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Here's What Android Looked Like Before the iPhone

A once-confidential Google document, introduced at the Apple-Samsung trial last week, shows what the phone operating system looked like in 2006. And it looked a lot different.


One of the more interesting documents that came to light during the Apple-Samsung document last week was an early internal Google document on what Android looked like as of 2006 — before Apple had unveiled the iPhone.

The “Android Project Software Functional Requirements” document was what Google was showing — confidentially, at the time — to potential hardware makers about where its phone operating system was headed.

Android, at that point, was based on Linux 2.6, and didn’t actually have support for touchscreens.

“Touchscreens will not be supported,” Google said in a 2006 specification for Android devices. “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.”

The document also notes that Android would use Microsoft’s FAT 32 file system — a move that would later prove problematic for device makers once Microsoft started seeking licensing fees for that and other patents.

Some Android hallmarks were already present, including support for widgets and third-party applications.

Here’s the full document:

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