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Thursday, September 26, 2013, 02:34 am PT (05:34 am ET)

Apple's Ive and Federighi discuss collaboration, design and more in interview

When Bloomberg ran its latest cover story on Apple last week, most of the highlights came from CEO Tim Cook, but on Wednesday the full interviews of Jony Ive and Craig Federighi were published, offering a deeper look into the duo's collaboration on iOS 7, the new iPhones and Apple's mission.

Ive and Federighi

Apple executives Jony Ive and Craig Federighi. Source: Bloomberg Businessweek


Concluding Bloomberg Businessweek's coverage of Apple's latest iPhone launches, the publication posted to its website "the complete interview" with SVP of Design Jony Ive and SVP of Software Engineering Craig Federighi, on which the cover story was partially based.

Last week, chief executive Tim Cook told Bloomberg that Apple was "not in the junk business," referring to the cost and build quality of the company's devices. Ive and Federighi echoed the sentiment in their own interview, which was conducted separately from Cook's, but went further, explaining the thinking and process behind iOS 7 and creating a new product.

The pair worked closely together on Apple's latest mobile operating system after former iOS chief Scott Forstall was ousted from the company last year. Ive alluded to collaboration being the key to a great product, noting that his design studio at Apple had been closed off for some 20 years before iOS 7.

"But I have always found—and I know the ID [industrial design] team has always found—that the discoveries you make when you are lucky enough to sit next to somebody who represents a completely different expertise, those discoveries can be really profound, and they’re really exciting," Ive said.

Federighi, too, believes that the project brought the design and software teams closer than they had been prior to the development of the latest iOS and iPhone hardware.

Another topic was how Apple's looks at product development, a set of tenets known for being extremely focused and intent on getting every detail right.
"I think it’s a unique statement about Apple’s values in product development that it is taken as a given among everyone on the team that we will go to the most absurd lengths seemingly to get something just right"-Craig Federighi
"I think it’s a unique statement about Apple’s values in product development that it is taken as a given among everyone on the team that we will go to the most absurd lengths seemingly to get something just right, to solve, to do the level of architecture work that normally would constitute the most critical element of a product," Federighi said, "but we’ll focus that amount of energy and more to say, 'That blur has to be just right. That detail has to be just right.'"

A bit of time was spent explaining Touch ID, the fingerprint security system built into the iPhone 5s' home button, as well as other new technology introduced with the iPhone 5s.

Finally, the duo was asked about Apple's mission, which Ive described as trying to "make tools for people that enable them to do things they couldn’t without the tool. But we want them to not have to be preoccupied with the tool."

He went on to say that the employees at Apple only feel like their job is done when the final product appears "inevitable," without any alternative.

"It almost appears like it wasn’t designed," Ive explained. "Then we feel like we got it right, which is sort of semi-ironic, as a design team, to not make you feel like it was designed. But that’s what we try to do."

Federighi went a little deeper by adding emotion into the mix. He was influenced by Apple products as a child and said the company's technology allowed people to achieve things that would have otherwise been impossible.

"OK, I’m a technology freak," Federighi said, "but I think probably if someone mapped my brain, you would find that there were moments when I lit up the love pattern in my neurons in association with our products. I mean, literally, there is love, and I think that is true of many of our customers. I think when we build something we love and that others love, then we have done our job."