iPhone Developers

Apple made a controversial announcement at the World Wide Developers’ Conference, which went something like this: “We’ve got a new, innovative way of giving you developer access to our phone: we’re not.” (I’m paraphrasing; see the full quote below.) In less than 24 hours, this has devolved into an online debate between defensive “traditional” developers and Web developers, Apple critics and apologists. Many have tried to turn it into a debate over what whether or not web apps are applications. That’s silly. Of course web applications are apps. Here’s the real problem in a nutshell:

1. Apple is ignoring what makes non-Web apps valuable. That’s their choice — it’s their phone — and we could forgive them and maybe even agree with them, except –

2. They’re then trying to distort reality around them so that things they’re saying that happen to be wrong wind up being right. Lots of companies do that, but this being Apple, some people are actually listening, and I hope they’ll stop.

I’m going to say this the long way around, because I type fast and think in sprawling, high-word-count ways. Our friends at Rogue Amoeba, one of our favorite audio developers for the Mac (notice how multimedia keeps coming up), put this more succinctly:

Web Apps Are Not Applications

We know that making SDKs is not easy, and so it boggles the mind that you were able to create a complete iPhone SDK so quickly! So much access, provided so seamlessly – it is really quite amazing.

With this new SDK, we can create something neither of us could possibly have done alone, and make the iPhone platform the mobile platform to develop for.

Anxiously awaiting his copy of the iPhone SDK,
Sarcastic Developer

Web apps are wonderful. I spend huge amounts of time in them. But as musicians, you know why web apps alone aren’t enough. Hardware access and multimedia capabilities are vitally important for some (but not all) tasks. Take them away, and your expensive computers become instantly less useful. This matters to some more than others, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter. In fact, try this experiment: take your Mac. Remove all audio and MIDI device support, allowing only iPhone and the OS to make sound. Now you can’t even record a voice memo or phone call — no mic input. Next, reinstall your browser, removing Java and Flash. (Good: I can read Penny Arcade and CDM — well, most of CDM. Bad: I can’t watch Homestar Runner. Or YouTube. Or use embedded Flickr apps. Or use entire websites. Uh-oh.)

A phone is not a Mac, and that’s a good thing. But to assume these two things equate just doesn’t make sense. Design is about compromises, and that’s a good thing. But now design is about making compromises, then changing the reality around you so that they’re not compromises any more?

Here’s a short list of other things an iPhone web app can’t do that (with the notable exception of multi-touch) the vast majority of phones can — yes, including that crappy low-end Nokia you got free with service. Really. Look up the developer site for your phone, and check it out.

1. Access the phone’s hardware vibrate and sound functions to provide notifications and feedback.
2. Make use of the entire screen. (The iPhone demo app ran only within the Safari browser, which takes up a significant amount of screen real estate.)
3. Access the phone’s multi-touch gestures (the key advantage of this device in the first place). Gestures are intercepted by Safari.
4. Provide more sophisticated interaction, UIs, animation, gaming functions, audio playback, and video playback. Java and Flash evidently aren’t supported, and while the iPhone OS can perform some of these functions, only Apple is really allowed to develop for it. If something isn’t important to them, it just doesn’t happen at all.
5. Provide network access beyond web protocols. For instance, on a cheap Blackberry I can log in and restart the CDM server via ssh when there’s a crash. On iPhone, I can’t. That was never a security concern for any of the countless Java-based phones that support this feature. Does everyone want this? Of course not. But it’s not the phone companies pushing to limit the iPhone, because they’ve actually worked to extend phone capabilities.

AJAX is great technology, but creating a lot of hype around a technology doesn’t magically make a specialized tool the right tool for every job. Java and Flash may annoy users when they’re used in places they don’t belong, but used correctly, they provide vital functions that web technologies (“Web 2.0″ or not) don’t have, like support for multimedia formats.

It may take people like us — those of us who push the envelope of technology to produce music, visuals, interactive phones as performance tools — to explain why web apps alone aren’t the future. Music, after all, is often exactly the kind of “rich” that makes a rich client.

That’s not to say your $500 is badly spent on an iPhone, or even that Apple’s making the wrong move. Many have pointed out that this approach makes a certain amount of sense. A lot of applications don’t need the above features. Many Java phone applets — like recent clients for Gmail and Google Maps, for instance — are there to make up for the fact that phones have truly awful browsers. I personally would rather spend hundreds on a device that has multimedia and hardware integration, but I can see why Apple’s move might be smart. The problem is, they’re trying to present this decision as something it isn’t.

We’re at a critical point, where users are either going to understand what makes rich clients different from thin clients, or they aren’t. Creative artists are right in the center of the capabilities of a rich client that will never be a web app — web protocols are light years short of being able to, say, run Ableton Live in Firefox, and why would you want to? Yet people make the nonsensical argument that web apps and rich apps are identical. Apple isn’t helping, because the whole essence of their presentation was based on the assumption that people wouldn’t notice the difference. Here’s their speech, which was — rightfully — met with stony silence by a room full of developers who understand the difference:

Steve Jobs:

“What about developers? We have been trying to come up with a solution to expand the capabilities of iPhone by letting developers write great apps for it, and yet keep the iPhone reliable and secure. And we’ve come up with a very sweet solution.”

“We’ve got an innovative new way to create applications for mobile devices … really innovative. And it’s all based on the fact that iPhone has the full Safari inside of it … and it gives us tremendous capability, more than has ever been in a mobile device to this date. And so, you can write amazing Web 2.0 and AJAX apps that look exactly and behave exactly like apps on the iPhone. And these apps can integrate perfectly with iPhone services. They can make a call. They can send an email. They can look up a location on Google Maps. After you write them, you have instant distribution. You don’t have to worry about distribution; just put them on your Internet server. And they’re really easy to update; just change the code on your own server rather than having to go through this really complex update process. And they’re secure … and they run securely on the iPhone, so they don’t compromise it’s reliability or security.”

“And guess what? There’s no SDK that you need. You’ve got everything you need, if you know how to write apps using this most modern web standards … you can go live on June 29.”

Words that don’t fit the context here: “sweet”, “solution”, “innovative”, “really innovative”, “new.”

I actually don’t recall Apple even using the word “innovative” in recent memory. That’s a word Microsoft likes to use when they’re doing something unoriginal, or stupid, or both. Of course, this shows incredible hubris, especially at a developer conference.

The crux of the problem is claiming that creating web apps is a new idea, that full-featured browsers on mobile devices is a new idea (it’s not), that basic integration with calling features and email is a new idea (hello, Treo?), that that kind of integration is real hardware integration (it’s not), that somehow “Web 2.0″ (whatever that even means) and AJAX are better than or can fully replace other technologies (they were never intended as a replacement for things like Java or C, period), that online delivery is an awesome, new feature (Java apps do it, too, only not on iPhone since it can’t support it), that the omission of an SDK is a “feature” or itself innovative (come on), that applications outside browsers are inherently dangerous to security and reliability (Java mobile apps in fact do neither), and that Apple is somehow enabling people to build apps for the iPhone when in fact all you’re really doing is developing webpages just like you always have.

I love Apple; I think they’re probably the single smartest tech company on the face of the Earth. So I don’t ask much: just stop spouting total nonsense at developer conferences, okay? When Apple announced the Intel transition, also at WWDC, they actually went as far as claiming you could rewrite entire applications for Intel using only a “checkbox.” Now they’re claiming to have “innovated” by “discovering” web browsers. What’s next?

  • George

    I agree that apple copped out with this one. I dont know if ATT or apple itself is the cause of the whole closed system. Plenty of windows devices allow you install anything you want, so the while secure cell phone thing is total 100% pure BS. Using the web browser as the runtime is limiting at best. what happends then the phone changes orientation? Lots of questions and lots of isues with this. I agree that apple is trying to do Microsoft speak with all it's bone headed buzz words that were used to try to sell you crap dressed in a pretty box. Shame on Steve and Phil for shoveling this in developers faces. The iPhone could have been the greatest phone ever with 3rd party developer support. Now I fear it will be hamstrung with apple only provided software on a slow 2.5g network and will premier with lackluster reviews and hype to high that reality will never match the fantasy of the iPhone

  • Danny

    It is always funny when someone knocks apple at all because they also take a swipe a MS to raise their fanboi shield. The word apple usually uses isn't "innovative" it is "revolutionary":

    http://blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/print.asp?entr

    which is actually worse IMHO. Especially in this case. The iPhone really would have blown open the box with a full service SDK but instead it looks like it will just be really cool.

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    No, revolutionary may in fact be appropriate. I just saw folks with iPhone t-shirts and muskets out in the street. Excuse me, I have to go convince them I'm not a member of the royal family.

  • http://www.zenarchery.com Joshua Ellis

    Here's what I'm not getting:

    1) The iPhone's Web apps don't do anything that you can't do in a browser anyway, and in fact do less (since there's no Flash or Java support).

    2) The iPhone has an always-on Web connection.

    So…why would you write web apps specifically for the iPhone? If it's always connected, why would one write crippled apps that download to the device, when (theoretically) you can just write full apps that get accessed via the browser?

    Is there file system access or anything like that, that I'm not seeing?

    Also, has anybody explicitly determined whether Safari for iPhone will support Flash in the browser or not?

  • http://www.mesmero.net Mesmer

    I am a web developer.

    I am not sure I am understanding this.

    I want to run "this cool stuff" on the Iphone, even if it's a live slicer or sampler, apple proposes:

    1. I make the whole thing in .jsp, .asp, RoR, even .php.

    2. deploy to internet server

    3. use it's browser based interface through an internet connection to run it?

    That just doesn't make sense.

    or is it that:

    2. run a web server from the iPhone OSX filesystem, serving to http://localhost.

    3. Type http://localhost or 127.0.0.1 and use my "cool stuff".

    The first case seems ridiculous. The second seems crippling, for us CDMers, at best.

    Someone care to shed some light, as to what is the proposed Cycle … more or less based on the cases I've described (if it's even possible)?!

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    @Mesmer: As far as Apple has communicated at this point, it's in fact your first set of steps 1-3. This also means that the app is useless if you're away from an Internet connection, which for those of us who spend a lot of our time using these devices on airplanes and subways is a HUGE minus. (let alone what happens when you're traveling internationally and can't use the connection)

    @Joshua: everything I've heard suggests neither Flash nor Java is supported in the browser, but the only explicit word has been on Java. There's been lots and lots of discussion on the Interwebs about Flash, including apparent multimedia content shown in the iPhone ads.

    It seems most likely that what Apple will do is use QuickTime for multimedia playback, including very likely some sort of H.264 support for YouTube.

    But given all the interactivity that Flash provides that QT does not, that's frustrating. Adobe may be partly to blame with the somewhat flubbed Flash Lite initiative.

    If only there were a gathering where you could share such information, so that developers would know what to expect. Like a conference of developers, from all around the wide, wide world. Hmmm…

    Maybe Apple's iPhone sessions at WWDC will be more forthcoming? (Can't imagine they'd be any less.)

    Other than trying to figure out what multimedia support is in there, I can see designing for the iPhone aspect ratio, etc., but that's hardly worth mentioning in a keynote. (And it's been done elsewhere, like special page designs for Opera on Nintendo Wii and DS — though part of the beauty of having a good browser and good web design is you don't have to do much.)

  • Viswakarma

    All of you need to read what Web 2.0 is before you pass judgement on Apple's WWDC 2007 announcement means —

  • Viswakarma

    All of you need to read what Web 2.0 is before you pass judgement on what Apple's WWDC 2007 announcement means —

  • Steve W

    January 15, 1990.

    AT&T is risk averse these days.

  • http://www.mesmero.net Mesmer

    Thank you Kim,

    if the information is later confirmed, it's official:

    I am not buying the iPhone.

    Of course this would open the possiblity for some other manufacturer thriving by making this omissions their strong point, cheaper, not multi-touch. A sleeper success gadget…. Behringer netPhone, anyone?

    I will not mention the Newton in this thread.

    =}

    thanks

  • http://www.milezero.org Thomas

    Mesmer, a Windows Mobile phone will cover some of the functionality you seem to be interested in using. It's not multitouch or a Mac. But if you can get over that, it's not a bad platform, and the last time I check, a native SDK and compiler was free (or you can write for it using .Net).

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    Everyone loves to blame AT&T, but every indication is that this decision comes entirely from Apple. Virtually every other phone from AT&T has the ability to run Java applications. There are third-party applications — not just webpages — running on their Blackberries, Symbian, and Windows Mobile phones. Several phones have Flash Lite. Now, it's possible that getting the equivalent of Flash Lite or Java ME onto a Mac smartphone running the mysterious OS the iPhone has is difficult. But it's certainly not that AT&T won't allow it for security and reliability reasons. That has to be either entirely made up or very distorted — an odd thing for the CEO of Apple to be saying.

    Here's AT&T's developer page:
    http://developer.att.com/

    With a free login, you can access the SDK for every phone they sell — except Apple's, that is. Don't get me wrong. Developing for phones has often been a complicated mess. But then that tells you something, too — developers are willing to go through that pain in order to get more access to the hardware or provide more features.

    And this page is also telling:
    http://developer.att.com/developer/index.jsp?page

    It lists the platforms for development: Java, Palm, RIM, Windows Mobile, and Symbian. Even the not-smart phones have the ability to run lots of genuine third-party apps, some of which are very useful. Done right, these platforms don't have to involve complex cross-phone issues, but can still provide more robust multimedia, hardware support, UIs, and feature sets. Imagine if Apple did create a development platform that leveraged the power of Xcode, Core technologies, and Mac OS.

    And, regardless, again, do you get the sense looking at those pages that AT&T/Cingular doesn't want developers?

    If Apple is confident in their decision — and they sure seem to be — why can't they level and tell us the truth about what they're doing, instead of spinning all these complicated answers and excuses? So, web apps may be better for what most users want to do. It may help Apple avoid complex SDK issues. It may keep the iPhone more reliable. Fine. But instead, to try to pretend that it's AT&T's fault, as Jobs did earlier this year, or that you can't deliver reliability and security, which just isn't true, or that web 2.0 applications are some kind of special Apple innovation that replaces all other apps? That's insane.

  • http://blog.whats-your.name carmen

    apple hasnt liked 3rd party developers since Steve came back and started acquiring one app in every category – just competent enough that most people didnt seek out alternatives to the Apple offering.

    that, and the fact that you still cant customize OSX (i mean change the window manager, or UI behaviors).

    its a good excuse for them to not have to come up with a real SDK, and pretend theyre cutting edge at the same time, while giving developers who want to do useful things the cold shoulder. apple developers should be used to this by now..

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    Carmen, I think Apple could do more in terms of developer relations. But Apple under other CEOs was similarly criticized. Apple's acquisition of major apps has coincided with a period of *growth* in third-party development. You'll notice that even as the company competes in the audio and graphics space with other developers, it continues to promote the Mac ecosystem — it even pushes Adobe products with which it competes directly. (And why not, since their main business is still selling hardware?)

    The iPhone aside, Apple's doing a lot in terms of Xcode and Core technologies — maybe too much, arguably, because both Microsoft and Apple push for OS-exclusive stuff rather than supporting cross-platform development as well as they might. (They have business reasons for that, naturally.)

    In fact, I think if Apple developers did feel slighted, they wouldn't be so surprised, insulted, and frustrated with this decision. The reality is that many Mac developers are, aside from the usual gripes, often very happy with Apple. They've come to expect a close relationship, and so they feel betrayed by this decision — especially since Jobs himself has repeatedly described the iPhone as a Mac, not an iPod.

    I would also like to re-skin the UI, but that's another discussion. ;) (And you'll notice Microsoft again removed the ability to do that in Vista — msstyles are dead.)

  • bobby

    I remember hearing the same betrayal thing with the Intel transition two years ago…but everyone was back at wwdc the next year with new universal apps.

    I know a few web developers and they are doing amazing things. They haven't griped once…they are excited. The fact is: we still don't totally know what this phone will do. Let's hold off on judgment until we see what people are actually able to do (or not do). If innovative web developers agree that thing is a piece then—well, great, let's tear Apple a new one. Until then, could the whole internet please just shut the hell up.

  • bliss

    Peter, I think that Jobs has repeatedly described the iPhone as a phone, not a Mac. I remember reading NY Times articles back when the iPhone debuted, and I wondered what he was getting at by saying that. I suppose I know now. I'm not a developer so don't frack me up over the following: What I had imagined was some sort of virtual environment on the iPhone that would run "rich clients". Kind of like Virtual PC. That way, the iPhone's OS remains secure and developers get to do what they want to do. That was my simple vision anyway. But I followed yesterday's keynote over at MacRumors.com (which was excellent coverage) and I was completely underwhelmed and bored with it. It was easy to imagine that the developers in attendance in SF were mirroring my own dissatisfaction. Oh, well, as least the iPhone is still a desirable item — just a nifty device for the image conscious. That's not all bad.

  • bliss

    Early iPhone review by Wall Street Journal technology writer Walt Mossberg: http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/07/06/11/bri

  • http://www.milezero.org Thomas

    bobby, the Intel transition came with developer tools and an emulation layer. Totally different situation.

  • http://www.chromedecay.org J. Schnable

    A couple of other things to consider –

    1. The iPhone will come with many "cool apps" built in. Movie and music playback, photo album stuff, calendering and mail, browsing, etc. It won't be the third-party apps that drive initial interest in the product.

    2. Developing SDK's is a pain (albeit one with a potentially huge payoff). And, given the fact that Apple pushed the launch of Leopard back to allocate more resources to the iPhone may hide an ugly truth – they're behind on their own stuff, let alone having time to lay things out for the rest of the world to develop for the platform.

    3. It might flop. Expectations are quite high for Apple these days. The success of the iPhone isn't going to reside with third party apps. Apple needs to see if the market is ready for the iPhone, after the media hype has died down.

    4. They also have to contend with launching a new product in a new market segment, with new technology (ahem, AT&T, are you ready for this too?) on new hardware. That Motorola phone doesn't count. Revision "A" products from Apple in the past couple of years have been a bit more problem-laden in the past. Or, at least, that's my impression.

    My guess is that an SDK will come around at some point. But Apple has a boatload of things on their plate with this. If their primary focus is "let's launch something that works as advertised, then sort out some of the other details" fine with me. The focus of the keynote yesterday was on Leopard, and there's plenty for developers to be excited about there.

  • bliss

    J. Schnable, what I've been coming to understand over the past week or so is that Leopard is damn near finished. Much of what's holding it up seems to be Sun Microsystems ZFS file system that Apple wants to replace Mac OS X's HFS+ file system with. If it weren't for that, I think we'd all have Leopard humming on our Macs by now.

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    All those things are true … and again, like I said, I'm not actually sure this is a bad idea. I think Apple does still need to respond to on a consumer level the Flash thing, because Flash is so essential to a lot of websites and Apple is claiming you get the same experience in Safari on iPhone that you do in Safari on Mac. Won't be a deal killer, but it is disappointing they've been mum.

    The overwhelming sense I get is that Apple tried to spin the absence of an SDK as a major innovation and accomplishment for Apple. They just got the messaging horribly wrong yesterday. And it wasn't a complex message: we're not ready to an SDK right now, because we're focused on reliability, security, and what the phone does now. But we can help you build great web apps for the phone. Somehow, that got mangled into, "we have a fantastic, innovative new technology called mobile Web browsing and it's all you'll ever need!"

    Apple needs an off switch for its hype. Sometimes the Reality Distortion Field actually gets them in trouble. How else to explain that a company that's on schedule for a hugely-anticipated mobile device and on schedule for a hugely-anticipated OS upgrade manages to see its stock price plunge because they didn't have earth-shaking news at their *developer conference*. The Intel Mac transition is another great example: they needed to switch off the "all you need is a magic checkbox" hype then. As a result, they confused customers and caused a lot in the Mac user base to think something was wrong when it tooks many months, not hours to port to Intel. That was a hugely damaging statement, and it didn't have to happen. This one isn't likely to resonate far off into the future, but it was still a fumbled statement.

    And I do think folks pushing the Java, Symbian, Windows Mobile platforms, and so on should use this as an opportunity to kick into high gear and create something that's really competitive. Whether they're capable of doing elegant mobile devices, though, even after all this years, remains to be seen.

    That's the flipside of this, which is that a lot of the power of, say, Java ME goes to waste. Now's the time to do something really cool and well-designed with it.

    Me? I'd like a Java-based tracker on my phone, please, that uploads MIDI drum patterns to a server. Guess I'd better go and write it, huh, rather than wait for Samsung? ;)

    Now, if you'll excuse me, back to work on my Mac. No multi-touch, but you gotta love 23" displays and real operating systems. In fact, I hate all phones … let's turn that sucker off completely. All it does is ring and make me answer calls and stuff. That's annoying. :)

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    Yeah, except Apple says there is no ZFS in Leopard. I'm wondering if Time Machine in fact does *not* require ZFS, and it's just the usual development delays holding it up. (It looks like a huge release.) I think we'll see ZFS at some point, but now whether it's in Leopard is anyone's guess. I seriously doubt that'll be a deal breaker for any of us, anyway; ZFS seems to be more about future-proofing down the road.

  • bliss

    I just swiped this Job's quote from AppleInsider.com:

    Meanwhile, there's sure to be some dashed hopes if iPhone arrives later this month without support for Adobe's Flash media format. Right now, Flash is looking more like a "maybe" than a guarantee.

    Apple chief executive Steve Jobs told the New York Times that "you might see" Flash support come to iPhone, but YouTube support would be present regardless.

    "Yeah, YouTube — of course," he said. "But you don’t need to have Flash to show YouTube. All you need to do is deal with YouTube. And plus, we could get ‘em to up their video resolution at the same time, by using h.264 instead of the old codec."

    Jobs also confirmed that iPhone won't support Java. "[It's] not worth building in," he said. "Nobody uses Java anymore. It’s this big heavyweight ball and chain."

  • bliss

    I guess I left a bit out that should have been italicized. Oops.

  • http://amoebafunk.com amoeba

    web apps make sense, at least for now. better than nothing anyway. webkit has a great start and will only get better and more distributed, so i think this approach is a good start. besides, we can only guess at the reasons for not providing an SDK at this point. keep in mind, no one has said there will never be one. i sure hope there will be. baby steps.

  • http://www.sighup.ca Steve

    None of this really sounds like development for the iPhone, merely development accessible to the iPhone. Which is a little odd. Especially since web developers could just as easily say screw you, I won't bother with the iPhone market (maybe that would make Apple happy?).

    I have a feeling that part of this move is to leave the market open for Apple to exploit its multi-touch interface technology for other kinds of peripherals/interfaces without having to compete against homebrew/3rd party stuff on the phone (I'm thinking stuff like a controller for multimedia workstations or a next-gen iMac with nothing but an LCD screen and a multi-touch tablet in place of a mouse and keyboard).

  • subbasshead

    All I can sya is dont install Safari 3 beta

    I did & my ProTools HD wouldnt launch any more….

    deinstalled Safari 3 beta – still no go

    reinstalled ilok/PACE drivers – still no go

    reinstalled ProTools – still no go

    reinstalled last OSX 10.4.9 update – phew its working again!

  • nylarch

    AJAX is a security nightmare waiting to happen (Google has kept one step ahead barely so far) so I wonder if Apple is opening themselves up to compromising their beloved "more secure than MS" credentials. MS was always the main target for virus' but methinks the iPhone may present an inviting target for a hacker to hit.

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    @bliss: Flash is still a mystery; that quote comes from the NYT in January. We'll see. And yes, I expect some features may evolve over time.

    You know, I'm all for accessible *web design* — and I hope sincerely we see more full-featured browsers on more devices; that much seems inevitable. It would have been great if Apple had talked about that, spun it that way.

    @tim (subbasshead): YIPES! Thanks for the tip! That's … weird!

    Hope that Time Machine lets us roll back our Library folders. ;)

  • http://www.mesmero.net Mesmer

    <code>

    Steve

    None of this really sounds like development for the iPhone, merely development accessible to the iPhone. Which is a little odd. Especially since web developers could just as easily say screw you, I won’t bother with the iPhone market (maybe that would make Apple happy?).

    I have a feeling that part of this move is to leave the market open for Apple to exploit its multi-touch interface technology for other kinds of peripherals/interfaces without having to compete against homebrew/3rd party stuff on the phone (I’m thinking stuff like a controller for multimedia workstations or a next-gen iMac with nothing but an LCD screen and a multi-touch tablet in place of a mouse and keyboard).

    June 12, 2007 @ 3:31 pm

    </code>

    you seem to have such a clear insight …

    Hey, "Steve", can you get me a job over at Music Tech. Testing at you know where?!!

    :p

  • http://www.sighup.ca Steve

    I wish.

  • jman

    This really is a tough problem for AT&T and Apple. No SDK for full OS resources because this way no VoIP apps on iPhone for now… messing up the partners business model… which I believe is their main concern.

    there would be no incentive for AT&T to sell such a capable device and work so hard to provide so many wi-fi hot spots if such a combination severely reduces the need for their primary revenue generating products and opens infrastructure for competitors to utilize their infrastructure and access to their customers for free.

  • http://www.milezero.org Thomas

    jman: I still doubt it's AT&T. After all, Skype is available for their Windows Mobile smartphones. Isn't there a VoIP for Blackberry?

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    Skype runs natively on Windows Mobile. I don't think there's a similar native solution for Blackberry, but there is this option that uses Skype voice calls on Blackberry, Java phones, and Windows Mobile:
    http://www.webmessenger.com/products/mimskype.htm

    Looks *really* nice, in fact. So, yeah, Blackberry is geekier, but potentially more useful in your actual life (which may NOT involve trying to watch Pirates of the Caribbean on a tiny screen and killing your phone battery — sorry, couldn't resist).

    Google Talk client is also on Blackberry, but I don't think it does voice currently.

    Hey, wait a minute … IM is yet another application missing on iPhone, huh? ;)

    Incidentally, James Gosling, father of Java, was evidently at WWDC. Java elsewhere on Mac is not necessarily dead.

  • http://www.paulsop.com Doktor Future

    This changed my mind: I'm sticking with my lame Crackberry for a while yet. No iPhone for me, and I've got a bunch-o-macs.

    I think this WWDC had too much reality distortion even for me, and my reality is generally up for grabs most days.

    I'll continue to use Apple PC's because they annoy me less than other offerings, but here's the current rankings for day to day painless computer use:

    Apple: C+

    Vista: D+

    XP: D-

    Linux: D

  • http://sidechainmusic.com Dave Dri

    It only took about 10 posts for someone to suggest or insinuate a Behringer knock-off. LOL nice one Mesmer!

    "…sorry mate my phone just crashed and erm, a knob fell off. I'm not sure from where, but i've got this cool hax for it anyway".

    I think Peter REALLY just wants an SDK so he can get a WiiMote working with the phone :P Can you imagine how well a WiiMote/iPhone combination would sell in countries like Italy and the Balkans? Gesture sensitive mobile telephony!!!

    Okay i will let myself out…

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    It's true. I'm biased. I wanted the iPhone to be a multi-touch music controller. Heck, I would even have used it with Logic. Their loss. ;)

  • JMS

    No sdk = not the end of the world: http://thenewsroom.com/details/396043

  • http://www.cutwithflourish.com ed

    I guess if the iPhone bombs no one will care that they didn't bother to write apps for it. If it is the next iPod an SDK may appear.

    I agree with Mr Schnable. I think people are being cautious.

    The alternative would have been polyphonic theremin emulators on the iPhone. What does a chord sound like on a Theremin?

  • poopoo

    There are some great music apps for Windows Mobile. Sequencers with plugins and wav export (Griff), Multi-track recorders (Meteor), Guitar tuners, Metronomes and real-time effects processors etc.

    And it's not just music stuff; graphic calculators, Skype and SIP clients, console emulators are great candidates for mobile apps but they probably wont happen as web apps.

    Seems such a wasted opportunity on the iPhone, especially with the multi-touch screen.

  • http://nightripping.com/bresslau/ Bresslau

    No iPhone for me either. Though I wish I had that big beautiful screen on my Xplore M68.

    And Web 2.0 doesn't exist. Never has. But it is a catchy and usefull expression for some purposes.

  • EJ

    Yeah, it's patently ridiculous that a company at the forefront of desktop richness would claim that web apps can be functional equivalents – it hasn't received a lot of notice (outside of a good Wired article), but Core Animation in Leopard is actually going to be huge in this department. I saw that part of the keynote as an apologetic shrug of the shoulders.

    Speaking of Core Animation, I've heard that a lot of Mac applications will require Leopard because it'll be integral to building "new school" programs.

    It definitely gives some credence to the "Logic 8" rumors (an article at CDM said it would require 10.5) and explains the long delay between 7 and their new flagship program…

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    @poopoo: I agree… do those apps tend to work on devices like the Moto Q, or do you need the "smarter" WM phones? And don't forget about WM-compatible MilkyTracker. And the similar lineup for Palm.

    I think there are even a couple of music apps for Symbian. Not so much for Blackberry.

    @EJ: Logic 8 may or may not require 10.5; I think I was either linking to a rumor that thought it would, or just speculating the release *might* be timed with an OS release. That said, it certainly seems possible — Final Cut Studio 2 requires 10.4.9. (Pretty specific requirement!)

    I would say Core Animation got a lot of notice from the Mac community, but the problem is these technologies are under developer NDAs, and Apple chose not to really talk much more about them at the keynote. So you can expect to hear lots more in October when suddenly a whole bunch of apps ship with the OS. ;) (That's something no one has mentioned — I'm guessing the OS delay should put third-party developers in much better sync with the OS release timetable.)

  • EJ

    Did you catch

    this article in Wired? It made me more excited about Jaguar than the keynote – it definitely makes me wonder about the potential uses for music interfaces.

    This developer interview is also pretty interesting,.

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    I had meant to comment on the article in Wired. I know a few of the developers in that story. :)

    Core Animation is indeed a good thing in that it builds this into the OS in an intelligent, accessible way. I think a lot of the initial ways you'll see it used will be subtle — and rightfully so, because animation has to be used delicately to be useful. We'll talk more about this soon and over the coming months. And it will be interesting to see if it makes it into Apple's pro apps, as well.

  • http://www.mesmero.net Mesmer

    This is pathetic,

    the "newsroom article" needs flash 8 plugin to render.

    Oh, I suppose its an web2.0 article

    ***would mumble indecent grumbles but I don't know how to do that, outside my native language***

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    Don't worry. The newsroom article says nothing we don't already know. Basically, it's Apple's press release announcing they don't need an SDK because they have a web browser — same bizarre spin as in the keynote.

    And, of course, ironically, while you can read CDM on the iPhone (Flash isn't required), you won't be able to read that article. Brilliant. :)