Original iPhone creator: “A lot of freaking math” went into the iPhone’s smooth scrolling

Smoothly scrolling through content is something so intrinsic to the iPhone that we take it for granted. But the people who created the original iPhone didn’t. Some of the original iPhone team members spoke at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California, Tuesday evening. Asked for an example of the iPhone’s biggest tech breakthroughs, engineer Nitin Ganatra said:

“It was scrolling, it was moving through a list, it was how it responds to touch. If you look at the devices that had touch that were out at the time,it felt like you were wearing three pairs of gloves. It felt like you were removed from the screen. You felt like you were pushing something that was pushing something that was pushing something.”

Apple, of course, made the touch screen behave as if it were a real physical object being moved naturally by the user’s finger. “It may seem like a really simple thing, but there’s a lot of freaking math that goes into those details,” Ganatra said.

[Image: John Markoff (left) talking to (L-R) original iPhone team members Hugo Fiennes, Nitin Ganatra, and Scott Herz.]