Apple Letting Developers Into Its Walled Garden

from the i-want-my-applications dept

Advanced users of the Apple iPhone were delighted earlier this year, when a hack was released that allowed them to install native third party applications on the phone. Then, much to these users ire, Apple quickly responded with a software update, which broke any third party applications that were installed on their phone. By shutting off the iPhone to third party applications, Apple not only pissed off its most loyal users, but also created an opportunity for its competitors that did allow third party applications. Well, that edge didn't stick around for long, since Steve Jobs has just announced that the iPhone will be open to native third party applications through an SDK starting in February. Strangely, this is a similar path that Danger took when they released their Hiptop back in 2003. Danger also started with a walled garden upon its initial launch, and then, six months after launch, finally released an SDK. Apple's SDK will be released seven months after its launch, so it looks like almost they're on the same exact schedule. It is thought that Danger's delay in releasing its SDK killed much of the excitement of third party developers. Hopefully for Apple, however, its cadres of fanboys should be sufficient to get the ball rolling on the development of third party applications for the iPhone.


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  •  
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    Max Powers at http://ConsumerFight.com, Oct 17th, 2007 @ 12:39pm

    Apple finally getting it right

    Why do these corporate giants think they can control the world? Why doesn't Apple and other major companies just do the right thing from the beginning?

    Don't they realize by allowing third party development compliments their product thereby making the product even more popular?

     

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      Michael Long, Oct 17th, 2007 @ 12:56pm

      Re: Apple finally getting it right

      To paraphrase, Apple had to "...release a brand new phone platform with new hardware and new software, get Leopard ready for release, and, not incidentally, release a slew of new iPods in time for the fall/holiday shopping season. They're swamped."

      I think they floated the web-app balloon for two reasons: One, because there was no way in hell they'd have an SDK ready for the release, and two, because they thought they'd see if they really needed to do one after all.

      Not even a company the size of Apple has an infinite number of resources.

       

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      TriZz, Oct 17th, 2007 @ 1:10pm

      Re: Apple finally getting it right

      I am so sick of people complaining about this. I mean, really. Yes, it's our hardware - we should be able to do what we want with it. I get that, and I'd love to see some 3rd party apps for my iPhone. At the same time, Apple has the right to support the device as they seem fit. If Apple releases an update that shuts down what the amateurs are doing...is it Apple's fault that they pissed off the minority of users?

       

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      Mystified Mind, Oct 17th, 2007 @ 1:51pm

      Re: Apple finally getting it right

      Why do people think it is their right to tamper with the products companies bring to market? The iPhone is a system. If Apple feels that the best way to provide thee majority of their customers with a reliable system by locking their system down, then that is their right.

      Personally, I doubt I will ever buy an iPhone simply because it is going to be a target for criminals and jerks who will want to spread '3rd party apps' that steal your address book, send their stupid spam to your iPhone & to your friends and other mis-deeds.

      All of the complainers need to read this and memorize this.

      Just because something can be done does not mean it is RIGHT to do it. Always do the RIGHT thing.

       

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        GeneralEmergency (profile), Oct 17th, 2007 @ 2:54pm

        Re: Re: Apple finally getting it right

        How, in your wildest misreasonings, can I possibly "tamper" with ---MY--- personal and private property? Or are you laboring under some bizzare legal theory that even after I paid US legal tender directly to Apple in exchange for my iPhone(s), that they somehow still own the article in question??

        I smell astroturfer.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2007 @ 3:25pm

        Re:Why do people think it is their right to tamper

        Because people BOUGHT THEM with their own money. They did not rent or lease them.

        You buy a car - you change out the radio for a different one. HOW DARE YOU TAMPER WITH THAT CHEVY!

        HOW DARE YOU TAMPER WITH THAT IPHONE!! Maybe Apple has the right to repossess the hacked phones, with no refunds of course.

        People who think the way Mystified Mind does (on subjects like this) are prey.

         

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          Mystified Mind, Oct 17th, 2007 @ 4:23pm

          Re: Re:Why do people think it is their right to ta

          You can modify your car anyway you want to, but it has to meet certain standards (in this case the government sets them) if you want to drive it on public streets. To even drive most highly modified cars at a private track they must meet the track's standards and the standards of the sponsoring organization.

          If you promise to never ever allow your modified iPhone to connect to any public network, whether it be voice or data, then mod your heart out. "Your" iPhone could be participating in an illegal DDOS attack any day now.

           

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2007 @ 12:42pm

    The only problem is that Danger's SDK is practically useless. You still can't upload all your want to your own phone. :/

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2007 @ 12:54pm

    I think that will be true for the iPhone as well

     

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    GeneralEmergency (profile), Oct 17th, 2007 @ 1:01pm

    It won't make any difference.

    The signing "Fees" and list of thou-shalt-nots. Will doom the iPhone.

    I am the proud owner of three unlocked, jailbroken iPhones used by my family. I am basically happy but there are small but constant annoyances with various aspects of the software that if I had access to the source code, I know I could fix quickly.

    So...the most important thing this whole experience has taught me is, that just as soon as there is a truly open iPhone handset clone (WAKE THE HELL UP FIC!!!), I will drop Steve Jobs and Apple Lock-In Systems like a bucket of bad clams.

    Alan

     

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    JustaGuy, Oct 17th, 2007 @ 2:00pm

    How many Hiptops shipped?

    Interesting comparision. Do you know how many Danger Hiptops were on the market 7 months after their release? That would be just as important in terms of "developer" excitement for the platform, no?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2007 @ 2:16pm

    New Napster coming

    My money on what the next killer app will be? A napster clone that continually broadcasts and receives your music library to and from any IPhone in range over a WiFi peer-to-peer thing.

    It would be like a big adventure, because you never know what you'll have on there when you come home. Ride the subway, let your IPhone tick away, then go sync today's 4-gig-bounty onto your home system.

    Think you'll get too much crap? Nah. Tell it to only grab things on your 'songs I want' list. Or tell it to only grab things that at least X other people think are worth carrying on their IPhones. It needs some thought, but it can be made to work.

    I don't fileshare, because it's illegal. I won't, until it is legal. But that doesn't stop me from seeing this coming from a mile away.

    Before you hail me as a genius, I must inform you that I'm just reciting the speculation in textbook from one of my networking classes.

     

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    Overcast, Oct 17th, 2007 @ 3:21pm

    Hopefully for Apple, however, its cadres of fanboys should be sufficient to get the ball rolling on the development of third party applications for the iPhone.

    Yes, I'm sure the zealots will be happy to. I know a few people that see nothing Apple does as wrong. They could load up software that monitors your phone calls and use on a Mac, and they'd still blindly say 'Apple's the best!!!'

     

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    Mystified Mind, Oct 17th, 2007 @ 4:06pm

    "your" iPhone is mine!

    Why should Apple have the right to lock 3rd party apps and hackers out in any way possible? Here's why http://www.wired.com/gadgets/wireless/news/2007/10/iphone_hacks

    The hackers already have an SDK for using "your" iPhone to spread their viruses, trojans and other malware.

    Apple shouldn't have released the iPhone until they had every hole plugged as tightly as humanly possible. Most of you who want the open version of something are not nearly as smart as you think you are. You have no idea what evils you unleash with your mods, hacks and "it's mine" attitude.

    If you are all so special, how about writing a firewall, virus control package or spyware protector for the iPhone? I think I know why.

     

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    sammy colbert, Oct 17th, 2007 @ 8:41pm

    I am happy and unhappy that Apple will control the distrubtion of these apps. On one hand, we get secure apps, on the other we have to pay for them. I don't see a path for the freeware developer... some simple utility app. Apple will want to control the distribution through iTunes. Love my iPhone but not sure I am so in love with Apple control-freak attitude.

     

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    Jose, Oct 18th, 2007 @ 5:16pm

    Jeez. Having an open system is great, but don't you think they have a legitimate point that opening the iPhone up without caution could lead to problems with it - viruses, trojans, etc.? I'd prefer they get the security tightened up before they give tools to hackers to get at my iPhone.

    Let's point out another thing: those who chose to install 3rd party hacks were doing so through an exploit. No friggin' wonder your 3rd party hacked iPhone got messed up when Apple fixed the exploits. Apple never stopped anyone from hacking the iPhone, but they did explicitly say they're not going to support 3rd party hacks.

    And lastly, and most importantly, if you installed the 3rd party hacks - why the **** did you install the update??? Apple warned you clearly it was going to possibly render your hacks unusable.

    People bitching about the iPhone not being open enough are just self-righteous whiners.
    You're obsessed with your own ability to tinker and you don't even care about the REST OF US who don't want 733T HAXXORS from screwing up our iPhones. Get a life you selfish pricks.

     

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    sammy colbert, Jan 17th, 2008 @ 1:20pm

    I can't wait for the SDK and all the cool iPhone apps that will result. I like the fact that Apple will "regulate" the apps... who pays who though?

     

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