What did the iPhone look like before it looked like an iPhone?We already know certain things about the development of the first iPhone's hardware and the early versions of what would eventually be named iOS—the phone was built in secret by teams that couldn't talk about their work, the software was a stripped-down version of OS X rather than a beefed-up version of the iPod OS, and certain iPhone OS developers began working on the project as early as 2004. Tolmasky said that the hardware and software teams were physically separated from one another, and that the software team itself was split up into often-overlapping "Web" and "app" teams.
Tolmasky, then a 20-year-old WebKit developer freshly graduated from the University of Southern California, was tapped to join the five-person Web team and manage the mobile version of Safari. Like most of the people who worked on the iPhone project, he has memories of (twice-weekly) meetings with then-CEO Steve Jobs, and Jobs was characteristically unflinching in his demands. He wanted a finger-friendly mobile browser that could render standard pages properly on hardware much less powerful than the computers of the day.
"Steve was really adamant, where he said, 'This needs to be like magic. Go back, this isn’t magical enough!'" Tolmasky said. "I remember being very frustrated. This was, like, an impossible task."
Tolmasky's most interesting stories involve the creation of individual bits and pieces of the software. "Each one of these things is basically one person," Tolmasky said of each of the first-party applications. While there was plenty of cooperation and collaboration between members of the Web and apps teams, each application was managed by a different individual.
The original Maps application was developed in a two-week marathon session leading up to the original iPhone introduction at the Macworld Expo in 2007. Jobs decided near the last minute that the iPhone needed the app, so Tolmasky's teammate Chris Blumenberg was told to get it working. "That was the kind of effect Steve could have on you," said Tolmasky. "This is important, this needs to happen, and you do it."
The first iPhone software keyboard was the result of a contest between the different software developers—Jobs had each of them work on their own keyboard for a week, and the best one was then used as the basis for the shipping version.
Tolmasky moved on from Apple in 2007 as the team grew following the iPhone's release, and each of the original iPhone OS applications has changed substantially in appearance and functionality since then. Still, bits and pieces of those first apps are still visible in iOS 7 and in competing operating systems and apps to this day, and it's always interesting to hear a bit more about how they came into being.
Update: This article originally stated that Tolmasky was the leader of Apple's Web team; he contacted us to tell us that he was just one of its five members. The original headline also referred to Tolmasky as mobile Safari's "creator," and Tolmasky made clear to us that each application was the combined work of multiple people. He was, however, given broad oversight of Safari, and was the point person who handled bug reports and things as they came in. Given these details and the organization of the teams we now believe that "developer" is more accurate.
Source : arstechnica