13 April 2010
iPhone, the platform most hated by developers
The new TOS for the upcoming iPhone OS 4.0 introduces additional restrictions on how developers can create applications for the device. Any application must be
Apple's choice, if we can divine intent, was a strategic move to lock developers in to the iPhone over other mobile platforms. Cross compiler companies' choice is to lock developers into their cross compiler over other, single platform compilers. Developers are offered a clear benefit by choosing the latter's lock in, not so with the former's.
I don't have a dog in this race, but I'm a developer and love the tech and social aspects of our mobile web present and future. Apple can do whatever it wants with the iPhone/Pad, just as Microsoft did whatever it wanted years ago to attempt to lock in developers with the Visual J++ mutation of Java. However, it's important to note the costs developers should consider when choosing the route of lock in. Short-term gains may have long-term drawbacks.
- New iPhone Developer Agreement Bans the Use of Adobe's Flash-to-iPhone Compiler from Daring Fireball via Reddit (top comment:
- Does HTML5 Really Beat Flash? The Surprising Results of New Tests from RWW where testing showed that CPU resources of the two varied by browser, with Flash faring better in some instances. Tellingly, Flash is outlyingly worse than all other combinations on Mac+Safari.
- Why I won't buy an iPad (and think you shouldn't, either) from Corey Doctorow. Old news, and at times flawed, but required reading. Main point: remember years ago when AOL was going to protect you from the internet with their subscription service? Well, now Apple is going to protect you from applications.
- Apple takes aim at Adobe... or Android? from ars technica says
It's bad for competition, it's bad for developers, and it's bad for consumers.
- Steve Jobs' response on Section 3.3.1 - a Mac developer has an email conversation with Jobs sums up with the Dilbertian
Everyone fears The Ignorant Boss, several updates to the post also worth reading
Geeks insist the iPad is for "their moms" to use as they stand in line to purchase one (or more) for themselves. This self-deceit is used to justify the purchase of what would otherwise be considered a grossly limited netbook. When developers choose to develop on the iPhone for the chance to get rich (many do), they also choose to navigate the capricious business dictates of Apple. Developers generally don't seek out arbitrary corporate limitations when choosing projects either fun or profitable, but with "do what works" as a common mantra, neither are they an overly principled bunch. We'll see if Android benefits from this.
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