It is somewhat of a stretch to call myself a developer but in a small way I count myself among that number and hence my interest in the iPhone development issue. Here are three views.
- In the original announcement it seemed that the iPhone was a closed device which was received with some grumbling but there was at least a future hope.
- At this years WWDC Steve says hey guys you can write Web 2.0 apps! which was received with less than enthusiasm. It didn’t take too long for someone to quickly mock up a webkit app for the iPhone and for another group to point out the obvious problems with that; namely that you have to be in Safari to make the thing work. Developers felt somewhat slighted that they weren’t told, we’re working on an SDK but it’s not ready yet but for now you can do web apps.
- There is a third possibility. Steve Jobs is kind of a legendary guy in the industry by all accounts and one thing he is not fond of doing is saying things like “we can’t”, or tried and failed or something similarly negative. So it could be that there are other “new technologies” that he doesn’t want to talk about and as a result didn’t want to say anything about an SDK one way or the other.
Until we know what is really meant about security and stability beyond the obvious we will have to wait. I think the iPhone will do very well and at the same time there will be things that people don’t like. Whatever happens it will continue to improve as the refinements come about; ship then test!
My initial reaction to the iPhone was, this is too much in a package that small but with time I have to come to see that anything less might not have captured the imagination of the buyer.