Will SDK make any difference ?

Discussion in 'iPod touch' started by TheBrazilianGuy, Feb 20, 2008.

  1. TheBrazilianGuy macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2006
    #1
    Looking at what people expect and what Apple usually delivers, do you really believe SDK will change something ?

    At first I tried to believe our freedom was coming with the SDK release but then reality came in : Apple would never let this happen without some crazy profit. If only they let us drop files somewhere (maybe a special folder) we would have some really good stuff to play with !
     
  2. jbarr macrumors regular

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    Feb 17, 2008
    #2
    I figure that Apple will probably release a beta version of the SDK this month along with a firmware and an iTunes update to accommodate application distribution. What the capabilities or cost will be are anyone's guess, and it leaves lots of unanswered questions....
    • Will the SDK be free, or will it be priced at a level where only commercial software houses can afford it?
    • Will applications have access to underlying data from other apps? (for example, could an enhanced calendar/ToDo application be created to interact with the existing Calendar database?
    • Will applications be able to sync date through iTunes? For example, will we see an eBook reader that will allow us to sync eBooks of various file types through iTunes?
    • Will we see applications to alter the Theme?
    • Will any "system-related" utilities be made? For example a simple WiFi toggle app like WiFiSwitch?
    • Will we ever see anything that remotely resembles the amazing Wikipedia.app application?
    The speculation, of course, is that Apple will force applications to be developed within strict "sandboxed" environment so as not to directly affect the underlying system, so I personally wouldn't expect any applications that "go deep" into the system.

    I'm sure some excellent applications like enhanced Calendar, Contacts, Notes, ToDo lists, games, and the like will come. But the real question is to what extent the applications will be able to interact with existing data or new data.

    I certainly would expect to see lots of applications coming, but I also doubt we'll see anything close to some of the system tweaks and utilities that the JB community enjoys.
     
  3. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #3
    You mean, like the same "crazy profit" they make distributing free podcasts and widgets?
     
  4. TheBrazilianGuy thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jul 26, 2006
    #4
    Well, profitable things were never free (games for iPod, for instance) and even "new" apps for the Touch had a hefty price of US$20. How about the US$2 activation fee for Macbook owners for the wireless n ?

    If it is coming from Apple, it will have a price on it.
     
  5. TP-Eric macrumors member

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    Feb 19, 2008
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    Toronto, Canada
    #5
    All I want is a real, customizable equalizer. Is that so much to ask?

    But really -- my thoughts on the subject:

    - SDK-designed apps will be able to interact with the data from existing apps. These exist under the Mobile user permissions, so it isn't unreasonable to think that Apple will allow other apps to access and modify their data.

    - SDK-designed apps will have access to hardware features (WiFi, BT, camera, (these last two on iPhone) etc.) and be able to use them as needed. They will have full access to WiFi and network functions within the scope of application development -- which is to say apps will be able to access the Internet for whatever purpose they need. Gameloft, for example, announced at the recent GDC that their intention is to write WiFi-enabled games for the iPhone. (Further speculation suggests they may also be an SDK launch partner, which may mean they already have something to deliver)

    - The SDK will most likely be free, but Apple will charge for the digital signatures apps will need to run. This would ensure that Apple gets a steady stream of revenue from developers (outside their cut of ITMS sales) on a similar level to subscription services, which is what they bitched about when they released the January update.

    - SDK apps will most likely be able to skin; again, this falls to the apps and their support files being stored in Mobile-user-accessible locations.

    - Apps being able to sync is likely. If Apple's desire is for developers to write more than just games, then it's a pretty sure bet that they're going to have to allow productivity apps and utilities to sync user-generated data back and forth, because users are not going to be happy if they can't back up or even edit their data on a computer.

    - The Wikipedia app isn't really all that complicated. It's just big. I'm sure it will be eminently possible though given the above.

    - All of the above will also require Apple to release a new version of iTunes with a more robust plugin structure to give apps that need to sync a user-accessible outlet through iTunes itself, to edit and manage synchronized data. Think Palm Desktop, but with a music player.

    This is how I see things unfolding, anyway. It seems to make logical sense from the user, developer and Apple's own perspective.
     
  6. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #6
    You mean, like Safari, and iTunes?
     
  7. TP-Eric macrumors member

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    #7
    Safari is free because A) It is not profitable (nobody will pay for a browser; see Opera) and B) It is a selling point for their computers. (Nobody will buy a computer that isn't Internet-ready)

    iTunes is a means to generate further revenue -- from iTMS music sales, iPod sales etc. Nobody would buy it just as a music player; there are better out there. Furthermore, nobody would buy a software MP3 player; there are plenty of good, free ones out there.
     
  8. beaker26 macrumors member

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    Aug 28, 2007
    #8

    Apple makes a large amount of money from Safari. Every time in the top right you search "google" or "yahoo!" guess where part of the money goes? It goes to Apple. Money is made through the revenue sharing on advertisements.

    One of the reasons the recent app pack cost money was Apple has to pay to license the "find me" feature of google maps.
     
  9. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #9
    Yup, in the end, everything Apple does is a "means to generate revenue." If third party developers create killer apps for the platform, Apple sells more iPhones and iPod touches. Strangely enough, this is exactly the same model as for OSX.
     
  10. JAT macrumors 603

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    Mpls, MN
    #10
    You people are talking like there aren't developers for the Touch right now. My pages of apps beg to differ, many of them directly interfacing with the wifi and other hardware features. The SDK will hopefully "legalize" all of it.

    The only thing I want is access to my iPod, it can do a whole lot if Apple will let it. And Apple's updates at the same time. Right now I am JB1.1.2, so I have access, but not the latest updates. I've decided to wait til 1.1.3 JBs are more consistent, or for the SDK, whichever gives me what I want first.
     
  11. TP-Eric macrumors member

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    #11
    Of course there are developers -- the question was both what the SDK is likely to bring to the table and whether it will change the jailbreak scene. On the whole, and assuming the Dev Team can continue to find ways into the system, no, I don't think it will. The homebrew scene is alive and well and will continue to improve as time goes on. The SDK end of things is a different market entirely -- if anything, the SDK may give homebrew developers a better idea of how to interface with the system and make better apps without having to use the SDK to do it. (Of course, if the Dev Team can suss out the dev key algorhythm, so much the better. :D)
     
  12. wizard macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    May 29, 2003
    #12
    The things mentioned above are directly related to new government accounting standards and have nothing to do with Apple. Step back an think a bit about Apple charging $2 for something like N activation, do you really think there is profit in that. Even the Touch apps at $20 isn't a gravy train for Apple.

    It is not like this is enjoyable for the common worker as we are all exposed to the new protocols with respect to the accounting changes. I could go on at length to detail some of the stupidity but one I can't talk about it and two you wouldn't believe me anyways.

    In any event to repeat for the 100 th time it is not Apple or any corporate greed that cause these sorts of charges. It is all about accounting for specific items they sell.

    Dave
     
  13. wizard macrumors 68040

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    May 29, 2003
    #13
    As to the original question " do you really believe SDK will change something" I'd say it has a lot of potential to. It depends very much on what Apple delivers and how Mobile OS evolves. What is possible with the SDK is somewhat tied to what the OS can support.

    For example software to make use of BlueTooth devices will be hard to write if Apple doesn't get off the can and flesh out the Bluetooth stack!

    Same thing for apps that need to swap data with a host computer. Either syncing mechanisms or disk mode access is needed to easily create apps that can produce data in the field for later use on a PC. Disk mode also has a lot of potential for other professional usage beyond the field data creation activity. For example the management of PDF and other documents that a company may not want to expose to iTunes. So I'm strongly leaning towards professional apps needing disk mode support.

    Apple needs to seriously consider the support of a number of common BSD utilities and a terminal app to run them. Even as a $20 download. Just getting this in one supported batch of software would give developers a base line from which to work with. This includes every thing from BASH to ZIP! Well the common stuff, it really should be limited to a specific amount of disk space, say maybe 500 meg.

    Finally Apple needs to support as many networking and security protocols as is possible. These devices just need to be able to operate anywhere. This is another item I consider to be a big OS issue. The sooner it is resolved the sooner more walls fall.

    Clear up some of these issues and the SDK will be properly supported by the OS. Next comes the issue of just how restrictive the SDK will be. Frankly my fear is that they will over do it. The SDK needs to be able to deliver user generated programs to the Mobile OS device without going through Apple. It is almost an imperative to get corporate adoption.

    Corporate is one thing, but from the standpoint of the common user it is important also. For example good Bluetooth support means immediate support for GPS via Bluetooth GPS units. It means communications with all sorts of devices supporting BlueTooth either natively or via adapters. Not to mention that I could see markets for Bluetooth devices that might not even exist if it wasn't for these portable platforms.

    Many people think of personal productivity apps such as word processors and the such. Frankly I don't see the demand at all for these, the device is just to small for serious writing. I do see a demand though for many other things that would fill all sorts of niche markets. What I do not see though right now is how the software would be distributed with the hardware. That is a tough one especially if everything has to go through Apple.

    I look at it this way Aple is free to screw this one up, I can only hope they don't.

    Dave
     
  14. TP-Eric macrumors member

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    Feb 19, 2008
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #14
    The problem with disk mode is that the HFS+ file system would only be readable on a Mac out of the box. Windows boxes wouldn't be able to handle it properly, not without proper drivers, anyway.
     

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