Blockbuster event next week at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View:
How did iPhone come to be? On June 20, four members of the
original development team will discuss the secret Apple project,
which in the past decade has remade the computer industry, changed
the business landscape, and become a tool in the hands of more
than a billion people around the world.
Part 1: Original iPhone Engineers Nitin Ganatra, Scott Herz, and
Hugo Fiennes in Conversation with John Markoff
Part 2: Original iPhone Software Team Leader Scott Forstall in
Conversation with John Markoff
It kills me that I can’t make this. Hopefully there will be video.
Here’s the thing: Forstall was obviously a divisive figure inside Apple. He saw himself as an indispensable man after Steve Jobs died, and it turns out he wasn’t.
But there can be no dispute that Forstall led one of the most successful software projects ever undertaken. It’s a cliche to say that they achieved the impossible, but what Forstall’s team achieved was considered by many — including many of the members of the team — impossible. But they did it, and in the ensuing years they kept making iOS better and better. It’s not just that they managed to ship the original iPhone OS in June 2007, but the entire run up through Forstall’s ouster from the company was simply amazing.
Across the company, it’s clear that Forstall’s style was not popular. But I know many people who worked on his iOS team, and most of them loved working for him, or at the very least appreciated working for him. The thing I’ve heard over and over is that Forstall was incredibly demanding, yes, but if you were on his team and did good work he had your back.
Forstall pretty much hasn’t said a damn thing about Apple since he left the company five years ago. So if he opens up at all to Markoff, this could be fascinating. His team’s story about actually implementing the original iPhone remains largely untold.
Nilay Patel, announcing a special episode of The Vergecast with The One Device author Brian Merchant:
And, of course, we talk about the quotes from Tony Fadell and
Brett Bilbrey in the excerpt we just published, in which Fadell
tells a story about Phil Schiller arguing the iPhone should have a
hardware keyboard. Schiller has said the story isn’t true, and
Fadell has tried to walk it back as well.
“So I wasn’t in the room at Apple 10, 15 years ago when this would
have happened,” says Merchant, who has the exchange on tape. “But
this is a quote verbatim as Tony Fadell who was in the room told
it to me. He told me this quote in such detail and he gave such a
vivid account, and I had no reason to believe it was untrue.”
Merchant says the controversy has “blown him away.”
I figured Merchant had Fadell’s interview recorded. The quotes were too extensive not to have been recorded. It’s pretty clear what happened: Fadell told Merchant exactly what he’s quoted as saying, but now that he’s seen how it’s playing out, he wants to walk it back. It’s a little late for that.
In the wake of the previous item, allow me a brief rant on the word wireless. Merriam-Webster:
having no wire or wires; specifically : operating by means of
transmitted electromagnetic waves a wireless remote
I like New Oxford American’s definition even better:
using radio, microwaves, etc. (as opposed to wires or cables) to
Wi-Fi is wireless. No one would accept wireless as a description for an internet connection that required the device to be in physical contact with a charger, even if it were magnetic rather than a port you plug a cable into.
So Apple Watch, for example, does not use wireless charging. Apple describes it perfectly as “magnetic charging”. It sounds like this is what might be in store for the next iPhone. That’d be cool — but it wouldn’t be as cool as being able to charge over the air.
If we call inductive charging “wireless” now, what are we going to call it when it really is wireless in a few years?
Debbie Wu, reporting for Nikkei Asian Review from Taipei:
iPhone assembler Wistron, a smaller rival to Hon Hai Precision
Industry and Pegatron, on Wednesday confirmed that waterproof and
wireless charging will be incorporated into the new 5.5-inch
iPhones to be launched later this year.
“Assembly process for the previous generations of [iPhones] have
not changed much, though new features like waterproof and wireless
charging now require some different testing, and waterproof
function will alter the assembly process a bit,” CEO Robert Hwang
told reporters after the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting on
“Jeff Williams is on the phone for you.”
“Uh, tell him I’m indisposed.”
David Robinson, writing for Stack Overflow:
There were 28,657 survey respondents who provided an answer to
tabs versus spaces and who considered themselves a professional
developer (as opposed to a student or former programmer). Within
this group, 40.7% use tabs and 41.8% use spaces (with 17.5% using
both). Of them, 12,426 also provided their salary.
Analyzing the data leads us to an interesting conclusion. Coders
who use spaces for indentation make more money than ones who use
tabs, even if they have the same amount of experience.
As a devout user of tabs, I find this hard to believe. Jiminy. This is like finding out that people who move their lips while they read make more money.
Peter Bright’s reaction:
Developers who use tabs to indent their code, developers who fight
for truth and justice and all that is good in the world, those
developers have a median salary of $43,750.
But developers who use spaces to indent their code, developers who
side with evil and probably spend all day kicking kittens and
punching puppies? Their median salary is $59,140.