For software developers, Jobs’ latest announcement couldn’t be better received, even if no specific details were provided; as it indicates that they will have the opportunity to create versions of their applications or create completely new programs that will work on the device that will potentially be the most popular since the appearance of the iPod.
Evolution in Apple’s position
There has certainly been a major twist on Apple’s previous perspective on this issue. Shortly after the product’s announcement in January, Jobs told the New York Times that Apple wanted to keep a close eye on everything that would go inside the iPhone. In these statements, Steve Jobs stated, “You don’t want your phone to be like a PC. The last thing you want is to have loaded three applications on your phone and when you go to make a call the phone will no longer work. “
Many interpreted that comment as the fact that Apple would leave the iPhone closed to third parties; But on May 10, during the annual shareholders meeting, there was a change in Jobs’s tone on the possibility of development for third parties. The CEO indicated that Apple is “weighing” how it could open development for the iPhone to third parties; something that has been reaffirmed with the last comment made at the D Conference, where it seems that development will definitely be open once the stability and security parameters for the mobile device have been established.
Jobs told the D Conference audience, “No one is perfect, but we want to make sure our phone doesn’t hang up. We want to solve this problem; if you can have a little more patience with us, I think everyone will have what they want ”.
Based on Widgets?
As with many other aspects of the iPhone, details of when and how third parties will be able to create applications for the mobile device are still up in the air. The main question is whether Apple will release a development kit for the iPhone; something on which it is quite likely that we can see some light at the next developer conference, on which the New York Times points out that Apple “plans to announce that it will make it possible for developers to easily convert small programs written for the Macintosh so that they can run on the iPhone. “
A phone is not a desktop computer
Even in its early stages, Mac developers are realistic that many of their current programs and interface designs may not be feasible on the new platform, even if it is based on Mac OS X.
NPD analyst Rubin sees iTunes as a possible vehicle for syncing apps with the iPhone. In addition to providing a familiar interface to users, it also provides Apple with the opportunity to certify applications for the device.
For example, Apple closely controls all software development for the iPod. All games developed for the iPod are distributed by Apple through the iTunes Store, rather than from the websites of each of the developers.
In any case, Mac developers see the iPhone as a catalyst for the number of developers involved with Apple to increase in the future, which in fact could also mean more developers on the Mac platform.