What’s all the worry over whether or not Apple is going to allow people to install their own apps on the iPhone (drool…). Both TUAW’s Dan Lurie and the folks at Gizmodo are reporting on Apple’s intentions to keep the iPhone a closed system. And via TUAW I see that Wolf Rentzsch is encouraging developers to file bug reports on the topic.
Right. It’s a bug that Apple won’t allow third party developers to develop applications for the product the company is betting their future on.
First, maybe Apple is able to make the iPhone “just work” because they’re tightly controlling the software and the hardware? Steve Jobs’ quoted Alan Kay, a computer scientist, Apple Fellow, and head of Apple’s Advanced Technology Group in the ’80s, yesterday:
“”People who are really serious about software should make their own hardware.”
While this is an obvious dig at Microsoft (they didn’t start making their own hardware until the XBox and now the Zune), in the context of the iPhone, it’s obvious to me that, with the exclusive partnership with one phone carrier, and the amazing integration Apple’s done with it, that they’re going to want to keep the user’s experience as smooth and easy as possible.
And, even so, that brings me to my second, and main, point. Assuming that Apple’s not using weasel words about having “a full browser” on the iPhone – what’s stopping the user from making use of one of the many web-based applications out there? Or developing new web-based versions of the apps they’d like to see on the iPhone?
Word processing? Spreadsheet? Why not just use Docs, Google’s web-based word processor and spreadsheet, for example?
Say… isn’t Google a partner with Apple on the iPhone? Gee, do you think that’s a freakin’ coincidence?
I know, I know… there are some apps that people just can’t live without. But even if Apple doesn’t let developers explicitly program for the platform, and take advantage of the overall user interface (John Gruber thinks that Apple is making a distinction between Mac OS X and the “OS X” that runs on the iPhone), there are still ways to get the apps on an iPhone. And as a side benefit, allow lots more people to get to the apps, too.
Wait… developers might not see that as a benefit, huh? I guess I’m an optimist.