Published On: Wed, Sep 13th, 2017

The iPhone X reveals because Tim Cook was so insane about Palm

At a phenomenon of Apple’s new flagship smartphone yesterday, a iPhone X, CEO Tim Cook pronounced it was something a company’s staff had been operative on for a decade.

The new reward handset with a edge-to-edge arrangement (minus one hapless tip notch) does divided with a earthy home symbol wholly and creates larger use of gestures for determining a UI.

The new interface for multitasking looks liquid and intuitive. But it also — if you’ve been smartphone examination for prolonged adequate — engenders a graphic feeling of déjà vu…

Specifically it looks rather like webOS using on a Palm Pre — a handset that was announced in 2009, after Jon Rubinstein, former SVP of Apple’s iPod division, had been lured out of retirement in Mexico by Palm: A mobile device association with a (very) prolonged history, and adequate self-perspective to comprehend they indispensable an gifted product engineer to assistance them roller a subsequent call of mobility: touchscreen computing.

Rubinstein, who had left Apple in open 2006, clearly hexed a sought for pattern chops. Palm execs flew down to Mexico to woo and win their man.

By a start of 2009 Rubinstein was on theatre during CES to announce a Palm Pre: A high-gloss, pebble-shaped slider smartphone that deployed mixed gestures in a UI creation a many of a touch-sensitive area that extended next a arrangement and onto a bezel itself.

It wasn’t only a scroll-flicks and pinch-to-zooms already on a iPhone and Android inclination of a time that Palm had brought over to a next-gen smartphone hardware. It had something else adult a sleeve: Its webOS UI incorporated a deck-of-cards activity interface to be a motorist for low attrition mobile multitasking.

Palm showed how users could simply appropriate between and daub on a cards to switch apps. How a sequence of cards could be rearranged with a finger press and drag. And how sold cards could be flicked off a tip of a shade when a user was finished with a sold app or task. Cards showed entirely active apps. It was elementary and elegant.

“Now how’s that for some genuine newness,” pronounced Matías Duarte, Palm’s comparison executive of tellurian interface and user experience, with a flattering large smile on his face as he wrapped adult that partial of a Pre’s CES demo.

(Duarte now works on Google’s card-like Material Design pattern language, that extends a label pattern a association initial used in Android, for Google Now, in 2012; and he went true from Palm to being a VP of pattern during Android when a underline was being developed.)

In an gain call after a same month in 2009, Cook was pulpy by analysts about how fast a iPhone’s competitors seemed to be elbowing into a marketplace — and asked how Apple would be means to means a leadership.

“We don’t mind competition, though if others slice off a egghead property, we will go after them,” he responded in a criticism that was picked adult on and interpreted during a time as a flattering sheer warning shot opposite Palm’s bows.

When pulpy again privately on a Palm Pre, and how a device seemed to “directly obey a iPhone’s innovative interface”, Cook doubled down on his pragmatic indictment of IP theft: “We don’t wish to impute to any specific companies, so that was a ubiquitous statement. We like foe since it creates us better, though we will not mount for companies infringing on a IP.”

Of march this is all H2O underneath a overpass now, as Palm’s dreams of successfully surfing a smartphone call finished in sudden disaster — impeded by ongoing bequest program challenges, wrong-footed by carriers’ selling decisions and eventually saddled with an unloving acquirer in HP — and a Palm Pre had a rigourously brief lifespan for such a forward-thinking device.

I remember how uninformed a interface felt in 2009. How hugely modernized vs bequest smartphone players like BlackBerry and Nokia — which, nonetheless they were still minting outrageous revenues behind then, were also clearly unwell to come to terms fast adequate with a model change of touchscreen mobility.

Whether a Palm Pre was truly forward of a time, or either elements of a interface had been plucked out of a delicately designed Cupertino 10-year roadmap will be a story for Valley historians to unpick.

But in a iPhone X it’s transparent you’re looking during a small spook of a Pre.

About the Author

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>