While Microsoft and partners were investing large sums to develop what later became the Tablet PC platform (the first appearances of the Tablet date back to 2000 and 2001), Steve unleashed his engineers to create a similar and competing touch screen technology also, since they are Apple and Steve Jobs, better. The result obtained by the engineers was shown to Jobs who was so excited by the prototype that he was convinced that he had the basics of a new incredible product in his hands. To tell the episode that we can consider the beginning of the story, still very short, of the Apple phone, the
Time Magazine, which today publishes an interesting article on mobile phones and its origins and how it works.In the beginning it was the mobile phoneTo the journalist who interviews him on the occasion, Steve Jobs declares: "Everyone hates their mobile phone and this is not good. There is an opportunity in this field ". So it was that Jobs decided to put a team to work with the aim of creating a revolutionary project, completely different from everything we've seen and we're used to and, being Steve and Apple, better
The designers started from the front of an iPod to immediately remove the keys and the touch-sensitive wheel, replacing everything with a large, extra-glossy LCD screen. As it happened, it was just that touch-sensitive screen developed some time before
Revolutionary interfaceThe elimination of the ?physical? buttons in the iPhone, ubiquitous on mobile phones, smrtphones and even on PDA phones, implies that the interface is no longer rigid, fixed as it has been until today and moreover independently of the program used. Thanks to the Apple software, the screen now only and exclusively displays the controls necessary for the application being executed. So when we have to dial a phone number the screen shows the numeric keypad. When we choose a song from iTunes we have the required list available or, in cover album mode, the thumbnail of the covers between which we can browse the desired one simply by using the index, just as we do when we browse the pages of a book. When other types of keys and controls are needed, the screen displays them. Still, if we want to watch a movie or a full-screen photograph, the controls simply disappear.
In order to work with real applications and not the reduced and simplified versions often available for pocket devices, Apple has integrated a special version of Mac OS X into the iPhone to support web browsing via Safari and email management software. In addition to the antenna for communications with the mobile telephony network, antennas for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth have also been integrated, plus sensors for detecting ambient light, that for orienting the terminal, and finally detecting proximity. or not of the user's face. All this allows things never seen before: the transition from horizontal (landscape) or vertical (portrait) display depending on how the iPhone is held, all without pressing a button with the nib. The screen can automatically adjust the brightness according to the light that surrounds us. When we answer a call, iPhone deactivates the screen lighting to save energy and, at the same time, disables the touch-sensitive screen to avoid accidental and unwanted selections. Finally, when we remove the phone from the ear after speaking, the call is closed .
Once the basic features and functionalities of the future iPhone have been established, the project, the Times goes on to say, passed into the hands of Jonathan Ive, the designer who has been leading the Apple style since the first iMac.
iPhone subjected to the same process that iPod, iPod Nano and all the computers of the apple have immediately undergone: miniaturization of dimensions and search for the essential with regards to the external appearance. Once the operation is completed, the thickness of a blow greater than one centimeter, the clean appearance, no traceable foreign element, however you hold or observe the device.
The small handful of reporters who were the first to have the chance to challenge and try the Apple novelty are surprised at how clean lines, the essential appearance of the iPhone call to mind the idea of ??perfection and platonic archetype and, at the same time , offer a pleasant, warm touch and handling, something that lives its own life and is absolutely ergonomic. The exact opposite of classic mobile phones!
The test of fireThe reporter holds iPhone and starts a call: a nice icon appears on the big screen. When a second call enters the conversation, a second pleasant icon appears on the screen. simply touch the latter with one finger to switch to the second call or, by tapping the Merge Calls button, instantly create a three-way conference call. Nice to look at, simple to use.
In SMS management, iPhone organizes different messages as conversation threads. You no longer need to scroll through the entire list of SMS messages to search for the one you want or to resume the conversation left on hold. Just press the pleasant icon that resembles a small precious object to see in sequence all the text messages related to the same contact or discussion. Again, to write text we are no longer limited to the classic multifunctional numeric keypads of mobile phones: it is no longer necessary to press a single key several times to obtain a letter or punctuation. iPhone offers a complete and even usable QWERTY keyboard.
The same goes for multimedia and web connection applications. The videos displayed in full screen are extremely defined, bright and larger than those offered by an iPod video. The e-mail software that can manage attachments, images inserted in the mail, HTML e-mails, in short, all the functions that each of us used to use in mail on the computer. The integrated version of Safari shows the Web pages in their entirety, not the enervating lightened and shrunken versions typical of smartphones and mobile phones.
The user interface is even disarming due to its simplicity of use and intuitiveness. To unlock iPhone simply touch the surface of the screen with your fingers. To enlarge a photo or article on a web page, double-tap with your finger. To reduce the size of the image and return to the preview, simply touch the upper and lower edges with the thumb and forefinger and then bring the two fingers together. As easy as the simplest of gestures. Unlike many other companies, Apple reserves an obsessive, spasmodic care for the graphic user interface. "We risk discussing literally even on a single single pixel" The phrase of Scott Forstall, vice president of Apple Platform Experience, does nothing but confirm what all the fans of the Apple already knew. Create interfaces that are beautiful to look at and easy to use, not a walk.
There are also flawsiPhone not free from defects. Reporters and Web sites are in the running to list them: it is not possible to access directly from iPhone in iTunes to download songs – you always need a computer, wireless synchronization with your computer via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, games are missing, the battery is not removable, there is no housing for additional memory cards and perhaps it is not possible to install other applications except those made and granted by Apple.
Each of these gaps, as well as all the positive features seen so far, must be thoroughly examined when the first units reach the store shelves. But just as importantly, Apple could take advantage of the first comments recorded by Macworld until the day of the official launch, to integrate, improve and compensate for the weaknesses identified by the press and by the first users.
The revolution has already begunWe've been told since its first appearance that iPhone has all the qualities to start the announced revolution in the mobile telephony sector. The functions that it integrates are no longer a lighter version of computer software nor are they a compromise between functionality and transportability. This is especially true for the two main functions of the iPhone: mobile phone and iPod. For the first time the fusion of two functions in one device has not given birth to something new but can only offer a pale imitation of a mobile phone or MP3 player. iPhone these two but even more.
The strength of Apple lies precisely in the great diversification of skills that all reside within it, when other large companies, perhaps able to shine in only one important aspect, then expire in the interface or in the simplicity of use or in other factors anyway fundamental.
Now all that remains is to wait for the first units, the first real tests on the field with complete devices and not just prototypes, and finally observe how the mobile and mobile phone industry absorbs the Apple shock. Who will adopt the Apple solution to delete all the buttons? Which company make the big voice to have the same advantageous and privileged treatment that Cingular in USA has reserved only to Jobs and Apple?
We like to imagine a Mr. Jobs today more relaxed, after the tension and excitement of the Keynote, sitting but active in observing comments the reactions of the whole world for his latest creation. Quiet and confident that it will not be easy to imitate iPhone, protected by a legal barrier of 200 patents filed and the unique expertise available to Apple.
(Edited by L. M. Grandi)