Ian Curry, a visual designer at FiftyThree, blurted out: “Why don’t we visually format the text?” After some back and forth, the team settled on what they now call swipe-to-style, a way of formatting text using gestures instead of interface buttons. Over the next 48 hours, a developer coded up a prototype called Text Trial, an internal app that would allow them to test out different methods of formatting text with touch gestures.
I love this interaction model. The article is worth a proper read, too. They could’ve released the iPhone version three years ago, but didn’t because they want to get it right. The read is just a glimpse how much thought and craft went into making the port.