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Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple's Greatest Products

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  1,188 ratings  ·  145 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 w
Hardcover, 274 pages
Published November 14th 2013 by Portfolio Hardcover (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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
irfan darian
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 book starts off pretty well with Ive's school education progressing through the college. The ID genius' journey has been documented through his years in London and his ultimate landing at Apple. The iPod, iPhone and iPad gets a few page chapters. The core product of the Apple - [Aluminium] iMac or MacBooks do not! Its lost somewhere in different chapters.

This book left me wishing for so many things. It would have been more interesting if Kahney had incorporated some of the designs of Ive tha
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
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
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.
Bett Correa
This book is a nice companion to Issacson's book on Steve. It gives another view of inside Apple. I really enjoyed this book and recommend it to people who want to learn more about the design of Apple products and what it takes to create quality consistently. I learned that even though they like talking about creativity, the process of design which is very structured is the real key to the high quality of designs and products put out by the company.
Adrian Oprean
O carte slaba scrisa de un fanboy pentru ceilalti fanboy Apple. Nu am gasit nici macar o informatie de esenta, toate carte fiind construita ca o suma de articole. Nu numai ca autorul sare de la o ideea la alta, dar traducerea in romana pare sa fi fost facuta cu Google Translate. De altfel, lipseste orice fel de analiza a actiunilor luate de catre cuplul Jony-Jobs, autorul concentrandu-se spre a crea un cult din omul Jony Ive.
Kevin Kirkhoff
There's a reason Apple is on the cutting-edge of product design. They design the product, then fit the machine inside of it. This book was as much about Apple's industrial design studio as it was about Jony Ive, although the first few chapters did focus solely on his upbringing and education. The book had a lot of interesting information about the design of the iMac, iPhone, iPad, the translucent Macs, and Jony's other projects. While it didn't take up much of the book, the author even including ...more
Laird Bennion
This reads like copy reporting from magazine articles and Isaacson's Steve Jobs bio. This book would have benefitted from focusing more on Ive's underlings and internal studio dynamics rather than zoom shots and presumptions about Ive and his career. Best parts of the book are about his studio workmates anyway.
Worth the read if you're a design nut but nothing revelatory here at all, frankly.

Louis Brunet
The story really shows the series of decisions in the creative process leading to putting a new product on the market. Every step of the way, the project can take a wrong turn, a constant battle against the forces of mediocrity. The book makes one appreciate all the hard work behind products that we can so easily take for granted. It also gives us a glimpse of the personality of Mr. Ive. A few more of those glimpses would have been great. Personal stories. All in all, a great story.
Mihai Parparita
This generally felt like a book report or survey article that covered most of Apple's products since the mid 1990s. There was very little new material, it seemed like the author was forced to rely on the Isaacson Steve Jobs biography, other Apple books and several magazine articles, in the absence of much direct insight into Apple. The section about Jony Ive's pre-Apple life and a few interviews with (ex-?) Apple designers about some less significant products (such as the Mac mini) were the only ...more
Weijian Chen
I do not think this is a book about Jony Ive. Ok, at the first few chapters, there are stories about him. However, once Jony Ive was in APP.INC, the information of Apple is more than the information of him. I do not doubt that Apple makes Jony Ive well-known, but too much technological information make me want to skip a few chapters.
I'm a big Apple fan and thought I would gain some insight into how Jony Ive works and the Apple ethos. I found the author relied too heavily on others accounts of the famous Jony and nothing too personal. I enjoyed the background info on the IG studio. But the detail on all the earlier Apple products was slightly boring for me.
I am fascinated by the Apple company--it's history, it's culture etc. I read Steve Jobs biography and it seemed important to read this biography as well because Jony Ive is the designer who has given Apple products their unique look, feel and beauty. I was interested to learn that he is dyslexic, British and is also very capable in the materials and construction end of his products--not just the outer appearance. This book was prepared, apparently, without any cooperation from him--there are no ...more
iain meek
The tale of a chap who was either naturally talented or so well brought up by his designer father that he became a big cheese in a very secretive organisation- not Mr Putin but.....

But 100s and 100s of slightly different variants of mock ups before the final bling. Perhaps more application than inspiration.
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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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