Android in Early 2007 Looked Very Different Than It Does Today

Reminiscent in some ways of Windows Mobile 5. Doesn’t remind me at all of Android as we know it.

Why does this matter? Let’s forget about any sort of argument about whether Android is a rip-off of the iPhone. Of course it is. Put aside any sense of justice or righteousness. How could the Android team not change course and copy the iPhone after they’d seen it? Steve Jobs, quoted in Wired magazine back in 1996:

I saw a very rudimentary graphical user interface. It wasn’t complete. It wasn’t quite right. But within 10 minutes, it was obvious that every computer in the world would work this way someday. And you could argue about the number of years it would take, and you could argue about who would be the winners and the losers, but I don’t think you could argue that every computer in the world wouldn’t eventually work this way.

What the mouse/windows GUI was to computing, the iPhone touchscreen is to mobile computing.

What’s more interesting to me is the technical story. It’s no wonder Android has struggled to match the smoothness, touch responsiveness, and high-frame-rate graphics of the iPhone, given that this is where they were in 2007. They’ve come remarkably far in five years.

Thursday, 26 April 2012