Is Apple taking cues from Palm? Check here

In 2016, Apple made headlines when it decided to omit the headphone jack from the iPhone 7.


Apple's operating system, among all other things, is one of the best mobile operating systems today. However for the latest iteration of iOS, Apple seems to be taking some important cues from Palm, the company that made path-breaking PDA handsets in the 90s. And no, we're not talking "design cues" here.

In 2016, Apple made headlines when it decided to omit the headphone jack from the iPhone 7. This year too, Apple has decided to omit its massively overworked Home button from the iPhone 8, which means Apple would have to come up with an alternative method to let users switch between apps (multitask). And Apple seems to have found the solution in Palm Inc.'s WebOS.

The yet-to-be-released Apple iOS 11 has essentially copied a symbolic feature of WebOS, the mode for switching between apps, which requires the user to swipe upward from the bottom to reveal several "cards" that represent background applications.

Back in 2009, the now defunct Palm, Inc. released WebOS. The operating system debuted many innovative features, all or some of which have been copied by other OS developers, such as multiple synchronized calendars, unified social media and contact management, integrated text and Web messaging, and unintrusive notifications. It even offered support for wireless charging.

Built on top of a Linux kernel, WebOS could be easily upgraded by users with basic programming skills. It employed native internet technologies like JavaScript for local applications, that allowed users to access web integrated services, something its competitors at the time simply couldn't.

Although Apple's decision to remove the iconic iPhone Home button may seem like an improvement, the mode for switching apps isn't as innovative. WebOS offered the same feature almost eight years ago.