for goods.
A quick double-tap on your iPhone or Apple Watch summons your favorite payment method – a credit card, debit card, gift card, you name it – and you just touch your device to a merchant’s NFC panel to complete the purchase. That’s it. All the identifying information on your card is kept private and secure from merchants, but also from Apple.
Apple Pay is how paying for goods should feel: effortless. Thankfully, it’s expanding to more countries and more public transit systems, which should make the process of using public transportation even more fluid. And Apple Pay will soon support Apple’s first-ever credit card, the Apple Card, which is a game-changer in itself.
- Hollis Johnson/Business Insider
Apple debuted AirPods almost three years ago – and in the process, Apple created an all-new product category where others would struggle for years to catch up.
In 2019, there are still no wireless earbuds quite as good or user-friendly as AirPods, despite the number of facsimiles out there. To be frank, everything else out there is simply an “AirPods alternative,” but there’s really no substitute.
AirPods work effortlessly. There are no buttons or physical controls; you just take them out of their case, put them in your ears, and press play on your music. They sync to your device instantly.
They feel futuristic to use, too. If you take one earbud out, your music pauses automatically. Put it back in, and your music resumes.
Even the case – a perfectly smooth, white container, like the most modern dental floss you’ve ever seen – is beautiful to look at and hold.
Some people complain about how AirPods sound, but I think the volume and quality are great. They’re perfect for warm weather, since they don’t make your ears sweat, but they’re excellent year-round. I use them to listen to music, take calls, and even play my Nintendo Switch without bothering others (thanks to the excellent Genki accessory).
AirPods have become iconic, like Apple’s wired earbuds before them. No other Bluetooth earbuds look like these. But there’s also nothing else that comes close to the quality, ease of use, and design of simply using AirPods on a daily basis. They are the best headphones ever made.
Apple has even more innovations on the way.
But Apple has even more projects in the works, like its rumored smartglasses, or its self-driving car plans. Apple has billions of dollars and immense cultural influence at its disposal; it will be interesting to see what it decides to innovate next.