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  • Did you know that ​before the iPhone was announced Android did not support touchscreen input?

Did you know that ​before the iPhone was announced Android did not support touchscreen input?

On the left, a render of an Android phone from Google's initial SDK

On the left, a render of an Android phone from Google's initial SDK


Support for touchscreen input was not a part of Android in the form the operating system had before Apple unveiled the original iPhone in early 2007. The latest legal spat between Samsung and Apple brings new revelations about the history of Google’s operating system, revelations coming from the highly confidential Android Software Functional Requirements from July 6, 2006. The document, meant to inform hardware makers about the platform, explicitly states that Android at the time required a physical numeric keypad with 5-way navigation buttons, and does NOT support touchscreens.

“Touchscreens will not be supported,” Google writes in a 2006 Android device specification document. “The product was designed with the presence of discrete physical buttons as an assumption. However, there is nothing fundamental in the products architecture that prevents the support of touchscreens in the future.”

In a revealing change of course, just a year or so after that 2006 document was published, the same document evolves from the 0.91 version to the finalized 1.0. There, the software functional requirements for Android take a U-turn: point 3.11.2 in the Android Software Functional Requirements v1.0 dated November 10th, 2007, now states the following:

“A touchscreen for finger-based navigation - including multi-touch capabilities - is required. Stylus-based navigation is not supported.”

Leaked documents reveal that Google changed its mind about touchscreen support on Android (on top is the 2006 draft is above, below it - the 2007 version

Leaked documents reveal that Google changed its mind about touchscreen support on Android (on top is the 2006 draft is above, below it - the 2007 version

Obviously, this radical change in course for Android happens just after the official launch of the original Apple iPhone.

Those early documents about the Android system show a lot of other extremely curious details like the fact that Android planned to use Microsoft’s FAT32 file system. This would later lay in the very foundation of hardware makers facing legal trouble, and being forced to pay huge license fees to Redmond. You can see the leaked documents in their entirety at the source links right below.

source: Android Software functional requirements (2006 version, 2007 version) via Recode

120 Comments
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posted on 14 Apr 2014, 04:26 25

1. AndroidStuff (Posts: 47; Member since: 24 Feb 2014)


Everyone Knows Android was a Copied Product of Apple/iOS

posted on 14 Apr 2014, 04:27 17

2. sip1995 (Posts: 1644; Member since: 07 Feb 2014)


AGREED

posted on 14 Apr 2014, 05:22 2

14. itsdeepak4u2000 (Posts: 3718; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)


No, I don't know.

posted on 14 Apr 2014, 05:59 4

20. shuaibhere (Posts: 1986; Member since: 07 Jul 2012)


In what way???
By supporting touchscreen??
that is known as competition...

posted on 14 Apr 2014, 06:01 6

22. vincelongman (Posts: 4877; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)


That's irrelevant now
What matters is which OS is currently better
And IMO that's Android by miles

Everyone copies each other too kept the competition going
Google have copied Apple/MS, Apple have copied Google/MS,... and same with all the other companies

In the end, its us, the consumer, who get the benefits, so who cares who did it first

posted on 14 Apr 2014, 06:14 5

26. darkkjedii (Posts: 23401; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


In the court of law, in an infringement case that's not irrelevant, it's the point dude. This case is playing out in a court of law, so your HO doesn't matter. Since it's android by miles, then continue to support android, and let the jury do their job. "Who cares who did it first"? The jury does, when there's patents involved.

posted on 14 Apr 2014, 06:20 7

28. shuaibhere (Posts: 1986; Member since: 07 Jul 2012)


I remember you use to post same kind if things when you see apple is on the other side...

posted on 14 Apr 2014, 06:21 1

29. shuaibhere (Posts: 1986; Member since: 07 Jul 2012)


I remember you use to post same kind of things when you see apple is on the other side...

posted on 14 Apr 2014, 06:21 2

30. surethom (Posts: 830; Member since: 04 Mar 2009)


Yes I have know that for years, So adding a touchscreen is a copy cat????? so Apple was a copycat of HP devices that had has touchscreens using rubbish window version.

Yes android changed after seeing the iphone & that was a good thing, but you can no way say they copied.

posted on 14 Apr 2014, 06:44 5

36. Finalflash (Posts: 3390; Member since: 23 Jul 2013)


It is but not like it wasn't anticipated. All the documents above show is that the times moved faster than Google anticipated and instead of sitting on their laurels they adapted. Regardless, I personally don't care what or how it came to be in this case, it is where it is at and where it is going that matters now.

posted on 14 Apr 2014, 06:48 1

38. Nkolsen (Posts: 60; Member since: 28 Mar 2013)


Great lets do a who did it first. We have samsung using the android system vs apple with ios.

Apparently samsung showed a touchscreen phone in public BEFORE apples iphone, so they can take their bull...somewhere else!!!!

h*ttp://androidcommunity.com/who-was-really-first-​apple-vs-samsung-story-truly-debunked-20110420/

posted on 14 Apr 2014, 07:01 2

40. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3689; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)


Copied from ios ROFL. So if you mean touchscreen on smartphones were invented by Apple then sorry you are terribly wrong. The article/title may have make you believe this.

posted on 14 Apr 2014, 07:01 1

41. shuaibhere (Posts: 1986; Member since: 07 Jul 2012)


Exactly that's what I'm saying...they saw competition doing good then they upped their ante...
This is what competition is...

posted on 14 Apr 2014, 07:04 18

43. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3689; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)


Nice article PA. It perfectly makes everyone believe that touchscreen was invented by apple and android is a rip off from ios. Lol.

posted on 14 Apr 2014, 07:08 1

46. darkkjedii (Posts: 23401; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Not really concerned with what you remember. This is about a court case, what you and I think doesn't matter. The only thing that matters is the verdict. Now remember I posted that...

posted on 14 Apr 2014, 07:20 2

50. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3689; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)


http://www.phonearena.com/news/Samsungs-opening-statement-calls-Apples-suit-an-attack-on-Android_id54620
here you go DJ read your comments on this one.

posted on 14 Apr 2014, 07:36 4

51. vincelongman (Posts: 4877; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)


Well according to the US court Samsung copied
But according to every other court in the world, Samsung didn't copy

The British court even order Apple to admit and post on their site that Samsung didn't copy

So I guess its just the US justice system supporting the US company

posted on 14 Apr 2014, 07:38 2

52. darkkjedii (Posts: 23401; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Where's this case being tried? Oh yeah the USA.

posted on 14 Apr 2014, 07:49 4

53. superduper (Posts: 151; Member since: 20 Oct 2013)


Single-finger operated, stylus operated, and resistive touch screens existed before the iPhone. Apple brought out a *workable* *multi-touch* touch screen that made additional hardware such as keypads and D-pads unnecessary. Then Google shifted its copycat target from Blackberry to iPhone. It's fair to say that Android and $amsung developers rode roughshod over much of Apple's hard work.

posted on 14 Apr 2014, 07:50

55. Altair (Posts: 367; Member since: 02 Feb 2012)


Yeah nothing new here.

Steve Jobs "Android is a stolen product." Whole gang in Android camp, are thiefs and copycats. Shamesung is worst. Lets hope it get beated badly in trial.

posted on 14 Apr 2014, 07:53 13

56. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3689; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)


Lg prada first *workable* touchscreen

posted on 14 Apr 2014, 07:53 5

57. vincelongman (Posts: 4877; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)


... So you agreed the US court is biased?

posted on 14 Apr 2014, 07:54 4

58. akki20892 (Posts: 3902; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)


Before iPhone: The first touchscreen phone was the IBM Simon, launched in 1992 did you hear that "1992"....!

posted on 14 Apr 2014, 07:56 3

60. marlboro (Posts: 94; Member since: 27 Mar 2014)


Haters comments count starts now. Dont be jealous take it easy. Lol.

posted on 14 Apr 2014, 07:58 2

61. regkilla (Posts: 84; Member since: 13 Sep 2012)


U mad Fandroid?

posted on 14 Apr 2014, 07:59 4

62. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3689; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)


Lol a brainwashed $h33p. Nevermind you must be kept in zoo or sanctuary because you are rare species.

posted on 14 Apr 2014, 09:08 5

85. bestmvno (Posts: 251; Member since: 07 Mar 2014)


Not very hard to comprehend. Some people were afraid to abandon physical keys in place of touch. I myself had wanted my first smartphone to contain both a physical keyboard and touch screen. Ultimately I abandoned that idea and went with something else. There is still a world out there consisting of people who prefer a physical keyboard although they are a minority. A lot of them are those that grew up on blackberry's and pda's.

posted on 14 Apr 2014, 08:07 1

64. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3689; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)


Lololol nice one btw.

posted on 14 Apr 2014, 08:09 5

65. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3689; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)


U even more mad monk€y

posted on 14 Apr 2014, 08:10 2

66. superduper (Posts: 151; Member since: 20 Oct 2013)


If it had a workable touchscreen, then why did LG have to include a slide-out keyboard underneath?

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