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Android Didn’t Originally Support Touchscreens… Until the iPhone Launched

by Todd Haselton | April 14, 2014April 14, 2014 10:00 am PDT

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In the early stages of Android, way back in 2006 when it was still the brainchild of Andy Rubin, the operating system was much different than it was today., In an ongoing lawsuit between Apple and Samsung, new details on Android surfaced, including information on what it was like eight years ago before it was released to the public. According to the documents, Android wasn’t originally built to support touch input, something that was pretty standard back in 2006, but when the iPhone was introduced in 2007 all of that changed.

“Touchscreens will not be supported,” the 2006 document provided by Google said, according to CNET. “The product was designed with the presence of discrete physical buttons as an assumption. However, there is nothing fundamental in the product’s architecture that prevents the support of touchscreens in the future.” The latter part of that sentence suggests Google was certainly considering adding touchscreens at some point, but probably not as quickly. As history tells us, once the iPhone was launched in 2007, Rubin and his team went back to the drawing board to recreate what Android would offer – complete with a touchscreen.

The new documents may provide additional ammo in Apple’s fight against Samsung, especially since it certainly suggests Android may have copied iOS in some form. Samsung is accused of copying Apple’s devices, however, and probably isn’t on the hook for some of the copycat features that are found in Google’s mobile operating system. Still – can you imagine Android without a touchscreen? We can’t.

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Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...


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