It’s been nearly 15 years since Steve Jobs unveiled the original iPhone in 2007. This is the device that, we could say, kickstarted the modern smartphone concept. Since the release of the first iPhone, tech companies have been competing with each other — well, not so much nowadays — to make the most innovative handset every year. However, although the original iPhone was a revolutionary device, it didn’t offer the simple copy/cut and paste function. And now, almost 15 years later, Ken Kocienda, an ex-Apple engineer who worked on the first iPhone, reveals why (via 9to5Mac).
In a tweet, Kocienda explained that the team working on the original iPhone simply didn’t have enough time to do the copy/cut and paste commands right. It was too busy working on the iPhone’s keyboard, autocorrection, and text system. Kocienda shared that even the design team didn’t have time to implement it, which is why this function was introduced at a later stage.
The original iPhone didn’t have cut/copy/paste. Infamous! The quickest explanation is that I didn’t have time to do it right. I had too much keyboard, autocorrection, and text system work to do. The design team didn’t have time either. So we passed on the feature for 1.0. https://t.co/SLncIxohkk
— Ken Kocienda (@kocienda) June 19, 2022
Eventually, Kocienda collaborated with the design team to implement the clipboard function on the iPhone. He also revealed that the magnifying text loupe, which zooms the text where your finger is located, was his idea.
Apparently, the first iPhone had some problems with text editing. Kocienda further explained that when a user lifted their finger, the cursor began to “jitter and move between characters.” To remedy this issue, he created a touch history log, which caused the cursor to go back to where it was when a user lifted their finger.
Today, we are all about phone cameras, CPU and GPU performance, battery life, etc. We constantly complain about these things and often forget what it was like at the very beginning. Sometimes, we just forget to appreciate the little things like copy and paste and can’t imagine the challenges they posed to the modern smartphone pioneers back then. We mean, could you imagine your phone without a copy-paste feature? Yes! We can’t either!