Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 14th Apr 2014 16:40 UTC
Google

From a 2006 (pre-iPhone) Android specification document:

Touchscreens will not be supported: the Product was designed with the presence of discrete physical buttons as an assumption.

However, there is nothing fundamental in the Product's architecture that prevents the support of touchscreens in the future.

The same document, but a few versions later, from 2007 (post-iPhone):

A touchscreen for finger-based navigation - including multi-touch capabilites - is required.

The impact of the iPhone on Android in two documents. Google knew the iPhone would change the market, while Microsoft, Nokia, and BlackBerry did not. That's why Android is now the most popular smartphone platform, while the mentioned three are essentially irrelevant.

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Icing
by Treza on Mon 14th Apr 2014 21:43 UTC
Treza
Member since:
2006-01-11

These documents also show that "touchscreen" is just a bullet point among hundreds of features.

Users don't realize that most of the actual work of building a phone operating system is not the user interface.
Android could adapt quickly to touchscreens precisely because it is not something fundamental, and there was already rows of icons, a new display manager (not X11 !)...

The only lacking part was applications. But even if the touchscreen was not used by Google's apps but only by third party developers, the mere porting of apps between platforms creates overlap. Just like many Windows programs ported to MacOS and MacOS programs ported to Windows.

IIRC, at first, Apple actually didn't want third party
apps in the iPhone. By allowing anyone to develop for their platform, they lost the chance of keeping the iPhone user interface unique.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Icing
by spronkey on Tue 15th Apr 2014 00:20 in reply to "Icing"
spronkey Member since:
2009-08-16

I'd wager you are wrong that the UI wasn't as big a job as the rest of the "system".

The underlying software was adapted from existing software Apple already had.

Baseband firmwares etc simply need to be adapted and tested.

The iPhone's UI was its primary feature - and I have no doubt that Apple spent massive amounts of time researching, testing, and tuning the interface. That's the real IP here.

Reply Parent Score: 2