TitleGanatra, Nitin oral history
|Ganatra, Nitin, Interviewee|
|Hsu, Hansen, Interviewer|
PublisherComputer History Museum
Place of PublicationMountain View
DescriptionAfter graduating from UC Santa Cruz, Nitin Ganatra began his career as a contractor for Apple, working in Developer Technical Support (DTS) in 1993. He was hired as a permanent employee by Apple six months later, still in DTS for the next two years. In 1995 he joined the System Software Continuation Engineering team, which worked on maintenance releases of System 7.5 while another team worked on Apple’s next generation operating system project, Copland.
After Copland was cancelled and Steve Jobs returned with the acquisition of NeXT, Continuation Engineering now became responsible for putting out new feature releases of classic Mac OS, first shipping 7.6, then 8.0 and beyond, while another division worked on developing the NeXTSTEP-based Mac OS X. Much of Ganatra’s work on Mac OS 8.0 and 8.5 involved adapting features that had originally been developed for Copland into the classic System 7 codebase.
After 8.5 Ganatra joined the Carbon effort under Scott Forstall to develop a subset of classic Mac OS APIs that could be ported to the NeXT-based OS X, becoming responsible for the CarbonLib library extension that shipped on Mac OS 8.6 and later, which provided the interface for the new Carbon APIs back to classic Mac OS. After this Ganatra became responsible for the Carbon File Manager APIs on Mac OS X, from releases 10.0 through 10.2. In 2002 Ganatra became the manager of the OS X Mail team, his first management position, additionally managing the Address Book team beginning in 2003.
It was in the fall of 2005 that Ganatra was recruited by Scott Forstall to join the Purple Project, what ultimately became the iPhone software team, managing a group that developed the iPhone’s built-in native applications, including the Mail, Phone, and iPod apps. To form his team, Ganatra recruited heavily from his Mail and Address Book engineers.
In this oral history, Ganatra details the competition between his P2 iPhone group and the competing P1 project, which had been trying to develop an iPod-like phone. Ganatra also describes the debate over developing the iPhone’s built-in apps using web APIs versus OS X-native APIs, and describes the creation of the native UIKit framework. Ganatra also describes some of the effects of secrecy within the iPhone project.