Fred Vogelstein recently published a piece in The New York Times that gives a detailed behind-the-scenes look at the work that went into both the first iPhone and it’s January 9, 2007 announcement. It features information from key iPhone developers like Andy Grignon, Tony Fadell and Scott Forstall. According to Andy Grignon, the senior manager in charge of the radios of the iPhone, the night before the iPhone announcement was actually terrifying. Jobs insisted on a live presentation of the prototype iPhone, which was still in its developmental stages, often “randomly dropping calls, losing its Internet connection, freezing or simply shutting down.” The following was mentioned regarding the situation:
The iPhone could play a section of a song or a video, but it couldn’t play an entire clip reliably without crashing. It worked fine if you sent an e-mail and then surfed the Web. If you did those things in reverse, however, it might not. Hours of trial and error had helped the iPhone team develop what engineers called “the golden path,” a specific set of tasks, performed in a specific way and order, that made the phone look as if it worked.
Then, with Jobs’s approval, they preprogrammed the phone’s display to always show five bars of signal strength regardless of its true strength. The chances of the radio’s crashing during the few minutes that Jobs would use it to make a call were small, but the chances of its crashing at some point during the 90-minute presentation were high. "If the radio crashed and restarted, as we suspected it might, we didn’t want people in the audience to see that," Grignon says. "So we just hard-coded it to always show five bars."
Those of you who are interested in reading more about the thoughts of the key Apple employees should hit the source link below.
Source: The New York Times