Former iOS head Scott Forstall to talk iPhone's creation at Computer History Museum

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in iPhone
Scott Forstall -- Apple's former head of iOS development -- will appear at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif. on June 20 to talk about the origins of the iPhone, according to an announcement.




The event will be hosted by historian John Markoff, and be preceded by a panel discussion with three engineers from the iPhone team: Nitin Ganatra, Scott Herz, and Hugo Fiennes, the museum said. The latter begins at 6 p.m. local time.

The museum is hosting an ongoing program called "iPhone 360," marking the iPhone's 10th anniversary. Apart from events, the effort includes research, educational initiatives, and collecting artifacts and oral histories.

Forstall may be asked to weigh in on a minor controversy about an upcoming book, The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone. In it author Brian Merchant claims that Apple's marketing head, Phil Schiller, pushed for the iPhone to have a physical keyboard, even when everyone else was onboard with touchscreen typing. On Tuesday Schiller denied this, later receiving support from Tony Fadell, Merchant's original source. Merchant said that he has an audio recording of Fadell backing him up.

Forstall was forced out of Apple in Oct. 2012, largely as a result of iOS 6. The software's Maps app jettisoned Google content in favor of other sources, and quickly became infamous for missing or mislabeled data. Forstall was also allegedly unpopular among some executives, in part because like former CEO Steve Jobs, he was in favor of skeuomorphic interface design. iOS 7, released the next year, immediately switched to a "flat" look less reminiscent of real-world objects.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 25
    haarhaar Posts: 563member
    Oh ya, Scott "That's not how Steve Jobs would to it" Forstall...

    will he tell us how Maps got its problems, and why they could not be fixed?
  • Reply 2 of 25
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,204member

    Oh ya, Scott "That's not how Steve Jobs would to it" Forstall...

    will he tell us how Maps got its problems, and why they could not be fixed?
    That was mostly politics. The software was fine, the data was missing.
    bloggerblogtmaySpamSandwichtallest skilhammeroftruth
  • Reply 3 of 25
    The mistake was not releasing Maps as a 'Beta.' 
    asdasdtmaytallest skilcornchip
  • Reply 4 of 25
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,204member
    The mistake was not releasing Maps as a 'Beta.' 
    Absolutely. Had they done that then people would have been impressed by the software - its as good as google maps - and would have been happy enough to wait for the data to catch up.
    cornchip
  • Reply 5 of 25
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,391member
    Scott may provide the definite answer to the iPhone keyboard controversy, but why do I still think this is Tony Fadell's mouth running out of control?
  • Reply 6 of 25
    jcdinkinsjcdinkins Posts: 114member
    Didn't this guy also push for the wood grain texture look with certain aspects of the built-in apps as well?  Or was that someone else?  I thought it was this guy. - Edit (I guess that's what skeuomorphic  means...so yeah ok.)
    edited June 2017
  • Reply 7 of 25
    macapfelmacapfel Posts: 495member
    I sort of liked Scott Forstall. At least on stage. He was good there.
    I'd be interested in what he is doing. I always wondered whether he could come back to the company at some point. It was said that he was kept as an advisor. So I thought, they might just want to know how he is doing after being expelled from Apple. And then maybe think about him again.
    edited June 2017
  • Reply 8 of 25
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,589member
    asdasd said:
    The mistake was not releasing Maps as a 'Beta.' 
    Absolutely. Had they done that then people would have been impressed by the software - its as good as google maps - and would have been happy enough to wait for the data to catch up.
    You think? I think not. If they had offered it as a separate beta download the general public may not have reacted, and ditto the mainstream media, but ever tech journalist would have been all over it. Didn't Apple put Beta on the online versions of Pages and Numbers? Those apps may have been unfinished feature wise but as I remember they worked fine. 

    Anyway, if Scott talks about it it will be his point of view. No-one would expect him to present anyone else pov :)
  • Reply 9 of 25
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,808member
    tmay said:
    Scott may provide the definite answer to the iPhone keyboard controversy, but why do I still think this is Tony Fadell's mouth running out of control?
    Really why should anyone care about very old news or rumors. Personally I'd be more surprised if everyone WAS in complete agreement from the get-go. No CEO benefits from being surrounded by an executive crew of yes-men. There's no doubt in my mind (not stating it as fact @StrangeDays ; ) that there were several contentious points during the iPhone's development.
    edited June 2017
  • Reply 10 of 25
    65026502 Posts: 143member
    I live nearby and just registered to attend this. Should be interesting.
  • Reply 11 of 25
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,391member
    gatorguy said:
    tmay said:
    Scott may provide the definite answer to the iPhone keyboard controversy, but why do I still think this is Tony Fadell's mouth running out of control?
    Really why should anyone care about very old news or rumors. Personally I'd be more surprised if everyone WAS in complete agreement from the get-go. No CEO benefits from being surrounded by an executive crew of yes-men. There's no doubt in my mind (not stating it as fact @StrangeDays ; ) that there were several contentious points during the iPhone's development.
    Yet you seem to care enough about this to opine that others shouldn't care about it? Why even post? Are you attempting to defend Fadell similar to my defense of Schiller?

    I personally think that the subject was a grey area, and their were indeed contentious points, but when Tony Fadell's name came up as part of his retraction of that specific part of the story, the author responded that he had Fadell's statement on tape.

    For that, and for Schiller's denial, it makes sense to further investigate the truth. Hence, why I posted my opinion.

    https://www.theverge.com/2017/6/15/15804782/vergecast-brian-merchant-author-the-one-device-special-edition
    edited June 2017
  • Reply 12 of 25
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,485member
    The mistake was not releasing Maps as a 'Beta.' 
    Calling it beta or not wouldn't have changed the state the app and data was in upon release. The real issue stems from Jobs having trusted Schmidt far longer than he should've, or, at the very least, not jumping on their own mapping solution years earlier so that Google would have nothing to hinder the Google-powered Maps on iOS by not allowing vector graphics, turn-by-turn directions, and trying to squeeze Apple for more user data in order to re-up their mapping contract. We can debate as to whether Google acted unethically with their business practices, but Apple should've been smart enough to plan ahead.
  • Reply 13 of 25
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,485member
    tmay said:
    Scott may provide the definite answer to the iPhone keyboard controversy, but why do I still think this is Tony Fadell's mouth running out of control?
    I don't think he will. He's quoted as saying something pretty harsh about Schiller, which doesn't jibe with how I perceive Schiller. Then he's stated that he's been misquoted, but the author of the soon-to-be-released book says he has Fadell on type making the statements in question. 
  • Reply 14 of 25
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,391member
    Soli said:
    tmay said:
    Scott may provide the definite answer to the iPhone keyboard controversy, but why do I still think this is Tony Fadell's mouth running out of control?
    I don't think he will. He's quoted as saying something pretty harsh about Schiller, which doesn't jibe with how I perceive Schiller. Then he's stated that he's been misquoted, but the author of the soon-to-be-released book says he has Fadell on type making the statements in question. 
    Funny thing is, I would have been fine with Tony stating such if it was true, because context and all that, but why retract? 
  • Reply 15 of 25
    retrogustoretrogusto Posts: 698member
    macapfel said:
    I sort of liked Scott Forstall. At least on stage. He was good there.
    I'd be interested in what he is doing.
    Yes, on stage I think he was better than most of the people who present these days. I haven't always been crazy about the some of the changes to iOS in terms of aesthetics and usability, and sometimes I wonder if it might have been good to have him still involved in the decision-making process. 

    But sometimes the skeuomorphism was a bit too much, especially the wood grain and green felt. 
  • Reply 16 of 25
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,579member
    I wonder why he never decided to head up his own app/game dev company.
  • Reply 17 of 25
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,808member
    tmay said:
    gatorguy said:
    tmay said:
    Scott may provide the definite answer to the iPhone keyboard controversy, but why do I still think this is Tony Fadell's mouth running out of control?
    Really why should anyone care about very old news or rumors. Personally I'd be more surprised if everyone WAS in complete agreement from the get-go. No CEO benefits from being surrounded by an executive crew of yes-men. There's no doubt in my mind (not stating it as fact @StrangeDays ; ) that there were several contentious points during the iPhone's development.
    Yet you seem to care enough about this to opine that others shouldn't care about it? Why even post? Are you attempting to defend Fadell similar to my defense of Schiller?

    I personally think that the subject was a grey area, and their were indeed contentious points, but when Tony Fadell's name came up as part of his retraction of that specific part of the story, the author responded that he had Fadell's statement on tape.

    For that, and for Schiller's denial, it makes sense to further investigate the truth. Hence, why I posted my opinion.

    https://www.theverge.com/2017/6/15/15804782/vergecast-brian-merchant-author-the-one-device-special-edition
    It should be darn obvious what my reply said. I don't care and can't imagine why you should care either whether he did or didn't or can't remember or whatever. So what if there were some disagreements along the way. Of course there were!

    So yeah I care to comment, but not for the same reason you apparently do.  I don't personally care what any particular employee at Apple thought about some specific iPhone feature 10 years ago ( if they even remember accurately). Why do you? Is it somehow important what any single person said at some point in some meeting in someone's meeting room one unspecified day in the iPhone development process? Put 10 people in a room for a big discussion and ten years later you'll have 10 different memories of the meeting details.  Heck there's posters here that can't accurately recall/understand what someone said two hours earlier and they even have a written record to refer back to. :neutral: 

     Isn't it enough that Apple created a great phone, mobile computing platform and media device all in one? I guess not. 
    edited June 2017
  • Reply 18 of 25
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 2,300member
    macapfel said:
    I sort of liked Scott Forstall. At least on stage. He was good there.
    I'd be interested in what he is doing.
    Yes, on stage I think he was better than most of the people who present these days. I haven't always been crazy about the some of the changes to iOS in terms of aesthetics and usability, and sometimes I wonder if it might have been good to have him still involved in the decision-making process. 

    But sometimes the skeuomorphism was a bit too much, especially the wood grain and green felt. 
    I always think of his demo of the then new Passbook, and his smug grin after demonstrating the card shredder animation which I perceived to be his baby. I just remember thinking, this kind of stuff was over the top ridiculous. That and the reel to reel tape player Podcasts app. Skeoumorphic design is so much more than materials and textures. All these things got gutted completely in iOS 7 after he left. I for one was relieved, even though there were obvious growing pains with the abrupt change. 
  • Reply 19 of 25
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 2,300member

    I wonder why he never decided to head up his own app/game dev company.
    Because he decided to produce theater. 
    edited June 2017
  • Reply 20 of 25
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 3,207member
    tmay said:
    Scott may provide the definite answer to the iPhone keyboard controversy, but why do I still think this is Tony Fadell's mouth running out of control?
    The same thought crossed my.mind too.
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