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iPhone SDK May Be 1-3 Weeks Late

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the say-it-ain't-so dept.

Cellphones 157

tuxeater123 writes "According to a blog posting at BusinessWeek.com, the iPhone SDK could be pushed back by another 1-3 weeks. Unfortunately, the evidence provided, such as the media announcements that are usually made before most Apple releases, suggests that this may indeed be true. Apple usually sticks to their announced deadlines, however they have been known to break them occasionally."

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Apple just wants (2, Interesting)

EEPROMS (889169) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533688)

to make sure no one can create an alternative version of iTunes with it.

Re:Apple just wants (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22533712)

You know you're a mumblin', stutterin' little fuck? You know dat? You little fucken prick.

Re:Apple just wants (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533820)

They already can easily enough.. accessng the media directory is easy and doesn't even require any kind of jailbreak - and apple haven't made any effort to stop people doing it.

The hard bit isn't itunes, it's the rest of the application.

Re:Apple just wants (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533828)

Dammit.. that should have read:

The hard bit isn't the iphone, it's the rest of the application.

you don't understand (0)

nguy (1207026) | more than 6 years ago | (#22534790)

With installable applications, Microsoft or Amazon or eMusic or whoever can create a player for the iPhone and iPod that connects to their store, completely circumventing Apple iTunes and the iTunes store.

You can bet that that's what Apple wants to prevent; that's why they want to control what applications do and do not go on the iPhone. All this bullshit about "security" is just a smokescreen.

Security (2, Interesting)

daviddennis (10926) | more than 6 years ago | (#22535706)

The security question is not a red herring. I have witnesses a phone virus and the results are not pretty.

A good friend of mine lives in the Philippines, where expensive cellphones are status symbols. In 1996, when I was paying her a visit, she had the latest, fanciest Nokia. It got a virus, and the virus started sending hundreds of X-rated advertising MMS messages to everyone she knew. It was both embarrassing and expensive, since the phone companies over there charge for each individual message.

Fortunately, I was with her at the time and was able to fix the problem with f-secure's anti-virus software for the phone, but the result was a $300 phone bill the phone company refused to write off. My friend is in the upper middle class in the Philipines, and that means a $1,000 monthly income. The phone bill devastated her.

So don't ignore the cellphone virus threat. It can cost real people real money and genuine embarassment thanks to the annoyance and subject matter of those messages. Fortunately for her, most of her friends didn't have the fancy cellphones needed to receive those messages (and catch the virus) but it was still no fun at all explaining them to people.

So don't understate the virus threat. Steve definitely doesn't want stuff like that happening to his beloved iPhone, and as a happy iPhone owner, I can't blame him one bit.

D

Re:Security (2, Informative)

gleffler (540281) | more than 6 years ago | (#22536540)

Right, because every [microsoft.com] other [s60.com] platform [blackberry.com] that lets you run your own applications has been subject to malware that has actually existed in the wild, right?

Oh, what? They haven't?

Sorry to say, but this story smells apocryphal, given that you explicitly mention she had a "high-end" Nokia, which would be running S60. No S60 "viruses" ever existed that sent MMS messages. If you can find one and identify it, I'd be interested in seeing it. The only S60 viruses that have ever been shown to exist in the wild propagated over bluetooth and did nothing but propagate. [ukonline.co.uk]

The "Security" issue IS a red herring. The iPhone has been wide open to anyone who runs 3rd party software on it for nearly a year now, and yet there is NO iPhone malware. If the concern is over security, then implement a granular permissions system like S60, where you can decide what each app can do at install time, but keep in mind that no phone virus that causes monetary harm has ever been proven to exist, for any mobile platform.

The security handwaving is a bullshit reason for Apple to make damn sure they control exactly what you run on the phone. No VOIP, no SSH clients, nothing that will use too much data, nothing that might bite into a revenue stream Apple wants to create. They can couch it in terms of "it's for the security of the network!," yet somehow, every other network and every other device can run whatever apps you want on it and there's no problem.

That's terrible! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22533700)

I'm devastated by this. It makes my entire life valueless. How could a company like Apple even think about delaying a software release by almost a month. Oh, woe, woe is me. etc etc etc

Most pointless statement ever? (5, Funny)

psp (7269) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533704)

Apple usually sticks to their announced deadlines, however they have been known to break them occasionally.

Slashdot article summaries usually are shock full of valuable comment, however they have been known to be totally pointless.

Re:Most pointless statement ever? (1)

JamesRose (1062530) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533916)

It's just some funny fanboyism parody, don't read too much into.

Re:Most pointless statement ever? (0)

saleenS281 (859657) | more than 6 years ago | (#22535284)

Not totally pointless at all. This was to set the stage. The author clearly wanted to remind you just how wonderful and "of the people" Apple. On the other hand, if this were Microsoft, who has about the same track record as Apple (but don't tell the fanbois!), they'd have let you know "Microsoft is late again. Someone should sue them, they're clearly trying to screw all the small-time developer houses who were anxiously awaiting an official SDK. Anti-trust, anti-trust!"

Re:Most pointless statement ever? (2, Insightful)

laird (2705) | more than 6 years ago | (#22535550)

" if this were Microsoft, who has about the same track record as Apple (but don't tell the fanbois!), they'd have let you know "Microsoft is late again. Someone should sue them, they're clearly trying to screw all the small-time developer houses who were anxiously awaiting an official SDK. Anti-trust, anti-trust!""

Actually, and speaking as a developer for both Windows and Mac (http://www.pando.com, check it out!), ever since Mac OS X came out Apple has a very good track record for hitting deadlines. Releases sometimes get stuck in QA for a few extra weeks (e.g. Apple TV's latest release, and rumor has it iPhone SDK will be a few weeks late), and they did slip 10.5 by a few months, but I don't recall any massive, multi-year development failures, or repeated slipping, in quite a while. Fairly often there are rumored release dates, which Apple doesn't hit, but Apple itself is pretty cautious about announcing future release dates. Also, when compared to Microsoft, Apple's development model is for frequent, smaller releases, which by definition are lower risk than Microsoft's less frequent, larger releases.

The last time Apple seriously missed a deadline that I can think of was the whole Taligent/Pink debacle.

1-3 weeks late? (1)

WK2 (1072560) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533716)

1-3 weeks late? So, I guess it is going to come out last year?

Frosty Piss (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22533822)

This tall, steaming mug of frosty piss is 13 comments too late. Oh noes! Where has my frosty piss gone?
 

Re:1-3 weeks late? (4, Informative)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533840)

It was originally announced for February. Remember that we weren't going to get a proper SDK... Steve Jobs announced the web SDK and said that everyone would be using that from now on (what, over GPRS? Get real steve). It was only when they realized that (a) nobody gave a shit about web apps, and (b) millions of users were running native apps anyway, and apple wasn't getting a cut, that he announced the SDK.

Re:1-3 weeks late? (5, Insightful)

Fahrvergnuugen (700293) | more than 6 years ago | (#22535168)

So you're insinuating that Apple withheld releasing a proper SDK when the iPhone launched because they purposefully wanted to stunt the platform?

Did it ever cross your mind that maybe the API for mobile OSX 1.0 might have been last priority behind everything else that had to be done to get a 1.0 product out the door? Talk to any iPhone app developer and they will tell you the same thing - iPhone 1.0 looks pretty darn good on the surface, but under the hood its quite ragged as the developers were obviously under pressure to meet a deadline.

Re:1-3 weeks late? (4, Informative)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 6 years ago | (#22536120)

Right, because the iPhone has suffered terribly from the lack of 3rd-party applications. Sales are in single digits, and frankly owning one is an embarrassment. Not.

I'm an iPhone app developer. The API is actually pretty nice "under the surface". UIKit is a lean-and-mean version of Cocoa, and behaves just like it in most respects. Being able to write Leopard-style ObjC on a device that goes in your pocket is frankly awesome. Unless you have *specific* examples of this "ragged" nature, I'm just gonna call bullshit on your entire comment, and leave it at that.

Now a proper SDK will be a step forward, no doubt, but that's because we'll get things like named-constants rather than use 0x02 to specify values. Classdump, which is how the API was recovered, can only give you the method signatures and names. We'll also get the official C compiler, not one that works 98% of the time, real debugging, and perhaps even a simulator built into XCode, so you don't have to deploy to a target device in order to test the code. Oh yeah, and I'd expect to see some documentation too...

Lacking any of these things doesn't point to it being "ragged" architecturally, every single point is a consequence of the hacks that were required to get *any* development going on the iPhone. Apple don't have that problem...

Simon.

Re:1-3 weeks late? (3, Interesting)

Fahrvergnuugen (700293) | more than 6 years ago | (#22536504)

"Unless you have *specific* examples of this "ragged" nature, I'm just gonna call bullshit on your entire comment, and leave it at that."

How about the fact that everything (on 1.0) runs as root?

You don't know much about web dev I guess (2, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 6 years ago | (#22535806)

Steve Jobs announced the web SDK and said that everyone would be using that from now on (what, over GPRS? Get real steve).

You. and everyone else that says that web development over GPRS (EDGE) ignores the whole point of what makes javascript based web dev so powerful - it greatly reduces traffic by only loading new data, not refreshing the whole page.

Web dev over GPRS is MORE practical that straight HTML as it makes everything go faster and use less bandwidth.

There are many things that are better to do as native apps but you would be surprised at the number of very good web based ones there are.

Re:You don't know much about web dev I guess (2, Informative)

gleffler (540281) | more than 6 years ago | (#22536588)

The initial page load required to load your fancy-dance web 3.5 JavaScript AJAX all-singing all-dancing magic app over EDGE is the problem, not the concept of incremental updates with AJAX.

Without AJAX the apps would basically be useless, now they're just merely ridiculously slow, especially if you haven't recently been using data. The time spent waiting for Safari to load, then for EDGE to activate, then the hostname to resolve, then the page to load, is all not insignificant, especially when compared to just waiting for the app to load delay with a native app.

Using AJAX is wonderful, but it doesn't fix the fact that EDGE sucks and that web "apps" are a pathetic excuse for not delivering on real applications.

Re:You don't know much about web dev I guess (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 6 years ago | (#22536778)

Since I have an iPhone, and use web apps on both EDGE and WiFi, I have a good sense for what works and what doesn't. And as much as the technical aspects of what must occur in an AJAX app over EDGE is correct, the reality is that all those steps are not at all unusably slow and many web apps actually feel pretty snappy.

True web apps are not the same as real applications but neither was the idea as pointless as you would seem to imply. I use EDGE all the time for many web uses, both AJAX and non, and it works fine. When the 3G iphone comes out I have no plans to upgrade. Web apps were indeed a good stopgap until the API could be worked out.

Re:You don't know much about web dev I guess (2, Interesting)

kiddailey (165202) | more than 6 years ago | (#22536940)

Yes, there are a great number of interesting and impressive web based apps, but I agree with "get real" in regards to them. Web apps on the iPhone (and mobile phones in general) ALL SUCK for a few important reasons:

Lack of signal breaks the web application.
Whether because of poor coverage, network trouble or signal interference, loosing access to apps on a device in your hand because of network issues SUCKS. For example, I tried to use a shopping-list web application, but discovered it was useless because I couldn't pull up the app while inside any large box-stores.

Web applications vanish without notice.
Web developers can be fickle and your favorite app vanishing from the web SUCKS. I've gone to bookmarked apps I use regularly a number of times and found only an annoying search-engine gateway page remaining.

The web browser interface gets in the way.
Accidentally hitting the history back or reload buttons and loosing progress in a web app SUCKS. The auto-rotation of the screen and consequent dimension change, can also hamper app usage and worse, break the app.

I love my iPhone and I love surfing the internet on it, but I prefer my native apps over their web-based equivalents any day. And for what it's worth, a native app really only has to send data back and forth over the network, not the interface as well, so I'd argue that they are even more efficient in terms of bandwidth than web versions.

Re:1-3 weeks late? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22536362)

Working hard on those Leopard patches.

Interesting (4, Interesting)

wamerocity (1106155) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533726)

My big problem with this is that EVERY program for the iPhone has to come from iTunes, which means it will most likely be sold. I doubt Apple is going to host any freeware programs that people write out of the goodness of their hearts. I've actually been very surprised by the quality and ingenuity of some of the programs written for jailbroken iPhones, and I know that these programs will only increase in quality once real tools are released, but I just wonder how hindered it will be because of the inability of people to "just install" programs on it that they like.

Re:Interesting (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22533730)

You know you're a mumblin', stutterin' little fuck? You know dat? You little fucken prick.

Re:Interesting (5, Insightful)

wootest (694923) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533794)

It's interesting that everyone takes for granted that "getting from iTunes and then syncing it over" will be the only way to get apps. It's likely to be one of the ways, but Apple has revealed nothing. It's all speculation so far.

I doubt Apple is going to host any freeware programs that people write out of the goodness of their hearts.

They already host downloadable Dashboard widgets and provide links to all sorts of software on their site and host the world's biggest podcast directory at no fee for anyone, producers or users. I don't see how helping to host applications that could solve every non-hardware related aspect ("3G!") of their product would be *bad* for them, even if some of those applications were free.

I expect to see some way that Apple will help people sell their apps if they do end up with some sort of iTunes app store, but one approach doesn't rule out the other, especially since it likely won't be that easy to get access to their payment/transaction system.

Re:Interesting (3, Insightful)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533866)

There's already a means to get ipod applications in itunes, and has been for some time - it'll just be extended to the iphone/itouch. The ipod touch 'option pack' ($20 to do the equivalent of set a registry entry), was the dry run of the delivery method.

From that we know that applications will be signed.. which means some kind of approval method, and its associated cost. No great surprise there - all mobile platforms have something like it. Whereas you *could* distribute an approved app for free you'd be paying apple for the privilege.

Presumably users will be able to sign their own apps limited to one phone with the SDK (development would be a bit hard without it.. simulators still aren't real hardware and nobody in their right mind would release an app that hadn't had real world testng), which means if you want to distribute 'free' apps then there's the extra step of getting end users to sign it themselves.

It comes down to the SDK - if that's free then distributing free software will continue with the extra step of signing those apps yourself. If it costs money it'll kill free distribution because there won't be enough users who will pay money simply to get free stuff.. they'll pay the fees to itunes instead.

Re:Interesting (5, Insightful)

wootest (694923) | more than 6 years ago | (#22534096)

Signed applications means that the applications have a cryptographic signature attached to them with *any* trust root, not that they have to be attached to any specific trust root. There's a leap from "applications have to be signed" to "applications have to be signed by Apple" or the more likely "applications have to be signed by an authority whose certificate is trusted by Apple". But let's say that happens: unless all development happens inside a simulator in software (and good luck testing multi-touch then), I definitely think that there'll be a way to run "untrusted" apps, and this way will be exploited to run free apps. I think Apple knows this.

The iPod touch update was curious - the apps were already in the new firmware, and the update just "unlocked" them. (The update weighs in at 9 KB.) Since people won't get to download new firmware every time they get an app, this doesn't confirm much, although I agree that it was probably a dry run of some component in the whole scheme, most likely signing.

Re:Interesting (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 6 years ago | (#22535160)

The iPod touch was based on the iphone so that update may of just turned on apps that where on the iphone but not turned on yet on the touch.

Re:Interesting (0, Redundant)

Mr. Punch (58068) | more than 6 years ago | (#22534830)

That's a really good point. I hope that you're right about that.

Payment for one is not payment for all (2, Informative)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 6 years ago | (#22535716)

From that we know that applications will be signed.. which means some kind of approval method, and its associated cost.

My guess is that you'll probably be required to be a paid ADC member (~$500) to warrant delivery of apps via iTunes.

That says nothing however, about how much you have to charge for applications...

Never Had a Signing Problem (1)

meehawl (73285) | more than 6 years ago | (#22536636)

applications will be signed.. which means some kind of approval method, and its associated cost. No great surprise there - all mobile platforms have something like it

My phone (Spring Mogul AKA HTC Titan/Hermes) is a Windows CE device. I've yet to find a single native application that I can't install on the device because of some problem signing it. In fact, it's only with the Java sub-system that I run into these kind of issues.

Re:Never Had a Signing Problem (1)

Tacvek (948259) | more than 6 years ago | (#22536808)

applications will be signed.. which means some kind of approval method, and its associated cost. No great surprise there - all mobile platforms have something like it

My phone (Spring Mogul AKA HTC Titan/Hermes) is a Windows CE device. I've yet to find a single native application that I can't install on the device because of some problem signing it. In fact, it's only with the Java sub-system that I run into these kind of issues.
Same is true of my HTC Apachee (aka. PPC-6700). By default IIRC, on my particular carrier's firmware there was some sort of warning when installing unsigned apps, but disabling it was entirely possible, and not terribly difficult. My experience with a Palm-pased phone indicated no aplication-signing system. On the other hand, my understanding is that a few phone platforms may require signing, but I have no experience with this, and may be wrong.

Re:Interesting (3, Insightful)

ZInkDifferent (1228956) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533804)

Right, I guess the free podcasts which Apple hosts on iTunes are being sold... oh, wait... I guess not. By the way, Apple (Steve Jobs) has already alluded that apps through iTunes will be available for various rates, including Zero/Free.

GPL incompatible? (1, Insightful)

argent (18001) | more than 6 years ago | (#22535454)

If you can't install self-signed apps on your own phone, then wouldn't that make it GPL-incompatible regardless of what Apple charges free-as-in-beer developers?

Re:GPL incompatible? (1)

644bd346996 (1012333) | more than 6 years ago | (#22535714)

Make what "GPL-incompatible"? That's a term that is usually only applicable to software licenses, and you didn't seem to mention any others.

It's usually pretty hard to set up an operating system such that running a GPL application on top of it is a violation of the GPL, but that seems to be what you're concerned about. Care to elaborate about how that might work?

How is that insightful? That would preclude devel (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 6 years ago | (#22535736)

If you can't install self-signed apps on your own phone, then wouldn't that make it GPL-incompatible regardless of what Apple charges free-as-in-beer developers?

That doesn't make any sense. You are claiming that developers would not be able to test apps on a real phone (thier own) before release. No way is that going to be the case.

If people can download and compile apps they sign in development mode to run on their own phone, that does not in any way preclude the GPL. Heck, even if what you said was true - it still doesn't preclude the GPL, since you could always release code that people could examine and modify and change. It just would limit who could practically distribute binaries. One could imagine for example a developer working on some code the sell, but also releasing it as GPL and accepting patches that they include back into the release version.

Re:Interesting (2, Insightful)

vlad30 (44644) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533842)

I don't think that will be the only option. Just thinking about potential programs I could write for some companies but would never see use in another company and a few the company would demand be kept in-house. iTunes store would kill this however needing to use iTunes would not be a problem

Re:Interesting (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22533884)

I doubt Apple is going to host any freeware programs that people write out of the goodness of their hearts.

I don't see why they wouldn't. iTunes already has free content such as podcasts, and Apple hosts a lot of free software at their OS X download site.

http://www.apple.com/downloads/ [apple.com]

Re:Interesting (1)

Zann (989340) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533970)

Maybe there's a market for both iTunes software delivery system and jailbreak-style apps (like application depositories etc.) . They can co-exist together.

I hope.

Re:Interesting (1)

yabos (719499) | more than 6 years ago | (#22534544)

Says who? Did you use your time machine to go in to the future or what? Just because that's the theory doesn't mean it's true.

Re:Interesting (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22535068)

I agree fully with wamerocity. In the total absence of any facts, I prefer to speculate wildly that Apple will do the worst possible thing, darn them.

I would also like to add an incisive, pointed automobile analogy to this. It's as if Apple gave us a Ferrari and demanded that we take it apart, piece by piece and ship each part to ourselves by Fedex. Then put a Yugo engine in it. Or whatever. Apple bad.

Re:Interesting (1)

elistan (578864) | more than 6 years ago | (#22535314)

All of the music on my iPhone was loaded via iTunes - but only a little of it was actually purchased there. Apple doesn't need to host any freeware - you'll simply download it from the developer directly, import it into iTunes (a simple drag-and-drop process), and sync it over to the iPhone.

Re:Interesting (1)

SoupIsGoodFood_42 (521389) | more than 6 years ago | (#22535538)

My big problem with this is that EVERY program for the iPhone has to come from iTunes, which means it will most likely be sold.

And what exactly is your basis for thinking that? Podcasts are free and done through iTunes. Do you have an inside source or something?

Pointless? (3, Interesting)

Serious Lemur (1236978) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533738)

What kind of /. user would buy a locked-down phone anyway?

Re:Pointless? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22533742)

You know yer a mumblin', stutterin' little fuck? You know dat? You little fucken prick.

Re:Pointless? (2, Insightful)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 6 years ago | (#22534248)

Me. Its a great phone

Re:Pointless? (2, Insightful)

cduffy (652) | more than 6 years ago | (#22534342)

One sick of phones having nearly-useless web browsers, when the only phone with a useful one is locked.

Sometimes pragmatism wins.

Re:Pointless? (5, Informative)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 6 years ago | (#22535430)

One sick of phones having nearly-useless web browsers, when the only phone with a useful one is locked.

Any cheap old phone can run Opera Mini [operamini.com] . I too was annoyed by the poor quality of my phone's built in browser, but now I never have any trouble. It even has features like server-side downscaling of image sizes, thus reducing download times (and costs) - so even if your phone does have a decent browser, it's worth a look.

Re:Pointless? (1)

cduffy (652) | more than 6 years ago | (#22535496)

Without the (comparatively) large, high-res screen and multitouch interface, I'm skeptical -- it's not the rendering quality but the clunky scroll wheel interface that soured me on the Blackberry's browser (though granted, the rendering quality didn't help any either, and that aspect could have been fixed by using Opera Mobile). The interface is critical to quick page navigation, and the screen is critical to actually getting enough text in there at once for readability.

Re:Pointless? (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 6 years ago | (#22535578)

Without the (comparatively) large, high-res screen and multitouch interface, I'm skeptical

Well that's a separate issue - if things like that are important, I believe there are other phones out there that can do that (well okay, not sure off-hand about multitouch interface). But you shouldn't have to limit yourself purely to the quality of the built in web browser, is what I mean.

(And to be honest, I'm sceptical anyway - people I've known with other smartphones seem to have no trouble doing ordinary web browsing, it's only the dirt cheap phones that have rubbish built in browsers.)

But I find OperaMini does work very well even on small screens - it does a good job of organising the webpage so it fits properly, and with a reasonable amount of clearly readable text.

Re:Pointless? (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 6 years ago | (#22535540)

Correction to my previous post - apparently that's "any old phone except the iphone", since OperaMini requires Java...

Good News. Bad News. (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22533748)

The Bad News is the delay, obviously.

The Good News is no one but the tiny Apple fanatic crowd cares. With Apple being forced to slash their quarterly shipments of iPhones from 2 million down to 1 million the question of whether Apple has another iPod or Apple TV on their hands has been answered.

Re:Good News. Bad News. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22533832)

Yeah, when one, single model from one, single manufacturer outsells ALL Windows Mobile smartphones from ALL manufacuturers for two quarters, that sure is a failure.

Re:Good News. Bad News. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22533958)

Nice strawman arguement. The Windows Mobile Smartphone market was already in the millions, with most people would would have bought one already having done so. You fail at logic, but you certainly are a very good fanboi.

Re:Good News. Bad News. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22534910)

Windows Mobile is just a weak clone of the iPhone. another MS copycat of n Apple bug free product

Your strawman just caught fire (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 6 years ago | (#22535840)

The Windows Mobile Smartphone market was already in the millions, with most people would would have bought one already having done so

I'd sure hate to buy into a market that was only in a few millions and seemingly unable to expand from there (you're the one claiming they can't sell new ones). That's a sure sign of weakness, and probably eventual failure (see: Palm).

Re:Good News. Bad News. (1)

MrLizardo (264289) | more than 6 years ago | (#22534264)

Nice try. Engadget says, "What's an iPhone? 14.3m Windows Mobile phones sold in the past six months alone," but you can read it for yourself:
Engadget: http://www.engadget.com/2008/02/11/whats-an-iphone-14-3m-windows-mobile-phones-sold-in-the-past-s/ [engadget.com]
Source article: http://www.pocket-lint.co.uk/news/news.phtml/12780/13804/microsoft-windows-mobile-phone-sales.phtml [pocket-lint.co.uk]

Nicer try (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 6 years ago | (#22535826)

Nice try. Engadget says, "What's an iPhone? 14.3m Windows Mobile phones sold in the past six months alone," but you can read it for yourself:

Ahh... you did notice those were worldwide figures, right? We're talking about the US (for now).

Re:Good News. Bad News. (0)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 6 years ago | (#22534416)

Yes, but how many people *already* had Windows based Smartphones? I'd say just about everyone who wanted one had already bought one. Symbian is still leading the pack with regards to mobile OS market share, followed by Windows Mobile then the iPhone version of OS X.

The iPhone is also targeted to an entirely different market segment. Windows Mobile devices are generally used by business people. The iPhone isn't; it's main market are early adopters, Apple fans, and people who like to be seen with a status symbol.

I'll personally never buy a touchscreen only phone from *anyone*, regardless of it's OS or other features. I like being able to use my phone with one hand and to actually feel the keys I'm pressing. I've gotten to where I can type on my Smartphone without even looking at it. So, I don't care if it's Garmin, Apple, Nokia, or whomever; a touch screen only interface is a non starter for a LOT of people.

Re:Good News. Bad News. (1)

Lars T. (470328) | more than 6 years ago | (#22534016)

Nokia will be pleased: Interview in LeFigaro [google.com]

GNAA (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22533824)

it's all the niggers' fault I tell you

Developers, developers, developers (4, Interesting)

Ilan Volow (539597) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533836)

One of the most frustrating parts of being a mac and Apple platform developer has always been being the veil of secrecy around API's, and for anyone who's used to the mac development lifestyle, the iPhone SDK isn't an exception. Personally, I can't understand it; keeping customers in the dark may be smart marketing, but keeping developers for your platform in the dark is suicide.

Thousands of developers are already writing code for Google's Android platform because Google released the API early, even before they released a device. By the time Apple releases their SDK, Google will already be ahead of them in the numbers of developers experienced with their API. I wish Apple could understand the enormous competitive disadvantage they are putting themselves in.

Re:Developers, developers, developers (1, Troll)

kuzb (724081) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533954)

Pro tip: You don't have to write software for the Mac. There are tons of other platforms.

I think that's his point (2, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 6 years ago | (#22534106)

Is that there are other platforms, indeed there are much larger platforms, and Apple is putting themselves at a competitive disadvantage by being all locked down with their APIs.

In the case of mobile smart phones, Windows Mobile and Symbian are the major competitors (and both are much larger in terms of market share). Windows Mobile uses Microsoft's standard development tools, and has no special restrictions on software, there's lots of free stuff you can get your hands on. I don't know as much about Symbian, but a simple web search shows plenty of freeware, an IDE for Eclipse developed by Nokia (one of the owners of Symbian, and major users of the OS) and so on.

Re:I think that's his point (3, Insightful)

ThePengwin (934031) | more than 6 years ago | (#22534390)

Also, Most smartphones have Java, which is quite uniform across devices. It only seems to be used for games, but there is great potential for it.

I think it would be smart for apple to include Java into the iphone, it would give it a pretty level playing field with other devices.

Re:I think that's his point (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 6 years ago | (#22535480)

Wait - the iphone doesn't do Java?

Sorry to be questioning, I'm genuinely curious for confirmation here - does the iphone really miss out on this basic feature, or am I misunderstanding?

Re:I think that's his point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22535172)

If Windows Mobile was so shit hot, how exactly, then, has the iPhone leapfrogged WM-based devices in sales?

I would LOVE their disadvantage (4, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 6 years ago | (#22534074)

They managed to break records with a phone that lacked many features people have come to accept as standard, with a horrible choice of plans/carriers at a premium price.

Nobody at all seemed to care about the lack of 3rd party apps on it when they handed over their cash for the device. They broke into the cellphone market with just 1 product in record time and you say they got the disadvantage?

Android may do even better BUT it will do in a totally different way. First off there will be NO google phone. Android is closer to Symbian or even MS Mobile OS (whatever they renamed it to this month) then the iPhone. With the iPhone you bought a Apple product, with Android you will buy a phone from any number of phone makers that just happens to run a software suit in which Google had a hand in the development.

Their most likely won't be a google branded phone and none of the others have enough status to sell a phone just because their logo is on it.

Android and the iPhone are completly different products and Apple doesn't need to worry about the same things Google has too. I might buy an Android phone for its openess, but I think absolutly nobody bought an iPhone for any similar concerns. It would be like saying that Ferrari needs to publish the specs for their new car early so 3rd parties can develop roof racks and child seats for it early. Sorry, Ferrari and the people who buy them could care less about that.

Re:I would LOVE their disadvantage (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22534140)

More like releasing a Ferrari with no ABS, no traction control, no airbags, and no.. hm, windshield wipers? Sure people can drive it around and show it off, which is what you bought it for, but engineers aren't going to pounce on one with measuring tape and voltmeters to try to figure out how to add new features- features that have long been standard in competing models. Anyone making something interesting isn't going to care about how shiny the body is, the only people who care about that nonsense are the people who aren't going to care about interesting features.

Eh, you mean like a classic car? (2, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 6 years ago | (#22534218)

Do you have any idea exactly what a classic Ferrari goes for, a car with no ABS, no traction control, no airbags, no radio etc etc etc? Yes it probably does have windshield wipers, I give you that.

In fact for these kind of car nuts the LACK of these features is the attraction.

different markets, why do people find that so hard to accept? Android and the iPhone are designed for different customers.

Do you really think that anybody at Ferrari or any of their customers CARE that you can't go into the local carshop and buy decals for it?

The iPhone simply didn't launch like that, it was shiny, it was Apple and that is why it sold so well. You might as well talk about how hard to upgrade the Apple Mini is. Sorry, nobody buys it to upgrade it.

In the meantime we got two products that have NOTHING in common (iPhone is a phone, android a platform) of which one sold millions and the other sold NOTHING yet. Lets wait a bit and see what happens when the first Android phone actually arrives shall we? Then we can make any kind of judgement on what will be the biggest success, but remember, specialist car makers making cars that do not offer any of the 3rd party extra's and ease of use of bigger makers are still around making a profit.

Not everything has to be same grey goo aimed at the largest market share. If Android outsells the iPhone a hundred to one, Apple still had a huge success.

Re:Eh, you mean like a classic car? (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22534234)

Whoa whoa, consumers have already proven themselves a terrible judge of a platform- buying millions of crazy-expensive shiny iPhones and not caring about extensibility or restrictive DRM. Judge a platform based on its merits, not based on how much money the public pours into the designer's pockets to look cutting-edge.

Re:Eh, you mean like a classic car? (2)

cduffy (652) | more than 6 years ago | (#22534434)

What DRM? Sure, the iPhone will play content "protected" by Apple's DRM, but it certainly doesn't require it. The only thing that bugs me is that it doesn't play vorbis, and the interface for adding/removing content is locked down unless it's jailbroken.

And it has plenty of merits -- namely, a WebKit-based browser with a multitouch interface, and a multitouch-centric Google Maps interface. Those two features do it for me -- I've been waiting for years for a phone-based web browser that doesn't suck (and as far as I'm concerned, Mobile Safari delivers), and the mapping interface is good enough (and the cell-tower-based location finding is accurate enough) that I no longer have a car-based GPS unit on my wishlist, which makes up for the cost of the phone quite nicely. The only other thing I care about is being able to write my own apps for it, and I'll have that in three weeks.

People who make a different decision from you may not be completely wrong; they may just have different priorities. I love my iPhone -- but before I switched from my Blackberry 8700, I had the data plan turned off after deciding that the web browser sucked too much to be worth my money and that I had no interest in push-based email delivery. (Why'd I buy a Blackberry, then? Battery life, Bluetooth 2.0 support, and lack of a camera were my priorities at the time). If you wouldn't make the same decision with your Blackberry, we obviously have different values on which we're basing our judgement re phones -- so it's understandable that different conclusions can be reached.

Re:Eh, you mean like a classic car? (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22534466)

You are aware that iphone location is only accurate to within several blocks right? That's essentially useless for road navigation..

Re:Eh, you mean like a classic car? (1)

cduffy (652) | more than 6 years ago | (#22534510)

Of course I'm aware of its level of accuracy -- I used it for getting around Dallas on a business trip last week. It's more than good enough.

Re:Eh, you mean like a classic car? (1)

cduffy (652) | more than 6 years ago | (#22534534)

Let me follow up here, and explain why a little inaccuracy is acceptable:

When reading a map, I don't turn off my brain.

So -- if I have a set of directions starting from a slightly inaccurate starting point, I look at my environment, I look at the map, I figure out where I'm really at, determine how the given directions need to be modified, and get to driving. It's not as good as the real thing, sure -- but it works well enough to stop me from needing a dedicated GPS unit, and that's good enough. If it saves me that $400, "essentially useless" it ain't.

Re:Eh, you mean like a classic car? (1)

vespazzari (141683) | more than 6 years ago | (#22534822)

Not to mention the ability to quickly search for things near your location. Such as, I dont know exactly the address of where i am and dont really want to find it out, but I would like to find the nearest gas station/theater/ER to me right now. It has come in really handy for me on occasion.

Re:Eh, you mean like a classic car? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22535884)

You are aware that iphone location is only accurate to within several blocks right? That's essentially useless for road navigation..
Depending on your location it can be even worse than that. I tried using this in downtown Cincinnati OH last week. The best it could do was narrow my location down to somewhere in downtown Cincinnati or Covington KY, which is located across the Ohio River. In other words it told me that I was somewhere in an area about the size of a zip code. Great. Google Maps could already do that.

Re:Eh, you mean like a classic car? (1)

macshome (818789) | more than 6 years ago | (#22536686)

It can be much better though too. In downtown San Francisco I've had it pretty much nail the corner I'm standing on. At home in NC though it tends to give me the general area of my house.

It seems that when it can combine the Cell and WiFi scan results that accuracy picks up greatly. WIthout WiFi you only get the wider approximations of location.

As a previous poster pointed out though, it tends to give a close enough approximation that you can use it.

Re:Eh, you mean like a classic car? (1)

Thrashing Rage (157543) | more than 6 years ago | (#22534242)

Bah i say, i waiting for Android to run on an Iphone then you'll have something.

Re:Eh, you mean like a classic car? (1)

swb (14022) | more than 6 years ago | (#22534252)

Do you have any idea exactly what a classic Ferrari goes for, a car with no ABS, no traction control, no airbags, no radio etc etc etc? Yes it probably does have windshield wipers, I give you that.

In fact for these kind of car nuts the LACK of these features is the attraction.


No, the attraction is that there were only hundreds and in some rare cases maybe single-digit thousands built. Scarcity, not simplicity.

Re:I would LOVE their disadvantage (2, Insightful)

vijayiyer (728590) | more than 6 years ago | (#22535664)

Do you realize there are people value simplicity? That means no ABS, traction control, airbags, etc because that's all feature bloat leading to heavier, more "disconnected" cars - it's the driver-road interface that matters. Real drivers don't care about such things and would in fact rather drive the car than let the computer do it.

Re:I would LOVE their disadvantage (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 6 years ago | (#22536372)

The last first. In that they likely had to go with a single carrier to meet profit goals, ATT is a good choice. Verizons tends to have the mindset that they are too good for the average customer, which works for them, but would have meant that many who wanted an iPhone would not have been able to sign up.

As far as the features go, this is how apple has always operated. Early computers did not have a parallel port. New computers only have a few USB ports. No Apple has a built in card reader. No Apple has a fingerprint reader. The Macbook Air does not have a firewire port. Apple tends to concentrate a feature set that most users can live with rather than a feature set that looks good on the spec sheet.

People try to compare Apple to a high performance car company just because the computer tends to be a somewhat more expensive. The performance is flawed. The Apple computers are as accessible as the average car. What more apt comparison is that the average computer manufacturer is like Hyundai, putting a 375 HP engine into a POS car. No reason not to, people who don't know any better will buy it, but when I am going that fast I would much prefer to be fully reinforced cabin developed by a company with experienced in these things. Likewise, I would like the components of my computer well matched as reliable. It does not have to be god awful expensive, like a Mercedes, but it can't be build with whatever has happened to fallen off the truck.

JavaME (2)

krischik (781389) | more than 6 years ago | (#22534192)

Even that I am not a Java fanboy I moved mobile development over to JavaME and I think it is the only way to go. The (Smart)phone market moves so quickly - you don't know what platform you need next and with JavaME at least porting to a new platform won't be a pain in the arse.

Martin

Re:JavaME (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22534382)

The only problem with J2ME is that it sucks cock for networking, file management and media. And anything needing any resources.

Re:JavaME (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 6 years ago | (#22534476)

Eh, you obviously haven't used JavaME at all, or maybe just not recently. It's not perfect but it works quite well and it makes it fairly easy to target code to multiple mobile platforms.

Re:Developers, developers, developers (1)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 6 years ago | (#22534364)

True, but is the Android hardware any good? having numerous devices running one platform is a poor approach if you want the hardware and software to integrate well. Phones have a limited interface and the easier you can make the interface to use the better.

Re:Developers, developers, developers (1)

walter_f (889353) | more than 6 years ago | (#22534420)

Apple still is a proprietary software company. Google isn't (and never has been).

The comparison between the upcoming iPhone SDK and Google's Android (which is a platform, to begin with) makes it also clear what the main perspectives of closed-style vs. open-style developer relationships (imho, a special kind of business models) are for the foreseeable future.

An SDK
- that is restricted in many ways,
- that interested developers will possibly have to apply for (not the big sw honchos, of course),
- by means of which one will write apps that will have to make it (or not) to a single POS (by being certified, maybe even a paid certification),

such an SDK will certainly not attract too many developers in the long run.

Referring to small developers: Where in Apple's realm is the equivalent to Google's "Summer of Code"?

Re:Developers, developers, developers (1)

Rick Genter (315800) | more than 6 years ago | (#22536722)

Apple still is a proprietary software company. Google isn't (and never has been).


Oh, that's good. So from where do I download the sources to Google Desktop?

Re:Developers, developers, developers (1)

yabos (719499) | more than 6 years ago | (#22534568)

You've heard of ADC Select developer account right? You know you get pre release versions of the OS right? And a free final version when it's released right? And with your advanced beta copies you get all the access to the new APIs months before the software comes out right?

Re:Developers, developers, developers (1)

Ilan Volow (539597) | more than 6 years ago | (#22535846)

Actually, I'm a select developer member.

And even with the money I paid to get access to the Leopard pre-release API, I was still banned from asking fellow developers on mailing lists questions about any parts of the pre-release API in question. People on the cocoa-dev list who might have a question about some finer point of NSDictionaryController would routinely get a "Beware of Leopard" nastygram from the moderators. This is the archetypical example of "keeping developers in the dark" I'm talking about.

Contrast this will this Google, who actually provides placed for developers to ask each other questions about their pre-release phone API http://code.google.com/android/groups.html [google.com]

I want Apple to be the dominant player in the smart phone market, as all the other players have shown through their miserable phone user experiences that they do not deserve marketshare. The problem is that Apple really is not acting in it's own best interest, and Google is.

Misleading comment (1)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 6 years ago | (#22536314)

So, that's not a veil of secrecy around APIs, that's a veil of secrecy around *unreleased* APIs. There's a world of difference. Until I read your second comment, I was thinking "what's that guy smoking ?" Apple give away the complete "professional version" of their developer kit, they publish documentation on all their APIs on the net, and frankly they seem a lot more open to developers than Microsoft are, to pluck an example out of the air.

But what *you* mean is that they don't want their thunder stolen before a major release. Well, duh. Apple get a huge PR circus for free precisely because they don't pre-release information, and that's quite literally priceless (sometimes). You can't pay for advertising like they get, and I can see them not wanting to rock that boat.

Now, in the grand scheme of things, NSDictionaryController isn't going to rock the world, and I can empathise with your frustration; however, there may be APIs at some point that probably would have given too much of the game away - APIs into Spotlight (before spotlight was announced), or Time Machine (before TM was announced), or the Core Animation framework for example. If you're Apple, do you go through every API function/method and decide whether it gives too much of the game away ? Or do you issue a blanket statement covering all new API functions/methods ? The latter is obviously the better course legally, and practically too I would imagine.

As for the argument that other companies do this, well other companies have less to lose. Apple aren't doing this to spite developers, or because they haven't considered the downsides. They've looked at it, decided that what they have to lose outweighs what they have to gain, and chosen their course of action - just like *every* company does. A few billion in sales and PR is a hard benefit to overlook, and IMHO a fair chunk of that comes from the very clever and precise manipulation of the media. Apple wouldn't be the Apple of today, if they were just another no-surprises, we-all-know-what's-coming tech company. Design is important in Apple's markets, but it doesn't translate directly to sales, and Apple are doing very well in making that translation at the moment.

Besides, it seems to me that Apple at least *try* to release-it-right rather than release-it-now. I'd like to keep a company with that attitude around a while longer, I don't think it's very common any more.

Simon

This is good... (3, Funny)

HumanEmulator (1062440) | more than 6 years ago | (#22534120)

I'll be able to get real work done for an extra 1-3 weeks before I starting hacking my phone.

NIGGER (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22534228)

DOUBLE FUCKING NIGGER

closed platforms suck but... (2, Insightful)

stokessd (89903) | more than 6 years ago | (#22534940)

I don't like the hardware I own to be controlled by some other entity like any good slashdotter, but the cell phone market is a little different than traditional computers. I'm watching Android very closely, and I hope it lives up to the hype. But needing a phone NOW and looking at the smart-phone landscape (s well as the plain old phone landscape), the iPhone is so insanely better to use than anything else out there that it is a no brainer. I've tried mobile web on co-worker's phones, and it's a joke compared to mobile safari. So putting my idealism aside I got the phone that actually made my life better. And after 6 cell phones, it's the first one that doesn't piss me off.

The one thing that I think Android needs (from looking at the video demos) is the whole pinch zoom feature. I suspect that will be tough to get legitimately. It makes the iPhone usable with such a small screen. And after using an iPhone and watching the android videos it seems lie a glaring omission.

Frankly as a small time developer of largely worthless code, I wouldn't have a problem tossing apple a few dollars to host my application.

Sheldon

So true (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 6 years ago | (#22535772)

Although I like Apple products I was personally always hoping for a really good Palm phone as I had loved my Palm Pilot ages ago. I really wanted a smartphone but I hated all of them until the iPhone...

Like you said, it's the first cell phone (even outside of smartphones) that doesn't piss me off. And there's a lot of practical value in that, no matter how nice they may look.

Is the SDK itself going to be free or cheap? (1)

John Jorsett (171560) | more than 6 years ago | (#22535648)

Just wondering. I'd like to write a personal app, but I'm not willing to pay big bucks for the SDK just for that purpose.

No Big Deal (1)

stwf (108002) | more than 6 years ago | (#22535674)

I think the Dashboard model is going to be followed here with the iPhone. Just like FrontRow brought on AppleTV, iPhone's been derived from Dashboard.

Downloadable from inside the device from anywhere, initiated via web page if desired, but with signed high quality apps available from Apple for a price.

I doubt Apple will want to get involved with signing free or near free apps from random developers. Seems like a lot of work with some failure inevitable.

Does anyone else think the 'SDK' is just going to be a build option in DashCode?

Late? (-1, Redundant)

Piranhaa (672441) | more than 6 years ago | (#22535766)

That's what SHE said.
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