How Will iPhone Apps Be Implemented?

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
47,518
9,355


John Gruber explores what Steve Jobs could have meant with regard to his announcement earlier this week that Apple would be releasing a development kit for the iPhone:
We now know two new things: (1) that there will be “native third party applications on the iPhone”; and (2) that the SDK is scheduled for February. That leaves a long list of questions.
Specific comparisons are made to the Danger Hiptop/Sidekick development model which, 9to5mac had suggested Apple was exploring.

Article Link
 

boss1

macrumors 6502a
Jan 8, 2007
978
36
Very good read. Interesting insight and references to experienced developers and their take on the iPhone.


I would have to disagree with Steven Frank on the point of no free apps however. There are software companies that would probably be very willing to pay the cost to play, and still release freebie apps if Apple allows it. All of this in an effort to attract attention to the software developers desktop versions or other apps on their website that cost money.

This type of "get a popular freebie app and make sure to check out the full version or other apps on our website" marketing is not uncommon.
 

DeaconGraves

macrumors 65816
Apr 25, 2007
1,291
0
Dallas, TX
I would have to disagree with Steven Frank on the point of no free apps however. There are software companies that would probably be very willing to pay the cost to play, and still release freebie apps if Apple allows it. All of this in an effort to attract attention to the software developers desktop versions or other apps on their website that cost money.

This type of "get a popular freebie app and make sure to check out the full version or other apps on our website" marketing is not uncommon.
Very good point. Perhaps even syncing between the iphone app and a full version Mac app could be possible?
 

JNB

macrumors 604
As much as many like to tout the Palm model of 3rd-party apps (tens of thousands available through many sources, many free- or shareware), it's important to remember the repetitive, poorly executed, or just utterly craptastic nature of a huge portion of those. I'll take quality of build, utility value, and trust over volume any day.

So while I believe that an iTunes delivery would be the most straightforward for the end user, I would still like to see a somewhat greater degree of openness than that; I just don't see Apple offering as wide a variety (in a timely manner) of apps as could be delivered otherwise.

An alternative (or additional) means would be similar to the "Mac OS X Software" jump under the :apple: menu. Links to publishers external to Apple's direct management and control--while still being vetted by Apple--would provide the greatest flexibility to all.
 

Stella

macrumors G3
Apr 21, 2003
8,354
4,845
Canada
I really hope its the iTunes download route. That would just be perfect and hassle free.

I don't even mind that everything might be a few pounds.
How about upgrades to apps you already own?

iTunes would be the easiest way, but it would be also good if iPhone allowed direct download and install from web sites like other phones currently do.

iPhone apps, if released as free ( opensource or otherwise ) should remain as free.
 

donlphi

macrumors 6502
May 25, 2006
423
0
Seattle (M$ Country)
Slingplayer inevitable?

I think we may have finally found a route for Slingplayer on the iPhone. For those of you that don't have it, you won't understand the beauty of it, but for those of you that do, this app on the iPhone will change everything.

I don't think it will hurt iTunes movie sales either since you can't connect to a network on a plane or get video access in a non-wi-fi or non-EDGE area. You still need to load the phone up with movies and music when you are on the go.

Anyway... I expect to see some really great apps being available in March or April of 2008. Very exciting stuff.
 

Beanbox

macrumors newbie
Mar 6, 2006
7
0
Widgets

I would like the whole process to be similar to downloading widgets. Go to either the Apple site or a site like Dashboard Widget showcase, download an app while the iPhone is connected and it automatically installs. Either that or Apple should get in touch with the Apptapp guys and buy their methods. I can't see it being any easier than what they have come up with.
 

Lord Sandwich

macrumors regular
Apr 29, 2005
131
0
I would like the whole process to be similar to downloading widgets. Go to either the Apple site or a site like Dashboard Widget showcase, download an app while the iPhone is connected and it automatically installs. Either that or Apple should get in touch with the Apptapp guys and buy their methods. I can't see it being any easier than what they have come up with.
Problem is, Dashboard widgets are just XML-based applets, which are a lot less prone to causing security or stability issues than compiled binaries. Since the iPhone SDK will (presumably) focus on the latter, it's far more likely that we'll have to get our apps via iTunes after Apple certifies them.

Personally, I don't understand why the iPhone doesn't have some sort of Dashboard Lite. At the very least I wouldn't have to connect to the web to use a tip calculator! :p
 

megfilmworks

macrumors 68020
Jul 1, 2007
2,045
15
Sherman Oaks
Hopefully this SDK won't encourage Palm like apps, too many and too lame.
I would be happy with a few solid apps, like iWork, Word, Filemaker, etc .
I don't need a poorman's GPS or garage door opener! ;)
 

lawrencewinkler

macrumors member
Oct 12, 2005
49
0
CPU Hogging apps

One rationale for an SDK and sandbox not mentioned by Gruber is the possibility of run-away processes.

I'll plead ignorance on how OSes, including Tiger and now Leopard, control access to CPU resources. Simple multi-task switching algorithms cannot support such needs when (near) real-time is required for some functions.

Certainly, with concern for battery life and the critical timing importance to the mobile phone functionality and GUI, the OS must pay special attention to ensuring that processes (applications) do not demand too much CPU and memory resources at the expense of Apple's native iPhone functions and applications.

Perhaps some can enlighten me on these issues.
 

irun5k

macrumors 6502
Jan 14, 2005
379
0
I totally don't understand those who are saying they're rather restrict development on the phone and have fewer apps with higher quality.

Just look at OS X. There are tons of apps out there, many of them crap but many of them very useful and many of them written by small software shops or individual authors.

As a shareware author who writes software for Win32, OS X and Linux, I can develop a new app that I have a great idea for and bring it to market with no real barriers to entry. I can use any number of fulfillment processors (I use ShareIt) to collect payment and issue license codes. Thank the good Lord I never have to deal with Microsoft, Apple, or anybody else. I don't think my applications are crap, but if you think they are crap, you don't have to spend an extra 2 seconds on our web site. You can just go somewhere else.

Let me tell you how Apple can kill innovation. First, they'll charge a fortune for a developer kit for the iPhone. Next, they may force the app to go through some sort of certification process. This might also cost money. Then, they'll demand that they be the sole source for obtaining this app. They will sell it for $10 and they will give the software developer a couple of bucks for their effort in doing... well, basically nothing except spending thousands of hours of their time developing the app. The only guys who will develop under this model are a few big companies, and the apps will be mass market crap that they know they can sell a million copies of. Niche apps won't make the cut because at a couple bucks a pop, a person can't make a profit.

No thanks. This is ridiculous. Is this a Soviet era phone? Only the proletariat or authorized members of the mafia can develop applications? If this is their model, forget it.
 

tbobmccoy

macrumors 6502a
Jul 24, 2007
914
158
Austin, TX
No thanks. This is ridiculous. Is this a Soviet era phone? Only the proletariat or authorized members of the mafia can develop applications? If this is their model, forget it.
Not that i disagree with you, but it's the bourgeoisie I think you're thinking about here.

The history degree in my screamed out to correct this. The Proletariat are the good people of the working class taking their free time to develop hacks and apps for our phones ;)
 

megfilmworks

macrumors 68020
Jul 1, 2007
2,045
15
Sherman Oaks
I think freedom is the key. Not freedom to develop apps for Apple, but Apple's ability to be free to choose how they would like to do business with their products.
 

Stella

macrumors G3
Apr 21, 2003
8,354
4,845
Canada
Hopefully this SDK won't encourage Palm like apps, too many and too lame.
I would be happy with a few solid apps, like iWork, Word, Filemaker, etc .
I don't need a poorman's GPS or garage door opener! ;)
Then use your self control and not install any apps you don't like! Just like watching the TV - if you dislike a programme then change to a different channel.

Free will is a wonderful thing:)
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.