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iPhone's Development Limitations Could Hurt It In the Long Run

Soulskill posted more than 6 years ago | from the my-way-or-the-iway dept.

Cellphones 452

ZDOne writes "Apple might have finally come around to allowing third party developers to create applications for the iPhone, but only up to a point. ZDNet UK claims Apple is leaving itself vulnerable to the competition and to a loss of lustre by blocking background tasks on the device. The author notes, 'Perhaps it doesn't trust application designers or users very much. Perhaps it wants the best software for itself, where it can limit what it can do in order not to upset its telco friends. Whatever the reason, it reflects badly on Apple. The iPhone is not an iPod; it's a smartphone connecting to a universe of fast-changing data on behalf of innovation-hungry users. The sooner it stops pretending to be a 1981 IBM PC, the better it will be for everyone.'"

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silly apple (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22891470)

Apple thinks it owns hardware that it has already sold to someone else. This has already been established.
http://ipodminusitunes.blogspot.com/2007/09/weve-won.html [blogspot.com]

Bad apple tag? (4, Insightful)

Marbleless (640965) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891474)

Time for a BadApple tag on /. ? ;)

Re:Bad apple tag? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22891790)

The correct term would be "RottenApple".

Even funnier (2, Insightful)

Smordnys s'regrepsA (1160895) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891478)

When you realize with the new cracked firmware, you can already run any code you wish.

If you outlaw _________, only the criminals will have _________.

Re:Even funnier (5, Funny)

muffen (321442) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891512)

If you outlaw _________, only the criminals will have _________.
This is a tough one, but I'm guessing

A) Apple
B) iPhones

Re:Even funnier (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22891784)

Umm, no. Both blanks are supposed to be the same thing.
typically people put "guns" in there, but in this case it's "total access to one's iphone"

Goatse is dieing (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22891554)

One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered goatse [twofo.co.uk] [goatse.ch] community when netcraft...

You nerdy faggots love it.

Let the market decide (4, Insightful)

jonnyj (1011131) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891480)

There's no monopoly here, so we should let the market decide. If you don't like it, don't buy it. If they've really got things wrong, the market will kick Apple where it hurts. If consumers don't care about background apps, they'll carry on spending.

Me? The beautiful shiny toy is so compromised that I wouldn't touch it with a bargepole.

I would like that approach much better (1)

Smordnys s'regrepsA (1160895) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891526)

That would work nicely, if the iPhone knock offs came anywhere near the quality of the iPhone itself. What I'm seeing so far is cheap crap. Once the 3g model comes out, I'm buying and unlocking.

Re:Let the market decide (5, Insightful)

DavidShor (928926) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891600)

The whole "let the market decide" isn't really so trivial when it comes to consumer electronics. Apple was granted a legal monopoly over several components of the iphone, which prevent competitors from creating a device with it's best features. There is nothing free-market about government granted monopolies.

Because of this, if Apple abuses customers by crippling it's device, it is acting against the public interest for it's own gain. I don't blame them for this, their shareholders would be pissed otherwise, but the point of government is to make sure that the selfish interest of individuals does not clash with the collective good of society.

Our regulators should do something about this.

Re:Let the market decide (3, Insightful)

DKlineburg (1074921) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891740)

As the other poster who replied to the parent said, people will buy it. Than they will jailbreak it and do what they want. The movie and music industry have proved that if you give people what they want they will pay for it. If you don't they will steal it. Plain and simple. No phone (when apple gets 3g) will come close to what "can" be done. And if you jailbreak, well you can gurantee you can use it how you want.

Re:Let the market decide (5, Interesting)

EvilNTUser (573674) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891954)

I'm tired of hearing "let the market decide" in general. Nowadays it's almost always used in defense of companies that prey on consumer ignorance, the very definition of something that the market will never solve. At the very least, if the market is to select a solution, someone has to start campaigning for one instead of just sitting on our asses. It's really a justification for inaction, nothing more.

I'm tired of replying to people defending lock in for various reasons, so I'll just suggest that those posters reread the book about one of the greatest people of our time [oreilly.com] :

"Although previous events had raised Stallman's ire, he says it wasn't until his Carnegie Mellon encounter that he realized the events were beginning to intrude on a culture he had long considered sacrosanct. As an elite programmer at one of the world's elite institutions, Stallman had been perfectly willing to ignore the compromises and bargains of his fellow programmers just so long as they didn't interfere with his own work. Until the arrival of the Xerox laser printer, Stallman had been content to look down on the machines and programs other computer users grimly tolerated. On the rare occasion that such a program breached the AI Lab's walls-when the lab replaced its venerable Incompatible Time Sharing operating system with a commercial variant, the TOPS 20, for example-Stallman and his hacker colleagues had been free to rewrite, reshape, and rename the software according to personal taste.

Now that the laser printer had insinuated itself within the AI Lab's network, however, something had changed. The machine worked fine, barring the occasional paper jam, but the ability to modify according to personal taste had disappeared. From the viewpoint of the entire software industry, the printer was a wake-up call. Software had become such a valuable asset that companies no longer felt the need to publicize source code, especially when publication meant giving potential competitors a chance to duplicate something cheaply. From Stallman's viewpoint, the printer was a Trojan Horse. After a decade of failure, privately owned software-future hackers would use the term " proprietary" software-had gained a foothold inside the AI Lab through the sneakiest of methods. It had come disguised as a gift."

Re:Let the market decide (2, Insightful)

rvarada (108165) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891982)

Which component of iPhone does Apple have a legal monopoly that it makes me want to stick with iPhone rather than another competing phone? Honestly - I am not being a smart ass. Just curious.

Re:Let the market decide (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22892058)

Patents, I imagine.

this is worse than 1984 macs (0, Troll)

cheekyboy (598084) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891932)

Even old mac os classic let any one write apps, why is jobs so scare, he should know of all people, let it be like DOS and it shall be king.

What a frickin lsd hippie old wanker!!! blinded by his ego!, take some more LSD steve, and learn the old ways before your an old man in a wheel chair.

Where is the competition? (1)

igomaniac (409731) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891490)

Among the mobile phone makers, who hands out SDKs for creating applications on the phones? ... I wouldn't even know where to start if I wanted to develop an application for my Sony Ericsson W910, call me clueless but I don't see anything comparable to the iPhone SDK for any other phone.

Re:Where is the competition? (4, Informative)

jrumney (197329) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891508)

I wouldn't even know where to start if I wanted to develop an application for my Sony Ericsson W910,

developer.sonyericsson.com would be a good start, which is linked directly on the front page of www.sonyericsson.com, so you can't have looked very hard in your rush to defend the iPhone.

Re:Where is the competition? (3, Informative)

Aldric (642394) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891592)

Microsoft. It's easy to create a program for Windows Mobile without Visual Studio, and stupidly easy with it.

Re:Where is the competition? (4, Interesting)

teh kurisu (701097) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891636)

Everybody. The iPhone is the only modern phone I can think of that doesn't support J2ME, and most smartphones (Symbian, Blackberry) have their own APIs for creating native apps.

Admittedly, most J2ME-only phones don't support multitasking and, like the iPhone, are incapable of running in the background, so TFA is wrong to say that "That's a limitation nobody's had to contend with for a couple of decades". But this isn't the case for most smartphones. This is a restriction that I can see being restricted relatively soon, once developers start to realise just how limiting this restriction is.

Re:Where is the competition? (1)

DKlineburg (1074921) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891768)

I can't evan remember what kind of Nokia phone I have, it is at least 10 years old at this point. And IT evan has a suspend feature in it. If I make a call it will suspend games I'm playing, and if the battery is going to die it will suspend the phone in attempt to save what I'm doing. If a 10 YEAR OLD PHONE can do this, the iCRAP not being able to is BS.

Re:Where is the competition? (2, Insightful)

teh kurisu (701097) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891802)

Suspension isn't really backgrounding, it's just saving the state of the program while you're off doing something else (i.e. making a call). If the iPhone doesn't support some sort of suspension (and I'd be very surprised), I guess programmers will have to be aware that they should save the program's state when they receive a kill signal from the OS.

Re:Where is the competition? (2, Interesting)

hitmark (640295) | more than 6 years ago | (#22892010)

from what i understand, it does.

still, right now my non-smart sonyericsson Z710 can have j2me stuff running in the background. i can have a im client (ebuddy) running while doing other stuff.

the funny thing is that the only app that cant be backgrounded on that phone is the built in browser. the built in mail can, but not the browser for some odd reason...

Re:Where is the competition? (5, Informative)

nguy (1207026) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891706)

Among the mobile phone makers, who hands out SDKs for creating applications on the phones?

Almost every manufacturer, actually: there are SDKs for Symbian (Nokia, Motorola, Samsung), Windows Mobile (Motorola, Samsung, HTC, ...), Palm OS (Palm), etc. Symbian is a multitasking OS with Linux-like APIs. And almost all modern phones other than the iPhone can be programmed in MIDP.

I wouldn't even know where to start if I wanted to develop an application for my Sony Ericsson W910,

The W910 runs J2ME and MIPD, just like most phones these days. There are thousands of applications for that and it's easy to develop for.

call me clueless but I don't see anything comparable to the iPhone SDK for any other phone.

Yup, you're clueless. In terms of SDK, the iPhone is about the worst there is among modern phone platforms.

Re:Where is the competition? (1)

DECS (891519) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891764)

Its bad for Java developers, as they'll have to learn a new language and new frameworks. But they'll also have a real market for their apps, and their apps won't look like ass and fail to run on 80% of the phones that are supposed to support Java ME, MIPD etc.

Java ME is build, test on every phone, sign on every phone, sell nowhere.

The iPhone SDK will be build, sign, sell

iPhone 2.0 SDK: Java on the iPhone? [roughlydrafted.com]
iPhone 2.0 SDK: How Signing Certificates Work [roughlydrafted.com]

Re:Where is the competition? (0, Troll)

Eunuchswear (210685) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891716)

The w910 is not a smartphone.

The definition of a smartphone is that it has a SDK.

Very nice looking phone though.

Symbian 3rd signed is the same (1, Insightful)

nereid666 (533498) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891492)

Symbian 3rd edition, hava also limitations to developers, for certain type of capabilities the program must be signed by nokia. And there is a license 10.000$ for developers to sign and sell symbian applications. It is the same like games on consoles. The device is definitively, "not open" for everyone. https://www.symbiansigned.com/app/page/overview/faq [symbiansigned.com] Unfortunately, Apple is not makeing different things that others in the industry done.

Re:Symbian 3rd signed is the same (4, Informative)

Eunuchswear (210685) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891660)

You can run unsigned apps on s60v3.

Unsigned apps can access the network (see for example putty), play run stuff on the screen (see for example quake, dooom), run in the background, read & write files and so on.

I can't seem to find this famous list of things an unsigned app can't do.

Re:Symbian 3rd signed is the same (3, Informative)

eggz128 (447435) | more than 6 years ago | (#22892036)

I can't seem to find this famous list of things an unsigned app can't do.
There are a few references here [symbian.com] :

1.5 Why can I not get a certificate to sign Freeware, there is no other way to install Freeware? Contact your freeware developer and request him/her to re-release the application such that Developer Certificates are not required. a) Approx 60% of APIs do not require any Capabilities and applications using only those APIs do not need to use Symbian Signed services. b) The Capabilities; LocalServices, Location*, NetworkServices,ReadUserData ,UserEnvironment, WriteUserData: are user-grantable on the device. Applications using these Capabilities are not required to be Symbian Signed; an end-user can grant the permissions on their device. This allows people to do application development with a large amount of functionality for interesting apps. At least 25% of commercial apps are released without needing to use any Symbian Signed services. c) The Capabilities; PowerMgmt, Location*, ProtServ, ReadDeviceData, SurroundingsDD, SwEvent, TrustedUI, WriteDeviceData: are grantable by Open Signed Online, as well as all the user grantable permissions described in (2) .There is a requirement (as requested by the developer community) that you must own the applications UID, or you may use a test UID (i.e. in the range 0xE0000000 to 0xEFFFFFFF). This protects the integrity of UID allocation process and prevents developers signing applications with UIDs which have been reserved by other developers. Note: Location* depends on device type
There seems to be a further capability level [allaboutsymbian.com] that can only be granted by manufaturers (I would guess for APIs that could break DRM on the phones, or work at a low level on the cell network):

Symbian Signed allows access to all but the seven most resticted capabilities on the phone (these capabilities can only be accessed with an extra level of manufacturer approval). Self-signing allows application access to a more limited set of capabilities than Symbian Signed. General capabilities that are not considered a major security risk can be access via self signed applications. Where there is a small security risk (such as the use of Bluetooth or use of the Network to retrieve data) self signed application must gain user permission to access these capabilities (in the form of a dialog that asks user the grant these capabilities to an application).

not true (4, Informative)

nguy (1207026) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891718)

Symbian 3rd edition, hava also limitations to developers, for certain type of capabilities the program must be signed by nokia. And there is a license 10.000$ for developers

That's pure fiction. I have half a dozen unsigned apps on my phone, several of them free and open source.

Re:not true (4, Informative)

SteveAyre (209812) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891850)

Unless it's like the Blackberry. They allow anyone to use most of the API calls, but require the developers to pay a fee for access to some of the API calls and sign the applications so that the Blackberry knows which programs to allow to access the licensed API calls.

In their case it's more to control the riskier functions, so you can make a free unsigned game which only really needs graphics and the keypad without signing the code but anything that runs a risk of doing something like making a call, eavesdropping or deleting your data needs to be signed.

http://na.blackberry.com/eng/developers/downloads/api.jsp [blackberry.com]
The fee's tiny ($20) for access, but that's tiny really so it's more about being able to control the programs using those API calls.

Symbian might be similar since the GP said for "certain type of capabilities". The fee's huge by comparison though, so perhaps they want the revenue more than the security benefits.

bullshit (4, Informative)

S3D (745318) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891884)

Symbian 3rd edition (v 9.x) is not capable of running unsigned native application. Period.
Some application, restricted in functionality could be signed by developer without developer certificate(LocalServices, UserEnvironment, NetworkServices,ReadUserData ,WriteUserData). User can allow application which use only those capabilities to run on his device. The rest - Network control, Multimedia driver, Communication driver, disk admi, PowerMgmt, Location, ProtServ, ReadDeviceData, Surroundings driver, SwEvent, TrustedUI, WriteDeviceData - should be signed online through Symbian website or offline by other certified body.
The situation is quite heated right now, after Symbian introduced some more restrictions recently (removed free developer certificates, which allow sign application for single phone - IMEI numebr). Symbian signed forum turning to flamefeast between moderator interventions. http://developer.symbian.com/forum/forum.jspa?forumID=2&start=0 [symbian.com]
Of cause all this only from legal point of view. Many devices (all FP1 and Nokia N95-1, not 8GB) have their platform security hacked already.

Re:not true false (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22891888)

On the contrary you are misinformed. You cannot run unsigned apps on Symbian. The developer will have to sign it for it to install. Freeware developers don't have to pay but others do. Many users have to go through hoops to download and use the Nokia applications to sign the apps and create self signed certificates to install apps that are not signed by the developer. You clearly don't know. Symbian is locked down from N73 onwards. You may be using a very old Nokia phone which doesn't have this system in place. Al modern Symbian S3 phones do.

What competition? (0, Troll)

concernedadmin (1054160) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891502)

I don't see anything as hyped (and as mostly living up to the hype) as the iPhone. If Time magazine is any indicator, it did phenomenally well last year [time.com] . To top that, some cheap knock-offs would be needed, but I'm not even sure how far that would fare given that Apple has at least 300 patents on it [apple.com] . Could someone fill me in please? Disclaimer: I've never owned a product of Apple and don't intend to buy any of their products until they become more transparent.

MOD PARENT UP (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22891514)

i'd like to know too. it bugs me that apple makes such nice products and then treats its customers like garbage with this nonsense. i understand their intent must be to control their customers' experiences -- to be something enjoyable, etc. etc., but must it always seem so blatantly like a violation of the customer's right to their own property?

Re:What competition? (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891518)

I don't see anything as hyped (and as mostly living up to the hype) as the iPhone. If Time magazine is any indicator, it did phenomenally well last year [time.com]. To top that, some cheap knock-offs would be needed, but I'm not even sure how far that would fare given that Apple has at least 300 patents on it [apple.com]. Could someone fill me in please? Disclaimer: I've never owned a product of Apple and don't intend to buy any of their products until they become more transparent.
You had your chance when they sold the fruity-coloured iMacs with semi-transparent cases.

But seriously, you can download the iPhone SDK for free, complete documentation, everything. How much more transparent do you want?

One one limitation, easily overcome (4, Interesting)

Knutsi (959723) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891520)

Using my iPod Touch as my PDA for a while now, I can testify that the device itself (and it's brother the iPhone), is a plain revolution in terms of style, usability and class amongst these devices. The article only mentions a single problem: background tasks. Apple obviously run them themselves, such as download in the background and email fetching, so maybe it's just a matter of time before they get a "tasks" framework ready.

Even if they didn't, the device itself could pack more than enough Cocoa Touch enabled power-apps that will not depend on this function to stay ahead of the competition for a long time. I'm personalty waiting for iWork Touch, which it would greatly surprise me if didn't show up by the end of the year.

A bit unrealted: how brilliant of Apple to sneak in a PDA through it's iPod market. For most consumers, it's easier to buy an iPod with PDA features, than a PDA which can play a bit of music. This will be Apple's next step in the digital lifestyle philosophy. You can no longer only carry around your music and photos, but also your docs and planner.

Re:One one limitation, easily overcome (4, Insightful)

nguy (1207026) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891730)

Using my iPod Touch as my PDA for a while now, I can testify that the device itself (and it's brother the iPhone), is a plain revolution in terms of style, usability and class

Compared to what? In my experience, the iPod Touch makes a poor PDA even compared to an old Palm, both in terms of functionality and in terms of usability.

Can't argue with the iPod Touch having "style" or "class", but... who cares?

Re:One one limitation, easily overcome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22891872)

People outside of slashdot, maybe?

The bell is always tolling for Apple; people are going to whine about it. People are also going to buy it.

You don't like it? Don't buy it. Style and class matter to a lot of people. If class isn't important to you? Well? Your life. As long as it does what I need it to do, I don't care if the dorks, nerds, and geeks have access to it. That's not why I buy something.

Re:One one limitation, easily overcome (1)

HuguesT (84078) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891874)

Does it? you mean apart from never losing the content of its memory, having a 100x better screen (colour, resolution and touchscreen), easier and faster input, ability to play video and music, Wifi, a usable browser and 1000x more memory (8GB vs 8MB), the iPod touch is totally much worse than a Palm III?

Re:One one limitation, easily overcome (3, Insightful)

MROD (101561) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891936)

That's a rather silly comparison as most of the functionality you're talking about didn't exist when the Palm III came out... and none of them are core PDA functionality other than persistant memory.

You could say that the iPod Touch/iPhone is a better calculator than my old Casio FX-1200 (circa 1979) for the same reasons, except, of course, the core functionality of the calculator on the iPod touch isn't there and it's not scientific unlike the FX-1200.

Now, the Palm III has a good calendar, addressbook etc. and i easily expandable with 3rd party appications.. and you can write your own and compile them with the free, GCC based SDK and have full functionality and as much access as the other applications. They fit the capability of the hardware as well.

Now, the iP{od Touch,hone} now have a reasonable calendar and address book but that's only part of the functionality. There's no way of beaming the information to another person's device, for example and the calendar doesn't have multiple categories etc. The functionality still has some way to go on this front, which may be addressed to some degree by the version 2.0 firmware but it can't overcome some of the hardware deficiencies.

Re:One one limitation, easily overcome (2, Insightful)

Gewalt (1200451) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891918)

Can't argue with the iPod Touch having "style" or "class", but... who cares?

Gee, i dunno, thats a toughie... Maybe... every single consumer out there?

Re:One one limitation, easily overcome (1)

Knutsi (959723) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891930)

I also used to own a Palm, and find Cocoua Touch much more user friendly (while the palm wasn't bad either). I do think the interface offers an incredibly intuitive and fast experience that is way beyond my old Palm. Apple has traditionally been very good at this. Most people I know that have begun using Macs end up preferring Apple's interfaces, and the iPhone OS is of the same breed. That said, I've not used palms for a while, and experience is of course subjective.

It does make a poor PDA for documents etc, but as a planner and email client, I find it very very good (I allready reply on iCal).

An many people care about style and class. It's important for the feeling of quality as I see it. Products made with passion for both functionality and appearance tend to be very appealing. It's like food, where both taste and presentation is important (:

Re:One one limitation, easily overcome (1)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891772)

A bit unrealted: how brilliant of Apple to sneak in a PDA through it's iPod market. For most consumers, it's easier to buy an iPod with PDA features, than a PDA which can play a bit of music. This will be Apple's next step in the digital lifestyle philosophy. You can no longer only carry around your music and photos, but also your docs and planner.

sorry, but this is bullshit. first, pdas could play music way before the first ipod was released. second, in terms of versatility even the iphone sucks. if you need a pda just for some basic tasks then it might be sufficient, but not if you really are a power user.

Re:One one limitation, easily overcome (1)

Knutsi (959723) | more than 6 years ago | (#22892004)

Here's my theory: power users are few and far between.

The iPod has traditionally not been a very complex device, and of course the lock-in with iTunes prevents many power users from enjoying a good ride. But ordinary people love the device, just because of it's simplicity. This also applies to many applications people are expected to use in business. Many of them could have been dramatically simplified and improved interface wise to make "power-user-features" into features ordinary people find, use and are not intimidated by.

A PDA not made for power-users may be a better PDA than those our there today. Imagine the simplicity of iTunes, but now also for your documents and calendar. This is why the Touch does the job more than well enough for me right now.

Re:One one limitation, easily overcome (1)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891794)

Yes, but that is a very Apple-centric view of the marketplace - when you look wider, there's a plethora of other makes that can do pretty much all that the iTouch can do, and also support a whole range of commercial and free/Open Source apps.

I am by no means a M$ fan, but I do like my HTC Kaiser (Vodafone 1615) running Windows Mobile 6 - it has a touch screen, built in slide-and-tilt keyboard, 'cube' type app if I want to use it, GPS with Tomtom satnav, Word, Excel, PDF reader, video phone and camera. I have PockeTTY installed for SSH to the Linux servers I support, RDP for the Windows servers (fair enough, the panning window is a pain), VNC client, ftp, a wifi scanner/tester, the usual calendar and phone apps, IRC(!) and VoIP. Sure, it's no substitute for a laptop or desktop, but it's totally useable as a mobile office and support tool.

Apple have done a good marketing and styling job on their product, but if punters can stop scoring it highly 'because it's Apple' they have a wide choice of programmable alternatives.

Re:One one limitation, easily overcome (0)

MROD (101561) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891846)

Actually, there's a second limitation which is not so often expressed and that is the lack of access to a filesystem.

This limitation of the SDK means that unless the 3rd party applications save persistant data on a remote network resource it can't save its state. (The only way around this, possibly, would be to ask the notes, calendar or addressbook applications to store the data.)

Of course, even without the problem of background tasks, it would make any shared key cryptographic applications impossible to implement (without hard-coded keys) or off-device storage.

Re:One one limitation, easily overcome (1)

Ryan Hemage (472215) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891980)

No, each app has its own isolated portion of the file system that it can use as it likes. The OS stores the apps preferences here, for one.

Re:One one limitation, easily overcome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22891864)

er...you're an arsehat. One day you'll see it. Until then keep telling those around you that its worth paying through the nose for a smartphone that hasn't got the horsepower to run the flash plugin!

Mod me redundant (-1, Troll)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891538)

Yet another Evil Apple story. Some one has one serious ax to grind. Apple can't do anything right, I get the point. At this rate in a few months over half the stories will be Apple bashing. The claim always is that Slashdot is hard on Microsoft but the opposite is true. I read stories rationalizing Vista issues then see endless negative posts about Apple. I can't count the number of Mac or Apple products being more insecure stories yet in the wild the opposite is true. I guess there's no claim of fair and balanced reporting. It's pro Microsoft Geek site. I just wish there was some attempt to keep neutral.

Re:Mod me redundant (4, Funny)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891540)

Look over there! It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's a reality distortion field!

Understand... (3, Insightful)

Smordnys s'regrepsA (1160895) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891556)

We love Apple hardware, but hate Apple business practices. There are many reasons for fanboydom, but limiting the abilities of a phone you've paid out the ass for is not one of them. It really doesn't help that their "security" measures for the iPhone were utter crap that was broken ~1 week after it hit stores, and yet Apple still acts like it is a completely closed business model.

Re:Understand... (1)

mpe (36238) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891708)

We love Apple hardware, but hate Apple business practices. There are many reasons for fanboydom, but limiting the abilities of a phone you've paid out the ass for is not one of them.

You'd actually expect that people would say they liked some things about a product and disliked other things about it, especially when the product in question was a multi-function tool or machine.

Action and reaction, grasshopper (4, Insightful)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891746)

1. It's not an "evil apple" story, it's just a financial musing that in the long run it might limit its market share.

But it's this kind of fanboyish reactions ("OMG, they said that something Apple does is less then perfect, so they must be evil, sworn enemies of Apple and all that's good and holy") that brings me to the next point. In truth, such stories are written equally about any other company and corporation, by people who don't really give a fuck about whether that company even lives or dies. That's the job of financial analysts and magazine pundits. They scratch their heads and go, "Hmm, ya know, maybe Sun won't take over the world this year" or "I think Intel is going to lose a couple of percent of market share to AMD's Phenom". Talking out of the arse, maybe, but it doesn't make them enemies of Sun, Intel or Apple. But that seems to be lost on a whole slew of True Believers, who can't seem to see any shades between "you're 100% in Apple's camp and singing praise to it" and "you're 100% the sworn enemy of Apple and have an axe to grind." And if god forbid you even mention an apple vulnerability once a year, then that's positive proof that you're biased against Apple and pro-MS.

But, at any rate, it helps fuel the next point:

2. It's, if you will, a case of action and reaction. Apple hypes every fart as if it's the second cumming of Christ, especially if it's Steve Jobs. You know, it will revolutionize this, redefine that, it's the thing that noone else ever thought or dared, etc.

And it also has an annoying army of fanboys to carry the Word, and try to convert everyone to The One True Faith. Not even too skillfully, I'd add. If you look at where, Christian missionaries succeeded, they never went around telling people "OMG, you're all stupid sheep and brainwashed by the competition". It doesn't get people in a mood to listen, you know.

So it just _begs_ to have its stuff put under a microscope and dissected, and the results don't always come as "yep, it's 100% pure perfection." In fact, they usually reveal a fair share of shortcomings that just beg to be pointed out in return.

3. And if you keep pushing, or push too hard, hype builds resentment or even a backlash. Daikatana, for example, was merely a mediocre game, that would have otherwise been quietly forgotten, but the unskilled hype created a rather spectacular backlash. Apple so far managed to avoid creating a backlash, and kudos to Steve for managing to spew this much hype without that. He's good. But it did get a bunch of people annoyed.

You know, it's like if I came to you daily to tell you about how great I am at CounterStrike. (I actually had the mis-fortune of working with someone like that.) And maybe sent a few more people to. What maybe started as "I couldn't care less, let's nod politely and hope he goes away" eventually gets to the point of "Oh, ffs, not again. Go fuck yourself with a cactus already."

Briefly, if you will, the few people who do hate Apple, don't hate it for its perfection, they hate for the unrelenting annoyance that Apple's hype and Apple's fanboys can be.

Re:Action and reaction, grasshopper (1)

DKlineburg (1074921) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891804)

/em throw hammer at screen. There! Take That!

Re:Action and reaction, grasshopper (1)

tenzarelli (940771) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891948)

is going to lose a couple of percent of market share to AMD's Phenom". Talking out of the arse, maybe, but it doesn't make them enemies of Sun, Intel or Apple. But that seems to be lost on a whole slew of True Believers, who can't seem to see any shades between "you're 100% in Apple's camp and singing praise to it" and "you're 100% the sworn enemy of Apple and have an axe to grind."
Yes, it seems he was following a popular example... Cf: "Either you're With Us, or Against US" - George W Bush, 2001. President of the United States and arguably the (unelected) President of the World.

They said the same thing about iPods (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22891542)

Tech pundits are a curious bunch. They get it wrong 90% of the time. The other 10% is just coincidence because if you throw enough shit against the wall eventually something will stick.

Um... phone network != internet (4, Interesting)

adamkennedy (121032) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891552)

The phone network necessarily has standards of reliability and security far higher than the Intarweb.

Banning uncertified code? Banning background processes?

That sounds pretty damned prudent to me.

The last damned thing I want to see on the phone network is an iPhone worm getting it's hooks into the core of every iPhone in the default settings, PHONE SPAMMING half the planet, and generally turning the phone network into the same power-hungry firewalled, bloaty security nightmare that the Internet is.

I may hate the way Apple does OS X, but when it comes to the iPhone, if they can keep worms off the phone network and prevent background crapware that will drop my battery life down to 12 hours, I say good on them.

Re:Um... phone network != internet (4, Insightful)

DavidShor (928926) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891670)

I understand the need for some sort of approval process for code, though I personally disagree with it's effectiveness. But what argument do you have against letting consumers choose to download apps with background processes?

That is nothing but a transparent block toward the network specific apps, like IM and VOIP, that Apple either does not want to exist, or wants to monopolize for itself. Remember how much trouble Microsoft got in when they gave their programs special treatment over competitors?

Re:Um... phone network != internet (1)

Angostura (703910) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891736)

That is nothing but a transparent block toward the network specific apps


Or That is nothing but a block on puzzled consumers continuously complaining to Apple that their device has slowed to a crawl and is exhibiting apalling battery life.

If I were Apple I would be very very careful about allowing third party background apps in an initial SDK release.

Re:Um... phone network != internet (2, Interesting)

DavidShor (928926) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891778)

Consumers are smart enough to know that "more programs"=="Slower". Apple's demographic has changed, they now cater toward extremely tech-savy affluent teenagers and young people, as well as first adopters who run through multiple gadgets per year. If Apple treats them like their previous elementary school teacher demographic, they will suffer in the long term.

Re:Um... phone network != internet (1)

DKlineburg (1074921) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891826)

I agree. What is the first thing most Teenages probably do when they get on a computer that isn't there and is slow? If windows, Alt + Ctrl + Del. Why? To kill all the background noise so they can surf. Just a thought, but my 10 year old nephew knows stuff like that. By time he is my age, he is going to make me look stupid. To expect the younger "hip" crowd not to know that playing games and running programs is going to sap battery and slow the phone is putting a blindfold on.

Re:Um... phone network != internet (1)

mean pun (717227) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891806)

I understand the need for some sort of approval process for code, though I personally disagree with it's effectiveness. But what argument do you have against letting consumers choose to download apps with background processes?
There are two solid arguments that trump any conspiracy theories:
  • User experience. Background processes eat unpredictable numbers of processor cycles, making the rest of the software slower and therefore less user-friendly. Apple doesn't want their software look bad because of third-party software.
  • Transparency. Background processes may incur communication costs that the user doesn't know about. If the user has to activate the program before it can do something costly, there is at least some obvious relation between the huge phone bill at the end of the month and the activity on the phone.
  • Bonus argument: viruses are more effective as background processes.
And the `give the user the choice' argument is a bit bogus, IMHO. People will whine and whine, even if they have been warned about these effects.

That is nothing but a transparent block toward the network specific apps, like IM and VOIP, that Apple either does not want to exist, or wants to monopolize for itself. Remember how much trouble Microsoft got in when they gave their programs special treatment over competitors?
Let's first see how things work out in practice before we build conspiracy theories, ok? The SDK and its current restrictions were designed to enable third-party software without incurring too much problems for Apple, but it is still an experiment. I can well understand that for now they play it safe. If in practice there is a well-founded demand for more freedom I suspect the rules will change.

Re:Um... phone network != internet (4, Informative)

teh kurisu (701097) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891682)

Banning uncertified code?

The way J2ME operates is far more sensible than a total ban. Every time an unsigned program wants to make use of a 'restricted' API, the user is prompted. This stops anything malicious from happening.

Banning background processes?

If you're doing the above, then this additional step is completely pointless and only serves to limit the usefulness of your platform. It's not like the backgrounding abilities of Symbian phones have brought down the phone networks yet.

Re:Um... phone network != internet (4, Insightful)

adamkennedy (121032) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891750)


Hi Kurisu, this is mom.

There's this box thingy that popped up on my iPhone, and it says

Program 'Super Fun Value Discounts! Press Yes Now!' wants to run a restricted function? Allow?

Yes/No/Cancel

What should I do? I tried to press No, but it just pops up again 1 minute later...

In the same way I don't want battery-leaching Adobe Update 3.1 background processes, or the iMorris Worm on the phone network, I ALSO don't want the hellish disaster of security popup boxes on my PHONE either.

Re:Um... phone network != internet (1)

teh kurisu (701097) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891786)

Nobody's forcing you to install unsigned software. In fact, just about every phone will warn you that you're installing unsigned code at install time. This hasn't been an issue with J2ME phones, I don't see how the iPhone is any different.

Re:Um... phone network != internet (1)

DKlineburg (1074921) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891838)

Stop looking at pron on your phone. . . Mom will find out. . .

Re:Um... phone network != internet (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22891696)

The reason they want to ban background tasks is because they kill the battery life. Even things like push email are said to cut the battery life in half. Some iPhone programmers have defended the practice after seeing the results of their work kill the charge.

Obviously, users will blame Apple for low battery life (and not AIM or whatever else), so Apple doesn't want to allow it right away.

Re:Um... phone network != internet (1)

mr100percent (57156) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891724)

Last I heard, background processes were banned because they seriously harmed battery life (anything that uses the antenna or transmits data is like talk time on the battery), and Apple didn't want to be blamed when angry customers would complain about the inability to hold a long charge.

Let's see when Apple's 3G iPhone (with conceivably longer battery life to compensate) comes out, whether Apple updates their policy

Re:Um... phone network != internet (1)

Eunuchswear (210685) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891744)

Your reality is being distorted.

What you say would make sense if the iphone were the only mobile phone in the world.

But it's not.

Other phones let you write and run your own software.

Has the phone network crashed? I think not.

stupidity (3, Informative)

nguy (1207026) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891752)

Banning uncertified code? Banning background processes? That sounds pretty damned prudent to me.

Smart phones have had background processes and uncertified code for many years, and there have been almost no problems with it in practice. Half of Nokia's phone lineup are fully programmable, multi-tasking machines, capable of running ssh, BitTorrent, Python, VNC client and server, Apache web server, and anything else you can think of. There's even software for turning Symbian phones into WiFi access points for sharing the 3G connection.

Anybody who claims that one needs to ban uncertified code and background processes to avert disaster simply doesn't know the mobile phone business... or is lying through their teeth.

Re:Um... phone network != internet (2, Insightful)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891854)

you bought the apple fud.
phones with windows mobile could do background processes for years (htc wallaby came out in 2002) and weren't locked for third party software at all. still no worms, no phone spamming, no security nightmare.

either microsoft software is more secure or apple is successfully bullshitting everyone.
i tend to the latter explanation.

Re:Um... phone network != internet (1)

eebra82 (907996) | more than 6 years ago | (#22892032)

The last damned thing I want to see on the phone network is an iPhone worm getting it's hooks into the core of every iPhone in the default settings, PHONE SPAMMING half the planet, and generally turning the phone network into the same power-hungry firewalled, bloaty security nightmare that the Internet is.
Give me a break, will you? There is a plethora of phones out there that allow applications running in the background and it seems to work just fine. In the end, you must realize that these smartphones are intended for experienced users who already understand that if they install malicious software, it is their responsibility.

Or to put it in layman's terms, why should experienced users suffer on the expense of the inexperienced?

No background tasks? (2, Interesting)

PrintError (708568) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891558)

How do they figure? I know when I'm running Apollo (AIM client) on my iPod Touch and switch over to Safari to browse, I'll get pop-ups from Apollo when people IM me. Not being a programmer, I gotta ask, doesn't that make Apollo (and it's appropriate daemon) a background task while I'm in Safari? Same thing with having music playing, with Apollo running, while using Safari. Seems to multitask alright to me. Not as friendly as true OS X but not bad for a device that weighs as little as my shoes [vibramfivefingers.com] at 4.2 ounces.

Re:No background tasks? (1)

mysticwhiskey (569750) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891622)

From what I can tell, there's no background task restriction in the OS X on the iPhone. It's just that 3rd-party apps created with the official SDK can't run in the background. Apps created with the unofficial development toolchain that are run on jailbroken iPhones/iPod Touches can run in the background though - like your Apollo AIM client.

bad comparison? (2, Insightful)

apodyopsis (1048476) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891580)

bad comparison. because the IBM PC did soooo badly - look what I am typing this on.

then again.. the clones did well, they reverse engineered the BIOS, the all ran DOS and IBM did not get that much of the profit - so perhaps there is a long term message for Apple here about short term versus long term gains. they have everything in place here to be the proud owners of a new standard in interface, layout, design and overall system - if only they would relax their grip to allow a few systems^h^h^h^h^h^h^h^h grains of sand out.

Bad analogy (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22891598)

That's the worst analogy in history. The IBM PC was exceptionally OPEN. You got schematics of the entire computer, all parts were publicly available, and even source of the BIOS was printed in the manual shipped with the computer. Furthermore, everybody could create and run programs on the computer (very new in IBM-land at the time). That's not very closed in my book.

A solid experience (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22891602)

Apple is merely doing what they do with all of their products, limit the flexibility to improve stability and the quality of the experience.

I think there is a strong tendency for Slashdot users to see hardware through the eye of a Linux user or an application developer. But that's not the consumer market. If Slashdot ideals applied to markets as a whole, then Windows wouldn't be 98% market share and Internet Explorer wouldn't be 94%.

Most people don't want to play "with stuff", they just want it to work reliably with a standard set of features. As such, Apple has been very successful in, for instance, limiting their hardware choices and software choices.

Re:A solid experience (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22891754)

Agreed. Apple is diabling the possibility of alternate browsers like firefox on the iPhone for security reasons. Microsoft should do the same on Windows, as we have seen the last week the bugridden and securityflawed Safari is being pushed out to Windows users opening them up to a slew of security holes.

Microsoft should just disable Apple software on windows. That would be the best for everyone.

At the end of the day (1)

JamesRose (1062530) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891610)

Apple thinks it owns your iphone, it doesn't consider for a second that the $2000 you are paying entitles you to anything other than to use the phone in the exact ways apple tells you to use the phone. If this was microsoft? Sued to oblivion. If this was the RIAA? PR disaster, phone would collapse. If this were any other phone maker? The phone would disappear in weeks.
So why do people donate $2000 to apple (as we know, you don't own the phone). I personally beleive it's the exclusivity, its a shiny design and you'll always be telling everyone "My phone is better than yours" (whether its true or not, is irrelevant if you beleive it). I know several people who own iPhones, I wouldn't speak to them if I could avoid it- not that you could if you wanted to if you could, they're constantly on their iphones (which is astonishing as they certainly aren't talking to anyone that much)
So will any of this bother iphone users? Hell no! Function doesn't play any kind of role in the decision making process in buying this phone.

Re:At the end of the day (1)

mr100percent (57156) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891712)

You paid $2000 for an iPhone? The thing sells for $400 at the Apple store.

Re:At the end of the day (1)

base3 (539820) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891832)

He's counting the amount paid to AT&T during the contract, which, since required, is a legitimate method of computing the true cost of the iPhone or any cell phone.

ZDNet Writers Lack Technical Expertise (1)

Rocketship Underpant (804162) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891616)

The iPod Touch only has 128MB of RAM, and no disk cache. In case anyone missed that the first time: 128. No disk cache. That needs to run both an advanced OS *and* the foreground app while allowing music to play.

Exactly how many third-party applications do the geniuses at ZDNet think they can run at once with less than 128 MB?

Re:ZDNet Writers Lack Technical Expertise (1)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891640)

I'd say they can run between zero and very many, depending on who develops those 3rd-party apps.

Re:ZDNet Writers Lack Technical Expertise (3, Informative)

DavidShor (928926) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891692)

Dude, my jailbroken iphone runs background processes on third party software right now. I can run a good number of programs before the thing slows down. Programmers are pretty good at satisfying space constraints.

Re:ZDNet Writers Lack Technical Expertise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22891722)

"I can run a good number of programs before the thing slows down." Have you tried installing Vista on it?

How many third party background apps? (3, Funny)

spazmonkey (920425) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891702)

I'd say 128mb would still run, for the average user, about about 16 spyware apps, 3 trojans, 2 worms, 4 backdoors, 5 adware apps, at least one SMS spambot, oh, and don't forget the LOLcat screensaver.

Google Android far more flexible than iPhone (1)

KH2002 (547812) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891648)

In the long run, the iPhone SDK shortcomings may hurt it in comparison to Android, which allows background processing.

iPhone's lack of (3rd party) background processing will hamstring whole classes of new apps. The best summation of iPhone SDK problems I've seen is here:

Apple's iPhone SDK Prohibits Real Mobile Innovation [whydoeseve...ngsuck.com]

Has nobody heard of the iPod. (1)

seanyboy (587819) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891694)

All these arguments got pulled around with the iPod, and we all know what a disaster that was.
The thing here is that there is consumer choice. You can get a different phone if you want.
And the phone I want is an iPhone.

Uh, perspective? (1, Troll)

NMerriam (15122) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891704)

The SDK hasn't even been released yet (we've seen two betas only), and yet people are criticizing it as if this is already the last version of the SDK that will ever be released and no new features or APIs will ever be added.

Christ, the hardware itself is still on its first version (!!) and critics are already acting like the development environment has been neglected since Reagan was in office.

I suppose it's marginally entertaining for tech writers to have a new variation on the old "Apple is Doomed" story that they can use to generate page views. "Recently released handheld battery-powered device doesn't yet replicate all advanced features of a desktop computer! Also, world hunger not eliminated. Apple is doomed!"

Why is /. Linking to Ignorant Clowns on Cnet/ZDnet (1)

DECS (891519) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891738)

1. Some dumbass ZDnet pundit yaps on about subjects he is unqualified to talk about technically, unaware of any of the reasons for the engineering decisions Apple makes, and suggests that the he, as an ignorant asshat, can offer the iPod maker sailent advice on how to deploy the iPhone software platform.
2. ZDnet posts it to Slashdot
3. Slashdot links to it.
4. Profit? *

* no CNet/ZDnet is going out of business. Slashdot is just wasting our time.

CanSecWest and Swiss Federal Institute of Tech Deliver Attacks on the Reality of Mac Security [roughlydrafted.com]

Look at the good stuff, not just the bad... (4, Insightful)

AccUser (191555) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891748)

Everyone is quick to point out the 'limitations' imposed by Apple on developers, but I haven't heard anyone pointing out what a rich API is available through the SDK. Why not? Probably because that sort of news doesn't generate enough traffic.

Personally, I have downloaded the SDK. I have an iPhone that I use for business (and fun!) purposes, and I can think of a couple of applications that I would like to see developed, and as an Objective-C/Cocoa developer, I am in good stead to do so. I was amazed at both the quality and quantity of the features available on the iPhone through the SDK, and how simple and straightforward the development process was. As a veteran WinCE developer (and I did wince, lots) I know how not to go about development for resource limited devices, and I can only say that the whole experience so far has been very rewarding.

Thinking about the 'limitations', I can only say that the iPhone is not a desktop computer. It is not tethered to the wall by a power cord, and as a user, I really do put battery life over and above some background task that may or may not add to the quality of my use. I think Apple is right to be concerned about the type and quality of applications installed on these devices, because they care about the user experience.

So, does anyone run SSH on their iPhone? (4, Interesting)

Jason Pollock (45537) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891860)

Does anyone run SSH on their iPhone? I do. It kills the battery life. Takes it down to 1/4 what it usually is. People at work complaining about battery life of their phone? They remove some nifty-new application that they just added, all of a sudden the battery life goes back to normal. Amazing. Heck, it's so common that the first words out of my mouth are, "Turn off the SSH server."

The iPhone goes into deep sleep at the drop of a hat to extend battery life. Polling connections, doing anything in the background will keep the CPU from throttling down.

From the customer's and Apple's point of views, this is a bad thing. Mostly because Apple will take the heat for the misbehaving application. For more evidence of this, check out the other slashdot story about the number of crashes caused by NVIDIA. Did NVIDIA catch the heat? No, Microsoft did.

It's a reasonable limitation until they come up with an application that the user can ask,
"Hey, my battery life sucks, where is it all going?"
and the application will say,
"The SSH server".

Barnum Effect.? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22891906)

Apple fans have become the most pathetic example of the 'sad consumer' syndrome. Brand loyalty can be taken to any extreme, and the less social capital you have then the more likely you are to become a devotee. When all this overpriced plastic crap becomes an expression of someones lifestyle, then its pretty clear to most of the people around them that these characters are compensating for something.

It might go unsaid a lot of the time, but apple fans are probably the saddest bunch of twats you are likely to meet. The fact that they're likely to be less than technically savvy doesn't help any, and they damm well know it.

In a way the iphone shouldn't even be discussed on a site like this - on a technical level it's a complete joke. Of course if you're deluded enough then a "portable computer" that doesn't have the pace to run the Flash plugin is acceptable

The problem is, what do you do when you get boned by Jobs, for example when you buy a machine that is supposed to change the world and realize that the internet speed is little short of pathetic? Simple - you turn that anger against people that don't like the way that Apple behaves.

There, there, just let the anodyne interface sooth you and your hurting wallet! And would sir like some eye candy with your drm laden cripple ware?

Middle way (4, Insightful)

Zelos (1050172) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891934)

IMHO, the truth of this lies somewhere between the two camps. Background processes have a lot of problems on phones. They stop the phone being a simple "pick up and use" device, because the user has to worry about which apps they leave running. Somebody using a phone doesn't want to have to think about memory usage, they're probably barely aware of what RAM even is. They affect reliability, performance and battery life.

Almost all apps on PalmOS run in the same way - they save state and exit when you switch to another app. By optimising application startup speed, they give the illusion of multi-tasking. Anyone who's used a Symbian UIQ phone knows how slow application startup is on a lot of smartphones. IIRC, there are some phones that allow background tasks until you start the web browser, at which point all other non-system tasks are killed to save memory.

That said, multi-tasking has some very important uses - background polling for messages etc. The solution is probably a system framework with which applications can register small helper programs to perform specific tasks. The framework can then ensure they don't use too much CPU or RAM and optimise their network access to reduce the amount of time the radio is on.

Bad analogy (1)

bipbop (1144919) | more than 6 years ago | (#22891964)

The analogy "pretending to be a 1981 IBM PC" is a bad one. iPhone dev isn't that open!

Re:Bad analogy (1)

Comboman (895500) | more than 6 years ago | (#22892030)

I was thinking the same thing. IBM PCs could run background tasks (anyone remember TSRs?). You had a choice of operating systems (DOS, CP/M). The hardware was friendly to third-party developments. The only thing that was closed was the BIOS and even that was eventually reverse engineered.

ROFL (1)

The Living Fractal (162153) | more than 6 years ago | (#22892020)

That is some serious hyperbole comparing it to an IBM PC from 1981. I fail to see the usefulness in it. In fact, it probably distracts people from the real point here, which is that Apple's practices aren't great for business.

i wont buy an iphone (0, Offtopic)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 6 years ago | (#22892060)

because it is tied to AT&T (big blunder), Apple should have made it like any other independent cellphone allowing the customer to choose any service they want (and no, i don't want to perform any unauthorized and warranty voiding hacks to an expensive cellphone)...

the OpenMoko is open for any service...

--not-a-troll=just-observation
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