Web 2.0 apps (or AJAX apps) are better than no 3rd party apps, but basically, this is still nothing. It means that no, I can't have a 3rd party text editor that works when I'm not connected. I don't want to stop working on a text when the train's in a tunnel. :/ ... Bit sad, I guess... :/ Although it might jumpstart the web-apps business.
SJ stands in front of his main developer's conference - where he regularly mouths "Thank you all for the amazing contributions you're making to the Mac" - and says "Here's this brand new platform, with a full OS, but no sdk for you".
If I'd been there, I'd have booed him off the stage.
I'm not familiar with AJAX, but would it be possible if Apple decided to allow the iPhone "bundle" some AJAX sites, i.e. download the whole thing in the background so that the site works like an application residing on the iPhone itself?
Yes, they run _within_ Safari. If you want to use them, you have to go to Safari and then enter the URL or choose a bookmark with their URL. "Sandboxed" is the term Jobs was using, I believe.
While I think some people will do great little (and big) apps for the iPhone this way, it's just not the same thing as real applications residing on the phone. If you want to work in a place where you're not allowed to be connected or simply don't have access to the 'net (planes, caves, trains in tunnels etc.), you don't have access to those applications. Now... Of course we're all connected to the 'net at almost all times - and increasingly so - but it just doesn't feel right.
Jobs says this is about stability. How 3rd party apps are wreaking havoc on mobile platforms like Palm OS, Windows CE (and descendants), Series 60 and so on. But I have to say two things to this:
1.) It'd be _your job_ to make sure that 3rd party apps couldn't crash the phone. OS X is a great platform, right? Stable and secure and all. They could've made restrictions for an SDK and make it work.
2.) These things run in *Safari*. Safari is not the app that never crashes. It's one of the apps that crash _most_ on my computers! Sure, it doesn't take down the whole _system_, but if I work on documents in such a web app, run calculations, organise my life etc., I don't want those apps' sandbox to crash and burn...
Just think about it: Where's is the access point for most attacks over the internet today? It's the browsers. If anything, they should've made sure 3rd party apps were _not_ connected to Safari in any other way than they could link to URLs that would open in Safari.
I think the carrier might be more responsible for this than we think - forcing users to use Web 2.0 apps means forcing them onto GPRS networks when away from WiFi hotspots. And one way or another, GPRS usage = $$£££$$$££ for the carriers. Also, I fear GPRS will be tooooo slow for these types of apps - hope they've implemented 3G when the UK version appears. The other possibility is Apple deploying apps they think will be useful for us through the ITMS, even charging for them.
There are already plenty of phones that allow third party apps. The only reason why third party apps would not be allowed, is because they could possibly allow you to avoid paying them money. It's just like Verizon disabling bluetooth/bluetooth features to try and force you to have to email yourself pictures, of course for a fee. Either Apple is trying to limit you to programs they sell/media they sell or Cingular is doing something similar.
I feel like slapping people every time they say the iPhone supports third party apps through Safari, or something similar. It supports viewing websites, like they've said from the beginning. That's nothing! I want VNC and VLC for my iPhone. I want games that take advantage of the touch screen. It's great if Apple wants to sell games from EA, Namco, etc on the iTunes Store, but I want Ambrosia, Freeverse, and random people to be able to make stuff as well.
Also a third party app should not be able to ruin an iPhone. If it's badly coded, the app will crash. It should have no effect on the rest of the iPhone or any effect if you don't open the app.
I'm very disappointed in Apple. Not just for not allowing third party apps, but also trying to act as if they are by allowing websites to run. I was ready to buy an iPhone if they announced a SDK at WWDC. Now I need to find another phone, probably from Sony Ericsson.
It had an 8 MHz chip and 128 KB of RAM, though.
I think, though, that this is _not_ simply a new platform that will evolve to what we want. Quite clearly, Apple does _not_ want to release an SDK. It wouldn't be a technical problem. Couple of Cocoa frameworks and templates and off you go. They want to control this system as closely as they can. They would've preferred the iPod way, where they basically control _everything_ unless you go the linux route. They now hope that users will shut up, because the web app route at least gives _some_ form of 3rd party apps.
To some extent, I also agree with their decision. Platforms like S60 or Palm and Windows CE _are_ plagued by 3rd party hacks and tools that _do_ make the system unstable. Apple wants the iPhone _not_ to reboot twice a day.
I just fear that Apple won't deliver anything I want on it. They're not really interested to have a decent little office suite on the iPhone, whereas _I_ love to write documents with very small computers. (Loved the eMate, love the Nokia Communicator, love the treo 680...). They think the integrated iCal is good enough, whereas I love Agendus on a Palm's different approaches to listing agenda items. The Mac, from the very beginning, was great because it had a basic set that was good - but allowed other developers to extend it vastly.