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Apple's iPhone Developer Crisis

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the mo'-apps-mo'-problems dept.

Technology (Apple) 315

David Gerard writes "iPhone development sounds closed-shop but simple — apply to be a developer, put application on the App Store, you and Apple make money. Except Apple can't keep up with the request load — whereas getting a developer contract used to take a couple of days, it's now taking months. Some early developers' contracts are expiring with no notice of renewal options. And Apple has no idea what's going on or the state of things. If you want to maintain a completely closed system, it helps if you can actually keep up with it." Reader h11:6 points out news of a recent study which suggests that "Android's open source nature will give it a boost over Apple's iPhone," and thus take the lead in sales as soon as three years from now. It will be interesting to see how they deal with the flood of proposed apps as their popularity rises.

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I hope the article is right (4, Insightful)

stokessd (89903) | more than 5 years ago | (#27111917)

As an owner of an iPhone I am frustrated with what I can't have. What I do have is pretty darn sweet, but things like adblock won't ever come to my phone. And that's where it's needed most, where my bandwidth to the phone and inside the phone is the smallest. So in that regard I'm really rooting for android, but I can't help but draw parallels with Linux on the desktop.

Sure, we all know how great linux is for certain tasks, but it has missed that spark that makes it catch on in a big way outside IT infrastructures and embedded systems.

So that three years prediciton is sounds a lot like "the year of the linux on the desktop"

Sheldon

Re:I hope the article is right (2, Interesting)

wisty (1335733) | more than 5 years ago | (#27111939)

When they start using tcl (or some other framework that lets gui and event driven apps get stitched together the UNIX way), *then* it will be the year of the Linux desktop.

Re:I hope the article is right (1, Interesting)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112125)

The year of the Linux desktop was 2008, when netbooks gave Microsoft actual OS competition for the first time.

Re:I hope the article is right (3, Insightful)

molarmass192 (608071) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112339)

Look, I love and use Linux, I think it's excellent. However, even though Linux can be used on the desktop, I can tell you right now that 90% of people out there have absolutely no idea that computers can have a different OS installed on them than what comes out of the box. Slashdot is certainly not a representation of the "average" PC user. I seriously believe that Apple is Linuxs' best hope for more widespread adoption. If OS X can fracture the market to the point that devs have a vested interest in avoiding platform specific code then that removes the excuse for Windows specific applications. The biggest problem right now is that there are very few GUI frameworks with critical mass that are common across platforms. Personally, I wish Apple would release their internal only Windows Cocoa framework, or even better, open source it so it can be readily ported. XCode & Cocoa is the nicest GUI framework I've worked with and it would be a no brainer to cross compile.

Re:I hope the article is right (1)

Wovel (964431) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112741)

Until of course frustrated users returned their netbooks and forced all of them to begin offering Windows..I have been using Linux since before the first release of SLS, it still does not have the mainstream application support for mass market appeal.

Re:I hope the article is right (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27111945)

Well that is your fault for buying a faggy apple product. It's not like you went into the agreement no knowing what it entailed.

And by buying the phone and the apps you are voting "Yes please, for of the same, up the arse"

Re:I hope the article is right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27112417)

You sir are of pure intellect and wise beyond our greatest imagination.

If I had mod points I'd mod you up.

Re:I hope the article is right (2, Insightful)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 5 years ago | (#27111951)

I recently abandoned my Palm OS device for a new phone, and one requirement was that it be able to run Android (there are no native Android devices in Canada yet). I'm hoping it's not too late in the race to stop the iPhone doing to the mobile market what Wintel did to the PC market.

Re:I hope the article is right (1, Interesting)

Corbets (169101) | more than 5 years ago | (#27111975)

Yet I have an application on mine called, go figure, Adblock, and it does just what I want to do.

Are you sure you've searched the app store?

Re:I hope the article is right (1)

NevermindPhreak (568683) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112119)

I just searched the app store with no luck. Could this be under a different name?

Re:I hope the article is right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27112159)

jailbreak required...

Re:I hope the article is right (1)

BobReturns (1424847) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112167)

Is GPs iPhone Jailbroken?

Re:I hope the article is right (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27112669)

I just searched the app store with no luck. Could this be under a different name?

It's not on the official app store, you have to get it through Cydia.

Re:I hope the article is right (1)

Morlark (814687) | more than 5 years ago | (#27111979)

Honestly, I'm quite surprised that the suggestion is as long as 3 years. Personally I don't see what the fuss about the iPhone is at all. The hardware is really nothing special. I'm sure the App Store is nice and all, but as the article says, Android's more open nature gives it an advantage there. I really don't see what's so appealing about the iPhone. As far as I can see it's all marketing and no substance. I've not once been even remotely tempted to get an iPhone.

In practice, it's not more open. (3, Insightful)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112115)

Android's more open nature gives it an advantage there

If you want an open cellphone, get a traditional PalmOS device, a Windows Mobile device, or a Symbian device.

The Android phones, the iPhone, and as far as I can tell the Palm Pre, are all - in every way that matters to the end user - closed devices.

Re:In practice, it's not more open. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27112227)

The Android phones, the iPhone, and as far as I can tell the Palm Pre, are all - in every way that matters to the end user - closed devices.

So being able to go to a random website and download/install any arbitrary app on an Android phone is what you consider "closed"?

Re:In practice, it's not more open. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27112729)

If you want an open cellphone, get a traditional PalmOS device, a Windows Mobile device, or a Symbian device.

Or a blackberry. RIM has given away documentation and an SDK for years.

Re:In practice, it's not more open. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27112755)

The iPhone is pretty hard to program for, the Android is holy crap hard compared to the iPhone.

However if you're a mac developer already, the iPhone is easy.

The Android is Java, and not even standard Java. Most of it's still undocumented (yay they have the names of the functions, but NO DAMNED INFORMATION ON WHAT IT DOES for a lot of the Android API.) At least every single function is documented in the iPhone SDK, although apple needs more examples. Android has examples that don't even work.

Re:I hope the article is right (5, Interesting)

hattig (47930) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112155)

Well considering the iPhone is a 2 year old hardware design (with a minor 3G upgrade since) it's not surprising that the hardware is nothing special now. The rest of the market has been catching up massively since the iPhone was pre-announced over two years ago. Microsoft are at sea with a UI that is stylus centric and outdated, putting a fancy launcher on the front won't help. Android can benefit from all the mistakes the iPhone made because it is more recent. The Palm Pre has the fancy interface but they're clearly behind, hence the HTML/JS web apps rather than native (for 3D games) which will surely come along later.

The iPhone has the central app store problem - a glut of rubbish that would never have been released in the past that bloats the listings, and a drive to cheap poor quality product in some form of lowest common denominator and the risks are too high for anyone to release anything significant that isn't a game. 15,000 apps, great statistic, but if 14,500 of them are tosh, and the other 500 are hard to find, or not even written...

Re:I hope the article is right (2)

NJRoadfan (1254248) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112197)

15,000 apps, great statistic, but if 14,500 of them are tosh, and the other 500 are hard to find, or not even written...

Or require a jailbreaked iPhone since they are "prohibited" by Apple.

Re:I hope the article is right (1)

andynugent (1494783) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112425)

Was the hardware ever anything special? The original came out a year and a half after the Nokia N80 that included a higher res camera, 3G, video, etc. Add in GPS, which various phones did before the the original iPhone was released, and the iPhone 3G spec sheet is still lower. Perhaps Apple (correctly) believed that the touch screen UI was enough of a selling point, and decided to have inferior hardware in order to allow them to make large leaps forward every 12 months. What's the bets on a big deal being made of the iPhone v3 having a better camera with video recording in summer 2009?

Re:I hope the article is right (3, Insightful)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112613)

Indeed, I am in full agreement. The claims of Apple firsts are usually simply that those people haven't seen it in a phone before ("OMG, I can access a website on a phone! I wasn't aware that almost every phone on the market can now do this, because I've lived under a rock for the last five to ten years!") When questioned, they'll retreat to using vague subjective and undefined qualifiers such as "but it does it better, it just does, I can't explain why because it's impossible to explain it". They'll then speak of the phone market in an Iphone-centric manner, such as referring to companies "catching up", or claiming companies copied the Iphone just because the Iphone does a particular feature, or talking as if the only phones on the market are the Iphone and Android phones (presumably to make the Iphone look more popular in comparison).

They might then point to one thing that the Iphone was better at on the day of release, but this ignores that most high end phones on the market are going to be the most advanced phones on the day of release. It only lasts until the next phone is released a few days later. This is just as true for other phones, if not more so - as you note, it lacked many features that were commonplace even on cheap bog-standard phones (video, 3G, Java etc).

Re:I hope the article is right (3, Insightful)

despisethesun (880261) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112897)

I think a big part of it is how things were in the American/Canadian phone market when the iPhone was released. In Europe and Asia, smartphones and featurephones are a lot more common. The iPhone sells respectably in those markets, but it never exploded like it did over here, mainly because it doesn't really do anything new. But over here, where dumbphones rule and the Razr was the hottest phone to come along in ages, it was like a revelation. Smartphones were mainly blocky business phones when the iPhone came along, and there wasn't really a market for high end featurephones when so many people would just get whatever decent looking LG or Moto came free with their contract. The iPhone is very much like the iPod that preceded it; nothing special in terms of features or hardware, but it's stylish, and the UI is fairly intuitive. It's so successful here because it was the first to convince North American consumers on a broad scale that they needed these features. And just like the iPod, those features were on preceding devices, and the ones to come out since have improved even further, but people will still make vague and undefined excuses for why Apple's product is superior.

Re:I hope the article is right (1)

MrCrassic (994046) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112917)

Which is precisely why I swapped my iPhone for an iPod Touch and a simple Nokia phone. In my opinion, the iPhone is a very advanced music player, but a very lacking smartphone.

Re:I hope the article is right (0, Flamebait)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112559)

Well considering the iPhone is a 2 year old hardware design (with a minor 3G upgrade since) it's not surprising that the hardware is nothing special now. The rest of the market has been catching up massively since the iPhone was pre-announced over two years ago.

3G was years old when the Iphone added it - the rest of the market has not had to "catch up" to the Iphone.

Sure, the Iphone had some nifty features like multitouch when it was first released. Just about all phones are cutting edge when they are first released - that's because products are always getting better! There's nothing special about the Iphone here, and it doesn't mean anyone else is playing "catch up", unless you want to reference everything in terms of the Iphone, which is a common pro-Apple tactic that people try to subtely use.

You might as well brag about a high end PC from any random PC manufacturer as being "best on the market on the day of release" - that doesn't mean it makes sense that the rest of the market is now playing catch-up, because all companies are continually improving. That's how technology worked - and how it worked in the phone industry long before Apple decided to enter the market late.

Re:I hope the article is right (3, Insightful)

rho (6063) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112031)

I hope the article is right

This article is full of hope. Android is going to sweep away all competition "in three years"; Apple is having trouble, and due to the inherent nature of closed systems, will never be able to fix or improve it; a band of merry gnomes is going to dismantle all of the nuclear missiles in the world and turn them into slides for orphans.

I'm completely in favor of Android developing into a viable competitor, as it will improve both the iPhone and Android platforms. But since we only have ONE phone and a whole lot of enthusiasm, I think reserving judgement isn't such a crazy idea.

Re:I hope the article is right (1)

Idaho (12907) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112617)

This article is full of hope. Android is going to sweep away all competition "in three years";

Exactly. "2012 will be the year of the Android Deskto^H^H^H^H^H^HCellphone".

That said, I do hope so, but at this point it's not much more than "hope".

Re:I hope the article is right (4, Informative)

Fusen (841730) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112303)

Others may have already told you, but http://www.cocoamug.com/adblock/ [cocoamug.com] Adblock is available for jailbroken phones and does what it says on the tin, uses the same filters your firefox extension uses. search for Quickpwn to find out more about jailbreaking.

Re:I hope the article is right (2, Interesting)

yttrstein (891553) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112431)

All I can imagine when I think of everyone and their pothead kid being allowed to drop anything they want into Android is Rasterman porting Enlightenment to it, turning it into what enlightenment turned all my computers into in the late 90s; beautiful devices that didn't actually ever work.

Re:I hope the article is right (1)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112443)

There's an adblock app for Safari in Cydia, I believe.

Re:I hope the article is right (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112521)

I'm unclear on your analogy - because Linux has failed to catch on, therefore, any new product that isn't already popular will fail to catch on?

I guess the Iphone's going to be a flop then. It's not the major player either - indeed, on that note, comparing Iphone v. Android seems rather odd to me, and seems typical of the pro-Iphone bias in that it paints a picture where the Iphone is the only phone around, except for a new niche contender. Which is completely unrealistic - the phone market is dominated by major players like Nokia and Motorola, who have sold probably billions of phones. Saying the Iphone will be better than Android is like saying ... well, to use your Linux analogy, that OS X is doing well against Linux. Great. And AmigaOS is doing well against BeOS.

The Iphone is playing catch-up to the rest of the phone industry, so the "ready for the desktop" analogy is equally valid for the Iphone.

Re:I hope the article is right (1)

SleepingWaterBear (1152169) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112795)

Sure, we all know how great linux is for certain tasks, but it has missed that spark that makes it catch on in a big way outside IT infrastructures and embedded systems.

Yes, and that spark is called a marketing budget and either lucrative anti-competitive agreements with computer makers, or its own computer making branch.

Ah, but there IS adblock for the iPhone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27112895)

It's on Cydia, you pay the dev, he sends you a number, and viola, adblock for MobileSafari. Seriously... jailbreak your phone.

HTTP 500 (3, Informative)

Meneth (872868) | more than 5 years ago | (#27111927)

Ars Technica seems to have a spot of trouble with their server...

IRONY (3, Funny)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27111935)

Irony is seeing And Apple has no idea what's going on or the state of things [arstechnica.com] . and clicking on it and getting a 500 error. Seems more like Ars Technica has no clue what's going on.

Re:IRONY (1)

jd142 (129673) | more than 5 years ago | (#27111953)

I got in just fine not 10 seconds ago.

Re:IRONY (2, Funny)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112121)

Congratulations, I can get in now as well. Shall we have a party? I will bring the chips. You bring the beer.

Re:IRONY (1)

hkmwbz (531650) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112177)

Seems more like Ars Technica has no clue what's going on.

What makes you say that?

apple developer (1)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112107)

I just applied to get my iphone sdk. I clicked the box to be an iphone developer, and got the confrim e-mail in 1 minute.

am I missing something?

Re:apple developer (3, Informative)

foniksonik (573572) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112341)

Have you payed your $100 yet? I think you're missing one step... which is not the 'become a developer' part.. it's the 'become a distributor' part... which is what the articles should say.

Anyone can become a developer without a license etc. etc. but to become a distributor you need Apple's blessing and a contract, which appears to be taking longer and longer to get.

Re:HTTP 500 (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112191)

HTTP 500

Ars Technica seems to have a spot of trouble with their server...

Actually, it's because Apache's contract renewal team forgot to send them a notice, due to a backlog. Oh, wait...

Android's open-source nature is irrelevant. (4, Insightful)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#27111961)

Android might be open-source, but Android phones using Google's app store are completely locked and Tivoised, developers can't even download their own apps from the store using their unlocked phones. The fact that Android is built on top of Linux is as irrelevant as the fact that the iPhone kernel uses Mach and BSD.

Re:Android's open-source nature is irrelevant. (3, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112137)

It's not irrelevant at all because you can already run non-blessed software including an entire desktop on the non-Android side of your Android phone. In fact, it is entirely relevant, because you can do this to the phone already.

Re:Android's open-source nature is irrelevant. (4, Interesting)

BlackCreek (1004083) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112215)

BS. Google sells a completely unlocked version of the phone. You can download Android's source, change it, compile and run.

If you bought a G1 and have the knowledge, you can turn it into a ADP and do just as you please.

Developers can

  1. perform full backup of the phone image,
  2. install a "consumer version" of Android, download, test and use any locked app.
  3. backup the image
  4. reflash the original iamge

    Does Apple has something like that? I guess not, since there are no developer versions of the Iphone.

    BTW, Where can I **legally** download the source to the Iphone OS?

Re:Android's open-source nature is irrelevant. (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27112365)

Actually GP is partly right. Google block unlocked phones from downloading paid-for apps on the Android Market.

Re:Android's open-source nature is irrelevant. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27112447)

Anyone blocked from seeing the paid apps are not missing anything. With the exception of maybe two apps the paid apps suck ass.

Re:Android's open-source nature is irrelevant. (4, Informative)

BlackCreek (1004083) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112781)

Google blocks users running the ADP version of the OS from accessing paid applications.

However, as I mentioned in my previous post: if you have a phone running the developer version, you can fully backup the whole phone (the entire thing). Install the "consumer version of it", do as you will, backup your "consumer image", reflash the dev version.

If you are a developer, it is as simple as changing phone covers. I know that as I own a G1 running the development version of the OS, and have performed the described operations.

Re:Android's open-source nature is irrelevant. (2, Insightful)

putzin (99318) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112509)

While all that is true, it's not all that helpful to most, even many developers. I'm an iPhone developer right now, and hate that there are so many restrictions on my apps. But I have consumers for my apps, and to be honest, I can live with the issues (though don't always like them). The G1 is still a toy, so until there are more devices, all the openness doesn't mean as much. To some extent, it's open source nature is irrelevant to most. Unfortunate, but the phone is just a tool, not an ideology. It needs to work and be useful. And if someone makes money from making it useful, then so be it.

Yes, Android is more open, but Google still owns the platform for effectively everyone (not everyone will own a dev phone). The grandparent post is right, Google might not be all that much better than Apple when it all comes down to it. And I still don't know one person who is sporting an Android based phone.

Re:Android's open-source nature is irrelevant. (2, Interesting)

BlackCreek (1004083) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112805)

The open source nature of Android matters a lot. As it is an attempt to become a complete software stack to be installed into "commodity" handsets. No one expects that to be fully realized into 3 or 6 months.

So it is actually more of a direct competitor with Symbian than with Apple. (it is just that people in the US love to talk about Apple). While Symbian has millions of units sold, AFAIK writing apps that actually use "fancy" functionality (GPS, camera, maps, calendar) is not a "write once, run on any Symbian phone" deal. They also do not demand a high level of platform homogeneity. Both things Android aims to offer. Nokia/Sony control Symbian, so you can also bet that *all* their competitors (using Symbian) would rather use Android.

I do agree with you that the real game will only begin when (& if) other vendors start releasing other models. But working as a enterprise developer, I understand that it does take time between deciding to produce a unit and actually releasing it. Take a look at how long it took for all the netbooks to start appearing, after the first EEE initial success.

The G1 is still a toy, so until there are more devices, all the openness doesn't mean as much. To some extent, it's open source nature is irrelevant to most.

Seriously, in which sense is the G1 a toy?

Re:Android's open-source nature is irrelevant. (5, Informative)

BlackCreek (1004083) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112873)

Dear Apple zealot with mod points,

Would you please be so kind to stop modding posts you disagree with as troll?

I mean, everything in my post is factually correct:

  1. Backup and restore of Android phones: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=459830 [xda-developers.com]
  2. Android source code is available: http://source.android.com/ [android.com]

It's all about perception (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27112605)

I bought the G1 instead of the IPhone because of Apple's bad reputation regarding openess.

It is true that the root account is locked and it is not possible to jail-break it (at least not in germany). But that's not the point. The point is that it has the potential to run any apps you want and that the source code of the base applications is completely open, so you can see how they've done it. -- BTW: You can get a devel phone w/o any restrictions, if you want to.

Regarding your comment that the base operating system is irrelevant; it is not. The micro VM running on top of the linux kernel is not an ordinary java VM. Instead each application starts in its own VM and can communicate with the other VMs or applications using standard Linux RPC. There's a ssh client and a shell available from the application store which lets you run familiar commands such as ls, top, cat /proc/version or cat /proc/cpuinfo.

It doesn't have the X11 stack, though. But there's a pure Java X11 server called WeirdX which lets you ssh to your Linux or Solaris machine and turn your phone into a thin client. I don't think this will ever be possible with Mach/OSX (VNC is too slow for that).

Jeff

Android vs. Apple? (4, Insightful)

drolli (522659) | more than 5 years ago | (#27111963)

Did we not forget a little mobile OS, outselling both? Did we not forget that Nokai still sells probably more phones per month than apple and android per year? Did we not forget that j2me and symbian programs do not only run on nokia phones but on a lot of other phones?

This does not mean that i done believe that android is not a promising and cool platform, nevertheless hundreds of millions (more likely well over a billion) active j2me compatible phones, for which everybody can develop would derserve to ben mentioned, when comparing the iphone to some competitors.

Re:Android vs. Apple? (5, Insightful)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112063)

I've dabbled in j2me, and now programming for the iPhone. All I can say is; yes, we're forgetting Nokia and J2ME.

But there's also a reason for it. The iPhone dev kit makes me happy in my my pants compared to what Nokia offers.

Re:Android vs. Apple? (1)

rollthelosindice (635783) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112071)

Did we forget that Motorola is the ultimate power in the cell phone industry because they make the best selling phone the RAZR.....oh wait...

Re:Android vs. Apple? (4, Informative)

siDDis (961791) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112095)

Not to mention PyS60 which is Python for Symbian 60 based phones.

Nokia has developed a Python API which give access to GPS, Camera, Internet, Native GUI, Canvas based GUI, SMS, Phonecalls, Phonebook, MMS, accelerometer, OpenGL and a lot more.

And just to show how easy it is to program a SMS application with PyS60:

import messaging
messaging.sms_send("number", u"message")

But it's not only Python, you can still write software in C/C++ and J2ME. Though C++ applications requires a signature from nokia to be able to run.

Re:Android vs. Apple? (4, Funny)

wisty (1335733) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112147)

But, where are the objects? Where are the interfaces? Where has all the programming gone? It's like you are just telling the computer what to do, and it's doing it. Where is the skill in that?

Re:Android vs. Apple? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27112607)

It's alright gramps. The phones aren't going to hurt you any more. You can go back to your room now.

Re:Android vs. Apple? (1)

AlXtreme (223728) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112385)

But it's not only Python, you can still write software in C/C++ and J2ME. Though C++ applications requires a signature from nokia to be able to run.

I haven't done any C++ programming for S60 (have done so in Python), but isn't it so that you need a signature if your application wants access to certain phone functions? For example, if your application is simply a game you wouldn't need a signature, but if you want to access the contact list you do. Last time I checked this was how it was done with PyS60.

Anyway, I'm hoping Nokia releasing Symbian as open source will revive the S60 for development. With Google having Android quite locked-down and OpenMoko muddling along, S60 will be the real open source mobile platform.

Re:Android vs. Apple? (4, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112103)

J2ME is crap because phones are only required to implement small portions of the specifications to be able to claim J2ME and practically no code of any complexity can make it into J2ME without heavy reauthoring. Once again Java lives up to the promise of "write once, debug anywhere". The real problem is with phones like my RAZR V3i which has a camera but no Java support for it, meaning you can't use any of the cool Java applets (like QR code readers) on my phone - but the point is that the specification should have demanded that these things be supported when the hardware is available on the phone. The lack of this requirement is confusing for consumers and developers alike.

Re:Android vs. Apple? (1)

hattig (47930) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112189)

There is also no need for J2ME today when you have 500MHz CPUs in phones, 128MB or more RAM and gigabytes of storage - you can run a full version of Java quite happily, no need to leave out parts of the platform. Indeed Android is all that but running on their own Dalvik VM instead of a JVM.

JavaFX may go some way to fix this, but Sun really needs to get off its arse and make a Java Mobile Specification for modern mobile devices.

Re:Android vs. Apple? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27112527)

And what is supported is often locked down by the service provider. (Eg. no non-web socket connections unless you're an AT&T Partner.)

Of what I've seen, J2ME has/had the best _potential_. It's nominally platform independent, has lots of APIs for all the cool hardware, and you download something to the phone by just copying a file over or letting a user download from any web site (the app store concept is not very compatible with F/OSS or for in-house apps...things I just want to write for my own use). But yeah...optional implementation and requiring official code signatures hurts. A lot.

Re:Android vs. Apple? (2, Funny)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112141)

Dude. The GNUphone [today.com] is the way to go! The only phone any righteous Slashdot reader could use!

Really, weâ(TM)re not out to destroy Apple; that will just be a completely unintentional side effect.

Re:Android vs. Apple? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27112243)

Mod parent up pleassssse.

Brilliant linked article

Re:Android vs. Apple? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27112479)

Egads, more drivel from the Nokia fan.

Nokia makes some great devices, but 99% of what they sell are - get this - are extremely underpowered compared to the G1, the iPhone, and even the BlackBerry 8000 series. Slow CPUs, not enough RAM working space, and scant little polish or consistency in the applications.

It's a mess.

No one in the US cares about Nokia in the smartphone market, because they have completely failed to wow either the public or the service providers. Their hardware and Symbian OS software is awesome. But they fail everywhere else.

In contrast, the G1 and the iPhone are complete platforms. The G1 is great. The iPhone is great. But Nokia? Not yet. They need to try much harder.

Re:Android vs. Apple? (1)

siDDis (961791) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112603)

Not exactly.

Quake 3 runs better on Nokia 95 than the second generation iPhone.

Quake 3 on Nokia 95:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pEdf6Wq-x5w&feature=related [youtube.com]

Quake 3 on iPhone:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFQGpRAhwGU [youtube.com]

The hardware in Nokia phones doesn't suck as much as you think.

Re:Android vs. Apple? (1)

AbRASiON (589899) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112761)

Having now delt with Nokia's support people for their products, I can assure you their phone could shit gold in to the palm of my hand and I wouldn't want it.

Fuck that company, they've entered my permenant shit list, I will tell friends and family to avoid them as much as possible and I myself will also, I doubt it will amount to anything but those scumbags do not deserve my cash.

NO (1)

Snaller (147050) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112823)

No, we didn't forget that - we ignored it since Nokia (and Erickson) have crap interfaces, and apparently will never improve on that - so the only way out are versions *we* can shape.

Re:Android vs. Apple? (2, Insightful)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112831)

Everyone who enjoys developing for Series 60, say "aye". Everyone who considers J2ME useful, say "aye".

*crickets*

Yeah. There's the relevance of your billion smartphones.

Would Love an Android Phone (2)

dogboi (1111269) | more than 5 years ago | (#27111965)

I own an iPhone, and I almost bought the G1 just because of its potential. Now I'm waiting to see if an an Android phone ever makes it to AT&T. I love my iPhone, but I'm annoyed with its limitations. Lack of cut and paste and the inability to have background processes are the worst of the limitations, in my opinion. I like Android in theory. A friend of mine has the G1 and loves it. But I live in a rural area, and the only reliable cell service here is AT&T.

Re:Would Love an Android Phone (2, Informative)

Fusen (841730) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112335)

I have copy and paste on my iPhone and I can even run background applications when I want. Over a million people so far have jailbroken their iphone, there is nothing illegal or wrong about it either. It simply opens up the phone to the sort of apps that we all want but apple won't allow. http://www.google.co.uk/search?&channel=s&hl=en&q=why+you+should+jailbreak&btnG=Google+Search [google.co.uk]

Re:Would Love an Android Phone (4, Insightful)

peragrin (659227) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112631)

Other than cut and paste which is the only feature i do miss, I don't see why people want background apps. I don't want the world to know that just because my phone is on they can IM me all day long.

The point is battery life. I can go two full days between charges with 3G on, calls, occasional bluetooth(it is only on when i am in the car ) and wifi when it is available. 3G 90% of the time, when i am home or at a place with wifi for a while I turn it on.

My other phones would last 3-4 days between charges, however I never surfaced the web or played games on them.

Re:Would Love an Android Phone (1)

Khuffie (818093) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112681)

Using jailbreaking as a justification for the iPhone's limited features doesn't really work. I have an unlocked and jailbroken iPhone, but I almost never bother to install any jailbroken apps. Everytime Apple does an update, I have to re-jailbreak and reinstall the jailbroken apps I downloaded. It's annoying.

Re:Would Love an Android Phone (1)

Fusen (841730) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112773)

afaik I never did try and justify it's closed nature, I simply gave advise to get around the fact apple severely locks down. Also why even bother to jailbreak if you don't use any of the applications that jailbreaking is there for?

Re:Would Love an Android Phone (1)

Khuffie (818093) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112819)

Because I have to unlock my iphone to get it to work on my network. The one app I use that needs jailbreaking is one to disable the Edge on my phone, since I don't want to pay for data.

"Can't keep up with the request load" (2, Funny)

jdigriz (676802) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112009)

It's not like Apple could use its 20 Billion dollars in the bank to, you know, hire more people to handle the developer requests. That would just be impossible. Companies never grow by actually applying resources to a problem.

Re:"Can't keep up with the request load" (4, Insightful)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112355)

It's not like Apple could use its 20 Billion dollars in the bank to, you know, hire more people to handle the developer requests.

Apple may have 20bn in the bank but I bet that the iPhone developer support group doesn't have the keys to the vault, and the sharehoders and SEC wouldn't be too chuffed if it did.

Thing is, in any large organization, you have to prepare budgets and plans months in advance and get them approved by accountants - who rarely understand concepts such as "no one has done this before so we don't have a fscking clue how many developers per month will sign up over the first 3 years"...

Year of Linux (0, Redundant)

msgtomatt (1147195) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112021)

Yep and in three years will be the year of linux! I can't wait.

Android (3, Informative)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112061)

I picked up a G1 last weekend, but ended up taking it back yesterday. On the software side, it was absolutely beautiful. But the hardware left a lot to be desired (mainly the form factor/weight). I'm hoping T-Mobile gets access to the HTC Magic [htc.com] sometime later in the year, in which case I'll go ahead and switch back.

As for the apps, the open source nature of the Android really showed (in more ways than one). On the one hand, there were some very interesting and innovative apps in the marketplace (and elsewhere on the web). For instance, there were several cyclocomputer apps that take advantage of the GPS and mapping abilities of the device. I didn't get a chance to try any of them out, but depending on the quality, I could see an Android phone replacing a $300-$800 dedicated GPS cyclocomputer (hell, there's probably even a way to tie a cadence monitor into the Android). OTOH, there were also a whole ton of crap programs in the marketplace. But I think the ratings and reviews are doing a decent job of weeding those out.

Overall, I do have the feeling that the Android will become a pretty major player in the coming months/years.

Re:Android (2, Funny)

Khuffie (818093) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112687)

Don't worry. A whole ton of crap programs in the marketplace isn't a symptom of it being open source. You should see the gems on the iPhone Appstore. The choice of fart apps is outstanding.

Highly unlikely (4, Insightful)

jeffehobbs (419930) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112093)

The article linked is incredibly vague and seems to presuppose that the trajectory of all open-source projects is up, up, up. While this is possible -- if Google puts the resources into constant improvement, Android certainly will improve -- it presupposes that Apple is going to be standing still. Not so. Apple's iPhone platform is now a moving target, and the year to two-year market advantage is going to be difficult for Android to top.

Google, as much as I love some of their products, has shown themselves to be a bit spotty with support and improvements to many of their initiatives. Everyone understands that mobile is a big deal, but if Google's decides that they can dominate search just as much on the iPhone than on their own platform, it's possible their drive to improve Android will wither.

The fact that the platform is open-source means virtually nothing to consumers, by the way. They simply want to make calls, surf the web and play games.

Apple is hardly promoting it as a dev platform yet (2, Insightful)

JCWDenton (851047) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112129)

It's pretty interesting the way developers are almost falling over themselves (if you believe the summary) to start developing for the iPhone. Build an attractive product and not only will the customers appear but also the Developers! Developers! Developers!. As a developer you'll need to buy an Apple computer for the privilege, and probably start learning Objective C, not an easy language to pick up when you're used to Java/C#. It's almost contrary to the idea usually associated with MS of making it easy for developers and the platform will succeed.
I'd imagine Apple is shifting quite a few new machines to iPhone developers who would otherwise still be developing on Windows/Java ME.

Re:Apple is hardly promoting it as a dev platform (1)

codepunk (167897) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112591)

Actually all the stuff I have been programming for the phone has been in C#. Not that objective C is difficult to learn either if you can actually program, it took me what about 3 or 4 nights
to nail down the language. Just like every other language Objective C just has different syntactical sugar, nothing ground breaking just another language.

Three Words (1)

shareme (897587) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112203)

Three Words Android No waiting

Someone at Apple is in deeeeep doodoo now... (1)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112225)

Apple wants the iPhone to Rule The Roost. It's going to happen through apps, so they need to straighten this mess out RIGHT NOW.

Having worked there for several years, I would suspect someone's ass is already on the line and 4 months from now this will be "fixed".

Frankly, I think software isn't the iPhones biggest problem, but hardware. No photo, no video, etc. Panasonic has a phone that kicks the iPhone up and down the stairs.

RS

My Data Point (4, Informative)

superid (46543) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112231)

I've been actively developing simple apps for the past few months. The submission process has been straightforward and acceptable. Nothing has taken longer than a week. Critical questions (banking, etc) have been answered in one day.

Would I like it to be faster? Sure. But right now I'm satisfied.

My Data Point: Firewalled (1)

S-100 (1295224) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112657)

I've had an application pending for some time now. I submitted (by fax, how 20th century) some corporate documents, and later I received a couple of unintelligible voice mail messages from Apple. They were sent at odd hours, and the all had the same characteristics: low volume, very high background noise, and a heavily-accented voice, which rendered the messages incomprehensible. Then I get an email telling me that I haven't submitted the documents that I had indeed submitted, and to reply as soon as possible. The return address for he email? do-not-reply@apple.com.

Re:My Data Point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27112769)

Except the article was about new developers not ones that had been approved months ago.

3 years from now : AppStore is not even 1 yr old ! (5, Insightful)

AwaxSlashdot (600672) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112249)

One year ago, the AppStore was not existing. Two years ago, the iPhone was not available.

How can someone make a prediction for "three years from now" ?

When the iPhone was launch every one called it doomed because it was closed, even if it was obvious Apple would sooner or later release a SDK for it. Now, the AppStore is not even 1 year old, people do not know how Apple will make it evolve (more staff, more open, ... ), and they are forecasting something for 3 years from now ?!

Re:3 years from now : AppStore is not even 1 yr ol (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27112321)

ditto

Bureaucracy (3, Interesting)

damaki (997243) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112383)

It really feels like Apple's iPhone store is being weakened by its own bureaucratic approach. Sure, it's great to have virus-free apps, but how about choice, diversity and freedom? The content validation works pretty easily for music, but apps are not the same business at all. If you've got to re-certify your stuff each time it's updated, to renew your damn certificate, how can you focus on doing good software?
I do not give a rat ass to open source stuff on my phone, but it could be an interesting approach to make it at least possible on iPhone. How about a common certificate for multiple developers and non obligatorily checked releases?

Re:Bureaucracy (2, Funny)

PeeShootr (949875) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112433)

I think that the app store certainly offers choice and diversity! If it's freedom you want, don't buy an Apple product! If you want it to "just work" then buy Apple!

Re:Bureaucracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27112467)

Very well put. You have the choice of buying any rat ass phone. So buy another phone and stop writing crap.

Re:Bureaucracy (1)

damaki (997243) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112847)

Thanks AC for this insightless bullshit. I do not own an iPhone.

Crisis? What Crisis? (5, Insightful)

stiller (451878) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112649)

I'm sorry, but isn't Apple not being able to keep up with developer applications the exact opposite of a developer crisis? Sure, it might be a crisis for the developers involved, but certainly not for the market or Apple itself!

With 15,000 available applications and over 500 million downloads, it sounds like a pretty damn succesful platform to me. With growth on that scale, it doesn't surprise me that they would run into some hurdles.

The connection to the android open source analysis completely eludes me, but I wouldn't hold my breath in any case. To most people, the term iPhone is synonymous to smartphone and being slightly more open isn't going to change anything about that soon.

Re:Crisis? What Crisis? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27112863)

Yes, clearly Microsoft will capitalize on this crisis, making this the year of Windows on the smart phone.

Android conquering the world? (2, Insightful)

despisethesun (880261) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112661)

If this story had come out at this time last year, I might have believed it. As it stands, I don't think Android is going to conquer much of anything. So far there have only been two phones to come from a major handset manufacturer. There are supposedly tons on the way this year from Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Motorola, and others but none of them have shown anything at all yet. And on top of that, the phones to come from HTC have been pretty uninspiring. I want to see Android take off, it looks to offer just about everything I want from a phone OS, but I'm not waiting forever for there to be a handset worth owning with it. Right now, I'm planning on getting an E71, and down the road I might grab either the Omnia HD or the N86 as a second phone. Symbian/S60 isn't perfect, but it's here now, it works, and the hardware it runs on is excellent. The members of the Open Handset Alliance can't say that yet, and that's a damn shame.

Market share != doing well for Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27112749)

Nice idea, but as everyone's saying, it's totally optimistic. Apple goals are to keep large profit margins on their own terms. If they can do that with a large market share (iPod) they're happy, but they're not going to let go of tight control to achieve that share either (the Mac).

I would love to see the iPhone opened a bit more, but it's not going to happen either of the two things above are *seriously* threatened.

Of course this all could change if someone else takes the reigns over the next couple of years...

No Source for Research (5, Informative)

Wovel (964431) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112853)

Keep in mind that the author of the report, "Informa Telecoms & Media" has a vested interest in people believing the key to the mobile market is an open source platform (This was in fact the key finding of their report). Informa runs what they call "ONLY Mobile Specific Open Source Conference and Exhibition in the World".

Be cool if the journalists of the world still looked into the motivations of their sources. Informa needs to send IBT, Businessweek and the rest of them a check for advertising fees.

It's a systemic problem (1)

RogueWarrior65 (678876) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112899)

This doesn't surprise me a bit. Apple's own Radar bug reporting system is practically useless since you can't see what other people may have reported on a given bug, only what you have submitted. If people have posted work-arounds, you can't see them. Furthermore, Apple's developer website search is nearly useless too because you can't filter out duplicate results that happen to be in PDF and HTML formats nor can you eliminate Java results or Cocoa results if all you're interested in is Carbon. Beyond that is the very limited amount of sample code illustrating a given function call. When Quicktime VR was first being shown, I had to jump through a whole ton of fire-hoops to get to the product manager who reluctantly gave me access to the stuff. IMHO, Microsoft's developer website is far superior.

Beleaguered Apple too successful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27112927)

Oh noooooo, Apple is too successful with their iPhone and their App store that now they're having some bureaucratic trouble. Don't they know they're always supposed to fail at everything even when they are succeeding. Silly beleaguered Apple.

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