It’s been popular to dismiss Forstall’s contributions since his firing on the usual “Apple can do…

My biggest complaint in reading the first chapter of Merchant’s book is that it’s clearly written by someone with no technical nous, and thus unaware of what the interesting questions are. We hear a substantial amount about the HW fight between the iphone-as-touch-computer vs iphone-as-augmented-ipod, but we hear nothing useful about the SW side.

One part of the SW story is, of course, the design aspects, the decisions made as to skeuomorphism, layout of the keyboard, and so on. But there is a MASSIVE amount of SW work that we know nothing about. This starts with basic OS policy decisions (sandboxing, no visible file system, that sort of thing) extends to the layering graphics model, and then to the View and UI frameworks. Substantially MORE was changed from baseline MacOS than the bare minimum necessary to get “a pocket Mac”. Compare, for example, the OS and frameworks model of Android as an example of a much more “bare minimum necessary to shrink a desktop OS into a phone”.

It is THIS story — the story of going way beyond the bare SW minimum when creating iOS — that I want to hear. Who pushed it? Why? How did they get away with it? Were the execs behind this push and kept in the dark, unaware that vastly deeper OS changes were being made than strictly necessary? Did Jobs in fact encourage this, with the master plan that iOS would prototype the ideas and technologies that would be required to move OSX into its second and third decades?