Developers and the iPhone

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May 4, 2007
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#1
I have to agree with Gruber on this... you can do some amazing things with web apps but direct access to the hardware won't be possible.

Too bad we won't be seeing GPS using bluetooth... cool uses for the accelerometer (some guy wanted to write a "labyrinth" style game)... etc.

I really hope Apple reverses their decision on this and writes an API for the iPhone. Maybe it'll happen later but until then, web apps are all we got for now.
 

robhon

New Member
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Mar 17, 2007
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#7
I say its a pretty good temporary solution.
That's the same vibe I'm getting out of it. I think Apple is keeping the lid on tight to start. Then as they can feel assured that everything is secure they'll start opening up the iPhone to outside development.

BTW, the labyrinth game with the accellerometer sounds totally sick!
 

joe

New Member
Gold
May 5, 2007
1,113
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#8
apps... if you mean web pages. ;)
Nah, I mean web apps, "apps" for short. :) Applications are relative. They can be served locally or remotely. This is the idea behind a lot of what Google is doing these days. Webmail is an example.
 
Jun 12, 2007
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#9
HTC's iPhone rival set for U.S. launch




Taiwan smart phone maker High Tech Computer said Tuesday that it will launch one of its own branded touch-screen phones in the United States by the end of the year, as it seeks to compete with Apple's iPhone. The company's second-half U.S. launch for its newly released HTC Touch phone follows a recent release for the model in Britain, said Chief Executive Officer Peter Chou.
The model, a so-called smart phone with cell phone and personal digital assistant (PDA) capabilities, will use touch-screen technology similar to that of the iPhone, which is set for release on June 29.
"We've finally walked out of our different twists and turns," Chou said, a reference to his company's recent shift from making phones for other firms, known as original design manufacturing (ODM), to making phones under its own HTC brand name.
Chou said non-ODM phones now account for more than 70 percent of the company's sales.
 

JHMirage

New Member
May 12, 2007
22
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45
Minneapolis, MN
#12
Nah, I mean web apps, "apps" for short. :) Applications are relative. They can be served locally or remotely. This is the idea behind a lot of what Google is doing these days. Webmail is an example.
Not to be nitpicky, (I know you were trying to lump them together) but web apps can't be served locally. They can only be launched from their host environment. The might run locally, if they're predominantly JavaScript/AJAX, but you'll always have to go back to the source web page to launch that app again.

Hence the distinction he was making between visiting a web page, and the more general term "apps" which implies a much richer set of capabilities.

Don't get me wrong- you can do amazing things with toolsets like Google's GWT, but it's still not a true local app, and IMHO is a fairly poor substitute for true iPhone developer support.

I love the idea of the iPhone, but Apple really cut my anticipation down twice in the last two days... first by effectively announcing no formal 3rd party app support, and then by revealing that there won't be support for Flash at launch.

Still a very cool phone, and with the capacity to be much cooler still, but I think calling support for JavaScript-rich web pages a "solution" for the 3rd party developer concern is quite a stretch, even in the reality distortion field. :)
 

mav

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Bronze
May 9, 2007
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#13
I say its a pretty good temporary solution.
I personally think this solution sucks. As a web developer myself, web apps are powerful but can never replace local apps. However I understand Apple's reason for not allowing third party development against the iPhone. I only wished that Jobs would have simply said NO SDK, NO 3RD PARTY DEVELOPMENT instead of sugarcoating it by offering this BS solution.
 

joe

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May 5, 2007
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#16
Not to be nitpicky, (I know you were trying to lump them together) but web apps can't be served locally. They can only be launched from their host environment. The might run locally, if they're predominantly JavaScript/AJAX, but you'll always have to go back to the source web page to launch that app again.

Hence the distinction he was making between visiting a web page, and the more general term "apps" which implies a much richer set of capabilities.
I don't think you read that correctly. This is what I said:

Applications are relative. They can be served locally or remotely.
The device is small enough and limited enough to not have much of a need for a "richer set of capabilities." A lot of functionality can be found in web-based applications especially with web applications built strictly for the iPhone. Besides, this is most likely a stop-gap, where developers will have more options available to them over time.
 

JHMirage

New Member
May 12, 2007
22
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Minneapolis, MN
#17
I don't think you read that correctly. This is what I said:

Applications are relative. They can be served locally or remotely.
No, I understand what you were trying to say... that apps can be defined many ways. What I was saying is that the line between a web app and a client app is significant enough that trying to lump them together seems like a marketing stunt to me.

The device is small enough and limited enough to not have much of a need for a "richer set of capabilities." A lot of functionality can be found in web-based applications especially with web applications built strictly for the iPhone.
I agree with your second point, but absolutely not your first. The benefits of a local client app are, in many ways, more important on a handheld than in other form factors. The ability to quickly launch a chosen app from the main screen, the ability to store data (beyond just cookies) locally between sessions for easy access later, and the ability to leverage the common UI (even when the user changes themes, etc.) are all things that can not happen with a web app.

Plus, I'm going to be skeptical about how the demonstrated integration with iPhone capabilities works without an SDK until I can learn more. My guess is that these are features that were already planned.... it will offer to call anything that looks like a phone number when clicked in Safari... and map anything that looks like an address. That's very cool, but it's not a replacement for having an SDK which would let you tie those features to, say, a button or a label that doesn't actually show the phone number, but rather just descriptive text. These are the "richer set of capabilities" that every developer would prefer to have at their disposal, small device or not.

Besides, this is most likely a stop-gap, where developers will have more options available to them over time.
This is certainly true, but that's not the spin it's being given. Apple does us a disservice by acting like this is an acceptable alternative to opening up the platform for true 3rd party applications.

Realize that I'm not trying to go off on you personally... I'm just disappointed in what I see as an artificial crippling of a great piece of hardware. And this is coming from someone who has been building web applications for over a decade. I know the capabilities of that medium, and I'm sure we'll see very cool things coming out over the next few days, let alone months or years, but I'm not willing to let Apple totally off the hook. :)
 

RchGrav

New Member
Bronze
Jun 8, 2007
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#18
I love the idea of the iPhone, but Apple really cut my anticipation down twice in the last two days... first by effectively announcing no formal 3rd party app support, and then by revealing that there won't be support for Flash at launch.

I'm sorry, when was it confirmed that there will be no flash support? I thought this was up in the air. Also from the "Watered Down" commercial it seemed as though the flash objects on the page were loading. Source?
 

JHMirage

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May 12, 2007
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Minneapolis, MN
#19
I'm sorry, when was it confirmed that there will be no flash support? I thought this was up in the air. Also from the "Watered Down" commercial it seemed as though the flash objects on the page were loading. Source?
http://www.tuaw.com/2007/06/12/its-official-no-flash-support-on-the-iphone-yet/

I'm sure they're working like crazy to get a plugin done for flash... I'm a bit surprised it's not already available. We'll have to look forward to a downloadable update. Hopefully soon after launch.
 

robhon

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Mar 17, 2007
620
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#20
This grocery list is pretty cool. http://www.mrgan.com/onetrip/#

What's really cool about it (I suppose) is that, since it's web based, my wife should be able to make a list for me and then I can pick everything up on my way home from work. ...I'm notorious at our house for forgetting at least one thing I was supposed to get. No more.