Why the iPhone doesn't have apps yet, and why its going to take until Feb '08

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by TheKrillr, Oct 25, 2007.

  1. TheKrillr macrumors member

    Aug 26, 2006
    A lot of people have complained and whined about apps on the iPhone. First it was because there weren't ANY, then because it required hacking the phone. Now it's complaints because Apple is waiting until February for a real SDK release. Why is Apple waiting? I'll explain.

    It's about Security. When I say that, I don't mean Jobs' lame excuse about taking down a cell network. I mean actual software security. Look at what is coming in Leopard: Per-application firewall and file access limitations, and digitally signed binaries. These things are key to modern desktop. But they're going to take it beyond that, and put that security in the palm of your hand.

    For over a decade, handheld security has been a big issue, and is one of the reasons PDAs are not as prominent as they should be, especially in the corporate world (no, BlackBerries dont count). The iPhone, combined with these new features, will present a handheld device with desktop-class security, something that doesn't exist today. They may even introduce a method of parental controls/corporate controls to allow parents or a corporation to pick and choose what can and cannot be installed. I wouldn't be surprised if at some point an iPhone software repository server were included with OS X Server.

    Also, on a sidenote, I believe in February we will see the iPhone gaining the ability to access and manipulate Contacts and Calendars on the new OS X Server 10.5. Cross your fingers.

    This is also posted on my blog. If you like it, digg it.
  2. nickspohn macrumors 68040


    Jun 9, 2007
    no kidding?

    Seriously, everyone that has an iPhone and stays up to date with it knows this. Do you think Apple just blind folded someone, handed them an iPhone and their finger landed on the month of thou February?
  3. D1G1T4L macrumors 68000


    Jun 26, 2007
    Savannah, GA
  4. Hustle macrumors 6502a

    Jul 29, 2007
    Thanks for posting this. In the future, when this question is asked or information is required about the iPhone Applications, a link to this thread can be providing.

    To the people who are about to bash and spam this thread, please think before posting. The Original Poster, posted this to help people out and just because you know this information, it doesn't mean others will. :)
  5. nickspohn macrumors 68040


    Jun 9, 2007
    You must be living under a rock. This site, Engadget, and a lot of other sites covered this the same day it was announced. Why else would Apple sit around with a finger up their butt waiting until February. It is obviously apparent Apple cares more about security than rushing a bad SDK program.
  6. Hustle macrumors 6502a

    Jul 29, 2007
    Not everyone on this site is going to be as knowledgeable as others. For example, there are many 13/14 year olds on this site that possibly didn't know this. If you know it, then thats great, but for those who don't, this is great for them. :)
  7. TheKrillr thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 26, 2006
    And what about people who never saw those articles? Or can't find them? Believe or not these people do exist, otherwise these questions wouldn't continue to be asked by lots of people on tons of sites over and over.
  8. nickspohn macrumors 68040


    Jun 9, 2007
    Sorry, it isn't obvious why Apple would wait to release a SDK to build stuff straight onto the iPhone.

    And if they missed it, god invented this.
  9. megfilmworks macrumors 68020


    Jul 1, 2007
    Sherman Oaks
    If they're anything like the 13 and 14 year olds I know then they know more than all of us "older" users!
  10. thebeephaha macrumors 6502


    Sep 4, 2006
    Seattle WA
    ATM I'd be happy with an iPhone, apps would just be a bonus.
  11. Hustle macrumors 6502a

    Jul 29, 2007
    Thats fair enough, but with all due respect, if you have a problem with a thread thats posted, why not just be mature and don't post in it. :)

    I agree. I'm awaiting the iPhone UK release.
  12. mrJnC macrumors regular

    Jul 18, 2007
    It's not just the security associated with preventing someone hacking in, or "taking down the network". It's leaving the network completely that Apple's partners fear. Else they have no motivation to allow the iPhone in their markets.

    So I think the reason for the delay is for Apple to make certain that a VOIP client cannot be created with the SDK.

    That, and programmers seriously hate documenting stuff. :p
  13. Daremo macrumors 68020


    Jul 3, 2007
    We won't have 3rd party apps in February. The SDK comes out, most likely the last day of February, and then they need to be created, and Apple needs to test each app, and set it up to sell through iTunes. My guess, we won't actually ass apps for the iPhone / iPod Touch until April or May, MAYBE June as a 1 year announcement, along with a new iPhone.
  14. TheKrillr thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 26, 2006
    Ok, but Apple has to provide a method for testing the apps to Developers, plus we can already install 3rd-party apps in a way. Once the SDK is widely available I think we will see 3rd-party apps as soon as the week after its released. Just not necessarily through iTunes.
  15. nickspohn macrumors 68040


    Jun 9, 2007
    Who knows the SDK could probably be released in December, and of course it could be released March 1st. February was a guess.
  16. mmfy macrumors regular

    Oct 23, 2007
    The real issue is why did Apple release the iPhone early..based on the ease in which the mobile OS has been hacked TWICE within the 4 months it's been out (and all the rumors of ppl being pulled off Leopard etc) it seems that maybe the iPhone really shouldn't have been releassed in June but now, and maybe they should've kept the programmers on Leopard...

    That way the secure Leopard OS would already have been out in the wild enticing ppl and when they dropped the iPhone bomb not only would it have been more secure (given the longer time in development to discover holes such as TIFF exploits) but in all probability that SDK would have been close to release...seems to me Jocs & co had itchy finger syndrome and were jumping back and forth between projects rather than devoting full attention to one at a time. Some of the bad press they'e gotten during the past few months might have been avoidable ...
  17. plumbingandtech macrumors 68000

    Jun 20, 2007
    It was released on time.

    But if it had not the bad press they would have received by pushing back the iphone to Feb '08 would have done multiple more PR damage.
  18. TheKrillr thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 26, 2006
    They did this basically to have a public beta. This much is obvious. Plus to test the waters and see what the public reaction will be, to see how hard they should work on providing bigger badder features. Most companies do this with their products, except they keep it hush-hush and limited to small numbers of people. Apple chose to do it the Google way and throw it out to the entire public (and kept it "invite-only" in a way by restricting to AT&T).
  19. kdarling macrumors P6


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 47 years ago
    Hardly. It's much more about control than security.

    Security fears alone does not explain why the iPhone doesn't have major and minor third party apps like Slingbox, Flash, medical programs, and many others from respected companies.
    Why don't you count Blackberries? How convenient.

    Security means multiple things. To a user, it means not losing their personal data, not being spied upon, and not being billed for something they didn't do. To a corporation, it means all that plus the ability to remotely update and wipe a device.

    To Apple, it means keeping control over look, feel, and protecting income from such things as ringtones.

    It's only been in the past few years that awareness of keeping customer information safe from loss has risen to high priority in civilian corporations. However, PDAs have been used for a long time in national security agencies with the proper addons. Most especially with good VPNs and one-time cipher logins.

    Now remote wipe is big news, even though it's a bit of false security, since stats show it often takes up to two weeks for owners to confess they lost their phone. Now even Windows Mobile has that ability, along with encrypted files.

    (Heh. Apple can't even keep holes out of Safari or stop hackers. And no 802.1x?) There are dozens of corporate class security companies making addons for WM and other devices. The problem is, most of the people commenting have not spent the past ten years dealing with security requirements.

    As for why it's going to take so long, I think others are right: they have to rewrite all their apps to run as other than root.

    PS. Sorry, I'm a bit crabby because I deal with (and have to comply with) companies that have 100+ page security requirement docs for PDAs... and people out there think security is something new, unknown, or will be invented by Apple.
  20. TheKrillr thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 26, 2006
    Actually it's all about security. If they were to release the SDK to these major players, that's all fine and dandy. But you have to remember that the strength of the mac community lies not in the "respected companies" but instead the individuals and small companies who haven't made a real name for themselves. To release the SDK to only a few would ruin things and piss more people off than not releasing one at all.

    They hardly qualify as a PDA. They're basically a glorified email device. Yes, you can install third-party apps... but in all honesty the ones available for the BlackBerry suck. I have a blackberry. Three of them actually. None of them count as a PDA IMO. If you disagree, fine. Go ahead.

    I find it interesting that you believe Apple considers security to be controlling everything themselves, when most recently it has become quite evident their definition of security is DATA security. Look at the new features in Leopard. Also, they have actually done a lot to make Mac OS X very extendable and changeable. I don't see that as keeping control over look and feel. Perhaps yes they maintain a higher level of control over their iTunes-related things, but that is to be expected considering that the iPod was never MEANT TO BE EXTENSIBLE. The iPhone clearly is.

    "Addons" is the key here. We aren't talking about the government. We're talking consumers who dont have the time or resources to develop their own addons, who want to just have thinks work the first time, securely, and the way they expect. That is what Apple is trying to accomplish here. Right now the PDA market is very much a government-oriented market, with a few civilian corporations using BlackBerries and a few Windows PDAs here and there. Apple is primarily a CONSUMER-oriented company. We're talking the CONSUMER market. And that is where this counts.

    "corporate class." These aren't available widely to the consumer market, now is it? I find it most interesting that the arguments you provided came from a market that the iPhone specifically is not targeting (yet). And if you are doing this because of my passing mention to POSSIBLE integration with Mac OS X server, that has NOTHING to do with the delay of the SDK. I tossed that in there for laughs.
  21. ellsworth macrumors 6502a

    Jun 13, 2007
    I would like to access and control my desktop from my iphone one day and also control my future with it as well.
  22. kdarling macrumors P6


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 47 years ago
    Google Maps. YouTube. I don't think anyone, including developers, would mind if we also had Slingbox, IM, and other major common apps from the beginning.

    I don't love them, but I have to port corporate apps to them. They're just as much a PDA as anything else. Sometimes more, with access to GPS.

    You originally said that security was the reason PDAs weren't widely adopted. Obviously Blackberry changed that.

    For consumers, I think security was the last thing on their mind. I submit that their biggest worry for years was accidental data loss due to battery or bugs, not by theft. Or now in the case of iPhone, accidental loss due to botched recoveries.


    Regards, Kev
  23. Vegeta-san macrumors 6502

    Aug 4, 2006
    Um...You can already do that...
  24. boss1 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 8, 2007
    1. If you frequent this site and can't find them, you probably need more help then the article you seek will provide.

    I'm not even going to continue to sequence points. Let's just say what this thread is. You made it to generate traffic to your blog. And I don't mean to say that to attack you. I'm sure your intentions are to help those who don't understand, understand. And also to share your perspective on this subject. fine.

    Now that that's out of the way, we can talk about the content of your thread. Yes your post highlights a perspective on possible reasons for Apple taking so long to dish out an SDK, but overall your findings are skewed and your follow up responses discount a variety of valid reason to include simple, logical reasons.

    You can't just dismiss some of the more apparent and realistic reasons others have brought up in this thread to include "CONTROL OF REVENUE". your entire post gives the reader the impression that "it's about security" and doesn't acknowledge any other valid and business reasons for the delay in the SDK.

    I don't mean to sound rude but I can't really find any other way to say this. who made you the PDA qualification judge? you can't dismiss a blackberry from being PDA like. it is what it is.

    And you believe this because of? There's already been reasonable speculation this may not be the case at all. That Apple may take the same approach to software development as sidekick & others have, where developers have to meet stringent Apple requirements and go through an approval process for Apps before they ever see the light of day. Only then will they be offered through iTunes.

    Sounds like a perfectly good scenario to me. but my estimate is as factual as yours.
  25. Cleverboy macrumors 65816


    May 25, 2007
    Pocket Universe, nth Dimensional Complex Manifold
    Mm... Chicken and egg there. I guess it really depends on how you look at it. I think there were only two major issues when it came down to it. Time and security. "Time" - They wanted to get this out by June 2007 to coincide with other product releases (and begin recouping investments), which in turn put a number of other things into play like dominoes, and "Security" - they KNEW they were working on a truly ambitious development cycle on a new device directly involving software which, while largely written by Apple, also may have been based on the software/libraries undoubtably written by the hardware vendors and the open source community.

    The danger in "time" is the possibility that it might go on indefinitely and, as the product launch is extended again and again, leaves the product buggy and unusable if rushed. The danger with "security" is in reputation and liability. If you were to look at these two things and ask, which group does Apple (or any company) prize more... timely product releases, sooner return on investment and release stability OR brand reputation, security and liability? You'd be hard pressed to say one group was far behind the other

    They've been running around after security issues on Safari since the launch of the beta for Windows, and playing whack-a-mole on their Mac OS issues for a good while. Many surmised that the Windows launch helped them torture test the browser security issues in the iPhone prior to launch. They knew they that they weren't simply releasing another iPod. They knew this was a new computing platform, bearing a raft of its own security problems and possible exploits. They told this to the whole world six months in advance.

    While its clear they had tons of items on their list of priorities, I'd still wager that if I were to place one item before another, I'd have "time" follow after "security" and not the other way around... Funny thing about "security" though... You can measure time and estimate for it. Security is a fuzzy measurement, only as good as the list of things you're testing for. Depending often, on the obviousness of the problem (and whether anyone discovered it at all).

    Third Party Apps require:
    * Security, Security, Security...
    * SDF & Documentation
    * Public Exposure

    Every supported piece of media Apple allows to play on the iPhone needs to be torture tested for exploits. Are ringtones in any way a security problem? Could be, same as Quicktime, TIF, BMP, etc.

    It'll be interesting to see how many changes Apple will have made by February.

    ~ CB

Share This Page