iPhone "SDK" To Receive Improvements, Remain Web-based

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Oct 3, 2007.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple's iPhone "SDK" will remain web-based for the foreseeable future, according to an Arstechnica source. However, the source elaborated to say that Apple is actively working to expand the capabilities given in the web-based SDK.

    Improvements are said to be forthcoming to Safari to allow off-line storage capabilities which would gain the ability to run 3rd party web-based code without accessing the internet. Other possible improvements include deeper access to iPhone functions via JavaScript and home screen icon placement.

    The targeted release date of such improvements is January 2008, most likely Macworld San Francisco.

    Poll: Before iPhone 1.1.1, did you install 3rd party applications on your iPhone?

    Article Link
  2. Project macrumors 68020

    Aug 6, 2005
    Offline capabilities akin to Google Gears = cool as hell.
  3. shadowfax macrumors 603


    Sep 6, 2002
    Houston, TX
    I hope that "for the foreseeable future" is just blowing smoke. We've seen real, awesome 3rd-party apps. Apple's "Web 2.0 Application" BS isn't fooling anyone.

    Home Screen placement and offline access is nice, but it does nothing to address the significant speed issues.
  4. 3282872 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 11, 2006
    Steve Jobs cough*OCD*cough*cough

    This controlling bs on iPhone's platform is silly. enough already. :rolleyes:
  5. burrito macrumors newbie

    Oct 2, 2007
    i'm having trouble understanding the pull of running 3rd party apps off the iphone. to anyone that has done it, what kinds of apps did you install, and what did you use them for?
  6. Glenny2lappies macrumors 6502

    Sep 29, 2006
    Brighton, UK
    I guess security's their biggest concern.

    Pity it can't use a sandbox and something akin to Java.

    It'll be wonderful to see the phone being expanded to allow all sorts of applications to be installed.
  7. johnee macrumors 6502a


    really, apple is getting as bad as microsoft in the depth of their control
  8. Squonk macrumors 65816


    Mar 15, 2005
    More development capabilities is a good thing. I wish you weren't restricted to the web as such, but I'll take anything they are giving.

    MORE :apple: MORE!!!
  9. TitoC macrumors 6502


    Jun 15, 2007
    Why can't there just be a "controlled" system, sort of like Apple's Widgets? Got a cool App? Get it reviewed and approved by Apple and you can download it via iTunes! This way Apple gets the control it wants and innovative apps get to the people. What's the problem with that? C'mon Apple.
  10. CoreWeb macrumors 6502

    Mar 2, 2007
    Edge of reason
    I somewhat disagree - with several modifications, Webkit apps could possibly maybe come close to matching full-blown applications. But it would need several modifications. The problems include: the address bar, difference between scrolling and drag-and-drop, handling of gestures, amongst many others. If Apple could somehow add events for these...

    Perhaps all of the options in the iPhone UI would be exposed as some kind of HTML elements - those on/off switches, the lists of items, etc. They could possibly make app development for iPhone a bit like developing apps in Cocoa but using Javascript as the controlling language. Thus the applications are completely sandboxed, but look and behave exactly like other iPhone applications.

    The performance issues with Javascript would still somewhat be a problem, unless Apple can speed up their Javascript engine (unlikely). But (and I'm not sure I like this idea), Apple might be able to make JS accelerators for things like drag-and-drop. An element would be set to draggable, and then Safari would handle the dragging.
  11. HornetOSX macrumors member

    Feb 9, 2003

    Give me offline storage and icon on homepage capabilities..........

    I'll upgrade past 1.0.2 in a heartbeat

    I'm sure with more system hooks from safari to the phone should help some app devs ( tho I fail to see how this will make the phone more secure )
  12. TitoC macrumors 6502


    Jun 15, 2007
    Let's see:

    (1) Voice Notes (vNotes) to record notes, comments, etc. Great way to have a voice recorder right on the iPhone.

    (2) Apollo. REAL IM capabilities (no WEB mess, just a good IM App right on the iPhone.

    (3) Tons of games (NES, Blackjack, Tetris, Yahtzee, etc.).

    (4) Terminal App for us that love to control and run all kinds of mini apps right on your phone (great for testing as well).

    (5) SendPic, SendSong and SendFile for TRUE content sending. Send pictures, any song OR any file from your iPhone.

    (6) WeDICT. All kinds of dictionaries right on your device.

    Plus much more that comes out every other day.

    P.S. And yes I still have them on my iPhone. No updating for me, yet . . . .
  13. xnu macrumors 6502


    Jul 15, 2004
    Does concentrating application development on web based only applications allow Apple to remain flexible on processor choice? Do they not want to open the iPhone because of planned future changes to the architecture?

    I know security is one reason to limit third party apps, but if they do plan to switch chips to intel from samsung, are they just trying to get momentum behind web base applications so that they can build a library of titles that do not have to be recompiled and rewritten when new hardware comes out, similar to the games on the iPod problem they have now?

    Obviously they are concerned about future architecture with battery life and 3g, the technology is just maturing now, maybe they are hedging their position to remain neutral so they can be nimble with the hardware.
  14. GTiPhone macrumors regular

    Jul 22, 2007
    Island Heights, NJ
    This is VERY good news actually. Not the fact that it will remain web-based, but the fact that web-based will be substaintially improved.

    Home Screen Icon Placement? That's all I needed to hear. :D

    This will be excellent. With more access to the iPhone functions, some great web apps can be developed that really do look and feel and function like native apps.
  15. mainstreetmark macrumors 68020


    May 7, 2003
    Saint Augustine, FL
    I weep.

    Even if web apps are "offline", it's still cumbersome to run them all through Safari, while at the same time, having to constantly ignore the useless "stocks" and "weather" apps. (Have you guys seen Weather Underground's iPhone page? It's great!)

    At a minimum, if all we get is web2, then Safari app should function more like "finder". For example, clicking on Safari brings up another screen, similar to iPhones home, but with all your bookmarks, icon'd by favicon. So, when you want to go to wiki, all you do is click safar, click wiki, and off you go. Now, you have to stop the page load, bring up bookmarks, scroll to find, etc..etc..

    I gotta hope that Leopard will reveal some new stuff. "Notes", for example, is an OS-level feature of Leopard, so perhaps there's some magic in Leopard that will allow native iPhone apps to be written. It seems unusual for a company who's known for user interface to leave three open spots on the home screen of the iPhone.
  16. TimTheEnchanter macrumors 6502a


    Oct 24, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN
    If Apple is concerned about security, I'd like to see them open a channel for 3rd party developers where apps are offered via the iTunes Store. (I know, grumble about Apple just making another revenue stream but...) Apps could be offered for $5-10 each and have Apple's seal of approval. Sure they'd make a chunk off the sale but who cares. The fact is the developers would make money, we'd get apps without risk, everybody wins. Much better than the web-based bandage.
  17. bruk201ib macrumors member


    Sep 6, 2007
    London, UK
    I couldn't agree more!!! I understand the unlocking issue = lost of money for Apple and ATT, but the refusal to allow 3rd party applications id just dumb. Developers didn't charge a dime for their iPhone applications so far, it's not like their are making money instead of Apple. Instead they are using the iPhone to expand its possibilities.

    Apple needs to make a new function in iTunes that is called iPhone Widgets, where it will store all the applications written so far once approved, and the user will choose which one to download (for free of course), rate them, comment them and so long....

    IS THAT TOO HARD TO DO????:mad:
  18. /dev/toaster macrumors 68020


    Feb 23, 2006
    San Francisco, CA
    I don't see how Apple thinks that this will solve the problem. Its only adding fuel to the fire. That whole "web 2.0" demo that was giving was a last minute joke put in place.

    We need a real SDK, otherwise the iPhone platform *WILL* fail. Apple pushed the bar up and competitors are starting to respond. Pretty soon, you won't see those silly Blazer browsers ... phones with full browsers are starting to pop up, some even with Flash and Java. (Although, I would rather not have Java)

    Same thing interface wise, phones coming out are starting to copy Apple on simplicity and the "fluidness".

    Now Nokia and other platforms are going to start to promote very hard that they have an open platform. That is very bad news for Apple.

    How does Apple respond ? With a "web 2.0 SDK" ... come on, that has to be a joke. Apple is going to be left in the dust with this.

    People laughed at Apple coming into the cell market. They did a damn good job ... now, people are laughing at them for closing the platform off.
  19. JPyre macrumors 6502

    Mar 28, 2005
    ^ Very good point, but why not just release a real sdk that uses universal binaries, even if the chips aren't out yet? I'm not a programmer so I don't know the implications of that or if its possible to be pre-universal. Either way they could have rosetta on the intel chips running arm code ;) I'm sure the new Intels could handle it.
  20. Rot'nApple macrumors 65816


    Dec 27, 2006
    I DID build that!
    Not being familiar with Goodle Gears and not going to Google to try and figure it out, maybe someone who has knowledge and experienced it's capabilities give a layman explanation, thanks.
  21. Maccus Aurelius macrumors 6502a

    Maccus Aurelius

    Sep 19, 2006
    Brooklyn, NY
    This stuff about security aside, a pretty good point was already made regarding third party development. Apple already has lots of demo and freeware available for the Mac on its site. They could very well distribute applications right on that same page for the iPhone. People can get the freeware, and pay for more premium applications to the developers. I'd like to love the iPhone, and it's such a fantastic device, but I think that it's time that Apple started to step back and look at WHY people have been stuffing their phones with third party applications, why people have been individualizing their devices and why many *SENSIBLE* people are not installing firmware updates after heavily modifying their phones.

    If Apple were to release a real SDK for the phone, the iPhone would be a lot more fun, because there's a much larger development community than Windows users think there are for Macs.
  22. mainstreetmark macrumors 68020


    May 7, 2003
    Saint Augustine, FL
    (7) an improved e-mail app

    (8) an iPod that works in the traditional iPod manner

    (9) an app that accesses the accelerometer, so you could do silly stuff like have pics of girlies so when you shook the iPhone their breasts bounced

    (10) Sketch

    (11) A useful weather widget that goes beyond "it's 80 degrees!"

    (12) A wifi-finder/wifi-grapher

    (13) A money manager

    (14) A screensaver
  23. notsofatjames macrumors 6502a


    Jan 11, 2007
    Wales, UK
    We know that Apple took some people from the leopard development team to help with the iPhone. And the fact that the iPhone runs a version of OSX. We also know that leopard with have system notes and to-do's, and an updated mail application. So i hope with leopard release, auto syncing of notes, todos and mail (actual mail, not just accounts) are implemented. It will suck if it only works with 10.5 though, but never mind.

    I think web apps that can be added to the iPhone home page would be a good idea. Sort of shortens the bridge between the phone and the applications.
  24. Fast Shadow macrumors 6502a

    Feb 9, 2004
    Hollywood, CA
    Would it be too much to be able to add the ability to save save attachments (images, at least) as well as save images from web pages?
  25. maverick808 macrumors 65816


    Jun 30, 2004
    I don't see how any customer could be against having the iPhone open for third party development. What Apple are doing in closing up the platform benefits nobody but themselves. For the sake of making a few extra bucks Apple is absolutely crippling the iPhone.

    Honestly, I already own an iPhone and had been recommending it to all my friends, but since Apple locked up the device I can no longer recommend it to anyone. In fact, I'm telling everyone to stay well away from the iPhone unless Apple get their head out their ass and open up the platform.

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