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Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple's Greatest Products

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  1,902 ratings  ·  178 reviews
“Different and new is relativelyeasy. Doing something that’sgenuinely better is very hard.” —Jony Ive
In 1997, Steve Jobs returned to Apple as CEO with the unenviable task of turning around the company he had founded. One night, Jobs discovered a scruffy British designer toiling away at Apple’s corporate headquarters, surrounded by hundreds of sketches and prototypes. It wa
Hardcover, 274 pages
Published November 14th 2013 by Portfolio (first published 2013)
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I have to declare my hand here as I have had a long association with Apple, from commercially programming the Apple IIe through 10 years working for the company, to the many friends I still have there. I approached this book with an open mind - could Leander Kahney have persuaded the famously private Jony Ive to speak? The answer is a resounding 'no'. This book admits its failure to open up many primary sources, except as far as the beginnings of Jony's career is concerned. The rest is mostly re ...more
Eric Franklin
May 14, 2015 Eric Franklin rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people in the tech industry
This book is positively chockablock with insights regarding Apple's unique Industrial Design and Product Development process, making it a worthwhile read for people in the industry trying to get a better sense of how Apple keeps managing to churn out hit after hit. What makes Apple unique and how did it come to place Industrial Design at the core of it all?

* Don't create a product just because you can be competitive. Build a product where you believe you will own the category.
* Focus. Kill produ
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chris O'Brien
Nice read by a long-time Apple reporter. It's a challenge because in part, Ive's life story is sorta dull compared to Steve Jobs. No crazy fruititarian diets. No LSD trips. And in the telling, Ive never seems to experience setback. So the drama factor is low. Still, the book does a good job of explaining the messy and complex details of product design, which are laborious and tedious and rarely feature the simple narratives that later become myth.
Alex Devero
Well written book giving you chance to explore the life of Apple's head of design Johny Ive. Book also covers the process how Apple created its products and what it is like to work there. Enjoy the closer look into some of the secrets of Apple's design practices and how Johny Ive made it to the top.
David Schwan
A great book but probably many would find dry and over detailed, I however found it had the right amount of detail. The author gives us an in depth look at the Apple Industrial Design Group (IDg). Having been a long time Apple user (since 1980) it was great to see some of the underlying thought processes involved in the design of Apple products. This book goes beyond just design and shows us how Jony Ive has pioneered many new manufacturing processes, he has extended the way many things are buil ...more
An interesting book covering the life of Jony Ive and the design issues at Apple during Ive's employment. I have not kept up on Apple design over the years but have read a number of articles along the way, so I found that most of the topics and discussion in this book about Apple products were familiar. There were also quite a few new things I learned about the products, the design process, and in particular about Jony Ive. Two things bothered me though. First, Ive apparently didn't participate ...more
Ben Gillam
Interesting read, reveals some alternate views on the apple history not from Steve Jobs perspective. Jony Ive is an amazing designer and very interesting to read about. Book was a little slow to get going but worth seeing it through.
Good Profile of Jony Ive. I wish it was more detailed.

Favorite Quotes from the book:


(Referring to one of Jony's teachers in design school)
“And he had these fantastic big brushes in his pocket. When he came round, he wouldn’t just stop and talk to us; he would make us brush off what we were working on and clear a little space. Even if it was terrible, and in our minds didn’t deserve any clearing of space, there was something about respecting the work; the idea that actually it was important
Mar 23, 2014 Alex rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: No one
Save yourself the time, money, and headache and read something else. I am hard pressed to think of anyone whom I would recommend read this book over any number of freely available articles and interviews online.

That's your "TL;DR". There's a lot that really disappointed me in this work; here are the three most salient issues.

1.) The title is "Jony Ive," which would lead you to believe that this book is a biography about Sir Jony Ive's life thus far. (This is, of course, what I was interested in
I really wanted to like this. I had been hoping for a rich, detailed look at Ive, who has been so instrumental in Apple's resurgence since the first iMac. It was a quick read and I finished it in a few days, but in the end I found it kind of light, like a sports hero book for a young adult audience. There were several stories I had wanted to hear more about--like how the iPhone demo in early 2007 was so fragile that they spent frantic weeks figuring out exactly in what order to demo the things f ...more
An excellent read that is able to elucidate the fanatical approach that Jony has regarding all things related to design in Apple. From the verbal catfights, the use of ONLY polished aluminium screws on a casing, the universal approach to design to be culturally inclusive, the tens of models of the home button on the iPhone prototypes, the relationship of the Helvetica Nueu font with retina display, the move away from skeumorphism in iOs7, and many, many more stories, all told with the ultimate a ...more
The Dirty Sanchez
For those who don’t know (including myself before reading this book), Sir Jony Ive is best known as the head of the Internal Design Group (IDg) of Apple. Jony was known for giving his team members their proper due on their innumerable creations and innovations, though he was also careful to take credit for his own ideas. He excelled in translating highly technical equipment and features into aesthetic masterpieces that people could truly appreciate (beauty + function). From the very beginning, J ...more
Nelson Zagalo
An interesting read. The author being a journalist, does a very good work in gathering and putting together all the relevant known information about Jony Yve, life and achievements. However because being a journalist, he lacks knowledge and expertise do go in depth, reading and interpreting data, to understand what all this means for Design, Industrial Design and Interaction Design. Even if the author tries to present the work as groundbreaking, he is just following second-hand opinions.

For me,
It had its inspiring and interesting bits. But it read almost like a commercial for Apple. Almost completely sugar-coated and noncritical, which doesn't do Ive justice. Also I had unrealistic expectations that this might reveal more about Apple's famously secret design and production processes, but, hey, they're famously secret.
A revealing, riveting and refreshing insight into the hallowed Internal Design Team at Apple and their most honoured British Designer Jonathan Ive. The pioneer behind the iconic "i" products, this unassuming genius and an avowed and fanatical practitioner of the philosophy of minimalism and simplicity brings to Apple the most cutting edge principles of design using concepts such as the Unibody and Friction Stir Welding (FSW). The eccentricities, enthusiasm and energy of the most secretive design ...more
Mike Ball
Great look into the priorities and mindset that makes Apple products different, and the man behind the magic. Too bad the biography is all based off of anecdotal information and a few sources, but it's the closest thing we have describing how Apple comes up with their products.
David Kopec
Jony Ive is the subject of this book, but the majority of it is about the design language of the past decade and a half of Apple's products. We learn quite a bit about Jonathan Ive's design philosophy, his education, and his career, but comparatively little about Jony Ive the man. What makes him the best designer in the world? What makes him tick other than trying to be the best designer possible? I didn't feel this book answered those questions. Beyond his father being a designer too, I didn't ...more
Mars Brownsen
Highlights why we need less mba folks and more people who can make stuff. Love what it says about education. craftsmanship and pride are key to making brands that matter.
Yet another book on Apple. Unlike the title, pretty thin on Jony Ive. At least the book provided some insight into product design and development. Interesting story behind each of Apple's products. Whether by design or not, the book chronicled a company's transition to a design-driven business model. It compares well with engineering company like Google. Both successful business models, but provides interesting choice for all other technology companies (e.g., IBM, HP, Samsung Electronics...). Se ...more
Derek Neighbors
A rare look into the life of Apple's star designer and right hand man to the genius of Steve Jobs during Apples rise to the top. Leander Khaney does a good job of putting as close to the inside of Apple with out being an insider as possible. Khaney highlighted Jony's early life and decisions that landed him his role at Apple.

It was interesting to see a divide between design and engineering expressed. Rumored in the book to even lead to the departure of more than one executive employee. I enjoye
Narrated by: Simon Vance

Length: 8 hrs and 45 mins

Publisher's Summary

The best-selling author of Inside Steve's Brain profiles Apple's legendary chief designer, Jonathan Ive.

Jony Ive's designs have not only made Apple one of the most valuable companies in the world; they've overturned entire industries, from music and mobile phones to PCs and tablets.

But for someone who has changed the world as much as he has, little is widely known about Apple's senior vice president of industrial design. Unlike
Jony Ive is certainly an interesting figure on today's tech and cultural scenes. Few people have had as much impact on the look and feel of our surroundings, and therefore our daily experiences. I was happy to see the release of a book about him. The book isn't bad, but it is a bit disappointing. Because Ive and Apple are both somewhat secretive, the author's sources were limited. As a result, large segments of the book were basically just slightly tweaked re-printings of chapters of Walter Isaa ...more
Uwe Hook
To those of you who've read Walter Isaacson'n fabulous book on Steve Jobs, and are looking for the counterpart on Jony Ive: This isn't it. Ive is undoubtedly a fascinating guy (and to be fair, the books does give interesting glimpses into the important role Ive has plaid in most groundbreaking Apple products), but given that Ive has more or less dedicated his life to making things simple and elegant, I find it disappointing that this book fails so miserably at cutting away unnecessary stuff.

Fascinating insights into someone whose passion has changed the world.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was well written and takes you on a tour of Jony Ive's life from child prodigy to now the world's best known and most respected industrial designer. After reading this book, it is easy to see the synergies between Jonny Ive and Steve Jobs. Both have or had the ability to see the big picture as well as the minute details. Both are or were perfectionists, on a mission to create a better product
By Richard Beales

Jonathan Ive is the British perfectionist who leads Apple’s design team. A new book about him by journalist Leander Kahney shows his huge influence uniting form and function at the U.S. tech giant. But Ive the man remains largely hidden behind a screen that’s as obsessively crafted as any of the company’s gadgets.

Widely known and highly decorated in the design world, Ive isn’t always given his due as an architect of the company’s resurgence alongside Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.
Leander Kahney writes very well and this is important for the subject. Biographer Walter Isaacson is criticized for not understanding the milieu about which he wrote and that in turn taints every chapter, paragraph, sentence, and word. Kahney, on the other hand, understands the world of Apple and the MacIntosh and Jony Ive very well, as he has been writing about technology and the Mac for years now.

The book isn't a tell all, there's really no juicy bits to then share on social media. Instead, Jo
James Ippoliti
I enjoyed reading this book. I found that most of the information about Jony was stuff you could easily find online. Not much insight beyond what the public already knows. This is mostly because Apple is so secretive. The author admits that it was hard to come across primary sources. I felt that in order to fill this void the author went on too long about manufacturing procedures which became dull fast. I would recommend this to anyone interested in knowing a bit about the history of Apple and i ...more
Danaan Clarke
I liked knowing the background of the most influential designer at Apple. I wish there was more information from Jony. He's a quiet guy who doesn't want the limelight, but I kept wanting to know what he was thinking as he designed the iMac, the iPhone, and his earlier work from school. Other than that, it was a reality check and reminder that great design takes a lot of hours and a lot of work, which Jony personified. Good book for apple fanboys and design students.
This author got model generations endocrinology wrong multiple times. This book was not very original, and as a biography, it was severely lacking. However, it's a great collection of rare information from interviews with Jony's coworkers and old Apple staff/contractors. It also expands on the history of Apple's manufacturing methods, which was quite interesting.

It does go quite a bit in depth into Jony's childhood and school development, which is key.

Overall if you like Apple, I would still rec
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Leander Kahney is managing editor, formerly a senior reporter at Wired News, the online sister publication of Wired. He is the author of The Cult of Mac , Cult of iPod and Inside Steve's Brain. Kahney is best known for his popular blog, Cult of Mac (The Cult of Mac Blog). As a prominent writer on Apple- and Mac-related topics, Kahney was once theorized (incorrectly) to be the identity of Fake Stev ...more
More about Leander Kahney...
Inside Steve's Brain The Cult of Mac The Cult of iPod Steve Jobs' Visionen

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“The thing is, it’s very easy to be different, but very difficult to be better.” 5 likes
“He hated computers having names like ZX75 and numbers of megabytes. He hated technology as it was in the 1990s.” 1 likes
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