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This is the reason why the first iPhone did not have copy and paste

By Kenny Yeo - on 2 Jul 2022, 9:17am

This is the reason why the first iPhone did not have copy and paste

Note: This article was first published on 21 June 2022.

(Image source: Apple)

Can you believe it has been nearly 15 years since Apple first unveiled the iPhone? That seems like another lifetime ago.

Obviously, the iPhone has changed a lot over these years. It has become a lot more sophisticated and powerful over the years, with the latest models capable of running demanding apps and taking stunning photos and hi-res videos.

However, do you remember the time when the very first iPhone did not have the ability to copy and paste?

According to Ken Kocienda, a former Apple software engineer, the reason why this seemingly basic feature was missing was simply because there wasn't enough time.

Kocienda then goes on to explain the challenges and difficulties with the iPhone's new touch interface. One of the biggest challenges of touch interfaces is that there's a discrepancy between where users think they are pointing at and where their finger actually is.

And while Kocienda and his team came up with the "magnifying text loupe" to get around this, the accuracy wasn't ideal because the cursor ended up moving slightly after users lifted their fingers off to screen due to "natural flickering."

This required more engineering and the problem was eventually solved using a "touch history log" that automatically reverted the cursor to the position just milliseconds before the user took his/her finger off the screen.

Kocienda explains the problem in greater detail on his Twitter page and shares other interesting tidbits about the iPhone's history. To read them, click the link below.

Source: Twitter (Ken Kocienda) via 9to5 Mac

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