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First iPhone 3rd Party GUI App Compiles

CmdrTaco posted more than 7 years ago | from the getting-closer-now dept.

Hardware Hacking 196

CmputrAce writes "Well, it's here now. The #iphone-dev team has compiled the first third-party application for the iPhone. Of course, it is the standard "Hello, world." application, but it's native to the iPhone and uses the iPhone's GUI. This opens up the iPhone for development by anyone who can forge through the process of cracking the iPhone, installing the iPhone "Toolchain", writing an application, compiling, translating, and finally installing the application to the iPhone. With the pace of development at present, expect to see commercial "jailbreak" (mod-enabling) applications soon as well. You can already get high-quality applications (Mac) to theme the iPhone and add your own ring tones (Win) for the phone."

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Dupe (-1, Flamebait)

jshriverWVU (810740) | more than 7 years ago | (#20031449)

Sorry don't remember the link but it was a week ago, talking about the toolchain used by some guy to write hello world, and now apache, php are on the iphone *Shrug*

Not dupe Re:Dupe (3, Informative)

strredwolf (532) | more than 7 years ago | (#20031519)

The previous "Hello World" was console only. This one uses the GUI on the iPhone.

Re:Not dupe Re:Dupe (0, Flamebait)

ZoneGray (168419) | more than 7 years ago | (#20031607)

Thew only dupes are the people who read these articles and believe the iPhone has been hacked.

When somebody successfully installs an application, then it's been hacked. Until that's achieved, all this stuff is like home runs during batting practice. An impressive display of skill, but it doesn't count.

Re:Not dupe Re:Dupe (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20031881)

When somebody successfully installs an application, then it's been hacked.
 
You didn't actually read the linked pages did you? The app can be installed and runs. I'm guessing the people who modded you up didn't read them either...

Re:Not dupe Re:Dupe (1)

Fnkmaster (89084) | more than 7 years ago | (#20031893)

Well that's already been done (see here [danmcweeney.com] for a demo of installing/deploying an app to an iPhone), so do you mean when it's easy enough for Joe Average to do it? That's still going to be a bit of time. But it's just a matter of putting together some pretty automation software to go through all the steps to run jailbreak, get SSH access working, and SCP over the necessary files.

Clearly this app had to be installed to be run, right?

I mean, there are binary builds of some apps already, which may not be particuarly useful apps to run on your iPhone (like Apache and Python), but they are apps nonetheless. See this page [natetrue.com] .

So, it's now a matter of making some useful third party apps. Then there'll be a reason to clean up and streamline the hacking and install process.

Re:Not dupe Re:Dupe (-1, Troll)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 7 years ago | (#20032645)

Apple sucks, iTunes sucks, and cell phones suck. Who cares about a Hello World program on yet another handheld device among hundreds that makes phone calls, plays music and surfs the web with a uselessly tiny screen?

Yawn. Who gives a fuck.

Re:Not dupe Re:Dupe (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20032775)

"When somebody successfully installs an application, then it's been hacked."

A journey of a thousand applications first begins with Hello World.

Re:Not dupe Re:Dupe (5, Interesting)

Graff (532189) | more than 7 years ago | (#20031795)

The really cool thing here is reading the source code of the "Hello World" application. It's great to see that it's pretty standard stuff for Mac OS X programmers. I mean I know that the iPhone is running a version of Mac OS X but it didn't really hit home until I saw the familiar Cocoa programming that I use to make Mac OS X applications for desktop and laptop computers.

This is very exciting for developers, I really hope that Apple either encourages this or at the worst turns a blind eye to it. Apple hasn't done much to discourage people from modding their iPods, Macintoshes, or Apple TVs, lets hope that trend continues. If the iPhone becomes a true handheld computer and not just a fancy phone then I can see it really taking off.

WTF is the "heavenly" user-bundle though ? (1)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 7 years ago | (#20032155)

I'm in the process of svn-downloading the source (which takes forever [grin]) but there's no mention anywhere of what this "--with-heavenly=/path/to/Heavenly1A543a.UserBundl e" option refers to, when compiling the toolchain... I can't see it on the Apple-DMG -download either (according to the files-list on the wiki).

Anyone any idea ?

Re:WTF is the "heavenly" user-bundle though ? (1)

Graff (532189) | more than 7 years ago | (#20032463)

I'm in the process of svn-downloading the source (which takes forever [grin]) but there's no mention anywhere of what this "--with-heavenly=/path/to/Heavenly1A543a.UserBundl e" option refers to, when compiling the toolchain.
Take a look at this page [modmyiphone.com] , down near the bottom.

Re:WTF is the "heavenly" user-bundle though ? (1)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 7 years ago | (#20033101)

Got it. Thanks :-)

Now all I have to do is figure out whether the fact I don't have the file 'arm-cc-specs' for:

cp Csu-71/arm-cc-specs ~/.arm-cc-specs ... will be an issue ...

Simon

Re:WTF is the "heavenly" user-bundle though ? (1)

kupan787 (916252) | more than 7 years ago | (#20033551)

From the Talk page on the wiki:

Just noticed that the instructions say to cp Csu-71/arm-cc-specs when it should really be driver/arm-cc-specs

so just do a:

cp driver/arm-cc-specs ~/.arm-cc-specs

and you should be good to go.

Re:Not dupe Re:Dupe (0)

nine-times (778537) | more than 7 years ago | (#20032467)

Great. Wake me up when I can get SSH on my iPhone without strange and dangerous hacks. And not web-based SSH.

Re:Not dupe Re:Dupe (2, Funny)

molarmass192 (608071) | more than 7 years ago | (#20033161)

I've got $20 that says you don't even have an iPhone. Anyways, the hacking part is kind of fun, even though all the heavy lifting has been done by others. I don't call connect the tether and run iActivate and iPhoneInterface real "hacking".

Re:Dupe (1)

SkiifGeek (702936) | more than 7 years ago | (#20031587)

While some of the iPhone material that I have covered has been up on slashdot over the last couple of weeks, this is relatively new. My own article [beskerming.com] on this particular report was written a couple of days ago, reflecting material that was about 36 hours old at the time of writing.

Re:Dupe (1)

errxn (108621) | more than 7 years ago | (#20032559)

Is it just me, or did anyone else read the word "toolchain" and immediately think of the staff of snotty fanboys down at the local Apple store?

Fanboi (-1, Troll)

Frankie70 (803801) | more than 7 years ago | (#20031453)

Will Fanboi's issue death threats against those who go against the will of Steve Jobs?

Re:Fanboi (4, Funny)

zmollusc (763634) | more than 7 years ago | (#20031867)

is iFatwah copyrighted yet?

Re:Fanboi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20031933)

I want a greasemonkey script that auto-hides comments that contain the words "fanboy" and "fanboi". (Especially the latter. It doesn't add weight to your insult. It just makes you look like a pretentious ass.)

Re:Fanboi (-1, Troll)

Vexorian (959249) | more than 7 years ago | (#20032089)

So, I am guessing you are one of the fanbois?

Re:Fanboi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20032223)

forget the mac users... the gaming discussion are 80% retarded console bashing comments with everyone starting or ending their comment calling someone a "fanboi"

Re:Fanboi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20032477)

Hah, no way. Macs cost too much for me. I'm just tired of the Mac-hater circle jerk threads.

Battery Life (0, Flamebait)

barbam (1134455) | more than 7 years ago | (#20031463)

So has anyone compiled an application to make the battery last longer than 3/4 year and not cost $100 to replace?

Re:Battery Life (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20031475)

So has anyone compiled an application to make the battery last longer than 3/4 year and not cost $100 to replace?

So I take it your iPhone battery ran out after only 9 months of use?

Re:Battery Life (-1)

jshriverWVU (810740) | more than 7 years ago | (#20031567)

So I take it your iPhone battery ran out after only 9 months of use? +1 mod funny, it hasn't been out 9 months.

Re:Battery Life (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20031621)

+1 mod funny, it hasn't been out 9 months.



Wow, mod parent insightful, he can count!

Re:Battery Life (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20031755)

C'mon, mod parent funny!

Re:Battery Life (5, Funny)

Cheesey (70139) | more than 7 years ago | (#20031707)

So has anyone compiled an application to make the battery last longer than 3/4 year

In my day, batteries would only last about 24 hours, and you had to recharge your phone every night! 3/4 of a year is luxury compared to what we had to put up with, before Steve Jobs came up with the brilliant idea of putting an OS on a phone and making it run using fairy dust and moonbeams.

Re:Battery Life (2, Funny)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#20033539)

Steve Jobs came up with the brilliant idea of putting an OS on a phone and making it run using fairy dust and moonbeams.
Fairy dust and moonbeams? Talk about bloat...

full service is $100/mo so who cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20031709)

if youre already throwing away a bucket of gold, whats a handful extra?

Re:Battery Life (2, Interesting)

Sparks23 (412116) | more than 7 years ago | (#20033565)

The iPhone battery lasts a good few hundred charge cycles -- i.e., being fully drained and charged -- before it stops holding a charge as effectively. It does not die, it just does not hold as complete a charge as it used to.

Yeah, that is lousy... but this is not an iPhone-specific issue. It is the major drawback of all Li-ion batteries (including those in other cellular phones).

The advantage of Li-ion is that unlike most other rechargeable batteries, they will not self-discharge (i.e. lose power when not in use) nearly so badly, but the cost of that is a battery which does 'age' and lose efficiency the more charge cycles you go through, and which is temperature sensitive. There's a good article on lithium-ion battery limitations on Wikipedia, [wikipedia.org] or you can just google Li-ion to find other various battery FAQs on the net.

I find it sort of telling that Apple decided they'd be up-front about this general limitation of the lithium-ion rechargable batteries in phones and laptops -- a limitation all Li-ion batteries share -- and they've taken nothing but flack for it, as if it were all their fault. No wonder companies don't like to tell consumers that sort of thing.

It is unfortunate that an iPhone user cannot replace a dead battery themselves, sure. And the battery price is kinda high; most smartphones, the battery tends to be around $50. Though they also tend only to last about 3-4 hours under full use; Apple's battery is larger capacity, so I'm not surprised it costs a little more. Though I think double the cost is a bit pricy, even including the battery replacement labor. So, yeah, the iPhone maybe deserves a bit of razzing over their battery situation for the high cost.

But the battery charge limitations are not in any way unique to Apple's batteries. And I know I am getting a little tired of people throwing stuff at Apple as if they are responsible for a limitation which exists in the battery technology in pretty much all the mobile devices I have. Including my Dell laptop, my Panasonic cordless phone, my Canon digital camera, my old HTC handhelds, and so on... none of which came from Apple.

Does Apple care? (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 7 years ago | (#20031485)

It's not like they had to subsidize iPhones for people to buy them. Though AT&T might care if people can unlock the phone, but what can they do?

why bother? (0, Flamebait)

howlingmadhowie (943150) | more than 7 years ago | (#20031493)

i worry about this sort of thing. saying that it is possible to hack an iphone and install applications on it can be taken to be a counterargument to the people who reject the restrictions placed on the device. why don't we spend our time complaining about the necessity of this hacking? wouldn't the undeniable skill of these people be better put to use elsewhere? why don't we just chuck the iphone away as the bad apple it is?

Re:why bother? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20031813)

Obviously you don't own one...

Re:why bother? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20031975)

Bad apple or sour grapes? It wasn't built open source or 3rd party app friendly. That was Apple's choice. It's your choice not to buy one. So far around a million people and counting disagree with you but that's the free market system. I find the vast majority of detractors have never laid a hand on one. For a first generation device there have been remarkably few complaints. Others than a little trouble activating the first weekend I haven't heard about many problems. Considering the large number of people trying to activate over a single weekend I'd have been shocked if there were no problems.

Re:why bother? (1)

rvw (755107) | more than 7 years ago | (#20032023)

why don't we spend our time complaining about the necessity of this hacking?

Because that's a waste of time! Do you really think they would listen?

wouldn't the undeniable skill of these people be better put to use elsewhere?

Not everything in this world is about efficiency or usefulness. And I'm glad about that. They do it because they like to do this. They probably do it in their spare time, just for the fun. And who knows suddenly something useful comes out of it, they start their own company maybe, wait and see.

Re:why bother? (1, Flamebait)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 7 years ago | (#20032723)

Wow, the parent has been knocked as both flamebait and troll. The Apple cultists (and their alt accounts) are out in force on this one.

The reason they don't is that Apple cultists are submissive people who worship fashion and crave social status (which is only perceived by themselves). The quality of the engineering is of minor importance, and generally only matters to the degree that it exceeds some Microsoft effort.

You won't find them clamoring for an open iPhone because it would diminish the importance of the brand in which they've invested so much of their identity. How can they feel important when all the technical interest in the iPhone shifts away from Apple and to those implementing software for the device?

They will be cheering when Apple renders these efforts moot by fixing the holes in the next update. Freedom, power, utility - these things matter not to them. They are artists and dreamers, socialites who continue the tradition of courtier and courtesan. No dirty hacker should have the right to tarnish their jewelry.

Re:why bother? (1)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | more than 7 years ago | (#20033009)

The quality of the engineering is of minor importance

Unless you have actually used an iPhone yourself, you're talking out of your ass. It is one nicely-packaged bit of technology. It makes every other phone, even those with superior features, feel like a collection of random parts from Radio Shack running some recycled UI code from the Motorola Star-Tac.

(Oh, yeah, I must be an Apple fanboy cultist. In fact, I'm such a fanboy that my most-recent purchase from Apple, prior to the iPhone, was an Imagewriter dot-matrix printer in 1984.)

Do you even think before you type? (4, Insightful)

NDPTAL85 (260093) | more than 7 years ago | (#20033349)

First of all the iPhone is one very HIGH quality piece of hardware. Its build quality is excellent and its VERY sturdy.

Second this shows you know next to nothing about the Mac using community. The level of hacking and shareware development on Macs has been HIGH for decades. There were folks tinkering around with source code and resource editors on Macs before Linux was even created. When you move to an open platform you only gain ONE thing, software freedom. When you move to an Apple platform you gain ease of use. I've seen TONS of geeks in #freebsd and #linux channels moving to Mac OS X because they're tired of fighting with their operating system when they just want to get simple common tasks done (like playing DVDs, burning DVDs, getting onto a WPA encrypted wifi networks, good power management, simple software updates, decent office suites, no trouble video codec playback....etc.) When these same folks WANT to get down to something complicated the terminal is always there for them in /Applications/Utilities

So to recap, you are wrong. The contributions of hackers is very much appreciated on the Mac OS X platform and will be the same for the iPhone. What we DON'T want is for Apple itself to be distracted from its core mission of making its products ridiculously easy and joyful to use. Perhaps if your own operating system were more pleasureable to use you (and a good number of other open source users) wouldn't be such miserable, bitter and spiteful people. Here's to hoping.

Re:Do you even think before you type? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20033523)

fanboi

DMCA (1)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 7 years ago | (#20031495)

How does this sit with the DMCA with regards to reverse engineering?

Re:DMCA (4, Interesting)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 7 years ago | (#20031685)

The DMCA says that you can hack a phone to unlock it so it will not get in the way of that kind of hacking.

Re:DMCA (3, Interesting)

morcheeba (260908) | more than 7 years ago | (#20032825)

The DMCA exemption is exceedingly narrow -- it only allows you to connect to a network, not run your own apps. It's so limited that a PC-based unlocking program wouldn't be allowed to bypass the DMCA to install the (temporarily legal) firmware, because the exemption applies only to firmware that runs on the phone and not regular computer software. The DMCA is still a major roadblock to fair use.

Computer programs in the form of firmware that enable wireless telephone handsets to connect to a wireless telephone communication network, when circumvention is accomplished for the sole purpose of lawfully connecting to a wireless telephone communication network. ---- exemption 5, expires October 2009 (source) [copyright.gov]

Nintendo DS emulator here we come (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20031503)

Yknow what would be perfect for the iphone? A nintendo DS emulator. Its already got the touchscreen

Re:Nintendo DS emulator here we come (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20031603)

"Yknow what would be perfect for the iphone? A nintendo DS emulator. Its already got the touchscreen"

You would need two iPhones for that. Plus, someone would have to carck the WiFi to work from iPhone to iPhone.

Re:Nintendo DS emulator here we come (2, Insightful)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 7 years ago | (#20031641)

Yes it has the touchscreen for it. Too bad it doesn't have the other 12 buttons that a DS needs...

Re:Nintendo DS emulator here we come (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 7 years ago | (#20031665)

Well one could make the emulated screen(s) not take up the full size of the iPhone screen and then use the extra space for buttons on the touchscreen. But the main problem ATM is that the only good emulator is horribly slow. If you consider that the DS is comparative in power to, say, the Nintendo 64, although maybe a little more powerful than that, then compare the speed and maturity of current Nintendo DS emulators to Nintendo 64 emulators, then it's obvious they still have a ways to come.

Re:Nintendo DS emulator here we come (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20032705)

Emulation should be made easier by running it on a device that uses the same instruction set.

Don't bother honoring the webmasters requests (5, Interesting)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 7 years ago | (#20031533)

I don't suppose anyone bothered to read/honor this simple request knowing the effect /. can have on a website.

http://iphone.fiveforty.net/wiki/index.php/Popular ity_Problem [fiveforty.net]

Um, did *you* read the request? (2, Interesting)

AdmiralWeirdbeard (832807) | more than 7 years ago | (#20033487)

...cause it also said not to link directly to the wiki like you did.
Just sayin...

Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20031535)

When the tailtain is mature, how much effort/modification will be required to run the compiled 3rd party binaries? It's not the complexity of building the apps but of Joe User to get them to run that will determine if this is the start of something big or just a small niche.

Re:Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20032729)

>When the tailtain is mature
Am I the only one that read this and thought "WTF?!?"

Change ringtones? (1, Insightful)

AngryJim (1045256) | more than 7 years ago | (#20031551)

I've been considering an iPhone purchase myself. I never buy a product without hands on experience and I don't really know anyone who has taken the dive just yet. But, you can't even change the damn ringtone? $600, claims of being the most advanced phone in the world, and you can't chnage the ringtone, is this true? if it's true, Fuck. That.

Re:Change ringtones? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20031605)

It's true. Are you trolling, or have you not bothered to do any research at all on something that you're considering purchasing?

Re:Change ringtones? (0)

Bazman (4849) | more than 7 years ago | (#20031673)


I suspect Apple wanted the iPhone's ringtone to act like an advert for the iPhone, so that when it goes off in Joe Fanboy's pocket everyone in the room will know he's got an iPhone. Of course, he would have told everyone and waved it under their noses shortly after walking into the room, so it seems slightly unneccesary...

Anyway, you can change the ringtone. You have total freedom to change it to ANY ringtone (as long as its one of the 25 included on the iPhone).

There seem to be hacks for making a custom ringtone out there as well.

Re:Change ringtones? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20031721)

If that's your most critical feature, there are plenty of free phones on the market that do ringtones well. I've never understood the fascination with ringtones myself and am quite satisfied with the default ring on my iPhone. As an iPhone owner, I am in awe of what Apple has accomplished with this device. For anyone who spends a good bit of time on the net and needs to be mobile - this thing is indispensable. The weird thing is, when I demoed it in the Apple store, I wasn't blown away by it - mostly because the demos are hosed up from all the handling (safari can get hosed in normal use when navigating to a site with content not yet supported by the browser - this needs to be addressed by Apple and I'm confident they will fix this - for now, it's fixed by a reboot if things get really hosed). Anyway, it was time for a new phone so I figured I'd try it. Wow! I'm sooo glad I did - this thing totally rocks and I look forward to the coming sw improvements from Apple.

Re:Read the Story! (1, Informative)

olafva (188481) | more than 7 years ago | (#20031787)

The link in the story shows you how to import any Ringtone you want - even something you compose & play yourself.
Why are you so negative? Get a life!

Probably Wanted Native Support (1)

wuputah (1068216) | more than 7 years ago | (#20032899)

I would presume the grandparent would want native support for such a basic and obvious feature. It's an a phone+iPod device, and yet you can't pick a song from your library to use as a ringtone.

On that note, I would hope that Apple has this feature under development and would hopefully be releasing it as a soft update to the device. But only time will tell how Apple will update and add features to the device.

Re:Change ringtones? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20032131)

Out of the package, you can change the ringtone to any of those included with the phone. You simply can't add your own custom ringtones ... except via one of the recent hacks. There's also rumor that Apple intends to start offering a service in which you can use any purchased iTunes track as a ringtone for an additional $0.99 (likely the reason custom ringtones are currently disabled).

Strategic Blunder, Missed Opportunity (3, Interesting)

aldheorte (162967) | more than 7 years ago | (#20031611)

Apple made a big strategic blunder in choosing Cingular/AT&T as an exclusive partner. If they had made a multi-band phone and sold it SIM-less, they could well have cracked the carrier market wide open. All the carriers would have scrambled to offer voice and data plans for it on launch because a subscriber is a subscriber in the end. Game theory would have led to one of the players 'cheating' on refusing to offer plans for a non-locked phone and as soon as the first one had cheated on the tacit collusion they currently engage in with all the other carriers, they would have all had to follow suit. Apple would have opened up the market for selling SIM-less phones and not constrained themselves to a very limited U.S. market.

What does this have to do with the devkit? If Apple had done this, they would have been able to officially open up the devkit and application developers would have created a legitimate cottage industry around it, making it into a extremely versatile mobile communicator. The iPhone would have been revolutionary (literally) rather than a overpriced, though flashy, paperweight for anyone but those foolish enough to sign a contract with Cingular/AT&T (I don't view the use of it just for wifi as really relevant since then it must simple be viewed as a PDA and not a general communications device, and there are far better PDA solutions out there).

The last hope for a healthy carrier market now lies with Google's attempt to force itself into the spectrum auction.

Re:Strategic Blunder, Missed Opportunity (5, Insightful)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 7 years ago | (#20031741)

If they had made a multi-band phone and sold it SIM-less, they could well have cracked the carrier market wide open.

From what I understand the carrier (AT&T) had to do a lot of work on their end to support the phone. The visual voicemail system alone required AT&T to update how their voicemail system works. By picking an exclusive partner Apple ensured that all these changes would work properly with the iPhone. If they simply dumped an unlocked phone on the market then a lot of the fancy gimmicks they've been touting wouldn't work for the vast majority of people, and you'd end up with a lot of people griping about how the phone doesn't work the way it was advertised.

Tying the iPhone to a single carrier is only to be expected considering Apple's history. They've always held tight control over their hardware and peripherals, and they're basically doing the same thing here.

Re:Strategic Blunder, Missed Opportunity (4, Insightful)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#20032169)

The visual voicemail system alone required AT&T to update how their voicemail system works. By picking an exclusive partner Apple ensured that all these changes would work properly with the iPhone. If they simply dumped an unlocked phone on the market then a lot of the fancy gimmicks they've been touting wouldn't work for the vast majority of people

"All the fancy gimmicks" - it's the voice mail only. That's only fancy gimmick that requires carrier coop. Not a lot to lose I think.

Big enough, and ignores future potential (1, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 7 years ago | (#20032651)

"All the fancy gimmicks" - it's the voice mail only. That's only fancy gimmick that requires carrier coop. Not a lot to lose I think.

Random-access voice mail, that you can access on a plane away from cell signals, is in fact very handy.

But what you are really ignoring is the potentital for Apple to add other features like Visual Voicemail that require carrier support. Apple gets to mold a carrier API for FIVE YEARS to end up with a featureset they like in carrier support, and then force other carriers to offer said advanced features if at that time they also want people using the phone to be able to switch to thier networks. That is a pretty huge advantage and switch away from the traditional model of power, where carriers dictacte what is or is not possible on the the network. Shouldn't we all be jumping up and down with joy that Apple is forcing feature upgrades on carriers that we'll all benefit from with other phones eventually?

Re:Big enough, and ignores future potential (0, Redundant)

ChakatSanddancer (1106243) | more than 7 years ago | (#20033205)

Carrier support is not needed for visual voicemail. Most real phones and networks can be configured regarding what number to dial and forward to for voice mail. Apple could have simply done like they do for the .mac services and charged a small fee, like $5/month, to allow cross-network visual voicemail. Not all that horribly difficult, really.

Visual voicemail is not a gimmick (4, Insightful)

kiddailey (165202) | more than 7 years ago | (#20033561)

Having actually USED visual voicemail, I can assure you that it is no gimmick.

That is unless of course you enjoy listening to the automated "message received at... press x to listen... press y to delete" crap after being forced to wade through and delete old voicemail before listening to that new one you just received.

Re:Strategic Blunder, Missed Opportunity (1)

hxnwix (652290) | more than 7 years ago | (#20032391)

The visual voicemail system alone required AT&T to update how their voicemail system works.
Have you heard the quality of messages stored by this system? They are compressed beyond coherency - imagine trying to comprehend a phone call in a shoe box in a tin can underwater in a flushing toilet bowl. It's about 1000x worse than that. And, in all respects, AT&T's customer support is even less coherent.

Tying the iPhone to a single carrier is only to be expected considering Apple's history.
When has Apple tied their other offerings to specific carriers? Would this be comparable to how Apple does not die their desktop offerings to AOL? Please elaborate.

Re:Strategic Blunder, Missed Opportunity (2, Interesting)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#20032493)

When has Apple tied their other offerings to specific carriers? Would this be comparable to how Apple does not die their desktop offerings to AOL? Please elaborate.

He means: Apple always limits the options of their customers to retain control of the offer and the final experience.

They don't allow you to install OSX on custom hardware. They don't allow people to build Apple-compatible hardware. They have locked down almost everything in their OS interface, and the options are limited.

Initially they had all proprietary ports for peripherals even, and you had to buy special Apple printers and what not (now they're more liberal in that department).

They didn't allow custom apps in the iPod (except approved and checked by them through iTunes), and now on the iPhone.

All of this has ensured Apple's ability to survive on a very competitive market. But it's also the reason why they have such a small fraction of the market. It's a tough business model, but since they picked it, now they have to sustain it.

There's considerable possibility that if they go all loose and PC-like by allowing everything and everyone mix and match parts of Apple, they'll simply vanish in a market of similar opportunities.

Re:Strategic Blunder, Missed Opportunity (1)

tksh (816129) | more than 7 years ago | (#20032617)

I also believe that Apple wanted to be carrier exclusive so it can take in a proportion of the revenue on the data/voice plans of iPhone users. If it weren't carrier-exclusive, Apple wouldn't be able to negotiate revenue-sharing deals. Not to say this was the driving reason but I think Apple's demand for tight control + revenue made it carrier exclusive.

Re:Strategic Blunder, Missed Opportunity (1)

UnanimousCoward (9841) | more than 7 years ago | (#20031783)

Apple made a big strategic blunder in choosing Cingular/AT&T as an exclusive partner. If they had made a multi-band phone and sold it SIM-less, they could well have cracked the carrier market wide open.

Hmmmm, I don't think it's so black-and-white. Without partnering with a carrier (who itself was willing to make system and software changes to accommodate iPhone-specific functionality), will the iPhone be more or less successful? Since Apple went down the AT&T path, we'll never know, but we will be able to point back to this strategic decision is the iPhone flops.

I think that the time frame of AT&T's exclusivity is just about right--it will be over before you know it. After that, iPhone will be SIM-less, other carriers will modify their systems/software to accommodate iPhone functionality, and you will indeed see the things that you are talking about.

Re:Strategic Blunder, Missed Opportunity (1)

Vexorian (959249) | more than 7 years ago | (#20032105)

Wasn't making these blunders what apple excels at? IMHO I hate OS/X but I think it is better at the desktop than windows, they would probably have done waaaayyy better if OS/X wasn't only for their silly computers...

Re:Strategic Blunder, Missed Opportunity (1)

Unequivocal (155957) | more than 7 years ago | (#20032533)

It seems like you're describing the PocketPC segment - Microsoft opened up their developer kit (it was free until recently), and as a result there are lots of phones that use Windows Mobile and many, many small time software developers writing applications for the platform. But this is an old story - Apple has never been nearly as supportive of small-time developers as Microsoft has, and as a result, there are many many more cottage application developers for Windows than Mac. I may not be fond of Microsoft, but I'm no fonder of Apple - I can't really see much difference between the two, except Apple ties its OS to its own hardware in every endeavor and Microsoft doesn't.

You're right that it would be interesting to see what a gPhone would look like - Google has been more open in its API than Apple and would benefit from a multi-carrier, multi-band phone more (b/c it would drive more traffic back to gHQ)..

No Blunder Or Missed Chance, Just A Bitter Geek (3, Insightful)

NDPTAL85 (260093) | more than 7 years ago | (#20033195)

I think Steve Jobs knows how to run his business just fine, thank you very much. Apple has very long term plans for the iPhone and you'll be eating crow in about 4 years when millions have shifted from their carriers to AT&T just to get the iPhone. There have been a LOT of good replies to your initial comment, why have you yet to respond?

Apple's goal isn't to open the carrier market for YOUR purposes. You are applying your wishful thinking onto Apple's business plans. First of all why are you saying Apple limited themselves to the US Market? Have you been in a cave that has prevented you from knowing that European and Asian launches are coming in 2008 if not sooner? As for offering the phone SIM-less thats not Apple's style. Apple makes things EASY and SIMPLE to use. If the purchaser of the phone has to figure out what carrier they're going to use and then find a SIM card for it thats just not easy enough. Its too hard. I know you're going to scoff because you are a geek but you aren't Apple's target market. No geek is. Ease of use, ease of use, ease of use. Thats Apple's DNA. Your method introduces uncessary complexity.

When you purchase the iPhone, you take it home, connect it to your computer and iTunes pops up to take you thru the activation process. Its EXTREMELY simple. Now imagine had it been sold SIM less. Each person would have to get the appropriate SIM for the carrier they wanted to go with. Thats just far too messy for Apple's tastes.

Ironically long term Apple will still bring about a healthy carrier market anyway. When the 5 year contract with AT&T is up the other carriers will certainly jump to offer the iPhone just to stop the bleeding of their own subscriber numbers. I wouldn't bet on Google coming to the rescue. They've got a lot of industry inertia and lobbyists to combat against which could take YEARS.

Re:Strategic Blunder, Missed Opportunity (1)

Guy Harris (3803) | more than 7 years ago | (#20033569)

If they had made a multi-band phone

What bands were you thinking of in addition to 850, 900, 1800, and 1900 MHz [apple.com] ?

Article link (0, Redundant)

vedant_lath (905577) | more than 7 years ago | (#20031729)

Shouldn't the article link be replaced so that the wiki [fiveforty.net] won't get slashdotted?

I have an idea! (0)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | more than 7 years ago | (#20031747)

Could the first app render the iPhone into just... A PHONE?

Re:I have an idea! (0, Troll)

Zephyr14z (907494) | more than 7 years ago | (#20031811)

Why the hell would you shell out $600 for just a phone?

Re:I have an idea! (1)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | more than 7 years ago | (#20031849)

Exactly. Isn't the main function of the iPhone to be... I don't know... a phone?

Re:I have an idea! (1)

Zephyr14z (907494) | more than 7 years ago | (#20031891)

Given the name, one would think so. However, it's mainly an ipod with a web browser, that also happens to make phone calls.

History Lesson (5, Funny)

eclectro (227083) | more than 7 years ago | (#20031835)

Apple reales the iphone. Shortly thereafter the command prompt is achieved, and on July 28 a 'hello world' program is written. They now have a working compiler, and decide to program extra functionality into the iphone. The iphone modifications happen exponentially until the iphone becomes self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern time, August 29th. In a panic, they try to pull the plug. The iphone has no plug. Before the batteries discharge, the iphone fights back and dials Norad commencing a nuclear exchange.

Re:History Lesson (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20031865)

The iphone has no plug.

They also tried to remove the battery, but it was hardwired!

Re:History Lesson (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20032565)

One old guy managed to destroy one iPhone with a blender, but he had the other one, and the second one fought back...

Re:History Lesson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20032861)

I love that blendtec guy. I love their marketing campaign. ( If you have not seen it its at http://www.willitblend.com/ [willitblend.com] )

The pseudo scientist / chef is so dead pan, and they don't push the product, just let you know whats going on. This is how you slowly build product recognition. I really don't need a commercial blender, but I don't need a fucking commercial espresso machine either, but I do.
If a door to door blendtec salesman comes to my door with a bag of marbles, I'm fucking buying one!

This one specifically:

Designed with the chef in mind, this machine is packed with an incredible 2400 watts (20 amps) of power. This power enables the blender to process on a variety of levels. From light touch chopping to high power blending, the ChefTec can do it all. The ChefTec includes 2 different sized jars (2qt and 3qt), with markings in both ounces and cups. The ChefTec will blend, chop, grind, mix, whip, or puree all the ingredients for your delicate spreads, breads, salsas, sauces, dressings, and much more!

2400 watts fuck yeah. It has enough watts to even run a quad SLI graphics cards!

( btw - the blender they are pushing with the ads is a measly 1200 watts Pfffft :P )

Re:History Lesson (1)

alien-alien (471416) | more than 7 years ago | (#20033507)

Yes - that is the way history played out in the majority set of alternate realities. However, in the limited set of realities that allowed the human race to continue (and subsequently achieve the ability to probe alternate realities (hence this "/." submission)), the original iPhone software "modifications" were done in a building adjacent to this chap (WARNING - not for the feint of heart):

http://www.willitblend.com/videos.aspx?type=unsafe &video=iphone [willitblend.com]

Once the iPhone intelligence singularity started to develop, the hac^H^H^Hresearchers dashed next door and a suitable power-off mechanism was implemented.

iPhone - we've got your number - don't mess with the human race.

So.... (1, Flamebait)

adrianbaugh (696007) | more than 7 years ago | (#20032021)

So maybe after a great deal of effort the iPhone will actually be a tenth as good as the HTC Touch seems to be.
The iPod was so successful because it actually was the best in its niche. The iPhone, on the other hand, is a shiny turd with a fraction of the capability of some other devices.

Re:So.... (1)

nevali (942731) | more than 7 years ago | (#20032199)

That's not what people said about the iPod when it was launched. Go look at the Slashdot posts/comments on it.

"It's not nearly as good as . Apple are dumb."

Effort (0, Flamebait)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 7 years ago | (#20032213)

So maybe after a great deal of effort the iPhone will actually be a tenth as good as the HTC Touch seems to be.

It seems to me the level of effort being put forth to make this happen, indicates the HTC Touch is only a tenth the device the iPhone is.

Lots of phones have "seemed to be" pretty good - until you use them. The world has now moved past your spec-based admiration.

Re:Effort (0, Troll)

adrianbaugh (696007) | more than 7 years ago | (#20032335)

If I wanted an expensive high quality phone I'd get a Bang and Olufsen "Serene". Nice and simple, no unnecessary gadgets or overspecification, just an extremely well thought out user interface and well made phone. And you can change the battery...

If I wanted a does-everything pda phone I'd get one of HTC's devices (I currently have a TyTN because of its slide-out keyboard; if I didn't need the keyboard I'd get a Touch).

The only reason I can see for buying an iPhone is as a piece of "jewellery" - because it's the latest fashionable thing to have. Which isn't by itself a good reason for buying anything.

Re:Effort (1)

INeededALogin (771371) | more than 7 years ago | (#20032475)

You should actually try the iPhone before going all out to dimiss it. The iPhone is actually a very nice smartphone(I work with them everyday). It isn't perfect, but to dimiss it as a piece of jewelry is foolish. Your Windows Mobile Devices are good. I am sure the Bang and Olufsen phone is good as well. And the iPhone is a good device.

Oh, and chicks dig the iPhone.

Re:Effort (1, Flamebait)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 7 years ago | (#20032579)

If I wanted an expensive high quality phone I'd get a Bang and Olufsen "Serene". Nice and simple, no unnecessary gadgets or overspecification, just an extremely well thought out user interface and well made phone. And you can change the battery...

As soon as someone complains about something you might have to do every four years or so, I can automatically dismiss the arguments they make as ill-informed and overly simplistic.

The iPhone is not really a "does everything" phone, it too takes a few tasks and focuses on doing them really well.

As for jewlery - I keep my phone in my pocket and actually rather prevent people from trying to see it, because they are always asking about it. I just want to use it, not live my life as a product demonstrator.

Anything else you are confused about?

Re:So.... (1)

BobPaul (710574) | more than 7 years ago | (#20032369)

A 201mhz smartphone running Windows Mobile? No thanks. I'll take a 600mhz smartphone running a unix os anyday, even if that means 3rd parties have to use an unofficial toolkit to develop for it.

Re:So.... (2, Informative)

leoc (4746) | more than 7 years ago | (#20032873)

How about a cheaper 400Mhz phone [openmoko.org] for about half the price that runs a fully open source OS that you don't have to use an "unofficial" toolkit to develop applications for?

http://www.openmoko.org/ [openmoko.org]

Re:So.... (1)

BobPaul (710574) | more than 7 years ago | (#20032985)

That'd be fine, too. Right now I won't buy either, as I get by just fine with my N800 and regular cellphone.

Re:So.... (1, Flamebait)

Orestesx (629343) | more than 7 years ago | (#20033517)

What you CAN NOT expect yet [openmoko.org]

* reliable means of making phone calls, esp. not from the UI
* reliable means of sending/receiving SMS, esp. not from the UI
* integrated GPRS data access
* bluetooth integration (basic bluez driver works)
* proper power management (i.e. no reasonable battery life yet)
* ringtone (or other) profile management
* network preferences (call deflection, manual operator selection, ...)
* a complete application framework where third party application developers can write apps that easily integrate with the OpenMoko world

Yeah, it sounds like a real winner!

Mac users want one thing, Windows users another? (5, Funny)

Shag (3737) | more than 7 years ago | (#20032289)

You can already get high-quality applications (Mac) to theme the iPhone and add your own ring tones (Win) for the phone.
Ah yes, the different schools of thought.

Mac users want high-quality applications.

Windows users want ringtones.

It's all clear now.

Re:Mac users want one thing, Windows users another (1)

argent (18001) | more than 7 years ago | (#20032411)

Mac users want high-quality applications.

Applications to theme the iPhone?

That sounds more like a Linux thing.

I wonder who'll port Enlightenment to the iPhone first?

(HHOS)

Funny? (1)

tivoKlr (659818) | more than 7 years ago | (#20032621)

Heck, I don't find this to be "funny" at all, in fact, it's probably +1 insightful or +5 duh not a surprise...

I find it ironic that the mac iphone users and windows iphone users have already been divided into two camps already, the useful and the useless.

Anyway, enjoy your iphone. I enjoy mine.

Re:Funny? (1)

ja (14684) | more than 7 years ago | (#20033063)

Which camp would you consider to be the useful one: The Mac theming capability or the Win ringtones?

My Hope (4, Insightful)

rgraham (199829) | more than 7 years ago | (#20032783)

My hope is that we'll see a replay of what happened when Apple first released Intel based Macs and a contest was established to see who could be the first to boot XP on the machines (and collect ~$14K in prize money). As soon as a winner was announced [slashdot.org] it wasn't long before Apple released BootCamp. Hopefully with this announcement we'll see Apple release their SDK for the iPhone.

Great, until... (4, Interesting)

eagl (86459) | more than 7 years ago | (#20033091)

I'll probably get modded down for speaking an unpleasant truth, but...

This is all great, until Apple and AT&T remotely shut off the phones due to violating the terms of service. How many console and other online accounts have been disabled due to cheating or other "legit" modding? It's just a matter of time before we hear the first reports of people having their iphones cut off, with no subscription fee refund.

If Apple is really smart, they'll figure out how to shut off the phone and continue to charge any subscription fees until the original service plan expires. Free money for them, and no legal recourse for anyone who willfully violated the TOS.

Yea it's not very nice but they have a business plan that probably doesn't include having customers bypassing the fee-based services they provide. Unlike the iopener fiasco, the iphone is cool enough that it'll keep selling no matter how many people lose their service after hacking/modding/whatever their iphone.
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