Meet the kid who built the original iPhone’s keyboard and web browser

The most recent in a surge of iPhone development stories, the New York Times has an excellent profile on the young programmer responsible for the original iPhone’s keyboard and web browser. Now 29, Francisco Tolmasky was just 20 years old when he started at Apple tasked with the job of replicating Safari’s desktop browsing experience, which was pretty much unheard of in 2006.

“Steve [Jobs] was really adamant, where he said, ‘This needs to be like magic. Go back, this isn’t magical enough!’” Mr. Tolmasky said about his experience developing the mobile Safari app. “I remember being very frustrated. This was, like, an impossible task.”

The profile reveals how the development of the original iPhone functioned like a startup within Apple. For example, while all members of the small software team worked together, each OS component was assigned one lead developer. Mr Tolmasky was eventually reassigned from mobile Safari to the iPhone keyboard after his team won a Jobs-run weeklong hackathon – apparently the Apple CEO had been disappointed in all prototypes up to that point.

The full profile is packed with more gems, like the fact that Jobs decided he wanted a maps app for iPhone only a few weeks before the smartphone was introduced at Macworld, and how one developer contracted the name Margaret at Job’s behest. It can be found at the source link below.

[source]New York Times[/source]