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A much better link (5, Informative)

Raindance (680694) | more than 7 years ago | (#19403665)

This has been covered better and in more detail [arstechnica.com] by Ars' John Siracusa. In short, Apple actually wants to allow third-party apps on the iPhone, and developers are salivating at the thought, since (beside it being sexy) it'd be much easier to develop for the "real OS X" that runs on the iPhone than some kludgy mobile phone OS. The problems are two-fold:

1. Cellular networks are fragile. Much more fragile than the larger internet. They tend toward monoculture and proprietary systems, and haven't had the shakedown that standard internet network hardware and protocols have had. So Jobs' quote about him 'not wanting third-party apps bringing Cingular's network down' actually makes some sense (some mobile phone applications have more-or-less done this in the past). And

2. Apple simply doesn't have the design tools, and more importantly, the user interface guidelines, ready for developers.

So, third-party apps on the iPhone will happen. Just in a very measured way.

Here's Siracusa:

Not only does Apple have to figure out what makes a good iPhone application, it has to actually create the APIs to produce such a thing. Okay, so no scroll bars, but surely there will be some standard way of scrolling, some standard gesture recognition engine, and so on. Apple has to create all this, if only for its own internal sanity, before it can really get cranking on iPhone application development.

And like the Mac GUI before it, there will be fits and starts, dead-ends, and bad ideas to shake out in the first few years. Also, an IDE would be nice. Xcode, sure, but some sort of simulator or remote debugger system would help. And, whoops, let's keep revising all those APIs and that IDE to match the best practices as they evolve. Oh, and by the way, we need to ship something that works by June 29th.

Viewed in this context, the calls for third-party iPhone development, and Apple's reaction to them, start to make a bit more sense. It's the prototypical fanboy mistake to imagine that the mothership has infinite resources and skills, and any lack of satisfaction is malicious. The fact is, Apple could not provide a comprehensive third-party iPhone development environment on par with what Mac developers have come to expect by June 29th, even if it wanted to do such a thing--and there are many sound reasons not to. This stuff all needs time to cook.

In the meantime, Mac developers will have to be happy with some simple, widget-like WebKit-base development at WWDC this year. That'll also be a nice gesture of good faith from Apple.

One approach (5, Interesting)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 7 years ago | (#19403723)

One thing Apple could do is allow software development, but only allow HTTP calls out of said apps - that way it would allow Cingular to shape traffic and not risk wonkiness from raw TCP handling by applications.

I'd be happy enough with an API that let me develop a simple interface that could store some data locally and sync with a computer, so even no network access for applications at all would be of some use (though obviously as the device is very network centric it would not be nearly as fun).

Re:One approach (2, Insightful)

ncc74656 (45571) | more than 7 years ago | (#19404773)

One thing Apple could do is allow software development, but only allow HTTP calls out of said apps

That'd be less than useless...how are you going to do mail, SSH, VNC, or whatever if everything but HTTP traffic is blocked?

Re:One approach (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 7 years ago | (#19404865)

CoreJavaScript (the KDE Javascript engine used in OS X Webkit) had raw socket support added a few months back. SSH and VNC might be a little iffy, but email would be trivial. Even more interesting: The google web toolkit allows you to compile java code to a javascript webapp. There were a few bug reports a few months back that alluded to building OS X Dashboard widgets with it. Imagine if you could write/debug java code, then compile it as javascript to run on your iPhone (or OS X/KDE desktop).

Re:One approach (3, Interesting)

Mattsson (105422) | more than 7 years ago | (#19405495)

Why would applications on an Apple-phone accessing the internet via tcp-ip sockets be more harmful than all the existing phones that enable just that?
On my sony-ericsson W810 I've installed things like a webbrowser, a Google-earth-like app, a ssh/telnet-client, a gps-map software, a ICQ/MSN/etc-IM app, all of which access the internet via tcp-ip, none of which has ever brought down the mobile network.

I can see how they'd be nervous about letting 3:rd party software talk directly to the mobile network, but tcp-ip access for 3:rd party software is already common stuff in mainstream, middle-end mobiles via J2ME MIDP 2.0 [sun.com] .

Re:A much better link (4, Insightful)

glesga_kiss (596639) | more than 7 years ago | (#19403729)

So, third-party apps on the iPhone will happen. Just in a very measured way.

Ballocks. The saw the intense negative criticism the original decision produced and changed their minds. The reason a sdk isn't available is because they'd never planned for one originally.

Re:A much better link (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19404069)

And with that one post all of Apple stories on Slashdot is summed up nicely with the Troll mod.

The public ridicule the iPhone has gotten since it was announced has been unprecedented for an Apple product. The price is, as usual, way too high. The feature set is laughable compared to other phones.

Apple is scrambling to try to salvage the public perception of the beleaguered product. Selling to only hardcore Apple/Jobs fans would be a disaster. A price cut is most likely the next move to try to get the general cellphone demographic to stop laughing at the iPhone and at least consider it as an option.

 

Re:A much better link (3, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#19404093)

And with that one post all of Apple stories on Slashdot is summed up nicely with the Troll mod.

The sad thing is that his comment is probably the most accurate interpretation of events. Apple stated in no uncertain terms that there would not be third-party apps on the iPhone, except through Apple. This is a complete 180 from their original statement. He is probably correct.

Not what Jobs said... (2, Informative)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 7 years ago | (#19404161)

At lauch, Jobs sais that there would be third party applications, but the reelase of them would be tightly controlled by Apple at first (he spoke of the iPod games as an example). Perhaps the wider availaiblity of an SDK is something new, but not the presence of third party applications or some kind of SDK at all...

If you think about it, the notion that there was "no SDK at all" before is ludicris. After all, Apple has to develop applications for the phone, right? Therefore there always has been an SDk, it's just a question of access to that and the ability to load new applications on the phone.

Re:A much better link (5, Insightful)

John Whitley (6067) | more than 7 years ago | (#19404147)

The reason a sdk isn't available is because they'd never planned for one originally.
Yes, you're a troll. But let me be clear about the kind: you have identified yourself as a gum-flapping moron who's never shipped code worth a damn in your life, especially an SDK for external developers. (And before anyone asks, yes, I have done both. In the same product, even.)

It's VERY hard to ship a new embedded platform in a timely manner with an SDK that supports arbitrary third-party development for a new product. So hard, that it's almost never the right answer to hold off ship to wait for an SDK. An organization is much better off shipping the working, robust 1.0 product into customer's hands and use that experience to build a quality SDK and toolchain. The platform itself is a sea of unknown problem domains ("arr, here be dragons!") for a "version 1.0" product like the iPhone.

Re:A much better link (1)

packeteer (566398) | more than 7 years ago | (#19404809)

You have a very insightful perspective on the subject but let me show you a different way of looking at it. You are right that it is very hard to ship the product with the SDK but your advice to ship without the SDK may or may not be a good idea. On some products the SDK won't make or break the product, on others it will. In my opinion the iPhone is a product that NEEDS this SDK. If Apple takes your advice and ships the product with developers far away from creating any applications I think sales will fall short of what Apple needs them to be. Now if the iPhone is a solid product on its own for the price then people will buy it and it will justify the huge cost of developing the SDK.

I can see why a developer would really want to release the product without the SDK just yet but that may or may not be a good business decision.

Re:A much better link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19404811)

If you did your job right the first time, cleaning up for an SDK is trivial.

The absolute bitch is writing the documentation.

Re:A much better link (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#19405247)

and if they weren't planning to, it would be harder still.

Your post in no way counters his position. In fact, it supports it.

Oh, I have released systems and SDKs at the same time. It's hard, but not impossible. What it takes is planning and good management processes.

So ship a more limited API (1)

Namarrgon (105036) | more than 7 years ago | (#19405433)

Something that is already fairly well-defined & well-known, something that is sandboxed away from the underlying newness. That'll give customers some satisfaction while giving you the time to clean up and prepare the full SDK (which you're already trialling with a few close partners).

In fact, why not some sort of HTML-based mini-apps, like widgets perhaps? Oh wait...

Re:So ship a more limited API (1)

dr.badass (25287) | more than 7 years ago | (#19405825)

In fact, why not some sort of HTML-based mini-apps, like widgets perhaps? Oh wait...

Oh, but then they'd have to ship new developer tools for making widgets. Oh wait [apple.com] ...
Well, still, developers wouldn't feel limited if they had to do everything in JavaScript. If only you could use Cocoa in a widget. Oh wait [apple.com] ...

Re:A much better link (2, Insightful)

lmpeters (892805) | more than 7 years ago | (#19404369)

An easy start for Apple would be to put a Java runtime environment on the iPhone. Then people could start developing third-party apps for the iPhone right now.

Re:A much better link (1)

jesboat (64736) | more than 7 years ago | (#19404633)

Who here's written a JRE? Anyone?

Re:A much better link (1)

VP (32928) | more than 7 years ago | (#19404685)

Apple has - they have one as part of OS X.

Re:A much better link (1)

lmpeters (892805) | more than 7 years ago | (#19405619)

You're missing my point. If there is already a build of the JRE for Mac OS X on PowerPC, and a build for Mac OS X on Intel, would it really be so hard to make a build for Mac OS X on ARM? Maybe it would be hard, but it shouldn't be.

Re:A much better link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19405533)

I've got a feeling they're going to use a JIT Ruby interpreter (with RubyCocoa Cocoa bindings) instead of a Java VM.

Re:A much better link (1)

DavidinAla (639952) | more than 7 years ago | (#19404379)

You're asserting something as fact. Do you have actual knowledge to back up what you claim to know? Or are you just plain speculating?

I'm sure we know the answers to those questions, but let's see if you'll admit the truth.

David

The big question.. (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19403731)

Will it run vista?

Lawyers are standing by.

Re:The big question.. (5, Funny)

cowscows (103644) | more than 7 years ago | (#19403895)

More importantly, once it's running vista, can you run a virtualized instance of linux on that, on which you run an emulator of a 6 year old version of palm OS. That way you can play DopeWars in all of it's 4 shades of gray glory. Of course, that's still worthless unless you can do all of the above from a terminal window on your powerbook, ssh'd into the iphone while it's still sitting in your pocket.

Re:A much better link (3, Interesting)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 7 years ago | (#19403949)

"1. Cellular networks are fragile. Much more fragile than the larger internet. They tend toward monoculture and proprietary systems, and haven't had the shakedown that standard internet network hardware and protocols have had. So Jobs' quote about him 'not wanting third-party apps bringing Cingular's network down' actually makes some sense (some mobile phone applications have more-or-less done this in the past)."
Not really. Cingular offers several SmartPhones like the Treo and the Samsung Blackjack that run both Palm OS and Windows Mobile. You can add software for both those with little effort. You can even write your own.
I would say your statment is "optimistic" at best.
A far more likely idea is simply that AT&T and Apple wanted to make a lot of money from selling software for the iPhone for a while. Good choice on Apples part to decide that making the developers happy would pay off more in the long run.

Re:A much better link (3, Interesting)

trwww (545291) | more than 7 years ago | (#19404123)

Cellular networks are fragile. Much more fragile than the larger internet. They tend toward monoculture and proprietary systems, and haven't had the shakedown that standard internet network hardware and protocols have had. So Jobs' quote about him 'not wanting third-party apps bringing Cingular's network down' actually makes some sense (some mobile phone applications have more-or-less done this in the past).

I have to disagree. I've been using and developing apps for Windows Mobile smartphones for almost two years now and the network has never been brought down with a third party app. All you need to develop an app for these devices is a copy of Visual Studio.NET. With those requirements, I'm sure every windows geek and his brother has written a PPC app.

Cingular sells Windows Mobile devices that people, which allow people to write and use 3rd party apps. Thier network seems to be working fine (in general). So it does work. I'd say that if 3rd party apps on the iPhone bring the network down, that (in general) it is a problem with the device itself and not the 3rd party app.

I think it is 100% the second item you mentioned. Apple just does not have what it takes to get an API available, but Jobs would rather spread fud than be honest.

Re:A much better link (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#19404341)

All you need to develop an app for [Windows Mobile] devices is a copy of Visual Studio.NET.
Does the "express" version work? Or would a hobbyist have to go back to school to get a deal on a more capable version?

Details on "network fragility" please... (1)

jbn-o (555068) | more than 7 years ago | (#19404237)

Cellular networks are fragile. Much more fragile than the larger internet.

What backing do you offer for this claim? Other posters on /. seem to be taking it as fact with nothing standing behind it.

The rest of what you're getting at is really no different from any other non-free software—the proprietors set the allowable limits of development via development kits.

Re:A much better link (5, Insightful)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 7 years ago | (#19404871)

Cellular networks are fragile. Much more fragile than the larger internet. They tend toward monoculture and proprietary systems, and haven't had the shakedown that standard internet network hardware and protocols have had. So Jobs' quote about him 'not wanting third-party apps bringing Cingular's network down' actually makes some sense (some mobile phone applications have more-or-less done this in the past). And

Bullshit. Utter crap. Why is there this paranoia about the iPhone, when Symbian, Windows CE/Mobile have allowed this for years? There is no way an application on a device should or could bring down a base station, let alone a cell network.

Oh, and as for this gem:

bringing Cingular's network down' actually makes some sense (some mobile phone applications have more-or-less done this in the past)

Cite. Go on. I would so so love to see a citation of any evidence of this. Any, whatsoever.

Re:A much better link (4, Informative)

Sandor at the Zoo (98013) | more than 7 years ago | (#19405211)

Cite. Go on. I would so so love to see a citation of any evidence of this. Any, whatsoever.

I can't give you a cite since it wasn't public, but I was there when the company had to roll out a quick release for an email client that was hitting the network at the same time every morning, from some tens of thousands of handsets. With cell time synchronization, that meant exactly the same time every morning, which was bringing down the C******* server that handed out data connection contexts.

Like you, I wouldn't have believed that you could bring down a cell network, but there you go. I suppose it wasn't really the whole network, but whatever.

Maybe they have more than one server handing out contexts now. Maybe not.

here is how (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#19405289)

You write an app the shares your music with anyone on the network.
Then 1,000,000 people are constantly hitting the network hoping to get your music.
Boom, saturation an the nearest node.

OR maybe they just don't want people writing apps that shares their music.

Re:A much better link (1)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 7 years ago | (#19405391)

Don't forget the Treo. People have been running applications on Palm OS-based cell phones for over five years now, on practically every carrier network, and it provides none of the modern security features of Symbian and Windows Mobile.

This security excuse is a massive red herring. Besides, if it were true, it would not be very flattering for Apple, for it would mean one or more of several possibilities:

1. The iPhone is not really running OS X, and lacks the security model of Darwin / BSD.
2. The iPhone is running an old or stripped down version of OS X, and lacks the code signing features of Leopard.
3. The iPhone is fragile, and third-party applications could easily exploit its flaws.
4. The iPhone is running a suite of hand-crafted applications written by experts, without using SDK-quality libraries.
5. Apple is beholden to AT&T, who wants the phone locked down.

Goatse! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19403685)

Re:Goatse! (0, Offtopic)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 7 years ago | (#19403709)

At least you're being accurate...

GPS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19403687)

Does the iPhone have a GPS or not? I'd like to just use a phone instead of owning a separate in car navigation device.

Re:GPS (4, Interesting)

soft_guy (534437) | more than 7 years ago | (#19403735)

Does the iPhone have a GPS or not?
No, it does not have a GPS. Lots of people wish that it had one. Lots of people wish it had 3G. I wish it had more than 8GB of storage (like maybe a 100 GB hard disk).

There is always next year.

Re:GPS (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19403811)

Always wait for version two - expect 3G, expect more than 8GB of storage and pray for GPS.

Re:GPS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19403893)

But it does have bluetooth and there are bluetooth gps units

Re:GPS (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19403959)

My HP 6945 has GPS, Windows Mobile 5 and pretty much every bell and whistle you could want... 1 gig memory card, is actually smaller then the iPhone is proported to be.. the iPhone might be sexy, but it is severly lacking out of the gate.

Re:GPS (1)

unconfused1 (173222) | more than 7 years ago | (#19404199)

I'm not sure why this is the common argument. Is Apple trying to compete with every bell and whistle? Clearly not. In fact the problem with most SmartPhones is that they have nearly every bell and whistle but they aren't really 'smart' nor a very good phone in the end either. I'm not saying that SmartPhones don't have their niche...but Apple's iPhone points out all the functionality that SmartPhones just don't cut it with. The applications, the networks, the speed boost....all that will come to the iPhone, unless the critics abort the idea of something more functional and don't let the iPhone prove its point.

Re:GPS (1)

lakeland (218447) | more than 7 years ago | (#19404041)

Which is funny, because I only want it to have 2GB... Since 8GB isn't enough to fit a decent percentage of my music collection on, I am going to manually manage what is on my phone (favourites + random selection + a few audio books). An extra gig of five won't be enough to change that so is not valuable to me. Now, if it went up to 80GB that would be a different matter because then I'd be able to use it differently.

Oh, and I do wish it had GPS (for the google maps integration).

3G, I dunno... my wife's phone has 3G and I have free bidirectional calling with my wife so I guess I'd get some use out of 3G if it had it, but I'm not upset by its absence.

Re:GPS (1)

shmlco (594907) | more than 7 years ago | (#19404459)

8GB let's me get a good selection of music and audiobooks, a couple of TV shows, a movie, and some pictures on it while leaving space for contacts and for the 2MP camera to do it's thing.

Only having 2GB would cut out nearly all of the wide-screen video capabilities, as there'd be no room at all for the files. One movie is a gig-plus all by itself.

Besides, I'd say there's a slim chance (20%) that it will ship out of the gate with more than 8GB. Underpromise and overdeliver.

Re:GPS (4, Informative)

PhotoGuy (189467) | more than 7 years ago | (#19404361)

GPS can be added in quite a nice way to Bluetooth devices. Devices such as the Holux GPSlim 240 (my preferred choice) are under $100, the size of a memory stick, and have one of the bets GPS chipsets on the market (works inside a glove compartment), and relays the GPS data to a Bluetooth device. Works perfectly with my UTStarCom 6700 Phone (Windows Mobile 5) and TomTom Navigator. One added benefit is that you can stick the bluetooth GPS device in a handy spot (on a dash, up on deck on a boat, etc.) to increase reception, while having your phone anywhere within reasonable bluetooth range.

Re:GPS (1)

Mattsson (105422) | more than 7 years ago | (#19405587)

Does it have bluetooth? (Haven't been keeping up to date with what will be in the shipping version)
If it does, you can get a BT-GPS-receiver.
And if it has standard J2ME-support, you could use this [landspurg.net] until someone made a Iphone-native gps-app.

Re:GPS (-1, Redundant)

Idbar (1034346) | more than 7 years ago | (#19403827)

No it doesn't come with a GPS. The Nokia N-95 does, but who knows what carrier will market the nokia.

Re:GPS (3, Interesting)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 7 years ago | (#19405111)

I don't believe so. But I'm curious whether the E911 system could be used in the phone in order to determine your location? There are rumors talking about this...

Re:GPS (1)

Sandor at the Zoo (98013) | more than 7 years ago | (#19405353)

Yes, all modern phones have integrated GPS units (in the US, at least), as a requirement for 911 service. Whether it's exposed to the OS for use by applications is another question; one to which I don't know the answer.

Re:GPS (1)

bar-agent (698856) | more than 7 years ago | (#19405763)

Yes, all modern phones have integrated GPS units (in the US, at least), as a requirement for 911 service.

Not true. There are two ways to do E911: one is to use the phone's GPS chip, the other is to triangulate from cell towers. AT&T can use the latter, which means the iPhone does not need to have built-in GPS. But Verizon requires its phones to have assisted GPS, at least.

But even without built-in GPS, the iPhone seems to be able to tap in to the triangulation data. The commercial shows seafood places clustered around a neighborhood, indicating some location-gathering technique. Alternatively, maybe the user is connected to a GPS unit via Bluetooth.

What A Disaster (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19403773)

After the AppleTV flop and now the iPhone...

So much for the Apple fans who really believed that the world was waiting around to buy anything other than iPods from Apple.

Re:What A Disaster (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19404105)

> So much for the Apple fans who really believed that the world was waiting around to buy anything other than iPods from Apple.

I don't think so.

I am sure Apple fans are furiously mod bombing away at anything remotely negative about Apple, Jobs, the iPhone, or anything else related. And I am sure they actually believe the public desperately, droool!!!, wants an iPhone, Apple TV...

even if they don't know it.

One Word: (5, Interesting)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 7 years ago | (#19403797)

Skype.

If this critter has WiFi, and someone ports Skype to it, a damned fine radical shift in cell communications is very possible. While it wouldn't work outside of large metro areas (ones with lots of free WiFi, anyway), it would make phone companies, contracts, and all the BS that goes with 'em rather obsolete, methinks.

(then again, we'd likely see folks like Verizon et al start lobbying city councils to stop putting in free wifi, like Qwest and Comcast did when Utah began it's UTOPIA project of multiple city-funded fiber-to-the-doorstep projects all linked together).

Either way, it'd be damned cool, IMHO.

/P

Two words: (5, Interesting)

MacEnvy (549188) | more than 7 years ago | (#19403851)

802.11 sniffer
That's what I've been waiting for in iPhone news. Sure, there's the Oqo and some Axim-type devices that work for this, but very few that can harness the power of a terminal window, which I've been told (by an Apple higher ed employee) we'll be able to do on the iPhone.

Re:One Word: (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#19403967)

Yes, and the phone companies know this.

Once easy to access fee wi-fi hit's saturation, the phone companies become an emergency/ foreign access niche.

And even then it would only be to countries that don't have saturation.
A forward thinking CEO would embrace it and make money.

Re:One Word: (1)

rice_web (604109) | more than 7 years ago | (#19405345)

Once easy to access fee wi-fi hit's saturation
A part of me just died.

Re:One Word: (3, Insightful)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 7 years ago | (#19403969)

a forced 2 year voice and data plan will stop that.

Re:One Word: (2, Interesting)

blhack (921171) | more than 7 years ago | (#19404255)

Unfortunately, the iPhone will NEVER become that great skypable device in the sky that we have all been waiting for for so long now. Apple is a business and a publicly traded one at that. If their phones became that cell-killer device, their contract with cingular would go bye-bye in a big huge hurry. Not to mention that no cell provider would want to come near the phone if that ever happens.

I am really shocked and, frankly, kindof disappointed in you here slashdot. The majority of you seem to have played right back in to the fanboism that you all claim to hate so much. You are excited that apple is allowing third party development of software on their device. It is the same as when apple allowed people to dual-boot windows on their macs.

Somebody please please explain to me why microsoft is hated more than apple....i really really don't understand this one.

Re:One Word: (2, Informative)

fishboy (81833) | more than 7 years ago | (#19405579)

Unfortunately, the iPhone will NEVER become that great skypable device in the sky that we have all been waiting for for so long now. Apple is a business and a publicly traded one at that. If their phones became that cell-killer device, their contract with cingular would go bye-bye in a big huge hurry. Not to mention that no cell provider would want to come near the phone if that ever happens.

But it won't be because of some little contract with Cingular. You think that something Skype-like is going to kill the cellphone industry overnight, or even ever? Reliability is worth more to people than free calls on Skype, and what you're talking about is more than five years off. And it's not as though Apple is chained to Cingular, in fact, quite the opposite. Cell-phone companies will be falling all over each other to try and carry the iPhone after the exclusivity agreement runs its course. The current arrangement will be extremely profitable to Cingular, and others will be clamouring for a piece of the action, placing Apple in the position of delivering customers to suppliers, just like how the iPod delivers customers to the record companies via iTunes.

And, uh, MS is hated here more than Apple because they fight for more DRM, because their products suck and stifle innovation, because they create redundant industry standards and break them continually, and because they make hella money off everyone with illegal business practices.

Re:One Word: (3, Interesting)

filterban (916724) | more than 7 years ago | (#19404343)

You're right, and you have to know that Cingular is well aware of this issue.


The minute someone makes Skype for a WiFi cellphone is the minute people start using fewer minutes.


Of course, Cingular's still getting your money because you signed a 2 year contract to get the phone in the first place.


What will be really interesting is if Openmoko takes off. Then, there's no 2 year contract... say goodbye to margins!

Re:One Word: (1)

jesboat (64736) | more than 7 years ago | (#19405817)

Mod parent up. (He's pointed out, if you haven't noticed, that the more people start using things like iPhone for Skype, the less cell service they'll be using even though they'll still be paying monthly fees. Or, in Slashdot terms,

<perspective of="cell phone companies">
1) Spend less on providing customers service.
2) Charge them the same amount
3) ???
4) Profit!
</perspective>

)

Re:One Word: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19405855)

What will be really interesting is if Openmoko takes off.

Not with a name like that.

Seriously.

Got one of those already (3, Informative)

Namarrgon (105036) | more than 7 years ago | (#19404469)

And so does my wife.

Hers is from Nokia, mine is from HTC (I'm posting from it). They both have wifi and run Skype (and SIP, which IMO is better). They both have 3G too. Mine also has a full touchscreen and keyboard.

What you're asking for has been available for years. All Apple has done is put a (very) slick UI on it. It's nice, but I'm still waiting for the paradigm shift to kick in.

Re:One Word: (3, Informative)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 7 years ago | (#19404889)

You are, uhhh, aware that Skype is already available to several mobile devices, right?

Re:One Word: (2, Interesting)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 7 years ago | (#19404937)

Why would you need to port Skype when iChat comes free with the iPhone?

iChat can do video with all other cam equipped Macs and voice with all mic equipped Macs.

On top of that, it can interoperate with the AOL video/voice client.

omgz its da jesus (in phone form) (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19403805)

Seriously, can we cut down just a bit on the iphone articles. We won't really know what it is or what it can do until it's been out for long enough to get over the initial inevitable noise-and-lack-of-supply issue.

SNAPE DIES SO HARRY CAN KILL VOLDEMORT WITHOUT DYI (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19403887)

FAKE (0, Redundant)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 7 years ago | (#19404259)

I checked out the link, which has a poor supposed copy of a page from the end of the book. The page has at least two glaring errors, that I won't point out, because I don't want the idiot who made it to fix them.

But if anyone reads this, don't worry. It's not legit.

Re:FAKE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19404539)

The page has at least two glaring errors, that I won't point out, because I don't want the idiot who made it to fix them.

I'm sure J.K. Rowling would appreciate it if you did.

Re:FAKE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19405733)

Yes, I'm sure her editorial staff has a lot of trouble with obvious typos.

Re:FAKE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19405811)

Fake. I can tell from some of the pixels and having seen quite a few shops in my time.

Its not an exciting shift (1, Flamebait)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 7 years ago | (#19404065)

Its an embarassing climbdown. Apple are notorious for tying to control everything, the negative feedback from the marketplace has obviously influenced this 'shift'.

Re:Its not an exciting shift (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19404431)

yeah - real "notorious" when you've got BSD behind the lickable gloss.

You want to talk about trying to control everything, let's talk Microsoft.

Re:Its not an exciting shift (1)

Avor (1091919) | more than 7 years ago | (#19404929)

Apple encouraged developers to write for their systems. They even allow people to help with the OS. The only thing Apple has been controlling about is the use of their software on their hardware.

Re:Its not an exciting shift (2, Insightful)

fishboy (81833) | more than 7 years ago | (#19405463)

Its an embarassing climbdown. Apple are notorious for tying to control everything, the negative feedback from the marketplace has obviously influenced this 'shift'.

Right. You think that Apple hadn't anticipated a market demand for third party apps? Apple pays a lot of attention to the upgrade path and lifespan of their products, in addition to looking at competitor capabilities-- you think they are building in the capability of third-party apps as some sort of afterthought on one of the most anticipated product launches in history? Apple isn't some garage-shop start-up, some fly-by-night operation that responds to nerds on Slashdot.

Given that we all knew Apple itself would be releasing future software upgrade apps for the iPhone, it isn't hard to imagine they've thoroughly thought through having third-party developers on board. What Apple really is is notoriously mum on future products and capabilities, it doesn't take a lot of imagination to understand why Apple doesn't show its cards all of the time in scenarios such as this. History shows that Apple is not a market follower, but a market leader. Pandering to markets is very different from creating them.

And believe me, Apple is still going to control everything on the iPhone. There is no way this is going to be open season on the iPhone, not without taking over the device completely Amarok-style (which would result in a huge loss of system integration, the very feature that most poeple are willing to pay for). Apps are going to be added and removed via an iTunes-like interface just like games on the iPod, and Apple is going to stand in the middle taking its cut, but most importantly controlling/defending the quality of the iPhone experience, which is their most valuable asset.

Re:Its not an exciting shift (1)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 7 years ago | (#19405739)

Uh, no. Apple is just secretive. They never confirmed nor denied any third-party support in the first place because they were probably toying with a public SDK to get ready in time for WWDC. Hardly an "embarrassing climbdown" at all.

By the way, Apple's control over their mass-market devices is what makes them so stable and appealing.

ummm okay? (0, Troll)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 7 years ago | (#19404075)

So how many apps are even just written for the Mac? Yeeeeah, not a lot and don't a lot of ppl own Macs as opposed to the 1% of people who said they'd buy an iPhone for the price it's at. Apple in their usual self important attitude always make everything sound like the coolest, most popular thing ever but I bet this one won't fly no matter what they do to it.

Re:ummm okay? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19405539)

It's no wonder you eat ramen so fucking much.

Announcement may make some change their mind (2, Interesting)

thoughtlover (83833) | more than 7 years ago | (#19404159)

I, for one, balked at the idea of having such a sweet platform to develop nifty apps for, but no 3rd-party development allowed?? Either they release a full API for garage developers or I won't consider buying one. I still think the 2-year commitment to #%^&! Cingular is a bad enough 'deal'. I'm just freaked out at what the battery life is like. I can't see getting more than 2 hours of full use from it before charging again.

Re:Announcement may make some change their mind (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19404185)

That's because you are a loser. Apple doesn't need your whiny ass business anyway. There are plenty of us out there who know that hobbyist programmers like you make shitty software. Any software not written by Apple will invariably suck.

Re:Announcement may make some change their mind (1)

Kenshin (43036) | more than 7 years ago | (#19404721)

That was a pretty good troll up until this point:

Any software not written by Apple will invariably suck.

Re:Announcement may make some change their mind (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#19405339)

oh noes! 100 people won't buy the iPhone! failure is sure to follow!

Re:Announcement may make some change their mind (1)

divisionbyzero (300681) | more than 7 years ago | (#19405753)

Nice sig.

- Divisionbyzero

This guy is a developer? (1)

SilentChris (452960) | more than 7 years ago | (#19404189)

"I can understand their concern where they don't want after-market apps taking down the whole phone network," said iClip developer John Casasanta, who called last week's comments by Jobs "fantastic."


Wait... did this guy just insinuate that an app on one guy's iPhone is enough to take down all of AT&T/Cingular's network? Or did someone add the word "network" afterwards? Suddenly I have a lot less faith in iClip (whatever it is) being a quality app...

Steve Jobs = Modern P.T.Barnum (3, Insightful)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 7 years ago | (#19404195)

Apple CEO Steve Jobs revealed at the D Conference that 3rd-party development will be supported on the iPhone.


In modern marketing Steve Jobs has no equal. I think you'd have to go back all the way back to P.T. Barnum to find a similar exec in a similar industry (entertainment) who marketed his wares so effectively with personal announcements.

HUH? WHADIDJASAY? (1)

ShrapnelFace (1001368) | more than 7 years ago | (#19404201)

This just in: More FUD. Steve Jobs admits he has no idea what to do next, makes contradictory statements that have nothing in content but are highly subjective to interpretive conspiracists.

One source is quoted as saying "Steve then turned and looked at his handlers and said 'Can you believe these Apple people? They're so stupid that they'll buy anything. Hey Tom! Green light on the iPOD Pet Rock'

In other news, Jobs, announced a new product call the iRock, a pet rock that sits on your desk and can play iTunes....

ssh client would be nice (3, Insightful)

drfrog (145882) | more than 7 years ago | (#19404221)

#EOF

mod dOwn (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19404411)

fl4ws in the BSD FrreBSD went out

This is because Apple wants control (1)

fishthegeek (943099) | more than 7 years ago | (#19404443)

The reason Apple is opening up to third party developers is that Apple does want to retain whatever control they can over the platform. The iPhone will be opened up anyway whether it's some very skilled h4x70r or a professional is the only difference. By releasing a dev kit (they'll all but have to) they can retain a modicum of control over what is developed and how it will be deployed. This isn't to say that there won't be hacks available but at least whatever useful programs are written will be part of the Apple marketplace and not something from the evil tubes that they had no input or control over.

Predictable Apple move (0, Troll)

Stephen Ma (163056) | more than 7 years ago | (#19405467)

No, the iPhone is not selling well, so they are opening it up in hopes of expanding its market. The iPhone should have been open from the start, but Steve Jobs, as usual, has been too greedy.

Re:Predictable Apple move (1)

great throwdini (118430) | more than 7 years ago | (#19405631)

The iPhone is not selling well, so they are opening it up in hopes of expanding its market.

WTF? Has /. become a playground for baseless assumptions? Apple/AT&T aren't allowing pre-sale of the iPhone [myitablet.com] , so how could anyone (let alone you) state whether it's selling well or not?

OpenMoko (2, Interesting)

cxreg (44671) | more than 7 years ago | (#19404701)

I know Apple is all trendy and hipster-friendly, but I'm much more excited for the OpenMoko [openmoko.org] platform.

i never even considered... (2, Interesting)

pjr.cc (760528) | more than 7 years ago | (#19404737)

When the iPhone was announced and later after i had a quick play with one, I had made the assumption that there would be a development env for it. I guess part of that stems from owning a palm pilot, etc you just make the assumption that you'll be able to write your own applications for it.

So to me the supprise factor of this article was more "oh, i didnt realise there was a question about that in the first place", but its good to know it'll be capable of it for sure.

Suprisingly, this article actually made me less excited about the iPhone and a little disappointed. The way the article reads, it makes it sound like apple will only throw an SDK at 3rd parties they choose and trust which is a bit of a shame really.

Well.. (2, Insightful)

skinfitz (564041) | more than 7 years ago | (#19404899)

Steve Jobs revealed at the D Conference that 3rd-party development will be supported on the iPhone

Maybe I'll get one after all then.

What is the point of a portable computer as powerful as the iPhone if it can't run 3rd party apps?

Re:Well.. (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 7 years ago | (#19405087)

What is the point of a portable computer as powerful as the iPhone if it can't run 3rd party apps?

Having preloaded applications that are actually good enough that you want to use them instead of third party apps?

Apple has managed this with OS X, would it be so hard to believe they could manage with the iPhone?

Sure it's nice to extend functionality, but the apps the iPhone ship with already offer a lot of useful features - including a web browser which goes a long way to obliviating the need for many third party apps.

J2ME? (1)

jbarnum (560848) | more than 7 years ago | (#19404909)

Will I be able to run / develop Java (J2ME) apps on the iPhone?

Re:J2ME? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19405329)

I doubt it. When originally asked about Java on the iPhone Jobs responded, "Java's not worth building in. Nobody uses Java anymore. It's this big heavyweight ball and chain."

Re:J2ME? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19405773)

If you looked at the context of his statement, you would have seen that he was referring to Applets, not the entire Java platform.

Re:J2ME? (1)

Paulrothrock (685079) | more than 7 years ago | (#19405403)

Will I be able to run / develop Java (J2ME) apps on the iPhone?

You'll be able to develop apps, and users will be free to ignore them for apps that actually "run" rather than "amble."

Anyone who's ever used a Java app in OS X will understand. There's a reason I use Xcode rather than Eclipse to write Spring apps. And it's not because it's got a pretty interface. (Okay, well it's not JUST because the interface is nicer.)

It is all about control (1, Informative)

burris (122191) | more than 7 years ago | (#19405077)

All along Apple has planned to support 3rd party apps on the iPhone the same way they support them with iTunes/iPod: you can't get the SDK without signing a restrictive contract. A contract that gives Apple the final say on whether or not you can ship your application. Enforced through copyright; your app, when linked to their SDK, has stuff that Apple has exclusive rights over so you can't just get a copy of the SDK from a friend and avoid signing the contract. Some people are happy with that but it's a far cry from the software freedom that Slashdotters profess to support.

Ever wonder why there is only one music store that integrates with iTunes? Why all attempts to integrate anything fun and useful for consumers into iTunes are quashed? Because Apple is an extremely conservative organization that uses all of its power to suppress anything it doesn't like. Expect the same thing with iPhone.

Forget trying to ship anything for the iPhone that is innovative, contrary to the status quo, or competitive with Apple.

Re:It is all about control (2, Insightful)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 7 years ago | (#19405751)

And god bless them for it. It's the reason their platform is famous for its degree of simplicity, stability, and high quality. I'm not really interested in whatever backwater goofball app you'd concoct that would crash my iPhone.

Dashboard, duh! (5, Insightful)

dr.badass (25287) | more than 7 years ago | (#19405429)

Has anyone seriously believed that there wouldn't be third-party development for the iPhone? I was under the impression that the answer to that question was pretty obvious. The only question has been what form it would take, and even that is pretty obvious if you just look at the thing: Dashboard!

For starters, the interface has a lot of the same visual elements as Dashboard. The grille/tray, rounded-glass squares, identical icons. Hell, identical set of apps as the default set of Dashboard widgets. Dead giveaway. And why shouldn't it be the same set of apps? Apart from email, the main reason to have an internet-connected phone is for quickly fetching bite-sized chunks of information: exactly the sort of thing that widgets are good for.

Consider also that typical widgets take up very little memory and about the same amount of screen real estate as is available on the iPhone. On a Mac, this is because it is expected that you'll be looking at a bunch at the same time, but on the iPhone it's a perfect fit. For existing widgets, it's trivial to either modify the interface to fit the iPhone's screen or load a different interface depending on the platform.

There's no reason why every existing widget couldn't easily be made to run on iPhone, something that isn't true for existing desktop applications. That means thousands of applications available as soon as Apple allows it. Hell, developers don't even need to own or have access to an iPhone to be able to write applications for it. And before anyone screams "JavaScript Sucks", remember that Dashboard widgets can work with Cocoa, too. Off hand I can't think of much that you can't do in a widget. (For a good time, open up the Quartz Composer template included with Dashcode and ask yourself how much fun it would be if you could touch the cube.)

I know there a lot of doubters, but I think that iPhone is going to become the easiest mobile platform to develop third-party apps for.
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