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Steve Jobs mocked voice interaction for simplifying UX, pushed for touch specific apps in new email from lawsuit

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  • Steve Jobs didn’t think voice interaction would simplify user experience.
  • He also thought web apps would be more important as 3G rolled out.



A new email from the Epic vs. Apple lawsuit reveals that Scott Forstall, then working on iPhone software at Apple, forwarded an interview from Forbes about Motorola to Steve Jobs. The Forbes reporter asked Motorola’s chief technology officer about their future plan for phones, after the 45% decline in quarterly profits. (Note that this email was sent during October 2006, when the iPhone was yet to be announced). He talked about newer phones being more connected to the Internet, and implementing voice interaction for a more simple user experience.

When asked about the rumors of Apple making their own phone, he stated that companies often underestimate how difficult and complex it is to make a phone, which implies he did not think Apple’s phone would be successful, much like many other phone companies at the time.

Steve Jobs replied to Scott and stated that he wanted developers to make third-party applications for the “P2”, which is presumably the internal name for the original iPhone. He also mentioned the apps being less important when 3G was rolled out, probably due to Steve wanting web apps for the iPhone, and Apple having even more of a locked-down and controlled experience than it is now. As a final note, he “loved the fact he claims voice interaction will simplify the user experience,” and stated that while it does make it easier to use in a hands-free environment, such as driving, it does not simplify the user experience. It seems that Apple has changed their minds with the release of Siri, though.




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