back to article Cometh the hour, cometh the iPhone SDK

Sing hosanna, etc. - the Software Development Kit for Apple's iPhone has finally arrived. Naturally it's being hailed as yet another breakthrough which will change the way in which we think of mobile phones, but in demanding monopoly control Apple may have taken a step too far. "It exceeded all of my expectations," said Ken …

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Anonymous Coward

Cool

Now the iPhone can almost do what my Nokia 7650 could do back in 2001. Apple's really beginning to make progress!

Oh shit, it's 2008 now, sorry I didn't realise that Apple is only just achieving the same levels as 7 year old technology in the mobile market...

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Joke

Where is Webster

He's around here somewhere I just know it. He's like a jack in a box you he's coming but he always startles you anyway.

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Not even Microsoft money can sell this BS

"all the competing platforms have free development kits available, though most offer enhanced versions with more GUI control and debugging features."

Right. They use these tools to make lame emulations of the iPhone.

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Jon

OK what about the developers who use Windows?

It would have been better to make the iPhone kit work on Windows too - i understand they are trying to push their own brand exclusively, but surely they are missing out on a huge number of developers who won't have access to a Mac. (I wonder what the actual percentages of developers are on Mac and Windows anyway?) At least it's out and it's free though.

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What sucks about this...

... is that without cracking one's iphone, it would seem one will not be able to run software (ie freeware etc..) that is not distributed via Apple's iTunes.

This is extremely unsporting behaviour and should not be condoned.

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Fanbois

Much of the positive comment comes from Apple devotees, who have zero knowledge of the mobile phone business. They seem to think Apple is going to own the market, forgetting that Nokia alone sells 300 times as many phones as Apple.

Android had the same - people who know nothing about mobile loved it. Those who work in mobile adopted a sensible wait & see strategy.

So, I would guess, with the Dev Kit. I'll wait until someone who knows what they are looking at actually reviews it.

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Won't the jvm circumvent this

Does the jvm sun plan to develop, from reg article http://www.regdeveloper.co.uk/2008/03/08/jvm_for_the_iphone/, mean that the $99 would be paid by sun and you'd be free to develop whatever java apps you like? Or does the license cover that?

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So it's now a smartphone...ish?

So you can finally use the Apple smartphone as a smartphone, eh? But only if you pay more than other people do, and you use only the apps that Daddy Apple lets you? How long until the iPhone hackers find a way to install without going through Apple's mechanism?

Personally, I'll stick to my Windows Mobile device, where freeware isn't illegal.

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Jobs already said free apps are distributed for free

"though it may lose a fair bit of freeware that way on the principle of the thing - but the company isn't really interested in freeware..."

Jobs mentioned in the announcement that freeware apps will be displayed and distributed completely free so I think Apple is really interested in freeware. In fact Jobs went out of his way to point out that freeware is what would stimulate more interest in the platform.

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Flame

Wide of the mark. Again.

One more, Reg hacks show they completely fail to grasp what it is about Apple that makes them successful. Hiding behind snide comments like the suggestion that "pretty colours" is all Apple can offer of substance, shows you up as the type of ignorant luddite that deserves to be laughed off a 'technology' site like this.

Most semi-intelligent people have realised by now that Apple wins because simplicity wins. Ed Colligan's (Palm CEO) comment before the iPhone launch about how "PC guys aren't going to just figure this out" was always funny, but more important is the fact that Apple are not "PC guys".

"PC guys" are the bone-headed companies that stuff their products with crapware, whose entire business model is based on the idea of irritating you into buying something.

"PC guys" are the jokers who post a dozen different drivers on their website for the same product, all with cryptic 8.3 character filenames and pigeon English descriptions that are of no use when trying to work out which one you actually want.

"PC guys" are poor fools who still churn out products that look like they were designed by Stevie Wonder, assembled by Abu Hamza and covered with shitty little adverts for Windows, then wonder why Apple is using their toothbrush.

I'm no Apple apologist; they don't get everything right every time by any means, but they pick their targets more carefully, and they hit them with a greater degree of accuracy than just about anyone else out there. Consumers are starting to recognise the difference and vote with their wallets, and to suggest that Apple's success is just down to hype is to show yourself up as an idiot, as well as ignorant.

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Paris Hilton

Children's opinions on Christmas

Asking The Register about Apple is a bit like asking Scrooge. Bah, humbug! :-)

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Yah sucks boo

Yah sucks boo

Yah sucks boo

Yah sucks boo

I don't have an iPhone

Yah sucks boo

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Apple not so much picks their pockets as copies the keys to their bank accounts

This is bollocks........

If I buy an expensive car that cost the manufacturer nowhere near the price I paid to make it, I don't claim that he charged too much or made too much profit......I made the decision to buy at the price I paid. Consumers have full responsibility for the actions they take as will developers.

If the iPhone is not compelling enough, people won't buy or get involved, that's the end of the debate. And as for suggesting that Windows Mobile or any of the others offer a user experience anything like the iPhone or Ipod Touch, you are dreaming! I have loads of these crappy devices (Windows,Symbian and Blackberry). I'm a gadget freak, I buy these pieces of clunky junk every other month in the hopeless quest for something that just works. The only one that gets anywhere close to ease of use is the Blackberry, which is still laughably quaint.

I don't have an iPod because I won't pay that sort of money to have such slow access to the internet without being on my office's wireless connection. I do have an iPod Touch and to compare that to my Blackberry is frankly hilarious. For those of you who haven't tried one (a Blackberry) and can remember that far back its like stepping back perhaps more than a decade with your web experience. Its also an infuriating dance to install software or update the system. Its crashed twice in the last two weeks and I have had to wipe it after installing a new theme approved by the developer for my Blackberry.

I wouldn't mind some quality control on Blackberry software actually, because it wasted a day of my time, buggering around with this infernal device to restore a pretty antiquated version of email. Blackberry email is like sms only longer.

Windows Mobile does what it says but could not be described as friendly, its a nerdish tool. Symbian it its various forms is a bit better (it actually functions sometimes) but on various platforms usually crashes for me.

I'm getting sick of The Register slagging off the Apple device for being a status symbol, too expensive or whatever else. If you don't like it , don't buy it. If you think its too expensive for what it does, don't buy it. (I wouldn't buy a KIA or Chevy but I hear they will take you from A to B and do pretty much everything a BMW will but they are nowhere near the same thing). Sometimes the El Reg writers come over as the most penny pinching f**ckwits, because its cheaper does not make it better.

If you want the easiest to use (almost idiot proof), most good looking, coolest device with a phone in it and you don't mind paying, get one. 70% + say they like what they bought.

Oh and we're not children by the way, we can decide whether we want to spend our money and on what we want. A reporter's job is to report, not fill the screen with opinion and not report the facts. You give us the information, we'll go and try one and we'll decide whether its a waste or not.

Oh and fear not, I don't think Apple picks pockets or gets copies of keys to your bank account, they don't need them, last time I looked they could probably buy your bank.

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Dead Vulture

To be fair

Complaining it's only for apple does seem a bit unfair. A hell of a lot of product SDK's are initially only released under Windows, with Linux, OsX, etc coming later (if you are lucky, or some kind souls release a community version). It does seem to be the standard way for SDK's on new products.

I'm a little concerned about the whole pricing thing, sure, that's a real thing to bitch about, but (and I know this is in vain), please try not to bitch about apple because it's an easy target, and stick to the facts :)

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Only available through iTunes...

or your favourite torrent site right? I assume the unofficial sites will appear allover the net. Although how long it will take for Jobs and co to remove them?

matt

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JVM

Won't Sun giving out a free JVM put a spanner in the works?

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Pirate

Disgusting!

You're right! imagine Microsoft took that much to publish a game on a similar storefront/hosting service like XBLA, it would be ridiculous!

Wait....they take 65%? oh.

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Bravo!

Evenhanded, unbiased flaming with a touch of envy! Nice work...

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Yawn - Another Reg hatchet job...

My you guys must BE really pissed you don't get invited to Apple events...

Definitely from the glass half empty school of reporting.

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Anonymous Coward

the future

good attempt at being provocative - any developer can see that this platform is light years ahead of the other mobile platforms. This is a step change in mobile technology that should have Nokia et al very worried.

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voip over edge?

banning that is in everyones best interest, the bandwidth just isnt there. Anyone stupid enough to try it is going to sound like they're making a call with no bars of reception.

Sometimes you need to protect folks from themselves.

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When more choice is less functions

In some cases less choice is freeing and more choice can be restrictive.

I am a Nokia user in Hong Kong and I can only use the phone and camera functions of my 3G phone. That is because I can choose which functions I wish to purchase. So I need to buy another 3 packages in order to use my phone as Nokia intended. I would buy them except I know only a few people are able to use the multimedia functions of their 3G phones, and so it really isn't worth it.

I will buy an iPhone, 3G or not, as I know Apple will ensure that it can be used by each purchaser as Apple intended.

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Ian
Jobs Horns

'Bandwidth hog'

Notice that part on what you cant have on the itunes store?

What does that mean exactly? And why should apple care if you are using your own wifi network? Shit why should AT&T care if they charge by the megabyte?

The size of the app on the store?

*cough* bittorrent *cough*?

God damn I need to replace my aging O2 XDAII ... where the feck is HSDPA?

No HSDPA? ... Then no 24 month contract for an already wayyyyyyyy over inflated phone.

And THAT is from an apple fan. :(

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Black Helicopters

Jobs being hoisted by the 'phone companies

OK VOIP over EDGE is pretty awful. But come the 3G iPhone people will want it and the phone companies don't want to give it as it decreases their revenue, that's why Jobs is keeping the SDK away from the networks.

So I'll pop my SIM into my 3G S60 Symbian phone and turn it into a WifI hotspot. That way I can use an iPhone VOIP over the 3G network, bypassing this dumb restriction. Is this some plot by the manufacturers to converge devices but keep us buying the same number?

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$99 not annual

Seems that in his haste to spew vitriol all over the iPhone SDK announcement, silly Billy Ray tripped over the facts.

The $99 cost is NOT an annual fee; it's a one off, per application purchase for an authentication certificate, required before developers can upload their applications to the iPhone App Store.

This should help to reduce the volume of tat being pushed onto the App Store. But more importantly will also provide per application accountability, in the event that a rogue app causes your iPhone to go into melt down.

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Jobs Halo

$99 - its not that bad

I think the $99 developer program fee is a one time fee for your signing certificate, not an annual subscription.

Come on, it's not a bad deal, you pay £50 and don't have to worry about distribution etc.

Even Ballmer didn't have too much bad to say about it, only that a 30% take from Apple was a bit steep. It also looks like Silverlight might be in the pipeline, probably before flash. First Exchange and possibly silverlight, seems like Apple and Microsoft might be more than 'just good friends'

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Not strictly true...

I hate to try to defend Apple on The Reg, but the $99 is described as a one-off fee, not an annual subscription. I'm still not a huge fan of paying anything, but I don't think they're asking a huge amount, given this includes the right to use their AppStore to sell/give away your software.

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Gold badge

Firmware 2.0 beta

Funny how you've failed to mention version 2.0 beta and how it adds all the Enterprise features that Microsoft supply (remember how Microsoft dismissed the iPhone as not for business? not for much longer). It supports ActiveSync.

I'm not interested in the iPhone until the 3G version comes out, but you have to admit they're raising the quality of mobile phones in terms of expectations, reliability etc.

What's the competition? a thousand different Windows Mobile devices with their buggy firmware and half-arsed driver implementations (see HTC and their lack of graphics acceleration). Sony Ericsson with it's abandonware (P990i) and "we'll fix it in the next product" promises.

The only rival to Apple who stands a chance is Nokia.

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Just face it Bill

You. Don't. Get it.

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alternatives...

Or, they punters might decide they're tired of getting ripped off, buy the pretty bling, then unlock/jailbreak it and use it where, when, and how they bloody wish.

Thanks Apple for making crackers and hackers even more popular! I hope you continue, because the tighter you close your fist, the more independently-minded creative types will simply slip through.

Great hardware. Great interface. Lousy way to try to control your share of the market.

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Apps for the iPhone/iPod Touch

You said: '...monopoly control Apple' -When did a 28% market share become a monopoly? And you speak of a monopoly as if it's a bad thing or illegal. In most countries monopolies aren't illegal. What IS illegal is if you use that monopoly position to prevent competition (a lá Microsoft).

You said: 'Applications can only be sold, or supplied, through iTunes' - Incorrect! Developers can sell their applications anywhere. However, if they want Apple to provide the marketing, micro-processing of payments, have the opportunity to 'be in front of millions of iPhone/iPod Touch users', and be a part of a business model that has successfully sold over 4 billion songs, they'll sell through Apple's App Store.

You said: 'It seems hard to believe that operators will hand over their application sales revenue...' Who's sales revenue? The DEVELOPERS, not the operators. The operators are a pipeline, a conduit, nothing more. They provide a service.

You said: '...or that customers will be happy to only buy applications that meet the taste and brand approval of Apple...' Developers are free to develop ANY type of application they want. Customers are free to purchase ANY type of application they want. If you want to purchase on the Apps Store, you need to abide by Apple's guidelines. Most companies have guidelines as to what they will and what they won't be associated with. The Reg. may be the exception.

You said: '...Apple has proved that pretty colours...' And a better OS. And a better User interface. And better Application integration. And, and, and.

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Jobs Halo

Missed the point?

Apple won't really make money on the software. They make money on the phone. They would love to host free apps as free apps add value to Apple's iPhone with no development costs.

This sounds like another El-Reg "We weren't invited" rant to me.

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EDGE and VOIP

No one can blame anyone to be cautious abot VOIP over EDGE. It's a joke. I've tested every possibility to use VOIP over mobile network here in Latvia, and our development of mobile technology has leapfrogged everything in US in recent years. Starting from plain GPRS, then EDGE. It wasn't feasible. 3G brought a partial usability: I at least could hear what the other party says, and the other party was able to hear what I say, without lost words and sentences. But not in duplex, not simultaneously. Only HSDPA enables full guaranteed duplex VOIP communication over mobile network. Not because of greater speed, but because this speed makes possible a caching of data that compensates for very high latency that's still inevitably here, and voice signal fully gets to the other side, though a bit delayed. WIFI has at least 1/10 of latency, even when we're talking about HSDPA. I don't have much of experience to argue about other subjects of this article.

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Anonymous Coward

FUD

Thanks for the caustically funny article. Very humorous. I especially like all of the glass half empty negativity dripping from the article. If I didn't actually know better, I would be depressed... it seems the new driver of the economy is now wag the dog news and agenda driven blogs from uninformed people.

Apple is a brilliant company with incredible talent, making products & software that people can actually use, enjoy, and want. With the economy in a downturn, I'm very surprised that pundits want to continue to burn down the house we all live in... Apple at the very least is one of those companies that is continuing to invest in R&D & innovation... these kinds of forward looking and positive companies are the ones that will carry the US economy through.

Anyways, the article will probably do as intended, getting you a lot of page views and irate comments defending Apple... just remember that as you fan the flames, your misinformation could very well help continue bringing down a world economy... if you actually care.

My advise to everyone: Turn off the news, and actually look around you, people! Life is good! Smell the roses! Take a walk in a park! Enjoy a midnight stroll under the stars! Enjoy dinner with your family! Pursue happiness!

None of needs to change the world... we just need to change ourselves, then the world will take care of itself.

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Go

As someone who plans on developing free or at least cheap apps for the iPhone...

You bring up some points, but somethings seem misdirected. Ok, long comment begins...

You say:

in demanding monopoly control Apple may have taken a step too far.

Possibly. Let's continue...

You say:

Ken Aspeslagh of Ecamm Network <snip> told Macworld that "this is the first time a mobile phone company has provided this kind of capability," suggesting a breathtaking ignorance of Palm/Symbian/Windows Mobile devices.

You nailed that one. I find it scary for someone to imply that no one has ever released a cell phone SDK before. However, I will say the free SDKs available usually blow. I paid for the Metrowerks SDK the same day I bought my Palm OS based device even though Palm had something free (free = command line only, so developing a GUI left a lot to be desired.)

You said:

The iPhone kit is also Mac-only.

Sorry, I just had to ask, "Did you expect something else?" It's not like Apple was going to port XCode to Windows just for iPhone dev. Heck, I'd be happy it they'd just port iChat to Windows.

You said:

Apple is asking developers for a $99 annual fee if they want to sell their applications.

I originally thought this was a one time fee which didn't sound bad, however, I look at the fee as paying for a distribution channel. For example, I don't have to host the software, or process credit cards to sell my wares. Of course, since I am interested in distributing free apps, any amount of money does hurt. That's over 20 lunches at Taco Bell I'll have to give up. However, I'll ask for donations via PayPal and Google Checkout on my web page and as long as I get $100 a year, no problem (of course now I have to host a web page for my software, so the "distribution channel" I mentioned above still requires some infrastructure on my part.)

You said:

...the company isn't really interested in freeware, as it'll make no percentage distributing that.

True, but at least they are supporting it, even if it is begrudgingly. You know they don't want to but they did it because enough people wanted it (ok market pressure and politics.) Does Handango distribute free software for free (or for $99 or less annually?)

You said:

Applications can only be sold, or supplied, through iTunes (though they can be downloaded directly to the device), and Apple is going to take 30 per cent of the sale price. 30 per cent sounds like a lot, but the existing duopoly of Motricity and Handango take between 40 and 50 per cent, so it's a very competitive figure.

True and thanks for pointing that out. Initially I was comparing it to PayPal which only takes 3% of my money. Of course PayPal doesn't offer any distribution channel, so your comparison is much better than mine.

You said:

it's hard to see how smaller developers can avoid disappearing behind the larger application brands.

True. That's a risk I'll have to live with unfortunately. And since everyone and their dog is rushing to make something for the iPhone, my guess is there will be a lot of apps to dig through in to find the good ones over the noise. Although maybe with the rating system in place, they hope to smarten up the searches. It's interesting, they've singlehandedly led sites like VersionTracker and Softpedia to extinction.

You said:

The launch also provided some insight into what kinds of application Apple expects to see on the iPhone. When Steve Jobs was asked about VoIP software, he stated that VoIP over Wi-Fi would be fine, but any application that used VoIP over EDGE would not be permitted. So Apple isn't just going to restrict applications on the grounds of legality or taste (no pornography apparently), but will also refuse any which impinge on their business model, or the business models of their partners.

That surprised you? I sure wasn't aware of say an app for my Treo 650 that would allow me to do VoIP over Sprint's data network. If there is, let me know. While it may be annoying that Apple isn't going to let people use the bandwidth of the service providers however they want, it isn't really surprising, and isn't really *that* annoying when you take into account the reasoning.

You said:

It seems hard to believe that <snip> customers will be happy to only buy applications that meet the taste and brand approval of Apple

Wow, I thought people brought Apple products specifically for that reason. People feel Apple only endorses higher quality products. I bet there are a while slew of users who actually prefer that type of filtering. I know people who will only by Mac software if it is sold in an Apple Retail store. The reasoning is that Apple only would stock the "best of the best." Whether that's true or not is debatable but the truth is many target customers want that.

You made some good points. Some of your negative points didn't seem that negative to me. Maybe I concentrate too much on the technical. I'm more concerned by some of the technical limitations, such as, not being able to have your app run in the background, not being able to share memory space with other apps which may make data exchange difficult, and while I'm still going through the documentation, I haven't found anything about linking your app with Apple's sync API on Windows and Mac OS X to merge data from your custom app to/from the desktop. Those are currently my concerns.

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Coat

Monopoly?

Hmm, probably not, to run a monopoly you need to be a big player not a minority one, no matter how pretty your product is.

I'll get me coat, it's the asbestos one.

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not only mac only

The package is MacTel only. Ignoring loyal customers that have been buying their machines for years, they are only interested in customers that have purchased a machine lately.

I have seen no statement why the beta is Intel only. Xcode runs on all Macs. The iphone apparently uses an ARM processor. This may an indication that while Apple realizes it must allow outside development, it really does not want to.

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Happy

Its about time ....

I think the world has waited long enough for the SDK, or more importantly what is likely to follow in the form of legit apps for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Yes, Steve, they are iPods we hear you. But the presence of OSX is compelling to any and all Apple ISVs. So it is entirely reasonable to expect that they would want to exploit the capabilities of the two devices, bringing them more into line with other genres of smartphone.

Am I worried about the line Apple are taking with ISVs in respect of what can and cannot be developed? No, not really. I do think banning Porn is the right thing to do. And to maintain a tight rein on legality is no bad thing either. There are plenty of other channels for such things without the need to bring them to the touchscreen of the iPhone.

I do, however, worry about the lack of an iTunes channel for Freeware. Apple should demonstrate at least some altruism to the very environment that it uses to make its huge profits from. Sure, it does not *need* to, but need has nothing to do with it and more to do with the founding principles of the Internet itself.

Yes, make money, lots of it if you like, but at least try and give something back.

Smiley - because this is a move in the right direction.

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Stop

Don't you get it?

The reason other platforms are utter shite to use is PRECISELY BECAUSE they allow anyone to do anything. Exercising a little quality control, far from being a bad thing, is what keeps Apple ahead of the game. Balls to people who want to flood a platform with crap. Just look at Windoze to see why that is good advice.

I have used a Blackberry and an iPhone at some length. The Blackberry made me want to remove my own jugular vein with a rusty spoon, so dismally, pitifully wank was it to try to use. It was like they had designed it (and I use that term loosely) to be horrifically unintuitive, ugly, clunky and annoying.

The iPhone, by contrast, and while not perfect, is a fucking dream.

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Unhappy

How about the NDA parts and US applicants only?

I haven't seen any comment on the fact that in order to even get to see the API documentation you have to register with an NDA-like agreement (agree not to tell anyone about anything) and non-US developers are not eligible.

What's up with that?

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Flame

Oooooh. I smell a flame war coming....

Wait.

Hang on a minute.

Right, I've got my popcorn. Let the show begin......

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Flame

Wide of the mark. Again.

One more, Reg hacks show they completely fail to grasp what it is about Apple that makes them successful. Hiding behind snide comments like the suggestion that "pretty colours" is all Apple can offer of substance, makes you look like the type of ignorant luddite that deserves to be laughed off a 'technology' site like this.

Most semi-intelligent people have realised by now that Apple wins because simplicity wins. Ed Colligan's (Palm CEO) comment before the iPhone launch about how "PC guys aren't going to just figure this out" was always funny, but more important is the fact that Apple are not "PC guys".

"PC guys" are the bone-headed companies that stuff their products with crapware, whose entire business model is based on the idea of irritating you into buying something.

"PC guys" are the jokers who post a dozen different drivers on their website for the same product, all with cryptic 8.3 character filenames and pigeon English descriptions that are of no use when trying to work out which one you actually want.

"PC guys" are poor fools who still churn out products that look like they were designed by Stevie Wonder, assembled by Abu Hamza and covered with crappy little adverts for Windows, then wonder why Apple is using their toothbrush.

I'm no Apple apologist; they don't get everything right every time by any means, but they pick their targets more carefully, and they hit them with a greater degree of accuracy than just about anyone else out there. Consumers are starting to recognise the difference and vote with their wallets. To suggest that Apple's success is just down to hype, and somehow not worth paying for the extra investment of thought, is the bitter rambling of someone who wishes they could be more creative...

(edited for the sake of approval)

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Unhappy

Retired Journalist

I think that people involved with the technical revolution, i.e. the majority of the public, will start to question anything that looks like they will be tied into one system.

I have had enough of being helpless when the government, whoever is in, ties me up into little knots through terrorism legislation, climate change, and any other way they can keep the population down.

Now I can't fight City Hall, but I sure as hell can decide where I spend my money. And I can assure the readers here, it won't be on anything that forces me to use iTunes.

If I were a little brighter, technologically, I would be 100% a Linux user now!

Ampers

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Incredibly ... ?!? this is being reported

The $99 is NOT a gift to developers, but rather the lowest bar imaginable in the real world circa 2008. It IS a gift to users, who will gain some slight seal of approval and security from malware by Apple having vetted the programs in exchange for $99. In all, a more-than-reasonable program.

If freeware types can afford the time to learn the programming environment, and the hardware to code on, but not $99 (also, WTF?!? Is their time worth nothing?), they can band together and have one person take the interface responsibility: the $99 is per "firm," not per-title. Now we're down to Apple asking the equivalent of a couple lattes per title to host and distribute, and that's almost a gift.

And "... pretty colours will distract..."? That's stupidly dismissive of all the couldn't-be-easier features of the iPhone. It's a godsend for somebody whose time is too valuable to waste it dealing with the oddities of such gawdawful browsing experience as WinCE, Palm and other US providers serve up. E.g., my wife, who seldom uses the word, "thrilled" when talking about tech devices but does for her precious iPhone.

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Anonymous Coward

wow

I am fairly new here so feel free to flame me for being ignorant.

Is The Register always this way about Apple stuff?

Apple wish to control what goes on the iPhone. They are not stupid; they know people will crack it and make it possible to put on whatever they like. But if you buy things from Apple for the iPhone it will be less likely to cause your iPhone to misbehave. To have this control they have set up a system which includes being able to present your software on one of the biggest retail sites on the internet and have your code checked by people who really know the system inside out. Resources not being infinite they throttle this, and pay for its upkeep, by charging US$99 for access. If you don't want to be part of the system - don't pay.

It also occurs to me that there is double standard applied to software. Much publicity is given to malware of all forms. Much publicity is given to any systems set up to try and prevent malware. A little balance in the writing would not go astray. Say what you don't like, in measured tones, and suggest how it might have been done better... or point to someone else who is doing it better. Modern journalism is much given to hyperbole. It is more exciting to read and amusing for those who are "in the know" but it is misleading for those who read the articles in search of simple information.

I am a geek. A very old geek. Every now and then I get the urge to try to quell some of the enthusiasm that leads to articles like the one above. Companies exist in order to make profits for their shareholders; either by dividends or by increasing the value of their shares. For all its failings it is our system. If Apple had not charged for a service provided, and if I were a shareholder, I would want to know why. They aren't running a charity. If other providers do it for free then good for them. If this a key factor for you then use their system. The market will adjust. If everyone now shuns Apple and switches to Symbian then Apple's shareholders will understand when the price of the service is dropped to match their competitors... or even made free.

All I am asking for is a little restraint in the language and perhaps a little respect for people who are trying to run their companies successfully. If they only do it for themselves, they will fail. If they only do it for the customers, they will fail. So they zig-zag down the invisible line...

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Flame

Freeware

As I understand it Apple are allowing 'free' apps to be posted on iTunes (but they still have to go through certification). I'm not sure if this means you don't have to pay the $99 to develop said freeware however. To be honest though quibbling about $99 is childish. If you write freeware, does this mean you should have been given the computer you wrote it on free? No. If you can buy a computer to write your freeware on, you can pay $99 as well. Stop snivelling.

Amusing bit about being surprised about 'European' operators taking Apples deal. Are you implying that you weren't surprised American operators took it? Superiority complex?

As for the bitter comment about Apple gouging the punter with their profit share, uh, are you just upset Apple a) has a cut, or b) that the operator isn't taking 100%. You think the monthly charge would be X% less if Apple didn't take their cut? Ha haha.

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Ty
Jobs Halo

Well done Bill!

You just showed the world how shortsighted and blinkered you are!

Keep talking. In a few years time when Apple are dominating the mobile industry these articles will come back to haunt you.

Pretty colours?

Dullard.

P45.

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Anonymous Coward

Get your facts straight!

If you are going to write a piece about something, no matter what it is, it would be a great idea to get your facts straight! Apple very clearly indicated that anyone wanting to put FREE applications on itunes for the iPhone could do so at no charge and they would still be treated the same as those providing applications that are not free. In regards to the type of applications they make available we will have to see won't we. You may want the porn apps and I am sure there will be an underground way to deliver those apps. That does not mean Apple has to sanction them.

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Thumb Up

The SDK looks pretty good actually

So... what exactly is your complaint? You admit that 30% is quite competitive (you get hosting, advertising, and credit card processing for that), that the $99 registration fee is peanuts for any serious developer, and that Apple are likely to apply a fairly light hand in restricting what they'll host (anything which obviously threatens their or their carrier's revenue stream, is likely to damage their reputation like porn etc., or contains malware - all of which seem quite reasonable restrictions), yet you still seem resentful?

Your main complaint seems to be that Apple developers are happy about it! They can all see the potential of big $$$ in front of their eyes - 10 million plus potential users who'll be able to buy their apps at the tap of a finger. (Remember it's not just the iPhone but iPod touch as well. It's likely that within a year all iPods will have a touch interface.) The SDK looks pretty neat as well - very capable and easy to get started with - so why shouldn't they be happy?

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@ Jon re: OK what about the developers who use Windows?

It kind of makes sense if you think about it - The iPhone OS is OS X, the SDK for it runs only under Mac OS X.

It pretty much exactly the same deal as the Windows Mobile 6.0 SDK - it requires Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows Server 2003...

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