For quite some time, I have wanted to bring closer to you, our readers, some amazing people with knowledge about Apple. Having discussed this idea with our chief editor, I am incredibly happy that the first well-known person who agreed to give us an interview is the man behind the popular Twitter account called @BasicAppleGuy. You might know him or even be using some of his wallpapers, but for sure you do not know who he is or where his popularity came from. Personally, I would not dare miss his life story, so I asked him about that as well. I am thrilled to have got this opportunity. Moreover, thanks to Karel, who is skilled in translating, we are able to plan more interviews like that for our future issues. Now, let us move to the first interview of them all.
1) Who are you? Would you please introduce yourself to our readers?
Hey! Hello. I am ‚BasicAppleGuy,‘ the guy behind the website and Twitter account of the same name. I started my Twitter account back in February 2020 to post, interact, and comment on Apple-related news with the larger Apple community, which spun off into a website in April that same year. Both are intended to serve as a channel to share, interact, and post things that I delight in or excite me about Apple, their products, history, and design.
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The site was always intended to be a small hobby but has recently grown beyond my wildest expectations, primarily driven by the Apple-based wallpapers I’ve begun creating. When I started this project, making wallpapers wasn’t even on my radar, but as they’ve continued to grow in popularity, more and more of my time has shifted to creating them for the community.
2) What do you do for a living?
My ‚job‘ (i.e. the thing I am doing when I’m not working on the site or taking excessive amounts of photos of my dog) is working in a hospital setting supporting people’s mental health. However, my ‚dream job‘ has always been to work as a human factors engineer at a company like Apple, helping to shape software & hardware products informed by the psychology of people rather than designing products and expecting people to adapt around them, which is so often the case.
3) How was your way into the Apple world? Can you remember your first moments when you discovered Apple?
My first experience with Apple was when I had the chance to use a Blue Dalmatian iMac in a woodshop class as a kid. I haven’t the foggiest idea why the mechanic’s teacher let me edit videos while the other kids were building birdhouses, but that experience ignited a love for Apple. There was just a joy, creativity, and a sense of fun working on that Mac that I hadn’t experienced on any Windows machine. After a few years (my folks weren’t about to drop $2,000 on a polka dot computer), I finally saved up enough cash and purchased the third-generation iPod & 12-inch PowerBook. I have been entirely inside the Apple ecosystem and loving every moment of it.
4) What Apple products do you use for work?
My work is currently being done on a 2021 24-inch iMac and a 2021 14-inch MacBook Pro. The iMac lives in our office and is used by my wife and me for the remote work we do for our jobs, while the MacBook Pro travels with me everywhere around the house for work and while I’m working on any articles or wallpapers for the site. On me at the same time is my Apple Watch, a ceramic Series 5 or Stainless Series 7 that I alternate between, and an iPad; I’m currently using the latest 9th generation iPad (not the Air, not the Pro, not the mini, just the basic iPad).
5) What is your favorite app (be it for the Mac/iPad/iPhone/Watch, it’s up to you)?
I have been a dedicated user of Day One for over a decade, a journaling app available across Mac & iOS. I spend what could be argued is an excessive amount of time journaling per day, so an application that beautifully displays and helps me chronicle my day-to-day is of utmost importance.
Other apps that I love for their quality of life enhancements include Endel, an AI-powered Ambient music app, Things to help me keep my increasingly busy life somewhat organized, and of course, Sketch & Pixelmator Pro, which are the two apps that I use in creating nearly all of the wallpapers I’ve made thus far.
6) What is your favorite product? Would you also be able to explain why?
Always a tough question. I have products that are my favourite emotionally and my favourite for what I can accomplish with them. Currently, I am smitten with the 14-inch MacBook Pro, a powerhouse laptop I’ve upgraded to match the Mac Studio. I love how limitless I feel with that laptop and the things it allows me to create.
Emotionally, my current favourite product is the Apple Watch. Jony Ive was right, there is something very intimate about the Apple Watch that I adore above so many of Apple’s other products. From the beautiful finishes to the delight of new bands to the capabilities it’s gotten after so many iterations. While I could adapt my life without an Apple Watch, I would fondly miss having it.
Other products I have a soft spot for are the 12-inch PowerBook (I think its petite form factor is why I love the 11″ Pro so much), the iPod line (particularly the 3rd and 4th generation iPods), and the current 8.5″ iPad mini.
7) Lately, your blog has been filling up with interesting wallpapers. What is the source of your inspiration?
I recently wrote a short response to this question in one of my recent posts, and the answer is quite underwhelming. As I move through the world, I am often struck by a pattern, shape, or idea that I write down or sketch out as quickly as possible because my ideas are fleeting and would otherwise be quickly forgotten. For example, Apple Pixel Park, one of my recent wallpapers, was inspired by a New Yorker article. Another, Trust the Process(or), began with me joking around with others online after the Apple Keynote about how ridiculous the M1 Ultra chip must be. Quick shots for Apple keynotes, a beer label, and even donuts have all inspired me to design wallpapers for the site. And with all my design ideas, I try to find an ‚Apple angle,‘ whether in the colours I use or the design I am creating, that references Apple in some way, shape, or form.
8) How long does it take you to make a wallpaper?
Wallpapers that I am best known for, like the schematic series, typically take anywhere from 12-48 hours to complete. If you were to have 3-4 different wallpapers of mine on a couple of your devices right now, you could be looking at a couple hundred hours of work.
For many wallpapers, I spend a lot of my time tinkering with and learning new tools inside the apps I use. What might be straightforward to someone trained in graphic design is challenging to someone who still has a lot to learn about the software I am using, and so a lot of my time is spent learning new techniques or methods of achieving the effect I am after.
9) What is the story behind the design of your logo (the rainbow-coloured coffee cup)?
When I was tinkering with the idea of beginning an Apple-based Twitter account, I had a hard time coming up with a username that evoked the identity I wanted the account to have. I knew a lot about Apple and computers, but by no means was I a power user or all that interested in the billions of specs and benchmarks that you see flood the internet anytime a new product comes out. My taste in Apple has always, to put it simply, been quite basic.
That ‚basic‘ concept is what I built my account around. As a slang term, basic is also a derogatory term of referring to someone only interested in following and having whatever is trending. And at least around here, a hallmark stereotype for someone who is ‚basic‘ is always having whatever drink is trending from Starbucks. The coffee mug became the metaphor for representing the nature of my account, embracing rather than shaming that basic nature that’s often chided in some circles.
10) Is there anything you would like to see be fixed? Does Apple run into any trouble with its products?
I’d like to see the pace of Apple products and software slow down. The expectation has become that we should expect new software and hardware every 12-months, and that pace is beginning to feel non-sustainable. I don’t think people in tech have run a stable OS in years, leaping from one beta immediately to the next. And while I think Apple has managed the hardware & software at this pace exceptionally well, it makes keeping abreast and utilizing the latest features challenging. It’s not expected or reasonable that people upgrade annually, but there is a culture of living that lifestyle in the Apple tech community that is challenging to ignore sometimes.
11) What do you expect from Apple in future? For example, what product can we see in a year from now? Which path do you think Apple will take long-term-wise?
I honestly haven’t the foggiest clue. I keep hearing stuff about cars and AR glasses, but I haven’t paid it too much mind. A car would be astronomically out of my budget, and I haven’t kept up with the AR space to know why I should care about these rumoured glasses.
Right now, I’m hopeful Apple continues to improve iPadOS to handle a bit more sophisticated apps and continues to push more into the health, audio, and screen markets. I’m also really excited with what Apple has shown off so far with Apple silicon – it’s made the Mac the most exciting it’s been in over a decade.