There’s been no scarcity of insider tales about how demanding a boss Steve Jobs may very well be and the way exacting a top quality commonplace he anticipated everybody at Apple to stick to throughout his tenure. Still, it’s at all times attention-grabbing to listen to from insiders who’ve juicy, detail-rich anecdotes to share from the time when Apple’s mercurial co-founder was nonetheless within the nook workplace, nonetheless making calls for of underlings, nonetheless coaching his famed actuality distortion discipline on anybody and something that bought in the best way of Apple on its march to juggernaut standing.
Meet Ken Kocienda, a former Apple software program engineer who developed the autocorrect characteristic iPhone customers are so reliant on (gee, thanks Ken) in addition to the on-screen keyboard within the first iPhone. He’s out with a brand new guide as we speak, Creative Selection, that’s meant to provide an insider’s perspective on what Apple’s design course of was like underneath Steve.
He joined Apple and spent 15 years with the corporate, however for the sake of this submit we’ll bounce forward a number of years, to the interval when Ken was interviewing with Scott Forstall. Scott had invited Ken to affix the so-called Project Purple — the secretive effort to construct what would change into the iPhone.
Ken spends a number of time and many pages strolling by way of the tedium of attempting to develop a keyboard that’s helpful sufficient to work on a small display. Experimenting with a QWERTY format, a number of letters per key, utilizing predictive textual content and plenty extra.
Ken by no means bought to point out off any of his iPhone work to Steve, however in a while he takes you, the reader, together with him on a demo of the iPad’s software program keyboard for Steve.
Ken walks in to his scheduled second to demo the iPad keyboard and Steve is … on the cellphone. He saved everybody ready in silence. He was leaning again in his chair, staring on the ceiling by way of his glasses. iPhone pressed to his ear, carrying his acquainted ensemble of a turtleneck and denims. “It’s uncomfortable to listen to someone powerful and mercurial as they finish a phone call,” Ken writes. Eventually, it’s apparent the decision is wrapping up. “Right, I’ll call you. Bye.” Steve seems down at his iPhone and faucets the disconnect button. He slides the cellphone into his denims and swirls round in his chair to face Ken.
“His eyes met mine,” Ken recollects, earlier than speaking about Steve’s famed actuality distortion discipline. Though, on this case, “I felt an reverse drive, the RDF with the polarity reversed … He was…