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Inside Apple's iPhone SDK Gag Order 495

Posted by samzenpus
from the the-first-rule-of-iPhone dept.
snydeq writes "InfoWorld's Tom Yager takes a closer look at Apple's iPhone SDK confidentiality agreement, which restricts developers from discussing the SDK or exchanging ideas with others, thereby leaving no room for forums, newsgroups, open source projects, tutorials, magazine articles, users' groups, or books. But because anyone is free to obtain the iPhone SDK by signing up for it, Apple is essentially branding publicly available information as confidential. This 'puzzling contradiction' is the 'antithesis of the developer-friendly Apple Developer Connection' on which the iPhone SDK program is based, Yager contends. 'You'll see arguments from armchair legal analysts that the iPhone developer Agreements won't stand up in court — but those analysts certainly won't stand up in court on your behalf.' Anyone planning to launch an iPhone forum or open source project should have 'a lawyer draft your request for exemption, and make sure that the Apple staffer granting it personally commits to status as authorized to approve exceptions to the iPhone Registered Developer and iPhone SDK Agreements,' Yager warns."
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Inside Apple's iPhone SDK Gag Order

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  • no sale, here, then (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Thursday July 24, 2008 @12:43AM (#24314837)

    I had no idea about this. I don't follow apple things (...) but given how sue-happy they are, they can certainly live without MY buying any of their gear.

    simply because of this, alone; I vow not to buy an iphone. I was not really in the market but now I know for sure that apple is on my blacklist (at least the evil phones).

    apple: are you trying to dislodge MS as the most hated computer company around? keep it up, mate....

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 24, 2008 @12:53AM (#24314899)

      Yes, Do Without.

      I really don't understand why everyone is willing to buy Apple products at inflated prices with draconian contracts of adhesion.

      A phone is a phone is a phone. Don't fall for it.
      Buy generic phones, or better yet, just take the free one provided with your wireless providers contract of adhesion.

      If more people thought this way, there would be less of this insanity in the marketplace, and manufactures would have to compete by price alone.

      • by ontheroll (1211614) on Thursday July 24, 2008 @03:31AM (#24315565)

        As an owner of an iPhone 3G who previously owned dozens of different phones from all possible manufacturers (SE, Nokia, Siemens, Motorola, HTC, Samsung, just to name a few), I have to say that iPhone is superior for two simple facts:

        1) It is, BY FAR, the most intuitive and easy-to-use-out-of-the-box phone I have ever used.

        2) It is fun to use. Sure, all new phones are fun in the beginning, but after 2 weeks with this phone I still enjoy every time I surf the web or write an eMail with it. Something that never happend to me with any other phone (and not with any of the same generation competitors of the iPhone).

        So yes, it has many downsides, Apple are bastards when it comes to their control freakiness but their products are better.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by darkmeridian (119044)

        Most non-disclosure agreements make an exception for information obtained through legal means from those with the right to disseminate it, publicly known, or that is already known to the recipient. Is there confirmation that these exceptions are not in the Apple NDA in question?

      • by nano2nd (205661) on Thursday July 24, 2008 @07:06AM (#24316395) Homepage

        I'll try to respond easily to your comment of:

        "If more people thought this way, there would be less of this insanity in the marketplace, and manufactures would have to compete by price alone."

        Actually, I can't. That is one of the stupidest things I've ever heard. If manufacturers compete on price alone, all we are left with as consumers, is crappy generic products.

        Competition based on design, functionality, features, quality, service etc is a Good Thing. Competition based purely on price is a race to the bottom. It hurts us, the consumers. It hurts the employees of the manufacturers as they fight to keep costs as low as possible.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by stewbacca (1033764)
        Owning an iPhone and signing up for the SDK are two separate issues. Just because the SDK agreement sucks doesn't mean the phone sucks too. MOST people will never, ever do anything with the SDK other than use the by-products, which already are getting rave reviews. Ends-justify-means.
    • by Grey Ninja (739021) on Thursday July 24, 2008 @01:04AM (#24314951) Homepage Journal
      apple: are you trying to dislodge MS as the most hated computer company around? keep it up, mate....

      They're already there, as far as I'm concerned. Apple's business practices just reeks of some mad power trip in general. They absolutely despise people using their products (be it hardware or software) in ways that they had not intended. Microsoft is FAR their superior in that regard. The main evil with Microsoft is seen by the IT professional, not the consumer. With Apple, it's generally the other way around.

      The only explanation I can see for Apple's recent surge in popularity is their marketing, which is absolutely top notch.
      • by PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) on Thursday July 24, 2008 @01:24AM (#24315067) Journal
        With a mad dictator like steve jobs at the helm, what more would you expect?

        He'll demand that people conform to his world view, and demand that the people working for him force their customers to conform to his world view.

        Now, he's demanding that his workers force his customers to force THEIR customers to conform...

        *phew*... I'm so glad I don't work for / with / against / near Apple. I get winded just thinking about them!
      • by theantipop (803016) on Thursday July 24, 2008 @01:40AM (#24315163)

        The only explanation I can see for Apple's recent surge in popularity is their marketing, which is absolutely top notch.

        Really? That's the only explanation?

      • by HumanEmulator (1062440) on Thursday July 24, 2008 @02:20AM (#24315337)

        The only explanation I can see for Apple's recent surge in popularity is their marketing, which is absolutely top notch.

        So in the past 10 years, the switch to a unix based operating system with modern object oriented apis, the switch to intel hardware that made an easier transition for windows developers, the acquisition and development of technologies like multi-touch, the negotiating with record labels to break out of the subscription model, the adoption of open source for many parts of the operating system (from Darwin to WebKit) and so on had nothing to do with it?

        Yeah, it's silly that they haven't lifted the NDA yet, but it's not like developers have gotten excited about their platform because of brightly colored commercials.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by nEoN nOoDlE (27594)

        The main evil with Microsoft is seen by the IT professional, not the consumer. With Apple, it's generally the other way around.

        It's the IT professionals and developers that are on Microsoft's and Apple's case. The consumer just doesn't care either way. The regular consumer doesn't care that the iPhone SDK is under a strict NDA because the regular consumer doesn't write iPhone apps. The regular consumer judges the product by what it is capable of doing right now, and not what it can do if hackers got a hold

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by houstonbofh (602064)
      What, you thought Apple was nice, warm and fuzzy? Where have you been? They are just as cut-throat as Microsoft. They just have cooler stuff at higher prices.
      • by GaryPatterson (852699) on Thursday July 24, 2008 @04:51AM (#24315911)

        Too true!

        A Mac can set you back a few thousand, but Microsoft's PC only... uh... okay, Microsoft don't sell PCs.

        So OS X costs $129, which is just ridiculous compared to Microsoft's Vista, which is only... oh. $239 is the recommended price for Home Premium, and goes up to $399 for Ultimate.

        Well, at least Microsoft beat Apple on mouse prices! Woo! Good mice too (I always use them).

        Yup, except for computers and operating systems, Microsoft beat Apple's pricing every time.

        To be fair, they don't make computers.

    • by loganrapp (975327) <{loganrapp} {at} {gmail.com}> on Thursday July 24, 2008 @01:25AM (#24315075)
      Well, that's one more reason to wait and see how the HTC Dream and other Android-using devices work out.
  • What bugs me (Score:3, Interesting)

    by CODiNE (27417) on Thursday July 24, 2008 @12:46AM (#24314859) Homepage

    Is the way the iPhone dev Center refuses to use a cookie and remember your login info. Every stinking time you want to download the new SDK or check for new sample code, you have to log in. Again. Then you close your browser and and hour later, oop, sign in again. I've downloaded the SDKs now a total of 9 times, so I've definitely typed in my login name and password at least 20 times now. Considering there's no software update for XCode I'd imagine most other devs have too.

  • Typical Apple (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BoldAC (735721) on Thursday July 24, 2008 @12:48AM (#24314873)

    I am a big Apple supporter and member of the apple rumors community... however...

    Apple can get away with this because they can outspend almost any web/forum site. If they are in the right or wrong, who cares? They can keep throwing lawyers at you until you give.

    They attack Apple rumors site on a routine basis for BS claims of copyright or trade secrets. If I take a picture of somebody else holding a pre-release iPhone, how is that copyright? They are in the public!

    Look at the EULA and Apple attacking the company making mac clones. Most lawyers do not think that the EULA would stand; however, no company (other than microsoft or google) could tolerate the time/money that fighting would cost.

    • Re:Typical Apple (Score:5, Insightful)

      by paroneayea (642895) on Thursday July 24, 2008 @01:11AM (#24314979) Homepage

      So... I guess this kind of mentality puzzles me. There are a lot of apple users out there, who, like you, acknowldge that they're being dicked around mostly even because you take interest.

      To me it almost seems like an abusive relationship. You care about them, they beat you up, and you keep coming back. Why?

      Note, I don't mean you, per se. But it seems pretty common in the Apple fanboy communities.

      • by PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) on Thursday July 24, 2008 @01:26AM (#24315083) Journal
        Can you think of a single fanboy that doesn't defend his obsession to death? ... then again, I guess that *is* the definition of fanboy.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by ktappe (747125)

        So... I guess this kind of mentality puzzles me. There are a lot of apple users out there, who, like you, acknowldge that they're being dicked around mostly even because you take interest.

        To me it almost seems like an abusive relationship. You care about them, they beat you up, and you keep coming back. Why?

        You have a point and the answer is probably similar to why it happens in real life: Apple users are pretty sure that what little love they get from Apple is better than anything they can get somewhere else. Where else will they go? So for now, iPhone fanbois (and I'm one) take the abuse. Also, like in real life, we're willing to put up with a lot more abuse from someone/thing with a pretty face. And in this case the iPhone is a really nice piece of arm candy.

  • by TellarHK (159748) <[moc.liamtoh] [ta] [khrallet]> on Thursday July 24, 2008 @12:49AM (#24314883) Homepage Journal

    So with this NDA issue, I can't buy a book, read a forum, get any assistance at all with writing my iPhone application... So what the hell good is an SDK you can't talk about? Is this cellular fight club or something?

    Apple, fix this shit. Really. Fix it now. There's no excuse for not letting the NDA go, no way that it protects you. The phone's been jailbroken, it _will_ be unlocked, so why stifle development?

  • by w3woody (44457) on Thursday July 24, 2008 @12:49AM (#24314889) Homepage

    After all, the iPhone SDK cannot remain a "beta" forever, and once it's no longer a beta, I presume the SDK will show up side-by-side with the MacOS X Cocoa SDK from which it was derived.

    Most of Apple's beta stuff has the same confidentiality agreement, so I presumed this was just a bug.

  • How things work (Score:3, Insightful)

    by iminplaya (723125) <iminplaya.gmail@com> on Thursday July 24, 2008 @12:52AM (#24314895) Journal

    The market will bear it, and that's that.

  • by Karpe (1147) on Thursday July 24, 2008 @12:53AM (#24314905) Homepage
    Stanford has announced [tuaw.com] that it will be offering an iPhone development course. I would also expect that many books on iPhone development are being edited to be published soon. For these to occur, iPhone development information cannot be under NDA. So it's just a matter of time. Apple is not stupid.
  • by paroneayea (642895) on Thursday July 24, 2008 @12:55AM (#24314915) Homepage
    ...then the future for computer users and developers is heading toward some pretty shitty seas.
    • by TheNucleon (865817) on Thursday July 24, 2008 @01:03AM (#24314949)

      It is, no doubt.

      I mean, look at the programmable hardware platforms out there that "the powers that be" won't let you program. Game consoles, smartphones, even APIs for stinking video cards. This is all hardware that WE BUY, yet, we can't find out how to write our own stuff unless we are a big dev house and pay tons of $$. Ridiculous.

      Developers, developers, developers, developers.

      • by trawg (308495) on Thursday July 24, 2008 @01:58AM (#24315269) Homepage

        I like Nokia's new advertising platform:

        http://www.opentoanything.com/ [opentoanything.com]

        At a glance it looks like they've identified Apple's closed stance is a big gripe for developers and hardcore tech-types, and they're going after that market.

        Obviously they've also got Google on the other side, but I hope they do well out of this. If they stop spamming out a billion different mobile models a year and focus on getting some nice, neat hardware backed by some good open source, get enough developer support, and they could have something going on.

        • by Meneth (872868) on Thursday July 24, 2008 @08:50AM (#24317003)

          It's a big, fat lie, of course.

          Not only is Symbian closed-source, bug-ridden and otherwise horribly hard to write for.

          All programs must also be digitally signed by Symbian Inc. to be installable on consumer phones. And if you use certain "protected" APIs, you'll have to shell out some 20 USD per signing.

          Yes, documentation is freely available, but it's so lacking in important details that it might as well not be.

          Furthermore, I think that the comment edit box should be enlarged.

  • by blanchae (965013) on Thursday July 24, 2008 @01:01AM (#24314937) Homepage
    This forum is in contempt of the NDA.
  • Message Received. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mkcmkc (197982) on Thursday July 24, 2008 @01:14AM (#24315009)

    Apple doesn't want me to program their hardware. I hear and will obey...

  • by reversible physicist (799350) on Thursday July 24, 2008 @01:15AM (#24315013)
    If you do a Google search for "apple developer forums" the top hit is the developer discussion at "discussions.apple.com". Most of the discussion there at the moment is about iPhone development. This discussion is in no way private.
    • by Coolhand2120 (1001761) on Thursday July 24, 2008 @01:58AM (#24315273)
      And therefore violates the terms of the iPhone SDK EULA! Which is what makes it so entirely silly.

      The EULA for Safari for windows [theregister.co.uk] also forbids the installing of safari on windows. Again silly. Apple needs to become about 638% less litigious. Yes, I quantified it, wana fight about it?
      • Apple needs to become about 638% less litigious. Yes, I quantified it, wana fight about it?

        Yes. Fatness is a scale which starts from a midpoint and extends out. Someone who ceases to be fat can continue to lose weight; becoming 638% less fat could refer to someone who goes from being overweight to being skin and bone.

        Litigiousness, on the other hand, is naturally a scale starting from zero and extending out from there. Once you are no longer litigious at all, you cannot lose any litigiousness. If, perhaps, you cease suing everyone and begin instead to be sued by everyone, you aren't less litigious than someone not suing anyone at all; in fact, you could easily say that if someone's doing that, they're more litigious because they're still involved in the adveserial culture of common law courts.

        Seeing as you haven't specified who Apple needs to become "about 638%" less litigious than, it's implied you mean than they currently are. One hundred percent refers to the entirety of something, so 638 percent refers to over six times the entire amount of Apple's litigiousness. This would imply some sort of negative value of litigiousness, but as I've argued above, no such concept is conceivable.

        This is without even mentioning the strangeness of saying "about" followed by a very specific number.

        Apple certainly could do with being less litigious, but I don't think "about 638%" is the amount they need to become less litigious by.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Coolhand2120 (1001761)
          My calculations are my own intellectual property. By backwards engineering them you are in violation my EULA which you accepted when you replied to what was clearly a satirical part in an otherwise serious message.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by zsau (266209)

            Being litigious is not so bad that you can't do it? even though my sense of humor gave me no choice but to reply to clearly a joke with an apparently serious and detailed post? If that is the sort of fight you want you may talk to my lawyer, but it is much less fun than the one I was after.

            • by Coolhand2120 (1001761) on Thursday July 24, 2008 @07:10AM (#24316425)
              So I must concede, my secret formula is as follow:

              754617600 is the unix time stamp for the year that Carl Sagn sued Apple. It all begins from this key epoch. Now take the epoch in binary 101100111110101000110100000000 if you remove all of the zeros from this binary number, becuase there are no 0's at Apple! Apple is #1, you get the decimal number 8191. Take tangent of (8191*Pi) because all things at Apple are circular from a certain point of view you now get: -0.12658781837828924382846055790048. Now take this number and multiply it by E getting -0.3441013664019776161079362032018 rounded up, now if you carefully pick out the numbers "6(11)" "3(30)" "8(33)" and add a % sign (which everyone knows is JS for MOD and not percent as you so callously imply) you get the calculation 638 MOD less and of course LESS is base 36 for 998956. So what you assumed was 638 Percent was actually the formula 638 MOD 998956 which everyone knows is 638. Therefore the calculated formula is really just 638, and everyone knows about IEEE 638 "Standard for Qualification of. Class 1E Transformers for Nuclear Power Generating Stations." which if you would have spent the time to read clearly states:

              To calculate life expectancy, use the equations in A2.2 and A3.4.1

              Upon completing the calculations in the specification the result is the base 36 number: " and reverse course as to not be so ".

              When we put the whole calculation together we get: Apple needs to become about and reverse course as to not be so litigious.

              Which, when I read it, really doesn't make a lot of since, but I have Top Men working on it already.

              I really hope this fits better with your expectations, thanks! I'll be here all week.

              • by zsau (266209)

                I really hope this fits better with your expectations, thanks! I'll be here all week.

                Hm, not really. There's not much you can say to "I didn't mean what you thought at mean at all; here's what I meant". No real scope for a decent fight. I suppose you can't offer me what I want.

  • by caitsith01 (606117) on Thursday July 24, 2008 @01:17AM (#24315025) Journal

    You'll see arguments from armchair legal analysts that the iPhone developer Agreements won't stand up in court â" but those analysts certainly won't stand up in court on your behalf.

    Well, maybe that's because, like most other professions, lawyers need to be paid money in exchange for work done.

    Giving legal advice and running proceedings costs money and exposes the lawyer to risk (i.e. suits from the person receiving the advice if they rely on it and it turns out to be wrong).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 24, 2008 @01:32AM (#24315119)

    ...you don't talk about Apple SDK Developers club.

  • by zullnero (833754) on Thursday July 24, 2008 @01:33AM (#24315127) Homepage
    When I first got into Palm development 10 years ago, there was a vibrant and amazing community...I used to participate heavily in the mailing list and forums back then. If you wanted to do something that wasn't explained in the manual, you could post a question...and there was a good chance the person giving you a reply was one of their top OS design engineers. Microsoft started doing some of that later on when they had so many employees with free time on their hands...but you couldn't put a price on that kind of interaction. It seriously helped me pick up the platform so quickly, and that helped me build a pretty good career for myself. Even now I'm still a Palm OS hobbyist for mainly that reason.

    I can't see that happening with iPhone. What a stupid, stupid way to go about things. Palm didn't even have a robust platform, and they kept a huge market dominance way longer than they should have by making it easy to develop for their platform by keeping things out in the open. You had to sign agreements, but it wasn't this fascist Apple crap for sure. I'll take on any Apple fanboy on that point.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mmeister (862972)

      Relax. This is a temporary situation. I think they had to rush things a bit for the iPhone 3G date and are prepping for the final release of the SDK (probably linked to a 2.0.1 update).

      Yes, it would have been nice for them to release it from the NDA when it shipped, less than 2 weeks ago. But they're probably addressing some internal process issues before opening the flood gates, lest they have you bitching about how the process to sign up is too slow, etc, etc.

  • by lazycam (1007621) on Thursday July 24, 2008 @01:38AM (#24315145)
    nothing good has never come out of sharing development ideas: http://sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]
  • Par for the course (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 24, 2008 @01:42AM (#24315175)

    This is par for the course for Apple. They make a habit of suing or gagging (by gag order) enthusiast sites... Apple fans almost joke that they know when a leak is dead-on when the lawsuits start. They mismanufactured (and maybe still do -- who knows?) the Intel Macs, specifying a full tube of thermal paste per CPU instead of a dab... and when someone published an excerpt of the service manual which ALSO said to use a full tube.. instead of Apple saying "oops", they Cease and Desisted them into pulling this info down. There's the wireless card driver hole from last year* -- Apple pushed the people who found this hole into using a 3rd-party card to demonstrate it -- and THEN had the nerve to play it up as "ohh.. that didn't even involve Apple wireless hardware", and making sure Apple fanbois filled in the blank (inccorectly) as "Apple wireless hardware drivers were not succeptible" instead of the truth that Apple just strongarmed them into not demonstrating it. That's just from the last year. In general, Apple suppresses info about hardware flaws both on their forums and to a lesser extent elsewhere. Between this and PR, people seem to think Apples are flawless, and they are far from it. I would NEVER buy a Macintosh because of a) general dick-like behavior of the company and b) I'd NEVER, EVER get a straight answer on if a model has any production problems, bugs, flaws or "issues".. as I can about Dells or just about any normal model.

    *Which also was present in drivers for quite a few cards -- buffer overflows, allowing possible exploitation without even being associated to a wifi network by sending out corrupted wireless packets.

  • by Coolhand2120 (1001761) on Thursday July 24, 2008 @01:46AM (#24315201)
    The SDK EULA also says a lot of other bullshit:

    3.3.2 An Application may not itself install or launch other executable code by any means, including without limitation through the use of a plug-in architecture, calling other frameworks, other APIs or otherwise. 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 built-in interpreter(s).

    Kaspersky dosen't like that idea [palluxo.com]

    Slashdotters [slashdot.org] apparently don't like that you can never write browsers, music/video players or background applications.

    Voice over IP apps like Skype that attempt to use the cellular data connection will be blocked. Competing web browsers Firefox and Opera are forbidden.

    I can't think of any other company that has ever done anything like this. I'm really just curious, has any company ever publicised a SDK that has been so very private and restrictive? No other browsers?!?

    This story reminds me of the time I tried to hook my Apple cinema display up to my Cable box's DVI port, it's just not worth it, even if you get it to work, you have 5 more lbs of monitor [apple.com] you've got to hide somewhere, just because Apple wanted to squeeze a little dough out of people with more proprietary cable connectors.

    Apple has always been about "Show me the money", every action they take reemphasized that they are only interested in more money, not innovation. Here though, they really go out of their way to stifle innovation with literals like "...calling other frameworks, other APIs or otherwise...". It really says it all, don't bother trying to write this for our hardware, you may compete with us in such a way that we can't fuck you properly.

    • by scottgfx (68236) on Thursday July 24, 2008 @03:22AM (#24315537) Journal

      Apple hasn't made an ADC monitor in several years. ADC was basically a DVI port with extra connectors for USB and power for the monitor. Apple's adapter had to provide power for a monitor that lacked a power supply. I managed to use Apple's computers without running into an ADC monitor. Getting a simple ADC to VGA or DVI block wasn't that expensive or hard either. And most video cards had ADC and a VGA port, so I used the adapters to run dual displays.

      It's Apple's playground so you and I don't have to play in it, but I guess you can bitch about it, if that makes you feel better (superior).

  • by mark-t (151149) <markt@@@lynx...bc...ca> on Thursday July 24, 2008 @02:12AM (#24315301) Journal
    Who will they sue, exactly?
  • by cybereal (621599) on Thursday July 24, 2008 @03:27AM (#24315553) Homepage

    If you read the documentation that is available after agreeing to the discolsure agreement, you'll see that it is all marked as unfinished. They have a reasonably strong argument in their favor of preventing the widespread publishing of stupid wrong information based on incomplete and potentially incorrect documentation while they finish it up.

    The NDA will surely be lifted when the documentation is finished.

  • by crhylove (205956) <rhy@leperkhanz.com> on Thursday July 24, 2008 @03:38AM (#24315589) Homepage Journal

    ....but it's not a real solution, unless there is a real alternative. Unfortunately, openmoko is just plain poorly designed, too expensive, and did I mention that it sucks?

    What we need is an openmoko that not only beats the iphone all the way on price and freedom, but on design as well. Hell, just clone the iPhone exactly for now.

    With the inherently poor design decisions that seem to consistently go into FOSS projects, such as Ubuntu and OpenMoko, I have to wonder if they don't have some voracious and vocal corporate plants somewhere in the project actively sabotaging the overall movement. Or maybe I need a tin foil hat.

  • by pandrijeczko (588093) on Thursday July 24, 2008 @03:58AM (#24315689)

    I'm mainly a Linux/Open Source user but I really don't have a problem with people paying for software if that's what they want to do.

    But I really get annoyed with the people on /. who view Apple as a company that does them some kind of favour.

    There's no doubt that Microsoft wants nothing more than to lock users into Windows & developers into DotNet but because they're so vocal about it, Apple themselves uses it as marketing tool in order to position themselves into the market also, as being "better than Microsoft".

    But the fact is, both companies make use of closed source operating systems and deploy DRM heavily in their products. They are also both owned by shareholders and therefore have a duty to make as much money as possible - any director in either company would be kicked out, and might even find him/herself in a courtroom if he/she didn't make that the first priority.

    So let's stop with the pretence that Apple is any different to Microsoft - they're not. And whilst you may think it's "cool" & "geeky" to own a Mac or Macbook, in reality you've just been suckered in by Apple to pay more for a computer purely because it's a fashion accessory - but if you're happy with that then good luck to you.

  • by jcr (53032) <.jcr. .at. .mac.com.> on Thursday July 24, 2008 @06:11AM (#24316235) Journal

    The iPhone SDK is still a beta release, and the restrictions on discussing it are precisely the same as we Apple developers have always had for developer seed releases of OS X. Jager's trolling for page hits.

    -jcr

  • I think the iPhone has great potential, but until the development kit is as open as Palm's (the Palm OS SDK was based on GCC and included an open source emulator) or even Microsoft's I'm not interested. I'm not interested in jailbreaking an iPhone, or otherwise sneaking around behind Apple's back either. It's not a "smartphone" in the usual sense, it's just a really nice high end cellphone.

    I'm also not that much interested in Android, since its only official API is Java based. It seems like you can run Java apps in half the phones out there these days, so it's not really offering a lot more than Nokia or Samsung.

    So this whole thing is a tempest in a teapot. There's nothing that really matters for open systems developers, because these aren't particularly open systems even without this kind of restriction.

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