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View Full Version : iPod "development"?




mrgreen4242
Sep 8, 2005, 10:22 AM
I was wondering yesterday why Apple hasn't started an iPod development program. By this I mean create a set of tools, or sub-set in XCode, to allow people to develop apps for the iPod. Think basic games, small utilities, etc. Kind of like Widgets, just not live updating.

Create a standard interface in iTunes to install/remove them, and also to update them when synced. Examples would be an iPod weather application that gets the weekly forcast for you, updated every time you sync; an analog world clock (like they added to the nano); an RSS reader that grabbed a few feeds for you when you plugged your iPod in; email readers; plus all the obvious games...

Have them in a menu under Extra's and let people go crazy. Seems like a good idea to me, as it wouldn't really cost Apple anything, wouldn't distract from the the 'purists' who want 'just an mp3 player' (they don't have to install anything extra), would give them yet another one up on the compition, and let users have what THEY want on the iPod.



PlaceofDis
Sep 8, 2005, 10:40 AM
its a good idea, and could work, but these would have to go unsupported by apple, which could put them in an awkward place. they already have to ship out a new ipod whenever someone sends theirs in for repairs because the turn around time is too long, this would probably end up raising more potential issues and thus costing the consumer more because its a problem that apple wouldn't support, or could lead to hundreds of other complications.

now if it is something they released to some iPod developers on the side so there would be some interaction between apple and the developers together to make it work.... maybe (kinda like what they originally did with the mic and Belkin when that feature was first introduced)

andiwm2003
Sep 8, 2005, 10:46 AM
would be bad for marketing. lot's of crashing apps would give the ipod a bad reputation. the main marketing idea is "simple and easy". 95% of customers probably don't want to hear "this and that crashed my ipod again....".

anonymous161
Sep 8, 2005, 11:10 AM
I think it could work pretty well.
A hand full of lightweight programs that would be synced through iTunes with a mandatory copy of each app kept on the host Mac so that if a new app you put on your iPod buggered the whole system, all you have to do is a resync. A little app controller like the widget manager that would allow you to check/uncheck which apps you wanted on your iPod would work quite well. Pay apps would be pretty easy, the license would just have to allow for a single Mac but multiple iPods.

mrgreen4242
Sep 8, 2005, 11:23 AM
As far as crashing apps causing support trouble, the first thing they tell you to do before you send you iPod in is the reinstall the latest firmware/update/whatever you want to call it, effectively reseting your iPod to a factory fresh state to see if that fixes it. If a 3rd party app was causing your troubles, then a reset to factory defaults would fix it.

Plus, if people are sending the iPod in for service, they are either within the 6 month windows, paying a $30 'shipping fee', or bought AppleCare. 2/3 of the time Apple is making money on it.

As for marketing, I'm not convinced that it would reflect poorly on the iPod if some apps were crashing it. For example, do you blame Apple or your computer if you install some crappy application that lcoks up? No, you think "what a piece of crap this software is". I would think that the same would apply to an iPod app... if it crashes when you use that app you're going to think, "what a piece of junk iPod extension".

Plus, the positive marketing would likely outweigh the negative. For every 5 crappy widgets out there there only needs to be one good one for people to latch onto it and think "wow, this whole dashboard thing is really cool/useful/whatever". Same would go fro iPod plugins, I'd think at least.

tomjleeds
Sep 8, 2005, 04:34 PM
As for marketing, I'm not convinced that it would reflect poorly on the iPod if some apps were crashing it. For example, do you blame Apple or your computer if you install some crappy application that lcoks up? No, you think "what a piece of crap this software is". I would think that the same would apply to an iPod app... if it crashes when you use that app you're going to think, "what a piece of junk iPod extension".

I think that way, obviously you do, and I'm sure most of the MacRumors userbase does too. Unfortunately, the vast majority of people don't.

pubwvj
Sep 15, 2005, 08:49 PM
It is an excellent idea. But Apple should take it one step further. The iPod should be a PDA. It should run the MacOS X. It does not need to be as fast as a desktop Mac or even an iBook. It is a lower power machine for doing simpler tasks. By making it run the same software as the Mac it would simplify things greatly. It could be an OSXlite version that does not include a lot of the things that are not necessary and do take up a lot of extra space or processing power.

Then developing for the iPod would be just developing for the Mac but accepting that it is not going to be a powerful machine. A _lot_ of applications don't need a whole lot of RAM, CPU, VRAM, etc and would run just fine on the iPod.

mrgreen4242
Sep 15, 2005, 08:53 PM
It is an excellent idea. But Apple should take it one step further. The iPod should be a PDA. It should run the MacOS X. It does not need to be as fast as a desktop Mac or even an iBook. It is a lower power machine for doing simpler tasks. By making it run the same software as the Mac it would simplify things greatly. It could be an OSXlite version that does not include a lot of the things that are not necessary and do take up a lot of extra space or processing power.

Then developing for the iPod would be just developing for the Mac but accepting that it is not going to be a powerful machine. A _lot_ of applications don't need a whole lot of RAM, CPU, VRAM, etc and would run just fine on the iPod.

That's a bit much... I'd love to see an Apple PDA with iTunes compatibility and iPod like interface, but the iPod needs to stay fairly simple. A video iPod with somewhere between an iPod and full PDA like features would be pretty cool, too...

Also, OSX isn't really an ideal pen based interface... I think Apple could do better.