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Apple to update iPhone Web SDK --report

updated 10:30 am EDT, Thu October 4, 2007

No native iPhone app plans

A source within Apple claims that the company is currently operating without plans to produce a native software development kit (SDK) for the iPhone. Despite suggestions to the contrary, and a number of unofficial applications built prior to the v1.1.1 firmware update, the source says that Apple is still insisting on a web-based approach, but with several possible concessions. Foremost is offline storage for Safari akin to Google Gears, allowing greater flexibility while still restricting developers to HTML, CSS and AJAX.

It is speculated that Apple may be willing to open local JavaScript access to native iPhone functions, and even allow the creation of Home screen icons pointing to webcoded apps. If any of the rumored updates are indeed true however, they are not anticipated until January, when they would likely coincide with an announcement at Macworld 2008, scheduled for January 14th to the 18th.

Apple recently published its Human Interface Guidelines, a design specification meant to aid iPhone developers in keeping interfaces consistent with Apple's own. Language in the document suggested that Apple might one day open the iPhone to native applications, even though the company has so far been resistant.




by MacNN Staff

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  1. njfuzzy

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Compromise

    Frankly, I think Apple is lying about its motivations for keeping third-party applications off of the iPhone. I've never heard of a Treo, Sidekick, or Nokia taking down a phone network, and they all run third-party applications.

    In the end, it's Apple's call. As a long time fan, user, and shareholder, I think it is a huge mistake, though. Selling a phone for $400 isn't that exciting-- but selling a handheld Macintosh for $400 would be amazing. It's just better marketing.

    One way or another, I need local applications. A lot of the time that I use my iPhone is on the "T" (Boston's subway) and I'm not going to get signal down there any time soon. Tying applications (performance and accessibility) to the Internet connection is silly.

  1. madgunde

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Progress

    At least this is progress. If everything in this story comes true, I think we'd have pretty much everything we need to keep everyone happy.

  1. jarod

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Hmmm

    I get the feeling there is something big brewing on the horizon and Apple just isn't ready to let the world in on it. I don't think pulling a stunt like this is something they haven't studied very carefully and weighed. On that note, I still won't update to 1.1.1 as the usefulness of the 3rd party apps far outweigh Apple's update. Guess we'll wait and see.

  1. hayesk

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Re: hmmm

    I agree something bigger is coming. I'll bet there will be a decent SDK from Apple, but they probably just haven't finished designing and implementing it.

    If Apple allows third party apps now that don't conform to their SDK, it may create a bunch of problems for them later when they do have an SDK.

  1. bloggerblog

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    re:re: hmmm

    I hope you're right because web SDK won't cut it. You can't write software such as GPS and the Audio Recorder using AJAX.

  1. bitblt

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    @njfuzzy

    Why don't they fix the Boston subway?

    Phones works perfect in the Stockholm subway. Here they fixed that problem many years ago. And our subway has tracks as deep as 33 m [108 feet]. Could the answer be that this in Sweden/Europe?

  1. fritzw1957

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    iPod touch?

    If anyone has cared to notice, the iPod touch has a LOT of unused screen real estate on the home screen. Wouldn't you think that Apple will *eventually* have other apps to fill in the "blanks", most notably the Mail application for starters. Other apps I personally might find to be useful would be a WiFi network detection "widget".

    Again, I think the roll out of the iPod touch and the iPhone is just the beginning... wait and see what's next!

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    stuff

    If Apple allows third party apps now that don't conform to their SDK, it may create a bunch of problems for them later when they do have an SDK.

    Umm, Apple has an SDK for OS X. The iPhone is reportedly running a version of OS X. What exactly do they need to do, write up a whole new SDK?

    And you can't get all developers to follow an SDK no matter how good it is. They usually end up looking for shortcuts or other ways to perform tasks faster.

    Why don't they fix the Boston subway?

    So the solution isn't to open the iPhone, but spend municipal or AT&T money to fix the subway. What about when you're out of range of a tower? Should we "fix" the mountains as well? Or airplanes? Forests?

    If anyone has cared to notice, the iPod touch has a LOT of unused screen real estate on the home screen. Wouldn't you think that Apple will *eventually* have other apps to fill in the "blanks", most notably the Mail application for starters. Other apps I personally might find to be useful would be a WiFi network detection "widget".

    That's nice, but did it ever occur to you that apple plans on using that space themselves, rather than letting their customers use them as they see fit? And the only way I see a mail app showing up is if the iPhone gets such great new features that mail isn't as important a selling point (otherwise, why take it out???)

    Again, I think the roll out of the iPod touch and the iPhone is just the beginning... wait and see what's next!

    So people are supposed to buy a product on 'spec', with the hope of what we think it MIGHT do? Isn't that the kind of thing that gets apple in trouble, as people wait for the long-rumored features and they don't come (sort of like the howls when so many future leopard owners realize it doesn't include resolution-independence support).

  1. ZinkDifferent

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    testudo...

    How about just buying a product based on what it advertises itself as (a phone), instead of trying to hack it to do things it's not intended for (yet) - and then whining after you break your shiny new toy, and accusing Apple of malfeasance..

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