The iPad turned 10 years ago since its presentation and, although its history seems short in the market, it has become one of the key pieces within the Apple ecosystem. On the occasion of this tenth anniversary, two of the engineers who worked on the original iPad project They have granted an interview full of important headlines.
This is Imran Chaudhri and Bethany Bongiorno, two of the people who know the iPad best, founders a new and mysterious technology company called Humane, who met while working at Apple and married shortly after. During their time in the Cupertino company they worked on the iPad and related projects With this device. Input I have done an interview in which they reveal some curiosities.
The iPad from within
From this type of interviews you can extract very interesting details from both the device itself and how Apple worked internally at that time.
The iPad is older than the iPhone
Yes, we all know that the iPhone was introduced in 2007 and that the iPad did not arrive until 2010, however the iPad project came before the iPhone within Apple: the so-called Q79 project. As Imran tells it:
"We always understood well where we wanted the iPad to be in people's lives. The history of the iPad goes back long before the iPhone. It started as a project called Q79, which was created around multi-touch exploration. At that time, we were thinking of “How can we really advance computer science? What happens to the Mac? And what prevents it from being really, more receptive and more direct? At that time, we were looking for a way to bring a multi-touch screen to a portable Macintosh. ”
"It turned out that it was an effort really expensive and we understood that Apple was not going to succeed with this super expensive computer after launching the Cube, which didn't work well. We moved away from that effort and focused on a much smaller thing, which was the iPhone. When we resurrected the iPad, we knew that it was always designed as a computer and was literally the perfect playground for multitouch. ”
Jobs wanted the iPad to also be a photo frame
When they were designing the iPad one of Imran and Bethany's main functions was find different utilities and functions to iPad and create custom hardware and software.
"One of the things Steve was really interested in was use iPad as a photo frame. So, if it was put in a dock in your kitchen or in your living room, it could look like a photo frame. Images can be transmitted to the iPad and people can use it extra when the device is idle".
"The reality is that it was a so personal device I spent more time in your bag, next to the bed or next to you on the couch than in a dock showing photos, and those are things you don't understand until you see what people really do with it. ”
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The cameras on the iPad
The original iPad I didn't have cameras, from the beginning they understood that it was not something necessary since nobody was going to use such a large device to take photos, however again the reality completely changed their initial expectations.
"Actually, We don't believe that people will walk with their iPad in their hand and take photos. It was a fun internal conversation when we started seeing people taking their iPad with them and taking vacation photos. I don't think we really thought people would use it that way, and finally they did"
The Apple Pencil was never in your mind during the development of the original iPad
Now the Apple Pencil is an accessory compatible with all iPad models, however in 2010 Apple and its engineers they only thought about using their fingers As a mode of use.
"At no time do we consider a stylus as an option. We always feel that the fidelity of touch will always be enough for you to do what you want to do".
What are they most proud of?
Finally, Imran Chaudhri and Bethany Bongiorno are shown very proud of the work they did to get create a device like the iPad.
Bethany "To say that my greatest pride is that, you know, the iPad team was a startup within a startup. We could really achieve a rather impossible feat with a very small computer with hardware that, at that time, had very little power for what we needed. We had many engineering exploits that we had to overcome as a collective group between design and engineering to make it happen and I think that since it was one of the last projects in which Steve was really involved, I am very proud to have achieved his vision and what he wanted. That's something I hold on to as something I'm really proud of".
Imran "I think the team worked on an incredibly impossible feat. It is not easy to create a new computer platform and especially one that means so many different things to so many different people. And I am really proud of the fact that we could start that and that this trajectory continues until today and that this particular product means a lot to so many people. It's the way people communicate. For families with children suffering from autism, it allows their children to achieve a certain level of comfort, also some level of communication. It is the way we communicate with our families from a distance. It is an incredible learning tool. It's so many things for so many people".
Of course a very interesting interview with two very important people in the development of the original iPad, a device that turns 10 years old and still has a long way to go.