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Iphone Software Apple

iPhone App In App Store Limbo Open Sourced 432

Posted by timothy
from the richarded-over dept.
recoiledsnake writes "The author of iPhone prototyping tool Briefs has decided to open source it after the App store submission has been in limbo for over three months. The app had got into trouble for what Apple believes is being able to run interpreted code, though the author denies it, saying all the compiling happens on the Mac. While Rob stays civil, his co-worker blasts Apple for not even rejecting the app. Three months is nothing compared to Google Voice for the iPhone though, which is still being studied further by Apple after more than a year."
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iPhone App In App Store Limbo Open Sourced

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  • by bogaboga (793279) on Monday August 30, 2010 @01:41AM (#33412654)

    Can someone explain to me why Apple behaves this way? I fail to understand. What even bugles my mind is the fact that Apple as a company is [still] a darling in many people's hearts. No bad publicity sticks.

    I for one, will not touch an iPhone even with a 10 foot pole for my HTC Incredible does all that want it to and even more. The trouble is Oracle that is threatening to cut off Android's air supply with patent suits against Google.

     

  • by mr100percent (57156) on Monday August 30, 2010 @02:28AM (#33412792) Homepage Journal

    According to Steve Jobs, they get 1500 app submissions per day. Even so, this wait is unusually long for an approval/reject. Maybe this one just fell through the cracks?

  • by beakerMeep (716990) on Monday August 30, 2010 @02:28AM (#33412794)

    look at windows... the root cause of most problems is the requirement to keep legacy software supported...

    What does that have to do with interpreted code?

    Isnt it equally likely a ton of app developers could be slow to re-factor out deprecated APIs as it is for a platform of interpreted code?

    And latency? Really? It's simply about protecting profits. Go watch Flash running on a Nexus One and tell me Apple is saving the world from those milliseconds of latency.

    This whole thing is about profit. The really isn't anything complicated about it. The mental gymnastics some people go through to justify it really amaze me sometimes though.

    There are some fantastic things about iPhone and Apple's tech and even advantages to the draconian locked down system. But 'saving' users from interpreted code isn't one of them.

  • Re:Read the license (Score:2, Interesting)

    by silentcoder (1241496) on Monday August 30, 2010 @02:32AM (#33412804) Homepage

    >Open source is open source, meaning you can see the code. What's so hard about that?

    The fact that it's just not true. [opensource.org] The word has a definition.

    How can I put this ? If it doesn't quack like a duck, it doesn't look like a duck, it doesn't walk like a duck - then the fact that it's waterbird isn't enough to make it a duck.

  • by Frag-A-Muffin (5490) on Monday August 30, 2010 @03:52AM (#33413012) Homepage

    And latency? Really? It's simply about protecting profits. Go watch Flash running on a Nexus One and tell me Apple is saving the world from those milliseconds of latency.

    Ummm, I have (and obviously you haven't), and it's quite horrible. Perhaps *you're* ok with a program that runs that slow on any device, but if THAT is what they want to release, then please, keep it off whatever device I'm using (in this case, the iPhone). I have nothing against Android (I have a milestone as well), in fact, I love it! However, to say flash runs smoothly on the Nexus One means you're either a) delusional b) a fanboi/hater or c) both.

    I guess being subjective is not cool these days. :\

  • by rjch (544288) on Monday August 30, 2010 @03:57AM (#33413016) Homepage

    Can someone explain to me why Apple behaves this way? I fail to understand. What even bugles my mind is the fact that Apple as a company is [still] a darling in many people's hearts. No bad publicity sticks.

    Not here it doesn't. Less than six months after getting an iPhone (after being unable to find an Android phone at the time that didn't have decent enough hardware that also supported the weird 850Mhz 3G frequency required by my carrier for calls outside the city) my opinion of Apple has completely reversed.

    Yes, the UI is fairly well thought out and it's relatively easy to use. However the outright refusal to give people what they want grates on my nerves significantly. The promises of iOS4 just didn't deliver. Multitasking is a huge pooch-screw...

    Nope. Next time work gives me the option of what phone I want, I'll be picking something Android based - assuming Oracle (a company that is rapidly developing an even worse reputation than Apple) doesn't manage to squash it first.

  • by noidentity (188756) on Monday August 30, 2010 @04:02AM (#33413034)

    When you've got a market locked down, people think buying your products will make them cool, and you've closed everything off so the only way out is to avoid apple

    They've got the market locked down because people choose to buy their products? Kind of like how Google has the search market locked down because most people choose it for searching? I envision a day when we don't get to choose what we use, and instead are treated to a random selection of all the available alternatives. No more locked down markets, for one!

  • by rtb61 (674572) on Monday August 30, 2010 @04:37AM (#33413120) Homepage

    I'm a dreamer I envision a day when the truth is the only acceptable and legal form of advertising. Any time a company falls short of that they pay triple the profits they generated as damages and that goes into a public fund so that victims can make claims against it. In this current day and age I'd expect that fund to be worth a trillion dollars within a couple of years.

  • by julesh (229690) on Monday August 30, 2010 @05:10AM (#33413210)

    Like many here you're not getting one thing - developers / geeks do not account for 90% of possible iPhone customers. There is something that is a problem for YOU and a problem for many OPEN-SOURCE type people - but not really something that is seen as a problem by the majority of people out there.

    No, actually, this particular issue is one standing in the way of corporate adoption, not geek adoption. Corporate types don't want to have to hire Objective C developers - who are rare and expensive - to develop their iPhone apps. Apple, however, won't allow any other language to be implemented (other than Safari's javascript interpreter).

    Geeks don't want rapid development tools, which is what the app in question is (a brief read of the web site makes it sound like a modernised implementation of the same sort of idea Lotus Notes started out with -- a quick way of defining your data structures and a very easy way to prototype UIs to manipulate them). We're generally happier getting down to the nuts and bolts and playing with the hardware at a lower level.

    And it's not even limited to the iPhone - most people still use MS Office, despite how many competitors again? Despite the free OpenOffice?

    MS Office *is* technically superior to OpenOffice. It has a large number of features that are not duplicated in OO. Its programmability is substantially superior to OO's. Also, it is the only piece of software that is able to read 100% of uncorrupted MS Office documents, and as that is the de-facto standard document exchange format in most fields of business, it's an important consideration.

    The iPhone is not technically superior to Android, or even Symbian, both of which have important features that are missing on the iPhone. Flash is merely the most obvious one, but it is well worth noting that it is not only geeks who care about it. Many geeks, I suspect, are happier without it.

    The closed Appstore may be something you hate - on the other hand, as far as non-geeks are concerned, I'd rather have the AppStore than seeing a proliferation of new phone threats (like - wouldn't you hate being spammed by a mobile botnet?).

    I'm not sure in what way a mobile botnet is any worse than a static one. Sure, I see your point, but when it comes down to it you can make the same argument for your desktop computer... why run the risk of installing malware by mistake? Let's get a PC which will only install software that's been approved by Microsoft. And, admittedly, there are a lot of people that would be an adequate solution for, maybe even better than the current situation. But there are also a lot of people it isn't adequate for, and you can bet that if it was a situation that existed we'd be making a lot of noise about it. Why? So that people don't get one *by mistake* without realising how limited they'll be.

    The same with the iPad - the iPad came out to much ridicule from the tech-savvy crowd - but see how many projects there are out to 'innovate' a tablet computer now that the iPad is out?

    You seem to be missing something, which is the large number of people who were already working on tablet computers before Apple even announced the iPad. Several manufacturers released devices in a similar factor before the iPad was released (e.g. Asus's T91). Microsoft have been working with numerous manufacturers on similar devices since the late 90s. It's hardly a new idea.

  • by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Monday August 30, 2010 @07:12AM (#33413520)

    imagine you are a company that could benefit by making a high profile apple product look slow and buggy and prone to crashing... you release an innocent enough looking "prototyping" tool... it doesn't make applications as optimized as one's with "expensive development", or using the free native development environment, but it's dumbed down and simpler, and hey, it's just a prototype and it works... the translation isn't optimized at all, but all the buttons will do what you tell them to do... now these prototypes are going to be seen by people and the hardware will be judged by the responsiveness of the software.

    The apps developed using this tool would still need to make it to the general public to tarnish the teflon reputation of an iDevice. If they are as craptastic as can be then they won't make it past the steely eyes of the apostle manning the pearly gates to the App Store.

  • by Wooky_linuxer (685371) on Monday August 30, 2010 @07:29AM (#33413560)
    It wasn't, but AFAIK Apple was the first and is still the only one to use it. So it is a way of using a non proprietary standard that still achieves the same goal as a market lock-in tool. Apple has done this many times - mini display port, mini DVI, recessed jack on original iPhone, etc.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 30, 2010 @07:30AM (#33413564)

    You seem to be missing something, which is the large number of people who were already working on tablet computers before Apple even announced the iPad. Several manufacturers released devices in a similar factor before the iPad was released (e.g. Asus's T91). Microsoft have been working with numerous manufacturers on similar devices since the late 90s. It's hardly a new idea.

    I think most here (including the author of the post you replied to) are aware that there were tablets before the iPad, even very similar ones, just as everyone is aware that there were smart phones before the iPhone. But just as most here might agree that the iPhone changed the way smart phones were designed, and made them friendly for the masses, the iPad may do the same for tablets. I think it's too early to tell, but I think it's safe to say that the tablets with a stylus touch-screen and a slightly modified windows/linux OS wasn't a huge success, and that the iPad seems to be doing better for now.

  • by Giometrix (932993) on Monday August 30, 2010 @08:05AM (#33413676) Homepage
    I'm in the same boat... I bought an iPad because finally someone made a portable computer in the form factor I wanted. The hardware is beautiful, but the lack of multitasking (yes, I know I'll get it soon... But it will probably still suck), lack of flash (I guess I can forgive that on a phone, but not on a laptop replacement) and subpar browser (even slashdot doesn't work 100% right), with lack of alternatives has really turned me off to apple. Also, after experiencing how android beautifully reflows text, it really makes safari seem archaic. This is not the feeling I want less than 6 months after plopping down $600 for a device...
  • Re:Hey timothy... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 30, 2010 @08:31AM (#33413806)
    Nah. It's okay. Read at -1 and skim. Still lots better than most everyplace else.
  • by MogNuts (97512) on Monday August 30, 2010 @08:59AM (#33413998)

    Ok people we have to ignore this poster. They're just spouting drivel.

    Say it with me again, "The IPhone HAS MALWARE/VIRUSES/TROJANS/IS INSECURE."

    As to your other points:

    1) If your parents have a problem with an Android phone, then maybe they shouldn't even be using a smartphone. How about a plain old regular cell phone?

    2) MS Office is used because it actually IS superior. No knocks to OO--I use OO as my main office suite. But even I know that MS Office is superior.

    3) No tablet was made because they found no one wanted a tablet. They didn't have a fanbase of stupid, gullible, brain-washed customers like Apple did. So they didn't have an audience who would buy crap just because they said so. It actually had to fill a need.

    And the main kicker...

    4) You spout that the ITunes/Iphone combo is easy. Have you ever used ITunes? It is the buggiest, slowest, cryptic, un-user friendly P.O.S. out there. I think the only worse piece of software made other than ITunes is--you guessed it--Quicktime. Again from Apple.

  • by BasilBrush (643681) on Monday August 30, 2010 @09:19AM (#33414176)

    I agree with most of your post. However a couple of points struck me...

    No, actually, this particular issue is one standing in the way of corporate adoption, not geek adoption. Corporate types don't want to have to hire Objective C developers - who are rare and expensive - to develop their iPhone apps. Apple, however, won't allow any other language to be implemented (other than Safari's javascript interpreter).

    The answer to your problem is the brackets. Most corporate mobile app needs would be satisfied with a web app tailored to the appropriate screen size for an iPhone or iPad.

    I'm not sure in what way a mobile botnet is any worse than a static one.

    SMS/MMS spam?

    Sure, I see your point, but when it comes down to it you can make the same argument for your desktop computer... why run the risk of installing malware by mistake? Let's get a PC which will only install software that's been approved by Microsoft.

    By that comparison, Apple's restrictions seem unreasonable. However you could also do a comparison with games consoles and Apple's policy seems very reasonable. Games consoles software is far more restricted than iOS software is. Yet consoles have regained their position as premier games platforms from the PC. Why is that? Because for developers, the advantages of developing for the consoles far outweigh the disadvantages, so they put most of their development budgets towards console games, and so consoles end up with most of the best games. Consoles offer them stable hardware configurations, a good route to market provided they stick to the rules, and a far higher chance that they will get paid vs PC games. All these advantages apply to iPhone developers too.

    You seem to be missing something, which is the large number of people who were already working on tablet computers before Apple even announced the iPad. Several manufacturers released devices in a similar factor before the iPad was released (e.g. Asus's T91). Microsoft have been working with numerous manufacturers on similar devices since the late 90s. It's hardly a new idea.

    Tablet PCs are indeed an old idea, and they have never sold. The Asus you mention is very much in that vein of non-selling tablet PCs. The iPad isn't a tablet PC. Apple innovated in finding a form for tablets that IS desirable: A purpose made mobile/touch UI, building up from a mobile phone rather than modifying from a desktop. Decent battery life. Constantly connected via the cellular network. It's the iPad form that manufacturers are now racing to copy. Building up from Android phones rather than down from Windows/Linux laptops. Tablet PCs are going to become even more niche than they already are. Virtually no one is going to built them. It's now become clear that the market wasn't resistant to tablets. It was just resistant to PCs and or desktop OSs in tablet form.

  • by Bill_the_Engineer (772575) on Monday August 30, 2010 @11:36AM (#33415598)

    Unused ports die when their time is up. Seen a gameport off an audio board lately? Nope. Why? USB.

    Why did USB become viable? Firewire/400. It wasn't until USB2 when peripherals beyond a mouse and keyboard became viable. USB2 was created as a competitive answer to Firewire/400.

    Seen a firewire port lately, despite all that Apple did to try to hype it up over USB? Nope. GUESS WHY.

    I guess because you haven't bothered to look. Firewire is used to transfer video from HD digital camcorders (called iLink by the Sony folks). Firewire was also built in to a couple of ASUS motherboards I purchased for work lately. Not to mention the Firewire ports that Apple still uses on their machines. Firewire actually has higher data throughput and less CPU load then USB2. USB3 and Firewire/800 may be replaced when Intel introduces LightPeak with Apple reportedly signing on as its earliest adopter.

    No computer uses floppies any more because they don't have enough capacity. Heck, most computers have a DVD burner rather than CD-only for the same reason. If you really need to use a floppy, you can get a USB floppy drive for $5.

    The PC always came with a floppy drive despite the size limitation. We needed them because a particular version of a Windows OS needed the floppy to boot for installation. Also, the corporate suits liked the concept of the floppy for legacy reasons.

    The floppy removal was a cost saving move after Windows 2000 and the ability to boot from CD-ROM. Dell gradually removed the floppy from their computers by charging $15 extra instead of making it standard.

    Just because your PC compatible doesn't have a floppy attached doesn't necessarily mean that the motherboard no longer has the floppy I/O connector or the BIOS settings.

    Apple doesn't "lead" the market. They produce a proprietary, closed-scale system that has a small enough market share that virus writers don't give a crap about infecting it and then claim it's "secure." And they sell it to people who have too much money and not enough common sense to compare prices on similar hardware.

    Why should you care who leads? I never quite understand the Apple haters and their insistence of spewing stereotypes and the myth of overpriced computers. Can you by a PC machine for less price? Yes. Will it have the same features? Maybe. Will have the quality and support of an Apple computer? No.

    I find it especially funny when people who dump on Apple computers over the price, drive to work in a BMW, Lexus, Acura, etc. You can drive to work in a Hyundai Sonata for much less money.

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