The original iPhone did not have an almost mandatory function currently on cell phones. Why was it left out?
The inventor of the iPhone autocorrector , Ken Kocienda , has revealed why the first iPhone model , released in 2007, did not integrate three essential functions for texts, such as copy, cut and paste.
This engineer, who before joining the development team of the first iPhone was part of the team that created the Safari web browser, has shared through Twitter some anecdotes related to the development of some functions of this device.
An anecdote for history
One of the most curious, which is also part of his book ‘Creative Selection: Inside Apple’s Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jones’ , has to do with the fact that this first mobile did not have three basic functions for the creation and text editing.
These are copy, cut and paste, tools that are currently part of all devices, regardless of their brand, and that users use in messaging services and other text writing platforms.
Kocienda, who was responsible for developing the device’s keyboard, has acknowledged that he did not have “time” to be able to do it right and complete these functions correctly.
“I had too much work with the keyboard, autocorrect and the text system to be able to work on that. The design team didn’t have time either, so we left the feature for version 1.0,” the developer commented via Twitter.
On the other hand, the engineer has taken the opportunity to clarify that, finally, he worked with the design team to implement the cut, copy and paste options through a zoom system that allowed this previously cut or copied text to be placed in the precise position .
“The text magnifier was my idea. The goal was to have your finger right where the insertion point [of the text] should go, while also allowing you to see where it was positioned,” he added.
That way, by lifting your finger off the screen after temporarily tapping on the pad, you could move the cursor between characters and insert text into a specific space. “Given the way it worked is multi-touch, this couldn’t be supported by the sensor. Generally it didn’t matter, but for text editing it was necessary,” Kocienda commented in this Twitter thread.
Kocienda has recalled that this first editable text system on the iPhone was initially supported by WebKit and that it was not until 2003 that he was able to add this text editing functionality.
“I also had the idea of matching the keyboard type to each text field; for example, touching a phone number field would bring up a number pad. I called these features ‘text input features,'” including they would find the mode lock in capital letters or the return button, this developer has concluded.
It should be remembered that, although the copy/cut/paste options were expected for the version of iPhone OS 2, it was not until 2009 when the arrival of this functionality to edit text was announced, with iPhone OS 3.