Apple didn’t include copy and paste on the first iPhone for a very good reason

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It has been disclosed by one of the original developers of Apple’s iPhone that the very first model of the product did not include the capabilities to cut, copy, or paste text since the developer simply did not have the time to implement them.

This week, Ken Kocienda shared some insider information on the process that went into designing and creating the very first iPhone on Twitter. The information that he shared was in the form of nuggets and details about the process. The ability to cut, copy, and paste was not included in the first iPhone, despite the fact that it was innovative in many other respects thanks to its multi-touch touchscreen and other features. It turned out that Ken simply had too much on his plate and was unable to finish the project since he did not have the time.

Apple’s initial iPhone lacked cut/copy/paste functionality. Infamous! The simplest explanation is that I simply ran out of time to complete it properly. Autocorrect, text systems, and typing were taking up too much of my time. The design team was also unable to complete the project on time. As a result, the feature was not included in 1.0.

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According to Kocienda, he collaborated with the design team to implement the future functionality, which led to the creation of the well-known magnifying text loop.

He also disclosed that while working on the iPhone’s autocorrect lexicon, he accessed long-lost internal websites of terms gathered by Apple, then added additions like product names like iMac, sports teams, slang, and contractions like don’t. Kocienda had to create a list of “horrid languages” to ensure that the iPhone would never autocorrect “hateful words,” but only allow users to input them precisely as they are. I guess that’s why my iPhone is always asking folks to “get the duck off my yard.”

It’s always great to hear these intimate anecdotes about how the first iPhone came into being because Apple’s greatest iPhones of the current period, such as the iPhone 12 and the iPhone 13, owe a significant portion of their history to the first iPhone and the pioneering work of people like Kocienda.

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