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An App Store For iPhone Software

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the can-you-run-me-now dept.

Cellphones 531

Steve Jobs demonstrated a new "App Store" that will be pushed out to all iPhones in June. It's available now in beta. This will be the exclusive avenue developers will use to get their iPhone apps, written to the newly released SDK, to customers. Developers will get 70% of the proceeds from sales of their goods on the App store, with no further charges for hosting, credit-card processing, etc. Jobs called this "the best deal going to distribute applications in the mobile space."

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531 comments

Steve jobes I have one thing to say to you (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22667480)

eat turds

monkey ass duck face

not a free service for iPod touch users (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22667486)

apparently it's free to use for iphone users, but ipod touch users will have to pay a fee.

It's an accounting thing (4, Informative)

blueZ3 (744446) | more than 6 years ago | (#22667898)

My understanding (and IANAA) is that because Apple realizes the revenue from iPhone purchases over the course of two years, they can make changes to the product and it's no big deal. With the touch, they've already accounted for your purchase, so there's some arcane rule that says they can't give you additional functionality without charging you for it. I'm betting the "nominal" fee really will be nominal--like $2 or something.

Re:It's an accounting thing (2, Interesting)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22668022)

What about people who want to get their apps out for free? I for one would never dream of selling independently-developed software..

Re:It's an accounting thing (1, Insightful)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 6 years ago | (#22668024)

Yep, that's right, just like we had to pay an upgrade fee when we got the first version of iTunes with the iTMS, and then a year or so ago had to pay an upgrade fee for a version of iTunes that had a built-in movie store.

...wait a moment! We didn't have to do that at all!

I have to admit that I doubt the "obscure accounting rule" explanation has ever been true. It certainly isn't true when Apple is pushing something they're making revenues from like a music, movie, and now software, store. But I don't think it's true for goodwill type freebies either. I think the truth is Apple is cheap. This is the same Apple that was charging $20 for "Quicktime Pro" for all those years. This is about revenue generation, not about accounting.

Re:It's an accounting thing (1)

idiotwithastick (1036612) | more than 6 years ago | (#22668026)

Huh? Providing an SDK is additional functionality in itself. So are all the firmware upgrades. What makes this any different than anything else, except that it makes Apple money and gives an incentive for developers to make apps?

Re:It's an accounting thing (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22668042)

Yes. And to cut off the inevitable cries of "Apple is just a bunch of rapacious bastards" (I know, too late) It has to do with Sarbanes-Oxley and the way comapnies handle general accounting. So, if you have beef with this, feel free to blame Enron and their ilk.

Re:It's an accounting thing (1)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 6 years ago | (#22668054)

I'm betting the "nominal" fee really will be nominal--like $2 or something.

I'm guessing it'll be akin to the app package that they released - $20. A small enough fee that the vast majority of buyers won't balk at while being enough to bring in some nice additional revenue. Sure, it sucks to have to pay $20 for features that iPhone users will get for free (release the damn thing north of the border please!), but I've spent $20 on less-valuable things than this, by far...

Re:It's an accounting thing (3, Informative)

DavidShor (928926) | more than 6 years ago | (#22668062)

Bullshit, nearly every hardware company posts firmware upgrades.

Re:It's an accounting thing (1)

Angostura (703910) | more than 6 years ago | (#22668084)

Talking of your .sig, I wonder if Apple would authorise a MAME port that included the ability to download ROMs?

That would be a special case of a virtual machine that could run 3rd party apps without reference to the Apple App Store... I don't see that one getting past the censor.

Re:It's an accounting thing (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 6 years ago | (#22668094)

I agree with the rest of your conclusion but history has shown us the nominal fee was $20 previously - Given the large amount of feature enhancements I expect a similar fee in June. But who wouldn't want to pay $20 to be able to use all kinds of applications on the Touch?

What about free apps? (1, Redundant)

EVil Lawyer (947367) | more than 6 years ago | (#22667492)

Will they distribute apps for developers who don't want to charge users for the privilege of downloading/using?

Re:What about free apps? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22667528)

Yes. There is no charge.

Yes, free apps allowed (5, Informative)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 6 years ago | (#22667544)

Yep, free apps are allowed and even encouraged. You have to pay a $99 developer fee to get assigned a cert, so you have to sign your apps - but you can set any price, including free.

Re:Yes, free apps allowed (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#22667590)

Is this GPL compatible? If I offer a GPL app on this store and provide source, the user can't use that source to modify the app without paying a fee, right? Is this a problem under the GPLv2? v3?

Why is that a problem? (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 6 years ago | (#22667630)

I don't see any incompatibility just because the tools used to compile the app cost a fee. The important thing is the source code after all. The interesting thing is that do distribute it, someone has to have "the" key you'd distribute with - but you could set that up as some kind of non-profit entity to control distribution of something open.

Re:Yes, free apps allowed (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 6 years ago | (#22667656)

Is this GPL compatible? If I offer a GPL app on this store and provide source, the user can't use that source to modify the app without paying a fee, right?

I don't see why not. They just have to figure out how to get it loaded and running on their iPhone, either by reverse engineering Apple's interface or buying their own cert; niether of which is your responsibility under the GPL.

Re:Yes, free apps allowed (1)

Lally Singh (3427) | more than 6 years ago | (#22667754)

You can always distribute the source on your own website. Or sourceforge.net for that matter.

Just make sure to strip the cert out.

Re:Yes, free apps allowed (3, Interesting)

Chris_Jefferson (581445) | more than 6 years ago | (#22667806)

This sounds to me like it would be valid under the GPL v2, the v3 is tricky. There are two escape clauses:

1) Anyone can buy a certificate for $50, and then sign anything they like, including open-source programs they've downloaded. I think it's reasonable to require people to do this.

2) Apple will be providing a iPhone emulator, so people can still run your application, just not on their iPhone.

However, IANAL. I'm positive if there is a problem, the FSF can be expected to kick up a fuss before the final release of applications.

Re:Yes, free apps allowed (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 6 years ago | (#22667900)

Also they showed that if you have the SDK you can upload an app through your computer for testing without going through the app store. So theoretically even unapproved applications could be distributed privately by source and uploaded to the iPhone. You could then have a program like the installer.app that acts as a layer for these types of programs.

Re:What about free apps? (4, Funny)

digitac (24581) | more than 6 years ago | (#22667564)

Yes, but Apple still takes 30% of the sales price.

Re:What about free apps? (1, Insightful)

tyrione (134248) | more than 6 years ago | (#22667792)

For Free Apps: 30% of nothing is still nothing.

I suggest you write a shareware application to subsidize your obsession with free app writing. It will help pay your bills and also show you can work in both market spaces.

Re:What about free apps? (1, Flamebait)

JimDaGeek (983925) | more than 6 years ago | (#22668052)

Actually, that is what I was thinking, though not wrt free/open source apps. If I spend time and money to develop an app, I don't have choice with the iPhone about how I can distribute it or most importantly, the cost structure. It seems a little arrogant to me for Apple to say they get 30% of my profits if I want to sell an iPhone app. End of story. No choice, take it or leave it.

Pretty lame to me. My home network is made up of 2 iMacs, 2 Macbooks, one Fedora box and one WinXP box. Most of the stuff I have been buying, after I bought my first Mac, has been Apple made. I bought 2 iPods, though I did not buy 2 iPhones, for my wife and I, and now I am really glad I did not buy the iPhones.

Apple, I am a fan, and most importantly, a paying customer. However, give up the MS-like control. Charging developers $100 for a cert then telling them that you are going to take 30% of the sales? Lame, freaking Lame.

Re:What about free apps? (1)

ubernostrum (219442) | more than 6 years ago | (#22667566)

Will they distribute apps for developers who don't want to charge users for the privilege of downloading/using?

I know this is a Slashdot story about Apple, where it's just expected that everyone will spout insane theories without actually reading the article, but... amazingly, an answer to your question is found in TFA.

Re:What about free apps? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22667736)

Hahaha, berating someone for being too quick to question while being too quick to preview your own work!

Re:What about free apps? (3, Interesting)

hypermanng (155858) | more than 6 years ago | (#22667568)

Developers set the price of the app, and a 0$ price is allowed. Q&A answers are available from Apple Insider's notes page [appleinsider.com] , including more information about developer registration, VoIP limitations and so on.

Re:What about free apps? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22667592)

The apps are already free. It's the downloading service you're paying for...

What about personal apps? (1, Troll)

MadCow42 (243108) | more than 6 years ago | (#22667698)

I guess I'm screwed if I want to write an application just for my own use? The choice seems to be: write it and distribute it to everyone, or get stuffed.

Hmmm... iHacking we will go, iHacking we will go.......

MadCow

Re:What about personal apps? (2, Informative)

toleraen (831634) | more than 6 years ago | (#22667850)

According to engadget [engadget.com] you can send your code over to your device to test it. I assume that means you can write and use your own stuff without restriction.

Re:What about personal apps? (2, Interesting)

gb506 (738638) | more than 6 years ago | (#22667966)

Just set the price at 500 million dollars if you don't want anyone to have it. And if you get a buyer, well, who would you be to complain?

Re:What about personal apps? (1)

FangVT (144970) | more than 6 years ago | (#22668000)

I guess I'm screwed if I want to write an application just for my own use? The choice seems to be: write it and distribute it to everyone, or get stuffed.
Actually the choice would seem to be to register as a developer (for free) and then use the SDK to write your app. It's a little unclear from the coverage that I've read if you might only be able to use your in-development app while the phone is tethered to a Mac running XCode, but that seems an unlikely scenario.

Free (5, Insightful)

deathtopaulw (1032050) | more than 6 years ago | (#22667504)

"And there's no charge for developers to distribute free applications"

Well... now I'm excited

Re:Free (2, Insightful)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#22667764)

I'm not. It's still an Apple-controlled portal.

Wake me up when I can just give users a download, from my website, either directly to their iPhone or through iTunes.

Re:Free (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22667838)

Would you mind terrible if I wrote on your face while you slept?

Re:Free (3, Insightful)

tyrione (134248) | more than 6 years ago | (#22668112)

Don't write them. I'm not interested in your Quality of Service guarantees when your app breaks or has backdoors that allow nasty viral apps to slip through. Are you going to enjoy being in court?

iPhone SDK, Enterprise Support Announced (5, Informative)

revscat (35618) | more than 6 years ago | (#22667514)

Meh. My submission was better.

Apple revealed details of the iPhone SDK today. Apps will be developed using XCode and the new Cocoa Touch framework, and will be distributed by Apple either via an application on the phone or through iTunes. Developers set the cost of their applications and keep 70%, although "free" is also an option. (Not all applications will be distributed: "Porn, malicious apps, ones that invade privacy.") When asked about VOIP, Jobs replied: "We will only stop VOIP over cell networks, but not WiFi." Corporations can also privately distribute applications to their employees. AOL demoed an AIM client, and an iPhone version of the upcoming game Spore was also demoed. The iPhone is also gaining enhanced enterprise capabilities, including Exchange and Cisco VPN support, remote wiping, as well as certificates and identities.

Re:iPhone SDK, Enterprise Support Announced (4, Funny)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 6 years ago | (#22667702)

> an iPhone version of the upcoming game Spore was also demoed

In unrelated news, a demo of the upcoming Duke Nukem Forever Mobile was demoed.

Re:iPhone SDK, Enterprise Support Announced (1, Interesting)

SparafucileMan (544171) | more than 6 years ago | (#22667706)

So not only do I need OS X to develop for the iPhone I also need an Intel processor? That's... BS. What about those with OS X and older Power PC computers?

Re:iPhone SDK, Enterprise Support Announced (1)

dmarcoot (96402) | more than 6 years ago | (#22667832)

we are screwed.
maybe i could sell my iPhone for a mac mini

Re:iPhone SDK, Enterprise Support Announced (1)

SparafucileMan (544171) | more than 6 years ago | (#22667936)

I looked into it and it looks like you OS X running on an Intel PC and don't have to buy a Mac. But... the process to do so and the hardware requirements looks... like a pain.

Good deal, how about version control? (2, Insightful)

robipilot (925650) | more than 6 years ago | (#22667538)

It would be nice if Steve would add version control so that I've always got the most recent version of BrickBreaker. 70% of profits for a clearly defined distribution framework doesn't sound too bad.

You are notified of new versions. (4, Informative)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 6 years ago | (#22667594)

When you get an app from the app store, you'll automatically be advised when new versions can be had and also what new features are offered.

except direct sales (0, Troll)

milamber3 (173273) | more than 6 years ago | (#22667542)

which would net the developer much closer to 100% of the proceeds. Sounds like a rather cushy deal for Apple to monopolize something else. When you want to buy some software for another PDA, the company that made the PDA generally doesn't take 30%.

Re:except direct sales (5, Insightful)

garett_spencley (193892) | more than 6 years ago | (#22667686)

Actually this could be a very sweet deal for developers.

Now, I didn't read the details so maybe apple will prevent developers from selling their apps direct AND going through the App store ... but it seems to me that even with Apple taking a 30% cut, the exposure that the App store gives could provide the developers with WAY more sales than they could manage to get going solo.

It's kind of like the Record Labels and Recording Artists. The only difference being that recording artists don't get to keep 70% of their sales and they usually take huge cash advances to record their albums that they have to pay back with absolutely no guarantee that they'll sell enough records to pay it back plus they're in a contract that promises the label X number of further records.

No I don't have a problem with Apple's App store as long as they're providing a valuable service for the developers and on the surface it appears that they are. When they take the majority of the sales and lock the developers into contracts promising exclusive deals with the App store for years to come THEN I'll say the developers are better going solo. To me this seems like the high-exposure radio station of indie software marketing.

Re:except direct sales (4, Insightful)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 6 years ago | (#22667742)

Direct sales don't come anywhere close to 100% in the real world. You have to pay for the distribution medium. If that is a box on a shelf, you generally pay for shelf space at the major retailers up front, and then make your money back after they take their cut.

If you sell via the web, you have hosting costs, bandwidth isn't free, web site development costs money and time, managing updates requires atleast half a clue. You also have to do marketing if you expect it to get popular, just putting up a page doesn't mean people will buy your stuff, reguardless of how great it is, they have to find it first. So that means some form of advertising, sometimes all you need is to have Google index your site, if people are looking for something that only you offer. But its unlikely you are the first, and certainly not the most popular with your brand new software, so you aren't going to be near the top of the list without some Google bombing, which isn't free since it requires work at the very least.

In this case, your 30% taken by Apple puts you on the definative list of iPhone software, and it makes you somewhat trusted, since Apple hasn't banned you yet. So if you think web distribution is closer to 100% then I say that you get 100% free marketing with the AppStore.

Pick any other form of distribution and you'll find that its never anywhere close to 100%.

30% is high. The company I work for distributes portable applications for U3 devices, on the U3 website, they charge 25% at the lost volume of sales. Of course, the also aren't Apple so its not suprising.

If you want to bitch that Apple is charging too much, fine that argument I'll listen to. Claiming that direct sales is going to be close to 100%, thats just silly once you consider all the real costs that go into doing it.

Re:except direct sales (4, Interesting)

MBCook (132727) | more than 6 years ago | (#22667828)

Yea. Apple takes care of notifying users of updates. Apple takes care of bandwidth and server costs. Apple takes care of anti-piracy. Sounds rather nice to me. I'd be willing to give up only 30% of my possible profit to avoid all those different headaches. If your application becomes popular, those things can get complex and expensive.

It will be interesting to see what some of the Mac Developer Bloggers think about this (Daniel Jalkut [red-sweater.com] , John Gruber [daringfireball.net] , and Wil Shipley [wilshipley.com] for example).

Re:except direct sales (2, Insightful)

Telvin_3d (855514) | more than 6 years ago | (#22668096)

Well, you have a point from a business freedom point of view, it kind of falls apart in the real world. Realistically, a developer will easily lose 30% through credit card processing fees, the costs of hosting their own store and other related expenses. The only business reason not to like this would possibly be for a large company that already hosts its own software store and wants to keep all their products under one roof.

Other than that, I can see how some coders with a stick-it-to-the-man mentality might not be hot on the idea, but then again, I can't really see those people as big Apple developers in the first place.

Kleiner's 100million joke (1)

wheatking (608436) | more than 6 years ago | (#22667550)

... the 100million fund seems kinda useless (anyone remember the Kleiner's "Java Fund" ? exactly what success did they have with that one?) OR the Facebook fund by Bay Partners. dumb dumb dumb. or maybe they are still smarting from the whole GOOD Technology fiasco trying to battle blackberries/RIM.

Sooo - let me get this straight... (2, Funny)

Shoeler (180797) | more than 6 years ago | (#22667558)

I have to pay for things I got for free before?

Oh wait - it's Apple. Carry on. :)

Full disclosure - I've been called an Apple fanboi before. :)

Free apps are Free (1)

StCredZero (169093) | more than 6 years ago | (#22667808)

Wrong. Apps that are distributed for free are free.

Re:Sooo - let me get this straight... (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#22667858)

May be a troll, but it is often true.

Example: The App Zapper [appzapper.com] . Yes, Apple forgot to include an uninstaller with their OS, or a standard way for app developers to include one. No, dragging the app to the Trash doesn't quite "uninstall". And yes, that is a shareware model.

Yes, a shareware model. In 2008. For essential system software.

Now, the app store here does allow free downloads, so it's not exactly relevant to this article, but I can see why there would be confusion.

Testing only through the simulator? (1, Insightful)

prxp (1023979) | more than 6 years ago | (#22667560)

It seems testing is gonna be restricted to the iPhone simulator, since the only way to get the app into the phone is through the store. That's a really bad thing. There are lots of things that cannot be tested in the simulated, especially those related to the iPhone's innovative accessibility features (multitouch, accelerometer). How are we supposed to use a simulator to test applications that make use of that, like some games, for instance?

You couldn't be more wrong (4, Informative)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 6 years ago | (#22667672)

Just because there is a simulator, does not mean you cannot also load the app onto the phone directly - they showed a demo of an app being pushed to the phone and then also being debugged (from the Mac side) while it ran, including gathering profiling data.

It's basically the best scenario you could have hoped for as a developer.

Re:You couldn't be more wrong (2, Insightful)

prxp (1023979) | more than 6 years ago | (#22667784)

Just because there is a simulator, does not mean you cannot also load the app onto the phone directly - they showed a demo of an app being pushed to the phone and then also being debugged (from the Mac side) while it ran, including gathering profiling data. It's basically the best scenario you could have hoped for as a developer.
If that's true, I stand corrected, but that raises a different issue. Since that's the case, it will be a matter of (little) time before the iPhone hacking community is able to use that same deature to upload apps to iPhone, thus bypassing iTunes Store. It would be an alternate way to crack the phone open (that would necessarily have to survive updates).

Probably (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 6 years ago | (#22667876)

If that's true, I stand corrected, but that raises a different issue. Since that's the case, it will be a matter of (little) time before the iPhone hacking community is able to use that same deature to upload apps to iPhone

Probably true, but who cares? Apple hasn't really cared about that, and with such easy access to applications the demand for jailbreaks will probably fall way, way off (basically consisting of people looking for SIM unlocks which are not allowed apps).

Re:You couldn't be more wrong (1)

pxuongl (758399) | more than 6 years ago | (#22667950)

i think that the digital signatures are going to be apple's way to prevent mass and free distribution w/o apple's blessing. i can also imagine that using apps not downloaded from the app store will void your waranty

Mod parent up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22667684)

Holy shit, that would suck. Confirmation, anyone?

Re:Testing only through the simulator? (1)

pxuongl (758399) | more than 6 years ago | (#22667752)

that's completely false. read over any of the blogs and you'll see that you can make live updates to your iPhone through XCode to test out your apps. http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20080306-live-coverage-of-the-iphone-software-roadmap-announcement.html [arstechnica.com] snippet: -Can connect to iPhone like the remote debugger and see live performance of your app on your Mac from the iPhone -Remote debugger--plug in your iPhone, run it on the iPhone live, but debug from the Mac

Re:Testing only through the simulator? (1)

prxp (1023979) | more than 6 years ago | (#22667930)

I read what you suggested. This caught my attention:

-Run your iPhone app in the simulator on your Mac, works great side-by-side with Xcode
-Introducing brand new iPhone dev tool: iPhone Simulator
-See peaks and valleys, realtime data, timeline view, multiple data tracks
-Can connect to iPhone like the remote debugger and see live performance of your app on your Mac from the iPhone>
So I would use the iPhone only as backend for an app running on the MAC? It's still a bit confusing, but I guess I got the general idea. I wonder if that's gonna work. Anyway, thanks for the clarification.

Re:Testing only through the simulator? (2, Informative)

phuul (997836) | more than 6 years ago | (#22668082)

Actually the application is running on the iPhone, UI and all. The Mac is to do debugging and performance monitoring WHILE the app is running on the iPhone.

Mr. Carmack are you still around? (4, Interesting)

Tibor the Hun (143056) | more than 6 years ago | (#22667576)

The main question I have, is if John Carmack has anything to add to the discussion.
With his latest interest in portable gaming, I hope he could see some value in the iPhone/touch platform.
The screen on the phone is phenomenal (in terms of pixels/inch), touch gestures and accelerometers should add quite a few new exciting additions to the gaming world.
I hope he has an intel Mac and time to download the beta of the SDK and try it out.

With Doom, or even Quake on my iPod touch, I don't think I'd ever leave the bathroom at work. (80% serious, 20% joking)

Re:Mr. Carmack are you still around? (1)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 6 years ago | (#22667790)

Have you seen the Android demos? They already have Quake, running rather well.

Re:Mr. Carmack are you still around? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22667824)

yeah, think of how cool flash games would be!!!!

oh.

Beta SDK is out Now (2, Interesting)

MistaE (776169) | more than 6 years ago | (#22667618)

Point your browser to the Apple Developer website in order to download a beta SDK (seems to be down right now because of web server poundage).

A few other notes:

1. SDK is free to download, but you'll have to pay $99 to be able to submit your App (regardless of how much it'll cost).

2. App Store seems to be the only way you can get Apps on the phone (you can download straight from the phone, or through computer).

3. VOIP [gizmodo.com] will be allowed but only WiFi VOIP.

4. Spore for iPhone? [gizmodo.com] Fuck yeah!

And struggling to stay up from demand (2, Informative)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 6 years ago | (#22667728)

I managed to get registered before the site took load, right now it's not working very well and you can't get to anything. Soon hopefully...

Of interest is that there is a separate Enterprise development program that costs more to join - $300 instead of $99. I could not reach the page describing the differences.

Re:Beta SDK is out Now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22667834)

The site seems to have a preference for Safari. I can get in using Safari but Firefox reports a server reset. Even so, it is pathetically slow.

Also new in June (1)

ruiner13 (527499) | more than 6 years ago | (#22667622)

MS Exchange ActiveSync support for syncing email/calendar/contacts & IPSec VPN support. These items are really what I have been waiting for, although the XCode enhancements for the iPhone SDK look nice, including full access to core OS features like OpenGL, a remote debugger and performance analysis tools, etc. June looks to be the month I get an iPhone. Hopefully they'll release a 3G model with GPS at the same time.

FYI (5, Informative)

Lally Singh (3427) | more than 6 years ago | (#22667626)

Comparison pricing:

    I used to develop & sell software for PalmOS.

    The IDE was $500, plus $150/year to upgrade.
    The major reseller I used wanted 40%, for a lower percentage they'd shove you in the back of the bus. I had my own web store set up separately, but literally got zero (nil, nada) sales from it. Mobile users tend to shop at specific sites. Without their own reputation, the little guys have to lean on the reputation of resellers (i.e. it's credible b/c it's being sold by them).

30% off the top isn't great, but it also doesn't require hosting, fulfillment, or anything else. Just ship them a binary and they send you a check in the mail each month until people stop buying (or an ABI change breaks your binary). I don't know how refunds are handled (or allowed at all), or documentation or support either, really.

Still, any info on what we can put on our own devices? I'm not interested in going back into mobile space anytime soon, just looking for a phone I can hack on personally. The SDK here is nice, but I'm still leaning towards the new openmoko when it comes out.

Re:FYI (4, Interesting)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 6 years ago | (#22667816)

30% off the top isn't great, but it also doesn't require hosting, fulfillment, or anything else. Just ship them a binary and they send you a check in the mail each month until people stop buying (or an ABI change breaks your binary). I don't know how refunds are handled (or allowed at all), or documentation or support either, really.

Apple also will allow you to notify your purchasers and update your apps on their handsets through an automated system tied into the store; this was something that was really lacking on Palm IMHO. A new version would come out of some little helper widget and you'd never know since you'd never visit the site again.

Re:FYI (1)

Angostura (703910) | more than 6 years ago | (#22667882)

If only OS X software update could be extended to 3rd party software in this way.

Re:FYI (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 6 years ago | (#22668106)

Most everyone uses Sparkle [andymatuschak.org] , which I frankly think works better than Software Update.

Distribution costs $99 (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 6 years ago | (#22667628)

To even get an app listed on the iTunes store (whether or not you pay for it) costs $99. You can't distribute your app or load it on your phone (not even for debugging) without paying them $99.

Doesn't this impinge upon the ability to release (or port) GPL software to the iPhone?

Re:Distribution costs $99 (2, Informative)

Lally Singh (3427) | more than 6 years ago | (#22667716)

Nope. Just that whomever does the port/release will have to put up $99/yr to Apple.

After that, it's free for anyone to download.

Re:Distribution costs $99 (4, Insightful)

tgd (2822) | more than 6 years ago | (#22668070)

And presumably you could get someone in a generous position to offer free distribution of open source applications under a single "publisher". Ie, twenty free apps published by "FreeSoftwareInc", and suddenly its $5 per developer, not $100.

Thats a price thats easy to make back up with ads, etc, on the "application" website.

Re:Distribution costs $99 (2, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 6 years ago | (#22667820)

You confuse source code with tools to use the source. With the source you can do anything, including port something to Android...

The source is always more important than the tools.

Re:Distribution costs $99 (1)

pxuongl (758399) | more than 6 years ago | (#22667902)

i see a loophole where one company will act as a distributor, fronting all the App Store fees, and only asking for 1% of revenues... a boon for the little guys, pointless for anybody else

Re:Distribution costs $99 (1)

njfuzzy (734116) | more than 6 years ago | (#22668114)

You are wrong. You can load the app to your phone using the developer tools, for testing. You just can't distribute it to other people. This was all in the presentation today, and all over the major sites that covered it with a blow by blow.

No apps that invade privacy? (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 6 years ago | (#22667636)

"Not all applications will be distributed: "Porn, malicious apps, ones that invade privacy." Yet they use ATT as a provider.

Re:No apps that invade privacy? (1)

pxuongl (758399) | more than 6 years ago | (#22667812)

that's not gonna last very long. the touch feature might be what'll help the iphone take off in japan... u can snap a photo of a person of interest.... and then the program will allow u to virtually "touch" them...

Marginally sweet... (4, Insightful)

stokessd (89903) | more than 6 years ago | (#22667644)

The SDK is going to be HUGE for the jailbreaking community. They now have an official documented API and development environment. So there will be apps out there way earlier than 4 months.

IT sounds like the limitations on the SDK are not as drastic as I feared, but I strongly suspect that apple will limit ichat type clients though. Those would kill the golden goose that is SMS.

The more limiting the SDK is, the more vibrant the jailbroken app community will be.

I'm waiting for the Apple servers to recover from the melt-down and I'll be downloading the SDK. Looks like a geeky evening for me.

Apps the iPhone needs:

MMS: WTF apple? This was obvious...
A Calculator that doesn't suck: RPN and trig functions etc. No more Dollar store Calc.
Chat client that uses wifi AND wireless data.

Sheldon

Suspicions are worng (5, Informative)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 6 years ago | (#22667772)

IT sounds like the limitations on the SDK are not as drastic as I feared, but I strongly suspect that apple will limit ichat type clients though. Those would kill the golden goose that is SMS.

They demoed AIM on stage for goodness sakes! They are even allowing VOIP apps (though admittedly only over WiFi, not EDGE).

Re:Suspicions are worng (4, Informative)

ickoonite (639305) | more than 6 years ago | (#22668118)

They are even allowing VOIP apps (though admittedly only over WiFi, not EDGE).

Though that is doubtless a revenue protection measure, VOIP would never work over EDGE anyway. In my experience (using VOIP on my Nokia), even 3.5G isn't really quick enough and latencies are so high as to render it practically unusable. Limited processing power doubtless also plays a part.

:|

Re:Marginally sweet... (4, Informative)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 6 years ago | (#22668004)

A Calculator that doesn't suck: RPN and trig functions etc. No more Dollar store Calc.

Reason enough to own an iPhone: Pick your poison [google.com] .

What a strange angle (5, Interesting)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 6 years ago | (#22667652)

The app store is news, as it the 70/30 split, but what about these submissions:

SDK features:

Cocoa Touch: Multi-touch events, Multi-touch controls, Acceleromter, View Hierarchy, Localization, Alerts, Web View, People Picker, Image Picker, Camera Media: Core Audio, OpenAL, Audio Mixing, Audio Recording, Video Playback, JPG, PNG, TIFF, PDS Quartz, Core Animation, Embedded OpenGL Core Services: Collections, Address Book, Networking, File access, SQLite, Core Location, Net Services Threading, Preferences, URL utilities Core OS: OS X Kernel, BSD TCP/IP, Sockets, Power Management, Keychain, Certificates, File System, Lib System, Security, Bonjour

OpenGL Games:

Stoked about the little SDK that was announced today? Apparently, so was Apple, as it's already starting to announce the first games to go along with it. For starters, we've got Touch Fighter and Spore (!!!), the first of which was somehow thrown together in two weeks, the latter of which won't be available until September. Also, users can expect Super Monkey Ball, which was hailed being a notch above your average "cellphone game." Simmer on that for a second, we'll keep updating as we get more in.

MS Exchange:

Apple announced that it has licensed Exhange ActiveSync protocol from Microsoft, which will make it easier for business customers to get their email on an iPhone.

Or mine:

Apple has just wrapped up their iPhone development roadmap and here are the features to be presented with version 2.0, due in June: Push email and contacts, ActiveSync supporting Exchange, remote wipe. Several video games were demoed using the iPhone accelerometer and OpenGL on the iPhone, such as Spore and Super Monkeyball. SDK with development in Xcode was announced, performance suite and remote debugging of iPhone apps over the sync cable. Apple will sell apps through an iTunes-style store, that will work OTA from the iPhone or with the host computer.

It would appear the slashdot editor simply went with the submission with the most "Apple is teh EEEEVILL" slant.

The best deal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22667690)

How is this better than hosting your own server, paying 5% to the credit card companies, being responsible for chargebacks, being responsible for infrastructure, etc, etc, etc.

All for a whopping 30% of your proceeds? Fuck that.

Should we submit the source code or the binary? (1)

prxp (1023979) | more than 6 years ago | (#22667692)

I might have missed something, but it was sort of unclear to me whether developers are required to submit the source code or not. I wonder how are they going to enforce some of the restrictions imposed on the programs (no porn, no voip over edge, no malicious apps) if they don't have access to the source code (maybe keeping a team of reversers on the clock?).

Re:Should we submit the source code or the binary? (4, Insightful)

stokessd (89903) | more than 6 years ago | (#22667798)

I suspect that it will be a monitor the app after the fact type of thing. Apple and AT&T know who you are as the app author. So if your app does something funky, then they pull the plug on it. There's no way the apple folks are going to scour source for all the apps that will flow in. I suspect they have a profiling tool that checks port usage etc and off it goes. Then if it's doing something sneaky, AT&T will catch it eventually if it's popular, and pull the plug. If it's not popular (IE you and your aunt berha are exchanging chat messages over the data network not SMS) then it's really not an issue.

The cost of putting actual eyeballs on code is so high that they would never do it. But some profiling tools would be cheap to use.

Sheldon

Re:Should we submit the source code or the binary? (2, Interesting)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 6 years ago | (#22667818)

They do some basic testing of the app in an automated fasion and see that it doesn't do anything bad, release it into the wild.

A few users report that your app is doing bad things (or unauthorized) and apple revokes your key and removes it from the store.

Do not pass go without paying another $99 and making up a fake identity for your next time around.

NO PORN! (1, Funny)

DTemp (1086779) | more than 6 years ago | (#22667704)

NO PORN?!?!!!!!!!

(Searh for the word "porn" here on ars [arstechnica.com] .)

Why else does teh internet even f'ing exist?

Thats it STEVE, I cant exist in a world where iPhones can't be used for porn... you've left me no choice. *crying* See, I have this gun... goodbye cruel worl#@#$+!##** NO CARRIER

Re:NO PORN! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22667884)

I'd kill myself if i was using dial-up too.

Re:NO PORN! (1)

mblase (200735) | more than 6 years ago | (#22667890)

This post would have been funnier if the "i" in iPhone didn't stand for "internet".

Iphone Clippy Available now! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22667732)

I see you're talking to a girl. What can I assist you with?
Flirt/Joke/Molest

iPod Touch users will have to pay? (2)

BetaRelease (110550) | more than 6 years ago | (#22667744)

As an iPod touch user, I will have to pay $$ for the privilege of paying $$ for apps in the App Store??? I don't think so.

Why I won't be getting an iPhone (0, Redundant)

kemushi88 (1156073) | more than 6 years ago | (#22667796)

One of the most appealing features of the iPhone for me was the fact that its virtually a full computer in a small box. I hoped this meant that I will be able to write my own software/scripts and really play around with the device (without some 3rd party hack). This announcement confirms my long standing fear. If I have to go through apple to run applications I write ON MY OWN DEVICE, then no sale. Looking forward to Android...

Re:Why I won't be getting an iPhone (1)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 6 years ago | (#22667962)

Your comment confirms my fear that reading comprehension on Slashdot is no better than the rest of the web.

Re:Why I won't be getting an iPhone (2, Informative)

creed_nmd (1085055) | more than 6 years ago | (#22668050)

Or you could wait until details come out, or read Engadget's report of what Steve said: "We think a lot of people will want to become an iPhone developer -- go to our site, probably in about an hour, and download the SDK. You can join the developer program to test your app on the iPhone and iPod touch and distribute your app -- to join the dev program costs just $99. If you have any questions about anything give us a ping at developer.apple.com." In other words, download a *free* SDK to write and test your app, then pay $99 to get the certificate to download onto your hardware, whether or not you decide to distribute it to the general public or not. The only 'going through Apple' is a $99 charge to get the key to the hardware. But waiting until you actually have the full details and know the facts before making a decision, that is obviously too difficult...

Re:Why I won't be getting an iPhone (4, Informative)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 6 years ago | (#22668110)

You should actually go read the web page that tells you what the details are.

You have to pay and go through apple to distribute your applications. The SDK is a free download (registration required).

http://developer.apple.com/iphone/program/ [apple.com]

Will be "Pushed" to all iphones? (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 6 years ago | (#22667942)

Wow. Just think of the advertising opportunity. The screen saver would be an ideal platform.
 

Will it have a real file system? (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 6 years ago | (#22667952)

With you being able to get at files from the internet, email, copied from your system, the camera, and other apps.

I can smell the irony now. (0, Troll)

Ustice (788261) | more than 6 years ago | (#22668064)

So... What happens when Microsoft wants to make a iPhone version of IE (iE?)? I assume that since that would be a threat to Safari that it would be blocked. That sounds awfully familiar... I can smell the ironic court cases, even now.
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