Why you couldn’t type the F-word on iPhone and other fascinating facts from Apple book

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Ken Kocienda's book, Creative Selection: Inside Apple's Design Process During the Golden Age of Stave Jobs.
Ken Kocienda's book, Creative Selection: Inside Apple's Design Process During the Golden Age of Stave Jobs.
Photo: St. Martin's Press

Why couldn’t you type the F-word on the iPhone? Why did Steve Jobs make weird eye movements during demos? What kind of manager was Scott Forstall?

These and other questions are answered in a new book by Ken Kocienda, a former iPhone programmer who spent 15 years at Apple helping to develop the first iPhone, iPad and Safari web browser.

Published this week, Creative Selection, Inside Apple’s Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs, is a fascinating account of Kocienda’s career that focuses on how Apple makes great software. (read our review here)

Here are some of the most interesting things we learned from the book.

The Apple design process of demos, decisions and feedback with Ken Kocienda [Apple Chat podcast]

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Former Apple programmer Ken Kocienda has written a great insiders account of how the company makes its products.
Former Apple programmer Ken Kocienda has written a great insiders account of how the company makes its products.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

“It’s this long process of demos and decisions and feedback that creates this long, iterative progression … that leads you from not-very-promising ideas to products you can ship.”

Curious what it was like to work at Apple during its Golden Age of design? What exactly did the creative process look like? On this episode of the Apple Chat podcast, I sit down with Ken Kocienda, a programmer who spent 15 years at Apple during the Steve Jobs era. He worked on the first versions of the Safari web browser, iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch. His new book, Creative Selection: Inside Apple’s Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs, chronicles his experiences working at the company and offers an inside look at the creative process that made the team successful.

On the podcast, Kocienda discusses his role in the development of the iOS keyboard, explaining how text entry evolved and offering insight into the autocorrect algorithm. He walks us through the Darwinian process of creative selection, describing how the demo pyramid functioned to provide feedback and move an idea from prototype to product. Listen in for his experience presenting a demo to Jobs himself and learn how the original spirit of the Macintosh lives on at Apple today!