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Sun vows Java on iPhone

updated 11:00 am EST, Sat March 8, 2008

Sun Wants iPhone Java

Sun intends to use the newly established iPhone SDK to provide a Java virtual machine for the device, the company's Java marketing VP Eric Klein said late Friday. The company hopes to implement a native version of Java Micro Edition that would provide a direct framework for most any application that can run with the mobile-optimized virtual environment. Implementing the engine should allow the Java games that often land on most phones as well as business-grade tools such as customer relations management and enterprise resource management software, Klein adds.

The company came to the relatively quick decision after reviewing the information available from the SDK, and notes that the resources available on the iPhone and iPod touch would not necessarily preclude more advanced versions once Sun is more experienced with the platform. A version of Java Standard Edition could allow desktop-level apps, Klein suggests, while JavaFX could provide an updated, animation-driven mobile framework.

The Sun official did not supply a timetable for a copy of Java for the platform, but plans to make the software publicly available through the App Store. Most existing client versions of Java are available as free downloads.

Apple has historically been resistant to adding its own Java code to the iPhone. At one point, company CEO Steve Jobs described a Java virtual machine as a "ball and chain" of old technology versus more modern, lightweight technology such as Javascript.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. parsec_kadets

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Too bad Apple says no

    I'd like to know what they have to say about this from the SDK agreement: No interpreted code may be downloaded and used in an Application except for code that is interpreted and run by Apple’s Published APIs and builtin interpreter(s)…

    Since Java is an interpreted language, but not part of "Apple's Published APIs and builtin interpreter(s)" how is this going to work? Apple isn't going to allow Sun to distribute Java through the App Store since it violates the SDK Agreement.

  1. deasys

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Sun Jumps The Gun

    "The company came to the relatively quick decision after reviewing the information available from the SDK"

    And yet, Sun's review missed the most important information--section 3.3.2: An Application may not itself install or launch other executable code by any means.

    Funny how Sun could never be bothered to provide a JDK for the Mac but is now so anxious to get one out for the iPhone / iPod Touch that they neglect to do the fundamental research...

  1. petsounds

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    no interpreted code

    Good find, parsec. That line probably had little to do with Java (though it does apply) and much more to do with Adobe implementing the Flash Player on the iPhone. This pretty much terminates any possibility we will see Flash on the iPhone.

    It's really sad that Apple is so concerned about their content delivery revenue model that they won't let any Flash content through, even via the Safari browser. Makes you wonder what the "Enable plugins" setting in iPhone's Safari settings menu is even for, other than taunting everyone with something they'll never get.

  1. Peter Bonte

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Other Agreement

    Apple can implement the Java runtime to ease the development, SUN and Apple can work on it together. Developers can do much more with Xcode than writing for Java, it just makes it easier for those who already develop for Java.

    The only problem i can see is performance optimizing, Xcode will have to include this Java runtime to help optimize the code.

  1. ZinkDifferent

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    petsounds...

    petsounds mulls : "It's really sad that Apple is so concerned about their content delivery revenue model that they won't let any Flash content through"

    What's even sadder is folks like yourself who fail to see the obvious - that Apple is far more concerned about maintaining stability of the platform (obviously, not a concern for you, it seems). This has very little to do with their revenue model (they will make money regardless, and even if an app bypassed the revenue model, it would not matter in the scope of things), or else Apple would not be supporting 'free' apps.

    People like petsound, who seem to continuously see a conspiracy around every corner, are only concerned about their own minuscule needs, and fail to consider a bigger, much bigger picture. Which is not really surprising.





  1. danviento

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    misguided concerns?

    I'm pretty sure it's less of an interest in pushing their own content, and more of not wanting their devices to have the rep. for bogging down thanks to resource hogging done by flash ads and java.

    For the time, being, Apple has the market for this device cornered. No one else offers a piece of hardware/software that can do what the touch and iPhone can, so they can afford to dictate things like this. Let's not forget that Apple has had a tendency to have some hard-and-fast rules when it comes to their hardware software combos, hence the reason they are they only ones they allow to make hardware for their OS.

    You can chalk it up as greed if you'd like, but it's been a successful business model for a while now, and no one who actually uses their products really complains. I'm not going to bet on this to change much in the future

  1. Peter Bonte

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Security

    Security is the biggest concern, we can't have Java and Flash running wild on the device and 10 apps in the background. I'll dump my stock the day we need Norton on the iPhone to be secure.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Re: security

    Security is the biggest concern, we can't have Java and Flash running wild on the device and 10 apps in the background.

    How does having any of that cause a security problem? Please let us know, because right now, so many of us are running OS X with 10 apps in the background and Java and Flash running, we're likely at a huge security risk as well.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Re: petsounds

    What's even sadder is folks like yourself who fail to see the obvious - that Apple is far more concerned about maintaining stability of the platform (obviously, not a concern for you, it seems).

    Or, sadder even, is people who just buy whatever line Apple feeds them.

    How does having only one third-party app running at a time help stability? If that app crashes, it still takes down the entire phone. Oh, wait, you say it doesn't? Then how could having two apps running cause a stability issue? Especially since it is running OS X underneath? Please explain.

    And how does Apple forcing all apps to go through the App Store maintain stability? They're not testing the apps, verifying each and every one. They're just saying "We give each app maker a certificate so we know who makes them. Then, if they're malware, we know who did it." Wow, talk about security!

    This has very little to do with their revenue model (they will make money regardless, and even if an app bypassed the revenue model, it would not matter in the scope of things), or else Apple would not be supporting 'free' apps.

    It has everything to do with a revenue model. From the lack of DVD support with the AppleTV (and I always thought you could play a DVD from your Mac on the thing, but apparently you cannot even do that) to not licensing FairPlay.

    On top of that, "free" apps still require a one time $100 developer fee. You can't just take the free SDK, make a free app, and post it. Only paid developers get to post apps.

    If apple wasn't out for a money grab (30% of the cost of an app, which just means apps will cost 30% more then they would otherwise), they wouldn't restrict apps to the app store.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    one more thing

    On the security and stability angle, doesn't it bother anyone that apparently the iPhone is written so poorly that stability on it is concern #1? Apparently two apps running at the same time is enough to crash the system, the way everyone talks about it.

    And keep in mind, the only one app running at a time is a third-party restriction. Apple will have no problem making multiple apps run at a time as it suits them.

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