Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 22nd Jan 2009 12:04 UTC
Legal Remember when Steve Jobs launched the iPhone, and held it up in the air, proudly proclaiming "Boy, have we patented it", followed by a massive applause of the adoring audience? It may seem like this wasn't just an empty claim, either. During the earnings conference call yesterday, the company hinted at possible legal action against Palm were the Pre to infringe on iPhone patents.
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Apple's innovation is not that it championed the idea of a a multi-touch phone. It's much more about the little tweaks Apple put in to enhance usability. The way a flick on lists makes them scroll, and bounce back when they have reached the end... the way every app opening has a transition to let the user know what's going on... the way the screen automatically changes orientation when the accelerometer senses the phone is tilted sideways... the way the phone's screen turns off and the touch-screen locks when the proximity sensor detects that you're holding it to your face... the "slide to unlock" mechanism.... the way the onscreen keyboard senses which keys you're trying to press, even though the keys look like they're going to be too small... The way webpages are presented in desktop format and are easily zoomable via pinching or double-tapping... the way SMSes are presented as conversation threads... "visual voice mail"... These were all firsts with the iPhone.

True, the animation bits were limited somewhat on other platforms by lack of investment in technology on the part of other manufacturers... but most of the reason no one else did this stuff is simple complacency, and the notion that "this is as good as it gets".

The iPhone is a usability tour de force... Are you too blind to see that?

Edited 2009-01-24 08:59 UTC

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