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No Third-party Apps on iPhone Says Jobs

CowboyNeal posted more than 7 years ago | from the hack-something-else dept.

Communications 778

wyldeone writes "In an interview with the New York Times, Steve Jobs confirms reports that the recently-announced iPhone will not allow third party applications to be installed. According to Jobs, 'These are devices that need to work, and you can't do that if you load any software on them.' In a similar vein, Jobs said in a MSNBC article that, 'Cingular doesn't want to see their West Coast network go down because some application messed up.'"

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778 comments

Horrible. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17569898)

Now apple has shoot them selfs in the face.

foot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17570172)

you mean foot?

Apple has always liked the walled garden approach.

The semi-open OSX core was just a means to an end.

Right... (5, Insightful)

wyldeone (785673) | more than 7 years ago | (#17569900)

Right. So Sprint's network is going down every day because of some poorly written application on my Treo? This kind of absurd argument merely clouds the issues. This is about Jobs' control issues, not anything technical. I would be fine if they just released an sdk saying, essentially, anyone who wants to install 3rd party applications is on their own. The best, most stable programs developed could be accepted into Apple's Special Developer Program, which would make "official" releases. I have a problem with the status quo as described by Jobs (i.e., where only "approved" applications make it onto the iPhone) because it leaves the fate of potentially very useful applications to the political realities of Apple's relationship with Cingular (this means no VoIP). On my Treo, however, (if it supported WiFi, that is) there would be no way for Sprint or any carrier to stop me from installing a VoIP application; or, more dangerously, an application that allows me to convert an mp3 into a ringtone with out shelling out something ridiculous for the cell phone company's ringtones. It's these sort of applications that are made completely impossible through Jobs' program, and the biggest flaw with it. Another major flaw is that this sort of thing usually cuts out the small timers. PDA programs do not take an enormous amount development effort, therefore making them perfect for small developers; it's one of the few environments left where big development studios don't have a huge advantage. However, any sort of program (which likely would have a closed, expensive development platform as opposed to the cheap, open PalmOS and Windows Mobile SDKs) would almost certainly be prohibitively priced to anyone but these large development houses. In any case, much of the glamor of the iPhone has worn off since it has become clear that third-party applications were out. The device itself is beautiful, but it is the unexpected uses that make these devices so powerful and useful. On my Treo, I control my IR utilities using universal remote software, I have an instant-messaging client, a voice-activated launcher. All applications developed by third-parties and probably uses of the phone unexpected by Palm. I can only hope that Jobs realizes that he does not see perfectly into the minds of all consumers and does not know what we all want or need.

Re:Right... (3, Insightful)

2ms (232331) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570002)

The Treo originated as a PDA (ie a device/miniature PC designed for installing 3rd party applications) that acquired phone functionality. This is not the case with the iPhone. Neither cell phones nor the iPod were conceived for the purpose of being able to install 3rd party applications. Some phones developed that capability, but if anything (Microsoft phone for example), they've proven more that the capability definately does compromise the phone aspects.

I have no interest in a PDA phone and neither do the vast majority of people. I'm glad the iPhone looks like it has been focused on uncompromised strength in the two things that people have proven to want more than any other personal portable electronic devices -- phone and iPod.

Re:Right... (5, Insightful)

jrockway (229604) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570092)

> nor the iPod were conceived for the purpose of being able to install 3rd party applications

The iPod is pretty neat straight out of Apple, but the true possibilities of the device aren't really reached. Take a look at the Rockbox firmware for iPods -- it adds tons of features that Apple said were "technically impossible" or that "nobody wants". Right now I'm listening to a gapless FLAC album with a bit of crossfeed, and it's wonderful. Fuck you, Jobs. You don't know what I want. Stop telling me what to do!

With respect to phones, I think the iPhone is going to be a flop. When it's all said and done, it's a $3000 phone (can't get one without 2 years of Cingular's worthless service) that plays mp3s and has a calendar with pixmaps borrowed from OS X.

I'm holding out for Trolltech's Greenphone. It runs Linux, and the point is openness... you can recompile the kernel if you want! Paired with KDE 4, I think it's going to blow the iPhone out of the water... at least for people that want a useful, hackable mini-computer and not a $3000 status symbol.

Re:Right... (2, Informative)

jonwil (467024) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570390)

There is also OpenMoko.

Re:Right... (5, Insightful)

theurge14 (820596) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570254)

Then why did Apple deem it necessary to compare the iPhone to the "usual suspects" of the Treo and other smartphones at the keynote and call it "5 years ahead of anything out there" when apparently the only thing now it has in common with them is it's also a phone?

So that's it? The iPhone saved space by not having a plastic keyboard? Please tell me after two days after the keynote that's not the only advantage it actually has.

Re:Right... (4, Insightful)

darkwhite (139802) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570354)

Wow. Yours is certainly the most absurd statement I've read this week.

I mean, FFS. This is Slashdot, and you're glad that the most revolutionary electronic device in years is moronically shackled, and you get modded up? What is this, is your brain terminally fried by the reality distortion field?

Do you by any chance also believe Vista's DRM stack is good for everyone because it allows us to watch movies in an orderly manner?

Re:Right... (1)

VidEdit (703021) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570028)

I'd have to 2nd your notion...

Bring the network down? This seems like obvious BS since Treos and the like allow unsigned 3d party apps and Treos work on all the major networks. The iPhone is closed for the same reason the iPod is closed: so Apple can control the experience and make money of off any apps that work on the system.

Unfortunately Apple is keeping one of the worst aspects of most current cellphones--the closed systems--for selfish reaons.

I'll stick to my Treo for now even though the iPhone has some nice display and media features.

Re:Right... (3, Insightful)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570174)

Basically hackers will have to find their own way to run code on the device, rather than getting a leg up from Apple. It won't take long before YouTube has videos of Linux emulating Newton's OS on one of these.

Just because he won't officially allow it doesn't mean it won't be done, it just means it won't be commercial (No iJamster).

Re:Right... (1)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570176)

The best, most stable programs developed could be accepted into Apple's Special Developer Program, which would make "official" releases.
I'm sorry, but if you believe Apple would turn away a good idea properly presented to them, you're a fool.

I can only hope that Jobs realizes that he does not see perfectly into the minds of all consumers and does not know what we all want or need.
I believe he does, he is saying, "If you want things done for you, this phone is for you. If you want to do things yourself, this is not the phone for you."

Seriously, how many people would spend $499 on a phone & not want that phone to do everything imaginable ?

Re:Right... (4, Insightful)

Fnkmaster (89084) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570202)

This is only partly about Jobs' control issues. It's also about Cingular's control issues. The wireless carriers are all scared shitless of a device like this - it could actually run a VoIP wifi app, several of which already exist for OS X, and thus leave them on the bad side of convergence. Also ringtones - again a carrier revenue stream.

So I'd attribute this more to carrier paranoia than to Jobs' control issues.

In any case, for me this is a deal-breaker. I was in love with this device yesterday. With no third party apps, I'm entirely uninterested until somebody hacks it.

Re:Right... (1)

Gordo_1 (256312) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570266)

I see where you're coming from, but you aren't the target market for this device. It's not a PDA-phone replacement, though it has some basic business features, and it's not a flexible geek device that allows you to run linux, mame, vnc, ssh and voip -- though I have no doubt someone will eventually hack it to run all of the above. It's a slick little replacement for those who carry around both a consumer cell phone and an iPod. It's designed to just work. That's been Apple's M.O. from the beginning.

Re:Right... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17570360)

Well, imagine for a moment that somebody wrote an iPhone app in C that freed memory about as often as you use carriage return...

fristy psot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17569908)

I found rome a city of dicks and left it a city of feces - me

Stereotype here? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17569914)

That's gay. I was just talking with my friend about how great this device could be if any old software could run on it. But instead it will be another revenue generation scheme undoubtedly taking advantage of the recent micropayment fad that seems to be taking over all of creation.

Re:Stereotype here? (2)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 7 years ago | (#17569950)

That's gay.

What does this have to do with being homosexual or happy and joyful? I don't understand.

Hah, things never change! (5, Insightful)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 7 years ago | (#17569924)

And AT&T didn't want to see their network go down because someone connected an evil non-AT&T phone to it.

The proper translation of this statement of course is "We don't want anybody do be able to do anything on our network unless we're making money from it apart from the fee we charge for the bandwidth."

Stupid telecom companies will never learn. They don't want to create a free market of any kind. Anytime they make any protest involving having a free market, they're being rank hypocrites.

Re:Hah, things never change! (1)

mastershake_phd (1050150) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570108)

They don't want to create a free market of any kind. Anytime they make any protest involving having a free market, they're being rank hypocrites.

Yes but when its merger time they'll say its so they can compete in the free market.

The Horse's Mouth (1, Interesting)

Gary W. Longsine (124661) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570244)

Although it might be appropriate to start lobbying Apple, it's probably too early to panic or get upset (as many seem to be doing). What Mr. Jobs actually said isn't entirely unreasonable. It seems to leave the door open for 3rd party apps, but in a less chaotic environment than you see on the PC/Mac. Seems like it might be a reasonable strategy that won't lock out 3rd party developers.

"We define everything that is on the phone," he said. "You don't want your phone to be like a PC. The last thing you want is to have loaded three apps on your phone and then you go to make a call and it doesn't work anymore. These are more like iPods than they are like computers."

The iPhone, he insisted, would not look like the rest of the wireless industry.

"These are devices that need to work, and you can't do that if you load any software on them," he said. "That doesn't mean there's not going to be software to buy that you can load on them coming from us. It doesn't mean we have to write it all, but it means it has to be more of a controlled environment."

Actually, no. (3, Insightful)

Russ Nelson (33911) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570350)

Actually, no. The proper translation of this statement of course is "Our network security is so poor that we cannot take the risk of anybody connecting to it in a programmatic fashion".

Openmoko.com.

TOTAL control. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17569928)

Okay, I have TWO macs. A G5 and a minimac (that remains unused). I use them for FCP & Aperature. I had to buy the G5 to use FCP. yes, it is freaking awesome, but I'm stuck with Apple.

Now, with Windows I have more options as to when/what I can use. There is more competition. It's nice, not pretty or as quick, but nice to know I have options.

Now, onto the iPhone(Tm)(R)(c). The thing looks awesome. I want to hack it. I want to add additional apps because, while apple seems to think of many nice things, they aren't awesome. I want awesome.

I have a Treo 650. I abused the damn thing. It was awesome but I didn't always use the Palm(R) apps. Nope, I had options. Google maps for example was jawdropping. And free. Apple won't let me do that? Forget it. I gladly pay the SAME price for the iPhone(Tm^nth) as a wall kiosk. It's the perfect size.

Re:TOTAL control. (1, Troll)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570322)

Apple has always been about control: hardware control, sofftware control, etc. Interesting, people of course bashes MS when they say that "they are Worried that OEM 'Craplets' Will Harm Vista". But the same people applaud Apple here. Of course in the case of MS they get bashed whatever they say and do. In the case of Apple some people will just defend them whatever they do... It's all abbout doubble standards of course...

I try try to avoid anything Apple like the pest, even if I must use it at work. I've been using Macs (and Mac clowns) since forever at work. It was not a surprise when Appled decided that the mac clowns were making some money and they shut down the whole thing, those making the whole plattform more expensive and monopolistical just once more.

Oh.. and don't get me started about the "pretty" and "nice" overrated OSX. Pretty? Could be like all dumbed down Apple interfaces, but this is a real annoying mouse centric OS, let me tell you, but people just close their eyes being it Apple!

AS IF! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17569930)

As if this thing isn't gonna be running linux yesterday.

Wow, the apple has fallen far from the tree (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17569936)

The word "irony" is way overused, but these words, coming from a guy who started his company with money earned by selling blue boxes to defraud the phone company, belong in irony's fucking dictionary entry.

I won't buy your phone if I can't write code for it, Steve. I'm sure you're heartbroken. Me and Woz will just be over here in the corner, crying in our beards.

Re:Wow, the apple has fallen far from the tree (2, Insightful)

MrAnnoyanceToYou (654053) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570058)

Look at it this way - the first guy to figure out how to hack apart the iPhone and make it 'iSquirt' back and forth with no limitations gets to sell this software for 20$ to every schmoe on the block. That's 20 million a year, if Steve-o is correct.

But it is a race. And it is going to be won by SOMEONE. There is zero chance that phone is not going to get modded. The question is how long it takes for someone to do it properly....

Re:Wow, the apple has fallen far from the tree (4, Insightful)

croddy (659025) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570194)

I'm not going to spend $450 on a phone that doesn't come with an API, regardless of whether it can be hacked. I'd much rather be running ARM binaries on a Unix-like OS than dealing with stuff like MIDP 1.0 (which doesn't even offer float math), but I'll reward the company that provides me with the interface I need. If I have to void the warranty to run the software I feel like running, I don't have any intention of paying for the experience.

I'm sure this thing will be useful to someone, somewhere, with only the bundled functionality, but for me, Steve's just announced a really expensive brick.

3rd party applications... (4, Insightful)

odasnac (570543) | more than 7 years ago | (#17569944)

yeah, sure, that's bad and all, but what about 3rd party widgets? i mean, are they *completely* shooting themselves in the foot?

What they probably mean... (4, Insightful)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570178)

What they probably mean is "no applications unless you pay through the nose to Cingular or Apple for them." And they probably painted themselves in that corner with the price.

Let's face it, the fact that cell phones so far did less is _not_ because Nokia and others are stupid. Psion alone has quite a lot of experience in making stuff that goes from phones to good PDAs (including some decent office tools, for a PDA) to a sort of a micro-laptop. They figured out by now what the users want, and believe me, the thought of using a touch-screen _did_ occur to them before too. (The Psion 5 did a great job of using both touch screen and keyboard, for example.) Anyone who thinks it took Jobs to show everyone how to scroll a map on a touch screen, needs a bit of a reality check.

The reason why cell phones were limited devices has to do with cost, power consumption and "how much do we think the market would pay for it" issues. Most of the market wants to get their phone almost for free, and in fact often get some other stuff with it too. Then the contract recoups most of that, but then it means the phone itself can't cost thousands, because even with the contract and fleecing them for ringtones and SMS, there's only so much money you'll have to pay for phones _and_ the telco infrastructure _and_ other operating costs _and_ hopefully make a small profit, or at least not make a big loss.

So the more money you want a telco to pay to subsidize your phone, the more hope you must give them that they'll actually get that money back one way or another. E.g., you pack an IRC client on it to give them some hope that some idiot kid will rake up a huge phone bill while spending hours on IRC with a crap number pad as a keyboard. Or you give them an exclusivity contract, in which they practically pay you advertising money for a reason for people to switch to their network. That's worth more money, but even that has a limited upper limit. Or you try to lock it down and give them a "see, but they'll have to buy this and that only from you" hope. Which is obviously what Apple is doing here.

So at the end of the day, that's about how much a traditional phone can cost. That's why you can only pack so much CPU, RAM and everything in it.

Why the iPhone does more is probably because it costs an arm and a leg to produce. Being launched with an exclusive contract and still be left with a huge price tag anyway already hinted at that, but it's details like these that hint at exactly how huge the price must be. Cingular probably ends up paying a heck of a lot to subsidize Apple's gizmo, and they needed a heck of a reason to do that. Enter the "what if we completely locked it down, so people have to buy _everything_ from you?" factor.

Just as well... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17569952)

"These are devices that need to work, and you can't do that if you load any software on them" ...bloody lucky I didn't buy a Mac - I kinda like having software on my computers!

At least it's got rounded edges... (1, Flamebait)

turtledawn (149719) | more than 7 years ago | (#17569954)

-so it might not hurt Apple as much when the name trademark dispute shoves it right back where it belongs. A clunky overpriced palmtop computer masquerading as a phone that now can't even be made to work to a reasonably acceptable degree as a palmtop computer.

Re:At least it's got rounded edges... (2, Funny)

fuzz6y (240555) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570038)

Shame there's no "+1 Flamebait"

Hackage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17569960)

how long until this is hacked and it really won't matter to the folks that care anyway?

An application bringing down the network? (5, Insightful)

jorghis (1000092) | more than 7 years ago | (#17569962)

That argument makes no sense. If a poorly written application running on one mobile phone has the potential to bring down the west coast network then logically a malicous hacker should be able to bring down that same network. Anything a malfunctioning application can do a mean nasty coder can do much more reliably. If there is the possiblity that an application can do that by -accident- then it should be relatively easy for a skilled engineer to do it deliberately.

It sounds to me like he was just fishing for excuses about why hes not allowing third party apps. It isnt necessarily a bad thing that they arent allowed but that excuse is bogus.

Foot... (1)

mcsqueak (1043736) | more than 7 years ago | (#17569974)

... meet gun. Gun, meet foot. Don't shoot yourself now.

He didn't say "no" to more applications though (4, Interesting)

Grail (18233) | more than 7 years ago | (#17569980)

What he was saying "no" to is having a plethora of buggy software out there that would endanger the user experience of the phone. I still expect to see non-Apple and non-Cingular developers having access to the tools to build applications for the iPhone. Now it's just a matter of sorting out the protocol (as in "administrative process") for getting the application that I write for my 100 users, installed onto the iPhones that we're going to buy, for the purpose of using them as small tablet computers.

One easy way is to provide the ability for user-added applications to run with lower privileges (just like they can already under Mac OS X - I can run my own programs as me, but not as "root" or any other user). Though that opens up the avenue for local root escalation vulnerabilities to be exploited.

Of course, for my immediate needs it would be enough to have some way to scan barcodes and interact with web pages. But then, Steve is pushing the line that it's the phone reinvented, not a tablet PC.

Re:He didn't say "no" to more applications though (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17570200)

Now it's just a matter of sorting out the protocol (as in "administrative process") for getting the application that I write for my 100 users, installed onto the iPhones that we're going to buy, for the purpose of using them as small tablet computers.


Why not just use BREW? (Objective-CREW, or whatever.)

*** Cough. ***

*** Whistle. ***

Bad move, Steve.

Re:He didn't say "no" to more applications though (2, Insightful)

3choTh1s (972379) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570206)

I still expect to see non-Apple and non-Cingular developers having access to the tools to build applications for the iPhone.


From the article: "We define everything that is on the phone," he said. "You don't want your phone to be like a PC."

No he isn't talking about buggy software, he's actually talking about ANY more software. He's saying that in order for the phone to function as well as it does it cannot have ANY other software competing for time on the processor when the included software needs a piece of it.

Re:He didn't say "no" to more applications though (5, Interesting)

sokoban (142301) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570324)

No he isn't talking about buggy software, he's actually talking about ANY more software. He's saying that in order for the phone to function as well as it does it cannot have ANY other software competing for time on the processor when the included software needs a piece of it.
No, he's talking about buggy software.

FTFA: "These are devices that need to work, and you can't do that if you load any software on them," he said. "That doesn't mean there's not going to be software to buy that you can load on them coming from us. It doesn't mean we have to write it all, but it means it has to be more of a controlled environment."

I'm guessing that software is going to be sold through iTMS and be checked out by Apple before being sold. Kinda like how the iPod is right now. Yeah, Electronic Arts makes iPod games, but you better damn believe that Apple makes sure they work and makes sure that they work well.

The whole thing about Apple is that for better or worse now, they are big on vertical integration. They successfully vertically integrated the MP3 player market before anyone else, and they are looking to do the same with smartphones. iTunes, iTMS, and iPod work so well due to the vertical integration and the fact that Apple has control over the whole experience. This not only makes it easier to use than a non-integrated setup, but also increases consumer lock-in. They seem to be trying to do the same with phones, and very well may succeed. If they do, it will be great for them.

Games (1)

Anzya (464805) | more than 7 years ago | (#17569982)

Does this mean that Apple don't want any games on their phone also? Last I heard that was quite a large market or at least rising.
Sounds strange to make a blanket ban on all third party programs. I'm guessing you would have to try real hard to make a network go down with most of the programs people might want to construct.

Wow.... (1)

OfficeSubmarine (1031930) | more than 7 years ago | (#17569992)

Ease of development for small companies and indi folk was among the main reasons I wasn't dismissing it even with the lock-in and high pricetag. If this is accurate, and I have some doubts, they really are going to need ipod level "hip" factor.

And I was going to buy one. (1)

ChangeOnInstall (589099) | more than 7 years ago | (#17569994)

I thought it'd be the perfect device...all I'd need would be an SSH client to monitor my server status.

How is it that network integrity is dependent upon the (millions of) client devices. If their network is designed in this way, well, I'll stick with Verizon.

Re:And I was going to buy one. (1)

jpardey (569633) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570198)

Out of curiosity, why would that be? Why not, say, a blackberry? Or a Treo with Wi-Fi? Probably cheaper too. Not as glossy, I'll admit.

Next story: Cingular network unstable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17569996)

Cingular doesn't want to see their West Coast network go down because some application messed up."

Is this Jobs leaking that Cingular have incompetent network administration?

We cannot expect adverts to download various craplets of the vein:

"YOUR PHONE IS BROADCASTING AN I.P. ADDRESS AND A TELEPHONE NUMBER!"

No third party apps? (5, Insightful)

eugene_roux (76055) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570006)

I suppose that makes it quite final then: no iPhone for me.

Granted I'm not the prototypical candidate for one of these:
  1. I'm from South Africa and
  2. I'm a Geek,
but added to the fact that it doesn't have 3G [wikipedia.org] (which all of it's competitors at this price-point does have) this becomes a no-show for me at least.

Odd (0)

Threni (635302) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570010)

My phone - Nokia N70 - allows me to put apps on, including games in Java I wrote myself. It also allows me to play MP3s (like the last 3 phones I've owned over the last 5 years), watch videos, listen to the radio, etc etc. I wonder why they've picked such a deficient piece of hardware to describe as an iPhone.

Cue dada and the anarcho-capitalist junk... (-1)

dada21 (163177) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570016)

So you think I'll get angry, commenting about how Jobs is restricting the market, right?

Wrong. I support this, actually. I love my history of phones and PDAs (currently rocking a 4GB HTC Trinity P3600), but I hate their instability. Even my beloved Samsung t809 that I've used for a year had issues with third party Java apps!

For me, my phone has to work, period. Almost all third party apps I've used have made things worse. I just hard-reset my Trinity, and it runs like magic, whereas two days ago it would drop calls, lock up, get warm, and have terrible battery life. Who knows which app was the culprit (and yes, I know that Microsoft's WM5 sucks).

Here's the thing: Apple is a private company, so is Cingular. Sure, they use government force (copyright, patents, FCC, etc) partially in their domination of some markets, but they also have the right to restrict their own products and services if they think their users will be happier.

My guess? I'll get an iPhone, and I'll love the fact that it won't have any third party apps to "entice me" and then crash on me constantly. My PC I can reboot and not worry, but my phone can't go_boom on me -- it is my lifeline when I am on the road.

If I need 3rd party apps, I'll use my laptop tethered to my iPhone to get online and run whatever Web 2.5 widget I need.

Long live the Newton, though.

Re:Cue dada and the anarcho-capitalist junk... (0)

Hoolala (976766) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570066)

Spoken like a true Apple FANBOI has just spoken...

Re:Cue dada and the anarcho-capitalist junk... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17570314)

Spoken like a true Apple FANBOI has just spoken...

Posted like a true trogolodyte non-English-speaking moron has just posted....

Dur. De duh. Duhhhhhh.....Dur.....duh....

Mac OS X should protect it... (4, Insightful)

SethJohnson (112166) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570232)



If Mac OS X is truly the foundation of the iPhone, buggy apps shouldn't be able to do the things you and Steve are warning against. Stability of the phone or network shouldn't be jeopardized by renegade user-installed applications because the OS and the networking protocol should lock them down to acceptable behavior.

I was fully going to switch to this phone in June. No joke. But this statement by Jobs has certainly installed boundaries for my imagination running wild with this device's potential. Specifically, I'm betting Apple will restrict 3rd-party-apps to prevent skype-like apps from being installed. Don't want to give the consumer TOO good of a deal.

Seth

Re:Cue dada and the anarcho-capitalist junk... (0, Offtopic)

xero314 (722674) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570300)

So you think I'll get angry, commenting about how Jobs is restricting the market, right?
I never thought you would get angry since Jobs/Apple are the market, or at least part of it and no neo-libertarian would ever believe that a member of the market (read: non-governmental organization) could restrict the market. The fact that in a free market, the wealthy are the governing bodies is completely beside the point.

What I did expect was for you to figure out a way to point out how you would rather not pay your employees a living wage and spout off about some incentive program (a.k.a. indentured servitude). Or is that coming later?

The fact that apple has the iPhone tied to one (read: not my preferred) carrier is a far more egregious affront to freedom than not letting people install third party software.

Re:Cue dada and the anarcho-capitalist junk... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17570378)

Have you never heard the phrase "throwing out the baby with the bathwater"? If third party applications are allowed, you can simply not use them! Disallowing any third party apps because some people have had bad experiences with some apps on other phones is ridiculous.

Re:Cue dada and the anarcho-capitalist junk... (1)

nasch (598556) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570398)

I'll get an iPhone, and I'll love the fact that it won't have any third party apps to "entice me" and then crash on me constantly. My PC I can reboot and not worry, but my phone can't go_boom on me -- it is my lifeline when I am on the road.
If you absolutely cannot have your phone go boom, and sometimes some applications (but you never know which ones) inexplicably make it go boom, why do you install anything on it? I'm seriously stumped, unless your story means you used to install apps on it, but you never will again now that you know what they do. Regarding the iPhone, are you hoping that since it won't allow 3rd-party apps, that they'll make a special effort to give it everything you might want, so therefore you won't need them?

On a tangent, I was surprised to hear someone corroborating Steve's excuse. I've had my Windows phone for about a year and a half, and the worst thing it's done related to phone calls is freeze up requiring a battery pull, and that kind of thing has been very rare. No dropping calls, no inability to dial, no battery problems. I installed and use various 3rd-party apps. Did I just get some good hardware? Is it that I have a "smartphone" and not a "Pocket PC phone"? Do others experience problems on the phone side caused by applications? I was ready to dismiss Job's explanation as pure BS hiding the real reason, but maybe I was wrong. I still don't believe a bad app could cause problems on Cingular's network.

Deal Breaker (5, Insightful)

WiseWeasel (92224) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570026)

This is a critical issue for me. There's no way I'm spending $600 for a piece of hardware with that many capabilities if I can't run any software I want on it and develop for it myself. This COULD HAVE been a revolution in computing, but instead, it'll just be another phone, and a crippled one at that. While it might be a fantastic phone, I don't spend $600 for a phone. I do, however, spend $600 for a general purpose portable computing device that happens to feature cell phone capabilities, with beautiful design, all the hardware I need, and running a great OS.

Jobs brings up the issue of running apps that will interfere with the phone capabilities, but I'm sure a bright engineer over at Apple (or maybe two if that's what it takes) could figure out how to give priority to the phone process, and make sure it gets attention when it needs to. This is just BS. I guess I'm getting myself a "free" S-E w800i for a couple more years until Jobs comes to his senses. iPhone, we hardly knew ye...

Re:Deal Breaker (1)

HappyEngineer (888000) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570222)

I agree. I saw the video of Jobs' talk about the iPhone and I was excited. I was finally ready to switch to a non-palm device after a decade of palm devices. But, this breaks it for me. My Treo 650 is just going to have to do for a while.

Wake me when Jobs takes medication to fix the brain aneurysm he just had.

Steve jobs just machine gunned off his foot..... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17570030)

" iPhone will not allow third party applications to be installed. According to Jobs, 'These are devices that need to work, and you can't do that if you load any software on them."

  Thanks, Steve Jobs. Now I will be buying a Treo or some (gasp) Windows based PDA/Phone.

iWhatever, next! (2, Interesting)

io333 (574963) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570032)

I already hacked my RAZR V3i to do more than the iPhone will supposedly be able to do -- a FREAKING YEAR AGO. Don't believe me? Head over to the Motox forums and see what we can do with Motorola phones. iWhatever, I don't care and havn't since 1996 when Apple screwed me and a few million folks over regarding Rhapsody.

Then its simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17570044)

I wont buy it. Not interested in a holier-than-thou phone and its master who thinks they know better than me regarding my user experience.

What a childish attitude.

Vorbis (0)

jonasj (538692) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570046)

Personally I don't care about third party applications. What would make me buy one is if I could play Ogg Vorbis music with it.

Re:Vorbis (1)

WiseWeasel (92224) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570116)

You dumbass. 3rd party apps would allow you to play Ogg Vorbis music (and video, along with any number of other great formats). That's the whole freaking point...

Plain and simple, this sucks (5, Insightful)

GoldTeamRules (639624) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570050)

OK. As the information about the iPhone has started to come in after the announcement, I am decidedly off the bandwagon at this point.

This is stupid. Why do people put up with Apple and these games? If MSFT or Sony pulled this crap, the entire Slashdot universe would reign fury on these companies. But Apple? I'll read 1000 posts about "wait and see" and about how Steve Jobs is protecting us from ourselves.

Apple needs to get over it and open this up. At $600, if you can't even get the geeks excited, this product has 0 chance of succeeding.

Jobs dropped the ball on this one. (1, Insightful)

liftphreaker (972707) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570054)

Hmmm let's see. No replaceable battery, no use to business users since it won't talk to exchange servers, sync with outlook, read excel/word docs, etc, no Java, no 3G, and now no 3rd party apps? So they want people to pay $599 for something that "looks cool" and do little else? I'm reminded of Lisa and Newton.

Re:Jobs dropped the ball on this one. (1)

Coeurderoy (717228) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570228)

That is the reason Apple dropped the "Computer" of their name.
They want the same profit margin as Nike.

Why do people pay 120 for a pair of shooes that they can get for 29 (made in the same sweat shops in China, Tunisia or Indonesia, ....) ?

And the fact that you cannot download "third party software" means that the operator can better control what you are allowed to use, and therefore they will factor this in to "lower the price of acquisition".

In otherword you will probably see the "cool phone" at 600$ if you want to choose your operator, and at 99$ if you use "the right one".
Actually anything that is around the price of a similar iPod will get the iPhone to move.

Well the only thing you can do with a bad Apple(tm) is throw it through the Windows(tm) ;-)

Re:Jobs dropped the ball on this one. (1)

vhold (175219) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570336)

Your argument that Apple wants to be a style brand more then a technology one applies to this situation in another somewhat unfortunate way.

When debating whether or not to make it an open platform, they probably realized that only geeks would particularly understand or care. When weighing the pros and cons of that, they probably decided that a bunch of geek early adopters running around with their phone could tarnish its hip image and spun it as purposeful market pruning.

Wrong Carrier (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17570078)

Sounds like Steve Jobs should have picked Verizon. They love to lock they're phones down to where they all look the same, run only "Approved" content purchased from Verizon, they suck!

Is that Cingular or Jobs? (1)

bjelkeman (107902) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570084)

Is that Cingular or Jobs speaking through Jobs mouth? I for one would have loved to have a iPhone version of Delicious Library on my phone, not just a synced list on my iPod. I think this message will change over time, bullheaded Steve might be but not stupid.

What about Treo, WinCE, & Blackbery apps? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17570086)

I wonder how every other smartphone's apps haven't brought down the networks. What a load of B.S. from Jobs. Will they also limit what websites we can visit, for our own safety? Which e-mails we can receive?

I was really hoping to put a Citrix or Terminal Services client on one. Oh well; back to Windows.

Applications 'messing up'... (1)

de_smudger (971193) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570094)

So I have a Windows Mobile based smartphone. An old one. Now what with being a fully paid-up member of the geek community, I install all sorts of rubbish on it. My applications 'mess up' all the time, yet at no piont have I taken out any such network (would be all the more impressive from all the way over here in the UK..), and neither have the (presumably) many like me with similar phones and must-install-all-these-random-apps habits...

Am I missing something here?

------------------
Basically, I'm out of quotation marks here to throw around your goofy phrases.

Are widgets apps? (1)

saikou (211301) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570124)

If yes, then the problem is solved :) Though I suppose Apple could demand some sort of signing of widgets and/or prohibit downloading them.
Otherwise that's another strike against buying it (it does not say if it supports Java apps, which probably means "no"). And I had such high hopes :(

Arrogant bastard (4, Insightful)

w_lighter (995939) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570128)

Arrogant bastard

That solves that then (1)

arkhan_jg (618674) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570138)

I have a WM5 pocket pc, clamshell phone, 5gig flash drive and sometimes a flash mp3 player in my coat pockets. Its a pain to carry all that around and keep charged, and the interfaces on all of them are a pain to use. I certainly didn't want to get a WM5 smartphone, though I do connect my pda to the 'net via wifi and bluetooth to the phone.

I was a perfect customer for the iPhone when it came to the UK, so I could replace the lot with one slick interface and a lovely form factor. But no extra software on the iPhone? No ssh, vnc, voip or custom little apps like my exercise program? Screw THAT. I need this as a PDA first, phone 2nd, and music player third. If it is only going to have the glorified calendar and contact lists you get on phones, I'm sorry but that's utterly useless to me. Even my existing bloody phone can have extra java apps on it. What IS the point of having a full-ish OS on a smartphone if you can't install any extra software?

Needless to say, Jobs just lost me and a couple of of other people I know who were going to get one. Guess those people saying it's just going to be a pretty, very overpriced phone were right.

Bugger, have to stay with Windows (2, Interesting)

ukoda (537183) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570140)

I have Windows based K-Jam i-mate. The appeal is I no longer have to carry a PDA and my phone has handy apps like a Russian-English dictionary. Great for traveling. Windows works ok most of the time but still has the classic windows problems so I was looking forward to being able to get a more usable platform. I use Windows, Linux and Mac laptops and based on the usability of them I was keen to get an iPhone. However if I can't load on the apps I choose, or create, then whats the point? The product is not worthy of comparison with the likes of the i-mate or Treo. What stupid way to ruin what looked to be dream product. I think DOA is the right term, good luck selling them now...

minimalism? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17570154)

This is great for security. I don't like tons of moving parts with accountability all over the place.

Quick ! (5, Funny)

jalet (36114) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570156)

Please could you shutdown the Internet right now before some poorly written application destroy it ?

It seems Jobs think his users and followers are idiots...

OK, but you can't call it a "smart phone" then. (5, Insightful)

_vSyncBomb (50710) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570160)

If you had to pick one single aspect that separates a "smart phone" from a "phone", the best indicator would probably be the ability to run arbitary software. Smart phones can do it: Treo, Symbian, WindowsCEPocketLiteWhatever, and various Japanese ones can all run user-installed software. Dumb phones can't; they just run a closed OS and usually just run that same software until the user throws away the phone and gets a new one.

The iPhone does appear to be a dazzling reinvention of the dumb phone. It does the same things my RAZR does: pictures, email, sorta browse the web, SMS, etc. I don't use, or just barely use, any of these features on my RAZR because the RAZR sucks at all of them. I junked my Treo 650 and got the RAZR because I wanted something that just made calls. So, in a limited way, it is cool that Apple is apparently going to best crappy phones like my RAZR, and make such features work reasonably. It even adds like 3 more features, such as google maps. So I'm sure they would dominate the dumbphone market with the iPhone, if it weren't for the fact that it has that smart phone price tag.

But, despite what anybody (e.g., Jobs) might say, smart phones are a hell of a lot more like computers than they are like iPods. After reading (ahem!) the article, I think we are kind of getting a glimpse of the hubris of the old Steve Jobs who wanted to see trucks full of sand coming in one side of the factory, where Apple would make its own silicon and assemble 100% Apple computers. Closed, proprietary systems can work for something like the iPod, but the reason is that iPods are only for doing one thing: playing media, mostly music.

A "smart phone", on the other hand, does many things. It is able to not only browse the web, but also, on a case-by-case basis, SSH into remote machines, view PDF content, view Flash content, run flash-card software for studying, run English-to-Japanese-Chinese-Arabic-Whatever dictionary software, count calories, time events, serve as a podium-top teleprompter for making speeches, record bibliographic data while researching in the library, play retro Missile Command and Dig-Diug clones, play MahJong, display recipes and cocktail how-tos, track ovulation, and so on, and so on.

Apple might be cool, but there is no way in hell that any single company can fill the software needs of a diverse user base.

So there are only three real potential outcomes here:

a.) Apple keeps it locked tight and is content to sell a very expensive but very elegant dumb phone.

b.) Lobbying by users, developers, and corporate purchases convince Apple that they need to offer a way to load third-party software... third party developers will certainly fill the void, and quickly if the iPhone's OS is really anything remotely like the developer-friendly Mac OS X.

c.) Some kind of middle ground is reached whereby developers pay Apple for the privilege of compatibility--like what they've managed to do with the iPod dock connector.

As a potential customer, I can say that I was 100% ready to buy some of these initially, until I heard about this very surprising position taken by Apple. Now, I don't know. It's possible I would buy one, but $600 is a lot to spend for what is an admittedly elegant but extremely limited feature set.

Although I do have a dollar here that says hackers will figure it out whatever Apple does...

But the executive summary is that this is a bummer for users and has legitimately dissipated the bulk of the excitement that surrounded the iPhone launch. I think most users naturally assumed it would run a diverse set of applications, so at first it seemed like an ultra-portable mini-Mac. Now, it's more like an ultra-portable mini-Mac that only runs iLife. The former is a lot more exciting than the latter.

Cisco is pressuring Apple on this. (5, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570180)

Cisco, which owns the iPhone trademark, has announced what they want for it. [cisco.com]

An "open approach". Interoperability.

Fundamentally we wanted an open approach. We hoped our products could interoperate in the future. In our view, the network provides the basis to make this happen--it provides the foundation of innovation that allows converged devices to deliver the services that consumers want. Our goal was to take that to the next level by facilitating collaboration with Apple. And we wanted to make sure to differentiate the brands in a way that could work for both companies and not confuse people, since our products combine both web access and voice telephony. That's it. Openness and clarity. - Cisco's general counsel.

Cringely on iPhone (2, Interesting)

BillGatesLoveChild (1046184) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570208)

Cringely has a piece about the iPhone http://www.pbs.org/cringely/pulpit/2007/pulpit_200 70111_001476.html [pbs.org]

Cringely points out that the original Jobs MacIntosh bombed because he locked out third-party hardware vendors. Now Jobs is doing the same with the iPhone, but this time locking out third-party software vendors. The only real question here is "Will this stop people from buying the iPhone?" Won't worry Grandma or little Bobby, but would it bother your tech savy user? Jobs is betting it won't.

Cringely also predicts it'll be renamed the 'Apple Phone', and says Apple was negotiating with Cisco over the iPhone name before the announcement so it's not like they didn't know. He suggests its a publicity play.

Yaeh, that's our job! (5, Funny)

Snufu (1049644) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570220)

'Cingular doesn't want to see their West Coast network go down because some application messed up.'
"We don't need outside help," a Cingular spokesperson added, "Our in-house programmers are perfectly capable of bringing down the network all by themselves. But thanks for asking."

Classic, this one (4, Insightful)

Budenny (888916) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570240)

Thank Heaven these people only have 5% share of PC market. If they had the power, they would be worse than MS!

Apple shouldn't be called Apple anymore... (3, Interesting)

lord_mike (567148) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570248)

Maybe Pear or something...It was a long time ago when they actually published the full schematics and source code of their Apple II ROMs. Of Course, if Jobs had any real say, that would have never have happened. He constantly was trying to close the systems more and more (the Apple III was closed). Woz told him to stick it in the early days, but then he left and we got the Mac. In every case, the closed systems flopped while the old, but open, Apple II kept the company afloat for years until they convinced everyone that open was bad. Well, they did a good job. No one seems to really care that their iPods are completely unprogrammable, and that their phone can only run software from JAMDAT. Meanwhile, the whole idea of making computers work for you instead of the other way around has gone the way of BASIC interpreters. People are being USED instead of being USERS. It is a real shame, and I think it bodes very poorly for the future of computing. I dread the day that ALL systems are closed and only a privileged few will be able to program them in any meaningful way.

It is such an incredible shame that such an enticing machine is all look, but no touch. It's like being given a piano and told that you can't try and play it, only look at it. It's just wrong in so many ways.

Well, I guess Jobs thinks that I should be happy that he is saving me from myself. Unfortuntely, it seems the rest of world IS happy about it and that just makes me even more depressed.

I never liked that guy... he still owes woz some money for breakout...

Thanks,

Mike

Re:Apple shouldn't be called Apple anymore... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17570274)

You're not writing an email at work you retard, you don't need to sign it "Thanks, Mike"

Cingular irrelivant. (1)

Duncan3 (10537) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570260)

It's got WiFI, I have no use to EVER use their crappy cell network that doesnt'e even work in silicon valley. Go back to your telegraph business AT&T - that's the last time any pf your products worked.

2. Why would I buy a laptop-replacement device that's a closed platform? How stupid would you have to be...

3. Japan had phones that did all that - 10 years ago. For gods sake Steve, CATCH UP!

Translation: (1)

skinfitz (564041) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570282)

Translation: You are not getting any free calls using Skype. Now pay through the nose and keep getting screwed like everyone else.

Paying to receive calls too in the US - still can't get my head around that.

So Apple and Microsoft seems to have the same idea (1)

Snarfiorix (1001357) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570284)

What will be interesting though, is to compare the replies here on /. between this article and "Microsoft Worried OEM 'Craplets' Will Harm Vista". It can be argued that Apple talks about a phone and MS talks about an OS. But the observation I make is that both Apple and MS seem to aim to be in tight control to either ban 'Craplets' from their product that might impact performance of the product. It may tempt people to argue others reasons like despotism tendencies and monopolistic behaviour, but last time I checked, there seems to be a lot of products out there, besides phones and OS's that void any warranty if you replace parts or add accessories produces not by the manufacturer of the product

I had no idea... (4, Funny)

SetupWeasel (54062) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570288)

That something would come along so soon and make the PS3 look like a sound investment.

iPhone won't let me load my own apps? iAvoid! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17570290)

Sorry steve jobs, I was really excited about this phone.

Then why mention "Desktop Apps" during the keynote (3, Interesting)

theurge14 (820596) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570294)

I mean, where are these "Desktop Class Apps" touted in the keynote? All I see on the phone is Calender, Maps, Notes and a Web Browser. That's it? And we're supposed to be excited it took OSX to run those? How can this phone *not* be considered a tablet PC/phone?

Argh.

What a pain: Sysadmins won't like this... (1)

MROD (101561) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570296)

There are two segments of the iPone's potential market who will now think again about purchasing this device if they can't load their own apps onto it:

(1) Businesses.

Many big businesses would like to load bespoke apps and/or specific (say Cisco only) VPN clients etc. onto the devices their field operatives use so that they can access the corporate network applications securely etc. If they're not allowed to develop and/or install these then they'll go elsewhere, however pretty and useable the device.

(2) Sysadmins

Sysadmins generally use their smartphones slightly differently to the rest of the smartphone community. For one they'd want/need a terminal program (ANSI complient) with full shell access or at least a working ssh client. If they can't install on of these then they'll probably think twice, even if it is shiney-shiney.

Still, I'm not sure that this is the target audience Apple is looking for, but then again it's the audience who are currently buying smartphones!

Of course, if the target audience is the fashion concious "iPod Generation(tm)" then I'm sure that a device onto which they can load 3rd party games would also be more attractive.

In some ways, yes, I can see the hand of the mobile telco possibly in this. The trouble with the phone industry is that the customers who are always right are not to poor saps who buy and use the devices, it's the telcos. What the telcos don't want the users don't get. Not only this but there's self censorship within the manufacturers so they only produce what they *THINK* the telcos will want to promote and sell.

The iPhone *MAY* help with changing the phone market's competition, but I only see it doing so with respect to the user interface. It's definitely not going to change the market so that it's user driven. The customers the manufacturers will have to please will still be the telcos and not the users of the devices.

Uhhhh... (1)

CaptainZapp (182233) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570320)

Probably I'll be slammed by some Steve fanboi, but this remark is just plain rubbish:

'These are devices that need to work, and you can't do that if you load any software on them.

So why is it exactly that I can load each and every Symbian software on to my Nokia 9300 with no restrictions and neither crashing the entire network nor my phone? (A very poorly written app may crash the phone, but this is extremely rare).

My gut feel here is that Mr. Jobs is trying to cover the fact that OSX is an operating system not designed for mobile devices, let alone phones. As opposed to Symbian you may be able to wreck all sorts of havoc on the phone and the network if you get access to the phones OS, or it may be some slimy deal with Cingular.

This is pure speculation of course, but Mr. Jobs argument is totally bogus.

I call BS (5, Informative)

Telephone Sanitizer (989116) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570326)

The story that was cited neither states nor implies that 3rd party applications will not be permitted on the iPhone.

The relevant quote...

But it's not like the walled garden has gone away. "You don't want your phone to be an open platform," meaning that anyone can write applications for it and potentially gum up the provider's network, says Jobs. "You need it to work when you need it to work. Cingular doesn't want to see their West Coast network go down because some application messed up."

Still, since the iPhone runs a full version of OS X, the operating system of the Macintosh computer, it's reasonable to expect the device to take advantage of that power by running lots of applications, even if Apple has to vet them to make sure they won't compromise the integrity of the network. In the version we saw last week, there aren't a whole lot--the notable ones include SMS text messaging, the Safari Web browser, e-mail, iPhoto, Google maps and two mini-applications (known as widgets) for weather and stock prices. Jobs says we can expect more apps on the phone by the time it ships in June. (For instance, one might expect the iPhone to allow users to view Word documents, something that the prototype doesn't do today.)
In other words, the reporter doesn't know squat about the actual circumstances regarding third-party apps and is blowing farts in the wind, making speculative and general statements in the hope that someone will imagine that he's right when something he says turns out to vaguely resemble the truth.

Cingular Apps (1)

virtigex (323685) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570334)

I have been developing apps that run on Cingular's network for some time now. I write J2ME apps that run on most phones sold by Cingular. I don't need anybody's permission and so far nobody from Cingular has contacted me to say that I'm using too much bandwidth. I also surf the web on my Mac Book Pro via my tethered Bluetooth phone. I have not crashed their network yet.

Apple has made great strides making their OS open to developers and this is the reason for Apple's surge in popularity. Now they are coming out with the iPhone, a platform that is more closed than their competitors. What twits.

I could waste time insulting Steve Jobs, but instead I just dumped all my AAPL stock. Thanks for the ride Steve. It was great while it lasted.

No good Gmail on it then... (1)

poliopteragriseoapte (973295) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570338)

I guess we won't have a decent version of Gmail on it then... on my Razor, I am using the java program downloaded for the Google site, and it works well - much better than web access. Even though the iPhone has a better browser than most cellphones, a Gmail-specific app would be much better than web access. For accessing Gmail, I suspect my Razr, at $100 with contract with Cingular, is both cheaper and better...

Why are people so iffed by this? (1)

Servaas (1050156) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570340)

Its gonna open up sooner or later anyhow, Apple just doesn't want it to be open to AverageJoe who will think "Randomcrappysoftware" is Apple's randomcrappysoftware. Quality assurance!

Opening the door for Nokia (2, Insightful)

dfoulger (1044592) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570358)

My optimism about iPhone as a tablet just reduced substantially. If I can't program it its of no interest to me. Heck, I imagined a minor bit of programming that I'd like to have on an iPhone as I was driving back from a Chorus rehearsal tonight. Unless Apple has already thought of it, I'd be out of luck.

I'll be interested again when they repackage it as a Mac mini-tablet computer.

Everything I saw in the videos was great, especially the part about many Mac apps working with it. As it stands now, I'm sure I can do more with a Nokia 770 or 800.

There will still be a large market for this phone. Most people cannot program and would not be interested in doing so on their cell phone. But with this decision Apple has given up a secondary market that might have kickstarted their sales.

OpenMoko (4, Interesting)

Russ Nelson (33911) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570372)

The obvious answer to iPhone closedness is OpemMoko's openness. Vote with your dollars: go buy an OpenMoko when they hit the market in a few months. http://openmoko.com/ [openmoko.com]

Not exactly what they are worried about (1)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570384)

'Cingular doesn't want to see their West Coast network go down because some application messed up.'"

More likely they are concerned with viruses and trojans. If you keep the system closed you limit the number of dateless teens trying to impress their friends by crashing the network. Also Apple is famous for stability so the more control over the apps you have the more stable. It's not all about money sometimes control is a good thing. They are selling a smart phone not a PC. Eventually it has that potential but for now they locked it up to keep the bad guys out.

If it has a web browser (3, Insightful)

Muggins the Mad (27719) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570388)


So how powerful is the inbuilt web browser?

If it can run java applets near full-screen then I don't see why you can't implement a whole
heap of stuff that way. Sure, no VoIP or offline games, but I can't see why you couldn't run
SSH clients or custom internet based apps that way.

Sure I'm not interested in a device costing that much that I can't write stuff that runs offline for (and in NZ
it'll cost $unfeasible to use our shitty mobile networks), but there looks like *some* ability there
to run custom apps.

- MugginsM

No JAVA either (1)

heroine (1220) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570400)

Despite claims to the contrary by a startup which says they'll have it working by June, there's no evidence of Java on this phone. Based on the trouble they're having getting Java to work on Blu-Ray, it would be surprising if Java ever worked well enough on iPhone for the Jobless Man to permit it.

More amazing than the lack of Java is the lack of interest in the subject. It's like unless Steve mentions it, people automatically discount it on their own.

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