Unveiling the Original iPhone Keyboard Design: A Former Apple iOS Developer’s Revelation!

On the 17th of July, blogger Steve Moser and former Apple iOS developer Kocienda released the original iOS virtual keyboard design to the public.

Upon closer inspection of the pictures shared by Steve Moser, it becomes clear that the virtual keyboard used in the early stages of development was markedly different from the one unveiled in the official version of iPhone OS 1.0.

steve moser original iphone keyboard design
Image source: Tweeted by Steve Moser

During that stage of development, the virtual keyboard may have served only as a “display function,” with its functionality yet to be fully realized. The virtual keyboard design leaned more towards the iPod interface of 2006, as opposed to the “skeuomorphic style” high-gloss button design language of the official version of iPhone OS 1.0.

The keyboard used a large black block as its theme, but lacked a number input box. At the top bar of the virtual keyboard, there were mainly the “Association Candidate Words” and function buttons.

original iphone keyboard prototype design
Early iPhone OS virtual keyboard Prototype design, Image source: SteveMoser’s Tweet

The “Association Candidate Words” tray utilized green and blue rounded rectangles, giving it a more visually appealing and “lively” appearance. The functions of the “Change” and “More” buttons next to them were unknown, but it was speculated that they might have been used to call out more candidate words.

From the virtual keyboard design draft, it was evident that all aspects of the system were functionally available at that stage. However, there was still room for improvement in the visual aspect.

iphone keyboard layout first gen

It’s not surprising that Jobs overthrew and reworked it midway through development to achieve a more polished final product.  

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An android fan who is often found playing Counter-Strike in his free time, wannabe photographer, Engineering Graduate!

Unveiling the Original iPhone Keyboard Design: A Former Apple iOS Developer’s Revelation!

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