Apparently, the mechanism to shut off the screen when an iPhone was brought close to one’s head did not recognize black hair at the outset. The book review has such nuggets. The book must have much more.
In fact, although it would eventually emerge as the gleaming quintessence of the collaboration between the Apple co-founder Steve Jobs and Apple’s design magus, Jony Ive, Purple could seem like a nightmare of overwork, insoluble technical tarballs and political infighting. “You created a pressure cooker of a bunch of really smart people with an impossible deadline, an impossible mission, and then you hear that the future of the entire company is resting on it,” Andy Grignon, one of the iPhone’s key engineers, has said. “It was just like this soup of misery.” The Purple Dorm will no doubt one day be the setting of a taut claustrophobic drama by some future Aaron Sorkin.
If it does, that drama may well be based on “The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone,” a new book by Brian Merchant, an editor at Motherboard, the science and technology division of Vice. Merchant does the important work of excavating and compiling large numbers of details and anecdotes about the development of the iPhone, many of them previously unrecorded. It’s important because along with being splash-, water- and dust-resistant, the iPhone is resistant to history.