A decade ago, Apple launched FaceTime (2010) and iMessage (2011). Both of these products became, with time, a major part of the company’s ecosystem. In a podcast interview, Justin Santamaria, former Apple lead engineer on iPhone, talks about creating both of these products and more.
Santamaria joined Apple in 2003 as a build engineer. He worked on internal development projects regarding build system automation, then he became part of the team that released iChat communications software for Mac OS X.
By 2009, he was an engineering manager of the team responsible for the user interface and functionality of the Phone, Messages, and FaceTime apps on iPhone, iPod, and iPad. In Techmeme’s Ride Home podcast, he talks about inventing FaceTime and iMessage.
In one part of the show, he remembers when he showed Steve Jobs the first FaceTime demo.
I was in my boss’s office with a team… and someone was in another office, and someone was in another office. We were using four computers set up to go, and I remember being instructed to whatever happened, pretend it’s going well. It’s beta software, weeks before release, you know (…) when FaceTime did that “woom” sound, that’s when he popped out from the “woom” into the 3D View, and I remember Steve going, “Oh my god, I’m gonna make the crowd sh*t their pants.”
Santamaria also talks about the blue/green text bubbles, which nowadays are in the middle of a controversy, as well as unlocking emojis so people outside Japan could use them.
Currently, he’s the cofounder of Future, an app that brings custom-made training plans with personalized audio coaching so you can reach your goals at home, in the gym, or at your group fitness classes.
You can hear the full episode of Techmeme’s podcast here.
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