I came across a website whose purpose was to provide a super detailed list of every handheld computing environment going back to the early 1970’s. It did a great job except for one glaring omission: the first mobile platform that I helped develop. The company was called Danger, the platform was called hiptop, and what follows is an account of our early days, and a list of some of the “modern” technologies we shipped years before you could buy an iOS or Android device.
Written by one of Danger’s first employees, Chris DeSalvo. Amazing detailed look at some of the revolutionary things Danger did – years before iOS and Android.
It should come as no surprise that I loved this article. I hate how everything is framed as “iOS/Android invented this” – while in fact, both of those platforms rely very, very, very heavily on those that came before, such as PalmOS and Danger.
I vaguely remember something about these products – merging a Gameboy was pure brilliance…
Sad something like this could not have taken over and held the lead… just imagine if the Hiptop won out instead of the iPhone or BeOS instead of Next…
Thankfully we have an open platform dominating right now – I hope it stays that way (be it Android or another open platform).
I was looking for a phone at the time. It was much more expensive than other dumb phones, but it could do so much more I splurged and bought it anyway. With the built in ssh client, I did more than a few website updates. Good phone. I even repurchased it after it was stolen/lost.
At least some of the newer Danger (OS v5) devices were based on NetBSD. Too bad the article fails to mention this. It was sort of how BB10 is based on QNX…
Nintendo: Failing to understand digital distribution since 2005.
Who the hell are all these people claiming that iOS and Android invented everything? I see people constantly bitching about other people saying it, but I’ve never heard anyone actually claim such a thing. Well, maybe some non-techies do, but it would be like people who think that the Atari 2600 was the first game console. You can’t really blame them for not knowing any better.
I would go so far to say that, after my experiences with Palm and Windows Mobile devices, Apple was the first to invent a portable PDA/phone that I’d actually want to use. For that, they get most of the credit as far as I’m concerned.
Edited 2014-01-05 22:47 UTC