U2 and Apple

I’m a big Apple fan, I’m sitting here writing this on a Macbook Air, I have my iPhone next to me and an iMac on the table across the room. I am very happy with my Apple products. I am a programmer in my day job, working on Windows, and I have to say that I have been far happier with Mac OS than I ever have been with Windows. As a user it is much more stable, as a programmer it is much simpler, more robust, and you don’t feel like you’re fighting the system to get things done. Oh, and as I write this, an Apple Music commercial comes on tv. So yes, you could call me an Apple fan. But I don’t have any kind of watch (not yet).

So why am I talking about this? You can probably guess. U2 and Apple have had a long and winding career together, U2 using Apple to promote their music, and Apple using U2 to promote their products. Last year’s event with Songs Of Innocence was just the latest, and I bet there’s going to be more. In fact there were a few occasions during the tour that Bono name checked Apple for supporting RED, so maybe that’s the latest.

Both U2 and Apple got a lot of flak for the launch of Songs Of Innocence the way they did, but I’m very much in the opposite camp here. With all the rumors around the event, I was at work and listening to it online. I would have listened anyway - fanboy, right? - but that was an added incentive. And sure enough they came on and played, introduced the new song, and did a terrible sketch with Tim Cook. But it ended in a great way, with them surprising everyone by releasing the album, and for free. Unlike all those other people who had the album pushed to them, I was immediately trying to get it, refreshing and refreshing to pull the album down. Grabbed, listened, liked at first and loved later. Then I was a little surprised at the kerfuffle over the release. Yeah, people being mad at U2 sending them a free album. No, I get it a little, they probably should have done it a little differently. Maybe make it available, not force you to get it.

Back in the day U2 and Apple teamed up on the iPod, releasing a U2 version. I never got it, although I did mildly lust after it for a while. It was kind of outside my price range at the time. The part that was interesting was the Complete U2 box set on iTunes, which contained everything they’d ever done at the time. I really wished I had it back then, although since then I’ve gotten pretty much everything that was on it. There was quite a bit of promotion around that, that was fun seeing them jumping around on screen in an Apple ad.

So I think that U2 and Apple have worked well together over the years, although obviously others haven’t thought that. That’s okay, if we all liked the same things it’d be a boring world.