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Cookbook For Third-Party Apps On iPhone

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  • I'll wait (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Merritt.kr (1120467) on Friday August 17, 2007 @11:00PM (#20271971) Homepage
    I think I'll just wait until another iPhone type phone comes out. The openmoko, or something along those lines. Because something else with touchscreen and video and etc WILL come out, and I have no doubt it will be better, considering how many people are p.o.'ed about the restrictions on the iPhone (like 3rd party apps, restriction to AT&T, etc). Just a matter of time.
  • Re:I'll wait (Score:4, Insightful)

    by WPIDalamar (122110) on Friday August 17, 2007 @11:18PM (#20272123) Homepage
    I can't even take a picture and download it to my computer without paying my phone company, I don't expect any phones to become truly open anytime soon :(
  • by landonf (905751) <landonf@plausible.coop> on Friday August 17, 2007 @11:37PM (#20272287) Homepage

    Imagine how valuable a smart phone is as a malware target: it's carried on your persons, has access to your home and office, it's always always on, has direct internet connectivity, a decent camera, sensitive microphone, and a great deal of your personal information.

    Given the value of this target, why on earth are people installing random binaries on their iPhone when they have absolutely no way of ascertaining whether they can trust the original provider of said binaries?

    Writing malware is not particularly difficult when you have a good SDK. The iPhone is, for most purposes, a fully functional and familiar UNIX environment, and the APIs necessary to build a SpyPhone are not a secret. Given the lack of insight the average user will have into the operating system on a handheld device, they'd likely never know of an infection.

    While I *very much doubt* we'll ever see a mass malware infection, users need to be careful about what they put on their phone, who made the binaries, and how they verify the source. Even one compromised iPhone would be very valuable to a nefarious malfeasant.

  • Re:I'll wait (Score:5, Insightful)

    by njfuzzy (734116) <ian@[ ]-x.com ['ian' in gap]> on Saturday August 18, 2007 @12:11AM (#20272531) Homepage
    This is the fallacy of the feature list. The iPhone, when it is great (it isn't always) isn't great just for what it can do, but for how seamless it makes doing it. The interface, not the feature. The copycats will look better on paper, and totally miss the point.
  • Autoinstaller (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Saturday August 18, 2007 @12:21AM (#20272603) Homepage Journal
    When someone figures out how to package these apps in an installer that can be just "clicked" (or tapped, or slid... what exactly is the operative gesture on an iPhone?), the iPhone will finally arrive as a platform, not just a product.
  • Re:I'll wait (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Man On Pink Corner (1089867) on Saturday August 18, 2007 @12:33AM (#20272683)
    Agreed... after Googling it, you're right, it does look like a pretty nice phone, and only about 50% heavier than the iPhone.

    But it's a phone for phone geeks, not Joe Sixpack and Jane Boxwine. WTF are all those tiny hieroglyphic icons all over the screen?

    And for that matter, what's up with the name? "HTC P4550 Kaiser"? Is that a cell phone, or something that requires State Department approval to export to non-NATO countries?

    The comments that point out that the iPhone is more than the sum of its bullet points sound like excuse-making and back-pedalling, but they're not. They're 100% on target. If the Kaiser hardware were available with anything like the iPhone's OS, I'd probably be willing to pay $2000 for it. As it is, if I bought an HTC P4550 Kaiser, I'd just be buying one more gadget full of features I'll never remember how to use.
  • Re:I'll wait (Score:4, Insightful)

    by shmlco (594907) on Saturday August 18, 2007 @12:35AM (#20272709) Homepage
    It doesn't work if you have to explain it. Some people instinctively grok elegance... and others don't. It's as simple as that.
  • Re:I'll wait (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mrchaotica (681592) * on Saturday August 18, 2007 @12:38AM (#20272731)

    Windows Mobile 6 Professional versus Proprietary for the iPhone...

    "Proprietary versus Proprietary"? I don't get it; what's your point? Unless I'm reading it wrong you just repeated the same word twice.

  • Re:I'll wait (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bigstrat2003 (1058574) on Saturday August 18, 2007 @01:32AM (#20273141)

    But it's a phone for phone geeks, not Joe Sixpack and Jane Boxwine. WTF are all those tiny hieroglyphic icons all over the screen?
    At $500, the iPhone is also not a phone for Joe Sixpack and Jane Boxwine.
  • by Zorque (894011) on Saturday August 18, 2007 @01:41AM (#20273199)
    Actually, their latest update didn't do a thing about people's unlocked and otherwise hacked phones. Maybe in the future we'll see that, but Apple never did anything about iPod Linux either (Nevermind that iPL wasn't really a runaway success or anything).
  • Re:I'll wait (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mrchaotica (681592) * on Saturday August 18, 2007 @02:39AM (#20273597)

    I was (sarcastically) making the point that, as far as I'm concerned, Windows Mobile is no better than, and just as proprietary as, the iPhone's OS.

  • by jamrock (863246) on Saturday August 18, 2007 @02:58AM (#20273703)

    Am I missing some point, or is Apple just darling du jour?

    Yes, you're missing the point [slashdot.org], you and everyone else who fails to realize that it's not the feature list, it's the interface. And please don't talk to me about open alternatives; the average consumer doesn't care. Joe Sixpack only wants something that will work without fuss and look good doing it.

    Ten years ago, I would have been all hot for something I could poke around and mess with. These days, I have different hobbies and greater demands on my time. I've become extremely miserly with my free time because I want to spend every possible second of it with my kids; they're teenagers now, and all three will be off to college over the course of the next three years. My priorities have changed, and I have neither the time nor inclination to spend hours digging into the guts of a machine or wading through configuration files. It is for this reason that I simply can't be bothered with Linux. I'm Mac user and I have nothing whatsoever against Linux; in fact I admire Linux and the Linux community, and I'm rooting for FOSS in general, so don't think that my personal decision not to use Linux is a rejection of Linux or open software. But when I weigh the time I would have to spend configuring everything to my satisfaction, including finding/testing/learning replacement software, against time I could be spending with my sons and daughter, there's no contest.

    I should point out that I apply the same test to pretty much every single thing in the same fashion before deciding whether to embark on it: Is it worth the time away from my children? If I find an alternative that will produce the same result, with less demands on my time, then usually that's the path I take. With regard to operating systems, moral* and technical concerns aside, Linux and Windows both fail to meet that all-important criterion as far as I'm concerned.

    * What exactly does "moral advantage" mean anyway, when used in a discussion of technology? How can an inanimate object be immoral? It's the use of that object that is moral or not. Is the iPhone somehow less "moral" than the computer I presume you're using? Does loading Linux on it make it somehow morally superior to a Mac or Windows machine, even if it was produced by a manufacturer with an extremely poor environmental record? If you're so concerned about the immoral nature of a product manufactured by a company that *gasp* doesn't hew to your party line, then how in the name of Christ do you even get through the day without using transportation manufactured by a greedy automaker and fueled by nature-raping oil companies; eating a meal of recombinant DNA patented by monstrous agribusinesses; wearing clothes and shoes bearing the fingerprints of Asian sweatshop workers; and -shocker!- using an evil, soul-sucking ISP to connect to the Internet so you can post your drivel to Slashdot? And if you think that your lifestyle and choices somehow insulates you from contact with "immoral" technology, then you're delusional. Like a right-wing politician seeking re-election, people who preach morality tend to do so out of convenience. Grow up.

  • Re:I'll wait (Score:2, Insightful)

    by GPL Apostate (1138631) on Saturday August 18, 2007 @06:10AM (#20274499)
    Some people 'grok elegance' on different levels. I grok the elegance of the ergonomic design of my electric wire-wrap gun and an OK Industries cut-and-strip wire wrap bit.

    You go ahead and 'grok the elegance' of slick shiney consumer stuff if that's your thing.
  • by GPL Apostate (1138631) on Saturday August 18, 2007 @06:42AM (#20274641)
    Ten years ago, I would have been all hot for something I could poke around and mess with. These days, I have different hobbies and greater demands on my time.

    Welcome to middle age, dude. But be careful whom and what you sell out to.

    It still matters. Just might not seem like it for awhile.
  • Nice Smear Job (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DECS (891519) on Saturday August 18, 2007 @02:34PM (#20278337) Homepage Journal
    The iPhone is only expensive if you compare its full cost with the subsidy illusion of another phone. Hardware costs nothing compared to service plans. If you compare the full cost over two years, the iPhone with its cheaper service plan is one of the least expensive smartphones you can buy. The more expensive 8GB iPhone with 2 years of service is $2056.

    a TYTN is $800 more
    a Sony Ericsson K850i is also nearly $800 more
    a Nokia N95 is over $800 more
    an LG Prada KE850 is $700 more
    a RIM BlackBerry Pearl is over $300 more
    a new Palm Treo is nearly $400 more
    a "$99" Motorola Q is over $200 more

    That isn't taking into account that the iPhone will have resale value as a WiFi browser and iPod after two years, while all those other phones will be pretty worthless. It also doesn't note that iPhone competitors all have:

    half the battery runtime of the iPhone.
    a clunker design that's commonly twice as thick as the iPhone.
    less than half the iPhone's screen resolution.

    The iPhone is "locked" to AT&T unless you activate it and attach your iPhone SIM card to another provider. So it's as locked as any other phone. The RAZR, LG Chocolate, Treo and every other phone was exclusive to a provider at launch, and all of them were $500 phones. Who cried foul then? Oh right, nobody did, because it isn't Apple users who are the shrill fanboys, its people like you who love to publish false information.

    As for "Proprietary," the definition of that word is owned by a proprietor. Or in other words, for sale. Your OpenMOKO hardware is similarly proprietary to the company building it, it just didn't bother to finish its own software, expecting the "community" to write it for them. So you can own the software collectively and have nobody to blame when it doesn't work but yourselves, but you're still buying proprietary hardware, and it costs just as much. The service just costs more. That makes you a rube, and a pawn, and a simpleton.

    "Expensive to maintain" because the battery is integrated? Well, if you plan to use your iPhone for more than a couple years before selling it and getting a new one, yes, you will have to pay for a new battery. My Sonicare toothbrush costs more to replace the battery than the iPhone. There are also third party iPod batteries that cost less than $15, with the DIY kit. Imagine that they'll be available in two years after 15 million iPhones are sold? Again, you are presenting false information because you are bitter about a successful product. You may as well boot Windows.

    The iPhone is getting attention because it delivers a much better platform and 80% of the features on any phone in its 1.0 release. It's only going to get more features and improved upon. Apple has a history of updating its software for the Mac and the iPod. Years old devices are kept up to date with updates. No other phone maker does anything approaching this, and any updates that are released are too hard for most users to install. Windows Mobile works like ass, and Palm had been rotting for half a decade. OS X offers the maturity of Symbian or Linux with a consistent, polished interface they will never have.

    Even if you hate Apple, its iPhone will make whatever you get end up buying a better phone through competition. That can't be said of Microsoft, which has held back the progress of technology for 20 years. Who else is leading mobile devices? A bunch of stupid followers. If you can't handle reading about a company that can bother to challenge the status quo, maybe you need to reevaluate why. There's nothing insightful about being a whiny bitch with nothing to say.

    iPhone cost comparison [roughlydrafted.com]
    iPhone contract security, hardware, sales, FUD comparisons [roughlydrafted.com]
    iPhone camera and viewing comparisons [roughlydrafted.com]
  • by StarKruzr (74642) on Saturday August 18, 2007 @04:55PM (#20279563) Journal
    but there are security measures in place that ensure that you will not be able to use any faster data connection than GPRS unless your phone is approved by (read: sold by) the carrier.

    GSM (voice) and GPRS will work fine. Nothing else will.
  • Re:I'll wait (Score:2, Insightful)

    by DudeTheMath (522264) on Saturday August 18, 2007 @05:15PM (#20279795) Homepage

    According to a G..GP, the respective weights are 190g and 135g. My calculator says that ratio is 1.407..., which looks a lot like the Kaiser is about 41% heavier, closer to 50% than the 27% you assert. If you have different specs, cite 'em.

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