Jobs on the iPhone User Interface

Jobs Leopard

There's a big article in the New York Times that includes an interview with Steve Jobs about the excellent shape that Apple's in nowadays. Apple is 3rd in computer shipments overall. They might slip to 4th when Acer buys Gateway after Gateway buys Packard Bell, but Apple will still have more growth than the resulting top three. The Times did an interview with Jobs, and he of course has some choice things to say about everything -- Leopard vs. Vista, Ultimate Editions, the iPhone's multitouch interface, the delays of Leopard, and the Newton.

'Mr. Jobs said that multitouch drastically simplified the process of controlling a computer.

There are no “verbs” in the iPhone interface, he said, alluding to the way a standard mouse or stylus system works. In those systems, users select an object, like a photo, and then separately select an action, or “verb,” to do something to it.'
I've written about what Ars Technica called the 'New Frontier' of the SDK, and I agreed with Ars that it was coming. Anyone that gripes about the availability of the development kit for making apps on the iPhone doesn't give enough credit for what Apple has created with multitouch.
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Jobs on the iPhone User Interface

5 Comments

It's one thing to create a pictures app that uses multitouch (or whatever HTC is calling their software development). It's another thing altogether to create a development kit for multitouch on a system-wide basis.
The phrase "good artists borrow, great artists steal" certainly applies here. I'm glad to see HTC making Windows Mobile more usable; I wish Microsoft would apply similar focus.

Jobs always exaggerates wildly, to the point of lying very often. Multi-touch is used only rarely on the iPhone, and his thesis that:
a) You need multi-touch to remove the selection step before an action is invalidated by HTC's gesture-based interface and
b) Multi-Touch means you wont have to select things before the action, as its only useful if you only want to do one action (zooming in the main it seems). It doesn't really help for cut, copy and paste, does it?
I'm still waiting for the west coast to go down due to all those hacked iPhones...

It's one thing to create a pictures app that uses multitouch (or whatever HTC is calling their software development).
HTC have obviously done a lot more than make just the photos app finger friendly, but I agree that:
It's another thing altogether to create a development kit for multitouch on a system-wide basis.
Another very bad aspect of this is that HTC's modifications will probably turn out to be either incompatible with what Microsoft does down the line or rendered redundant by Microsoft's UI developments. Compare for instance the TouchFLO app launcher with the rumoured new WM 6.1 launcher (based on Windows Media Centre) Surur alerted us to:
http://discussion.treocentral.com/showthread.php?t=154550
It would be nice wouldn't it if the guys that do the OS and the guys do the hardware could actually pull in the same direction?

I am sure, of all people, HTC probably knows exactly what MS's future plans are. They can't afford to sit around and wait for it however.
Anyway, on topic, as graffiti users know, a gesture based interface can be very rich without needing multi-touch.
Surur