Newsletter Issue #893: Ten Years of iPhones: The Night Owl Looks Back

January 9th, 2017

At an age where some might become a little forgetful, I remember it well: Steve Jobs taking the stage and announcing what ended up being the successor to the iPod, which offered your music library in your pocket. The iPhone also offered the Internet in your pocket; essentially a tiny personal computer masquerading as a cell phone with a touchscreen.

Sure other devices that came to be called smartphones offered browsers. But the iPhone delivered nearly the full experience, except for Adobe Flash. That was supposed to be a huge negative, but it turned out not to be. With HTML5 and creating responsive sites — web pages that were optimized for both desktop and mobile browsers — you weren’t giving up much. Even email was reminiscent of the Mac experience.

And no wonder. The iPhone OS was built on a slimmed down version of OS X, by, at first, the same development team. That made it quite unlike other mobile operating systems. Instead of managing a clumsy physical keyboard — or the standard telephone’s numeric keyboard — you had a touchscreen with the full monty.

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