AirPort Extreme Base Station (Generation 4, 2009)

The AirPort Extreme was a wireless base station that combined the functions of a router, network switch, wireless access point, Network-Attached Storage (NAS), and other features.

The AirPort Extreme Base Station Generation 4 (model A1354) was released in 2009 with a white, rounded-rectangle design that was similar to the look of the first-generation Mac mini and original Apple TV. AirPort Extreme Base Station Generations 1–5 shared the same design until a tower-like design was used for the final Generation 6 model.

The AirPort Extreme Base Station measured 6.5 inches square, 1.3 inches tall, and weighed 1.66 pounds. It supported 802.11a/b/g/n wireless network protocols.

The AirPort Extreme Base Station Generation 4 had the follwing interfaces:

  • One Gigabit Ethernet WAN port for connecting a DSL or cable modem
  • Three Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports for connecting computers or network devices
  • USB 2.0 port for connecting a USB printer or USB external hard drive
  • 802.11n wireless

Sources: Wikipedia, Apple

AirTag (engraved, 2021)

The AirTag is a small, disc-shaped accessory that used Apple’s Find My network to easily locate items. Apple described AirTag as “a supereasy way to keep track of your stuff. Attach one to your keys, slip another in your backpack. And just like that, they’re on your radar in the Find My app.”

The AirTag measures 1.26 inches (31.9 mm) diameter and is 0.31 inch (8.0 mm) high. It weighs 0.39 ounce (11 grams). It contains a CR2032 coin cell battery that can be replaced by the user. The AirTag uses wireless connectivity including Bluetooth, an Apple U1 chip (Ultra Wideband and Precision Finding), and NFC (Lost Mode). It is splash, water, and dust resistant (IP67 with a maximum depth of 1 meter up to 30 minutes).

The AirTag was offered with free engraving featuring a selection of 31 Apple-designed one-color emoji, text, or numbers. Up to 4 characters could be added. This example is engraved with my initials, “MJF.”

The Air Tag “requires iPhone SE, iPhone 6s or later, or iPod touch (7th generation) with iOS 14.5 or later, or iPad Pro, iPad (5th generation or later), iPad Air 2 or later, or iPad mini 4 or later with iPadOS 14.5 or later.”

Sources: Apple

Wireless Keyboard (Generation 3, 2009)

Apple’s Wireless Keyboard, Generation 3, was released in October 2009 and was a slight revision to the Generation 2 version. The Generation 3 version used only two AA batteries (instead of three) and became Apple’s new standard, shipping with iMac computers released the same day.

Like its Generation 2 predecessor, this keyboard was thin and had an aluminum enclosure with thin white keys, similar to the laptops of the time. In addition, functions were added to the function keys such as media controls. Its round power button was found on the right side of the keyboard—opposite the cylindrical battery enclosure. It connected via Bluetooth.

This keyboard style was updated one more time to a Generation 4 version when Mac OS X Lion (10.7) was released. The Generation 4 version updated two function keys: the Exposé key was changed to a Mission Control key, and the Dashboard key changed to a Launchpad key.

This keyboard design was replaced entirely on October 13, 2015, with the Apple Magic Keyboard.

Source: Wikipedia

iPhone 13 Pro Clear Case with MagSafe (2021)

The iPhone 13 Pro Clear Case with MagSafe was designed for the iPhone 13 Pro to provide a case that was “Thin, light, and easy to grip…” and to highlight the “brilliant colored finish of iPhone 13 Pro while providing extra protection.” Although the case had no seams, it used a “combination of materials including optically clear polycarbonate and flexible materials.”

The built-in MagSafe allowed the iPhone’s MagSafe capabilities to extend through the case and function optimally with charging and accessories. Apple described the experience as:

“…magical attach experience and faster wireless charging, every time. When it’s time to charge, just leave the case on your iPhone and snap on your MagSafe charger, or set it on your Qi-certified charger.”

This example here is shown along with the iPhone 13 Pro in Sierra Blue.

Source: Apple

Beats All-Day Wireless Earphones (Yuzu Yellow, 2020)

These wireless headphones are branded as Beats. The company Beats by Dr. Dre (Beats) describes itself as a “leading audio brand founded in 2006 by Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine…Beats was acquired by Apple Inc. in July 2014.”

The headphones offer up to 12 hours of playback and the magnet is designed to keep “Beats Flex tangle-free as they easily coil up into your pocket or purse.” The audio technology is described on the Apple website:

“Beats Flex employs a dual-chamber acoustic design and a proprietary layered driver to achieve outstanding stereo separation with rich and precise bass response. Laser cut micro-venting provides ear pressure relief, and the optimized driver angle ensures clear, crisp sound. An advanced digital processor fine-tunes your audio for an accurate and emotive listening experience.”

The headphones use a USB-C to USB-C charging cable, and include eartips with four size options. They were available in Flame Blue, Beat Black, Smoke Gray, and the Yuzu Yellow color of this set.

Source: Apple, Beats

Apple Pencil (Generation 2, 2018)

The second generation Apple Pencil was released along with the Generation 3 iPad Pro on October 30, 2018. The new Apple Pencil was described by Apple in a press release: 

“A second-generation Apple Pencil magnetically attaches to iPad Pro and wirelessly charges at the same time. A new touch sensor built onto Apple Pencil detects taps, introducing an entirely new way to interact within apps.”

This Apple Pencil charged with a magnetic charger built into the iPad instead of the Lightning connector used to charge the original Apple Pencil.

Apple lists the capabilities of the Apple Pencil Generation 2 as including:

  • Wireless pairing and charging
  • Attaches magnetically
  • Double-tap to change tools
  • Pixel-perfect precision
  • Tilt and pressure sensitivity
  • Imperceptible lag
  • Free engraving

Although small design changes, the second generation Apple Pencil featured two flat edges and a matte-textured finish, making it feel more like a traditional pencil. It was also less prone to rolling off the table.

This post was updated in October 2021 to include the unboxing and shots of the Apple Pencil Generation 2 being used with an iPad Pro 11-inch (2021) and Apple’s Smart Folio.

Sources: Apple (Newsroom, Apple Pencil)

We only get one chance Apple Education brochure (2002)

This Apple Education brochure was printed on heavy matte paper and featured an idealized message aimed at educators to introduce a vision of a digital-age classroom. All photography in the book features real students in classroom environments and is printed using full-page bleeds (all photos go all the way to the edge of the pages with no borders).

The cover begins with the text “We only get one chance,” and the first two-page spread continued, “to engage them, to set them on the right path, and to prepare them for a world none of us can possibly predict.” The next spread begins with the question “So, what will we do with this chance?”

The next pages are two-page spreads with a full-bleed photo on one side and information on the facing page discussing several categories including Mobile Computing, Wireless Networking, Digital Media, PowerSchool (a student information system no longer owned by Apple), and Apple’s Comprehensive Services.

The final page features a green Apple logo with contact information.

This brochure measures 8 x 11 inches and has 16 pages.

Re-birth announcement. magazine insert (iMac, 1999)

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, part of Apple’s print advertising included magazine inserts. These inserts functioned like “mini-magazines” within magazines. These inserts were glued with a pliable rubber cement that could be easily removed.

This magazine insert shows the iMac DV Special Edition in graphite and the headline “Re-birth announcement.”

When opened, each page folds out into a three-panel spread. Opened, a two-panel spread shows a slot-loading iMac with several paragraphs of text, and opening the fold-out reveals additional information on three panels. Overall, this magazine insert has three, three-panel spreads. The first spread shows iMac features, the second spread discusses media playing and creation capabilities, and the third spread is devoted to the AirPort base station and wireless.

The back page features all six available colors at the time: Tangerine, Strawberry, Blueberry, Grape, Lime, and Graphite.

This insert is stapled and contains three, three-panel spreads. Folded, it measures 10.5 x 7.375 inches.

AirPods Pro with Wireless Charging Case (2019)

AirPods Pro with Wireless Charging Case were released in 2019 as a follow up to the immensely popular AirPods with Apple promising “Magic like you’ve never heard.” AirPods Pro add a number of features in addition to standard AirPods, most notably Active Noise Cancellation and a custom fit using three included sets of rubber “ear tips.” Connectivity is through Bluetooth 5.0.

Like standard AirPods, AirPods Pro easily connect to iPhone or Apple Watch using a simple connection interface that begins automatically when AirPods Pro are unboxed and in proximity to a device.

AirPods Pro are powered by an Apple-designed H1 chip. They use a force sensor on the stem and/or Siri to allow direct control of many functions. They also allow Audio Sharing between two sets of AirPods.

The AirPods Pro case allows both storage and charging. The case connects to a Lightning port or can use a wireless Qi-certified charger.

Audio technology includes: Active Noise Cancellation, Transparency mode, Adaptive EQ, vent system for pressure equalization, custom high-excursion Apple driver, and custom high dynamic range amplifier.

Sensors include: dual beamforming microphones, inward-facing microphone, dual optical sensors, motion-detecting accelerometer, speech-detecting accelerometer, and a Force sensor.

Controls include:
Press once to play, pause, or answer a phone call.
Press twice to skip forward.
Press three times to skip back.
Press and hold to switch between Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency mode.
Say “Hey Siri” to do things like play a song, make a call, or get directions.

Source: Apple

AirPort Extreme Card (2003)

The AirPort Extreme Card card replaced Apple’s original AirPort card in 2003. The first computers designed to use this card were the iBook G4/800 12-inch (original) and the iMac G4 1.0 17-inch (flat panel).

Apple devices with wireless capabilities after the AirPort Extreme Card had Wi-Fi as a standard feature built in to the architecture beginning in mid-2005. Beginning in 2006 with the Intel-based MacBook Pro, Apple used non-Apple-branded internal wireless cards (e.g., Atheros, Broadcom).

According to Apple’s AirPort Extreme Card User’s Guide:

AirPort Extreme Card Specifications
• Wireless Data Rate: Up to 54 megabits per second (Mbps)
• Range: Up to 150 feet (45 meters) from the base station in typical indoor use
(varies with building)
• Frequency Band: 2.4 gigahertz (GHz)
• Radio Output Power: 15 dBm (nominal)
• Standards: Compliant with 802.11 HR Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS)
11 Mbps standard, 802.11 DSSS 1 and 2 Mbps standard, and 802.11g specification

Sources: EveryMac, Wikipedia, Apple