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iPhone: Petition to ask Apple to allow 3rd-party development

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 
Hey all..

I hope I'm not breaking any rules or etiquette by making this blatant plug as my first post on these forums, but here goes.

If you're like me, you were very excited when you heard about the iPhone, then very disappointed when you heard the news that it was to be a closed platform with no user-installable applications. To attempt to persuade Apple to reverse this decision, I've created a petition which I plan to deliver to Apple Corporate with as many signatures as possible:

iPhone Third Party Application Support Petition

If you agree, please give it a read and consider signing.

Thanks!
Justin
post #2 of 42
I don't see why Steve would mention that it's running on Mac OS X and talk about all the technologies it has on it, Cocoa being one of them if it was not open to developers.

I have a big feeling that there will be a lot of talk about the iPhone at WWDC this year.

I mean by the time Leopard ships it will almost be WWDC again and I don't think Steve is going to really discuss Mac OS 10.6....
post #3 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Feynman View Post

I don't see why Steve would mention that it's running on Mac OS X and talk about all the technologies it has on it, Cocoa being one of them if it was not open to developers.

Well, there are quotes around from both Greg Joswiak and Jobs that the iPhone is going to be a closed system.
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post #4 of 42
That's a well-written argument, monitron. I hope you get lots of signatures.

Really, not allowing 3rd parties to develop for this platform is the dumbest of dumb moves.
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post #5 of 42
Mr. H ive heard a lot about what you are talking about but i havent heard anything that says it comes from Greg or Jobs....i beleive what i heard when someone actually asked Apple was "NO COMMENT"....and i think ill go with that because the phone doesnt look finished, i beleive they have much work to do on it and creating a developer kit is on their to-do list for this phone before launch date..i honestly dont think its a closed system
post #6 of 42
Apple has told folks at the show that third party devs can contact Apple about developing for it and that all apps will need to be QA tested by Apple. Remember this device will be directly connected to a major chunk of critical US communications infrastructure, you don't want just anyone with direct access into it. This will reduce the number of apps available, an unavoidable fact. Hopefully the QA process doesn't cost too much or we will only see for-pay stuff from devs with deep pockets. My guess is WWDC will have an iPhone track that will answer the hows and constraints.
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post #7 of 42
I would have to agree with you Hiro. I think we will see at least a few more applications shipping with the phone. I'm shocked that Apple has ported over iChat as that would be a huge thing right there.

I am also really curious about the "widgets" that Steve mentioned. When I first saw the interface that's what I thought every application was based off of....so if it is running Mac OS X, why could you just transfer over the widgets that you have on your Mac?
post #8 of 42
agreed, i think apple should Q&A all developers that want to make a product for the iphone, otherwise it will be a mess, and like he said in newsweek interviews, there will be many many many widgets created by apple even by release date...

i just hope ichat runs on data and not sms...sms is so slow it is definitly NOT INSTANT messaging..
post #9 of 42
Thats a shame really. Here in the UK many people now have MSN (and this is even free on 3uk).

But hopefully when the 3G version comes in December the should have allowed some network specific applicatons such as instant messaging.
post #10 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by ebaydan777 View Post

Mr. H ive heard a lot about what you are talking about but i havent heard anything that says it comes from Greg or Jobs

Here's the one from Greg. Can't find the Jobs one in my browser history for some reason.

Anyway, on further thought it would seem that there is the possibility that Apple will allow third-party development, but with very tight controls, like the iPod.
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post #11 of 42
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

That's a well-written argument, monitron. I hope you get lots of signatures.

Really, not allowing 3rd parties to develop for this platform is the dumbest of dumb moves.

Thanks to you and everyone for your replies and signatures. Actually, I sincerely hope that I'm wrong and that all of the reports we have of a closed iPhone are not the whole truth; I'd even be happy if we were limited to developing "widgets." If the iPhone retains the OSX widgets' ability to incorporate Java, Flash and small embedded bits of Cocoa code, you should be able to write just about any application you wanted for the iPhone that way.

(Of course, there would be a lot of complaining if the widget platform didn't expose APIs for dialing the phone, tapping into onboard databases, location-awareness, gestures, etc....)

Any suggestions for where I can publicize this petition? Many of the other petitions on the same site have thousands of signatures...
post #12 of 42
Hmmmm... Did you listen to the keynote? Steve said that Cingular is adapting it's network to take advantage of iPhone's capabilities. Example:

"And it lets you select and listen to voicemail messages in whatever order you want — just like email."

Are the other carriers whiling to do the same? That is a question that some here aren't looking at. Perhaps Cingular was the only one whiling to partner with Apple on this. I don't know, but one can't just be jumping to conclusions not knowing the full facts.
post #13 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by iPeon View Post

Hmmmm... Did you listen to the keynote? Steve said that Cingular is adapting it's network to take advantage of iPhone's capabilities. Example:

"And it lets you select and listen to voicemail messages in whatever order you want just like email."

Are the other carriers whiling to do the same? That is a question that some here aren't looking at. Perhaps Cingular was the only one whiling to partner with Apple on this. I don't know, but one can't just be jumping to conclusions not knowing the full facts.

I think you've either mis-understood this thread or posted in the wrong one.
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post #14 of 42
exactly cingual is giving some nice options for the apple iphone that other carriers most likely wouldnt do...if it ever was on verizon, youd probably have a verizon UI..then whats the point of the iPhone??...plus i dont mind about third party apps...i think actually after reading more about apples plans with the closed ends shows that whatever companies want to bring to the iphone must go through apple, which makes the phone less buggy unlike most smartphones and their third party apps, and im going to venture to say that the apps from apple will simply be widgets..which is great, widgets are fun
post #15 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiro View Post

Remember this device will be directly connected to a major chunk of critical US communications infrastructure, you don't want just anyone with direct access into it. This will reduce the number of apps available, an unavoidable fact.

Wrong. Symbian, Palm, and Windows Mobile phones allow anyone to write apps. The iPhone is just plain crippled.
post #16 of 42
Thread Starter 
I think that this New York Times article is the clearest yet on what Apple has planned for the iPhone's 3rd-party support, straight from Steve Jobs' mouth.

Basically he says that if there are any 3rd-party apps, they will be released through and by Apple, effectively limiting the market to large developers who can get Apple to notice and trust them before they even get a shot at the SDK.

The article seems to posit that the full-featured browser will alleviate the need for locally installable apps. To some degree I think that is true; well-designed AJAX applications could be viable replacements for some PDA-type functionality. But, I spend about 30 minutes a day underground in the DC Metro subway, where Cingular has zero coverage. It will be a huge pain to lose access to personal information, e-books or other such data when Internet connectivity is unavailable. Also, there's just no way a browser-based app can live up to the amazingly high user interface standards set by the rest of the iPhone! Such apps will intrinsically be slower and clunkier.
post #17 of 42
Here is another quote from Jobs on the topic.

“We define everything that is on the phone,” he said. “You don’t want your phone to be like a PC. The last thing you want is to have loaded three apps on your phone and then you go to make a call and it doesn’t work anymore. These are more like iPods than they are like computers.”

The iPhone, he insisted, would not look like the rest of the wireless industry.

“These are devices that need to work, and you can’t do that if you load any software on them,” he said. “That doesn’t mean there’s not going to be software to buy that you can load on them coming from us. It doesn’t mean we have to write it all, but it means it has to be more of a controlled environment.”


To me this clearly says the are open to third party software. However it will have to go through Apple to insure it does not ruin the functionality of the phone or network.
post #18 of 42
Quote:
Basically he says that if there are any 3rd-party apps, they will be released through and by Apple, effectively limiting the market to large developers who can get Apple to notice and trust them before they even get a shot at the SDK.

I think this will be the case at the beginning. Over time it will open up.

Quote:
But, I spend about 30 minutes a day underground in the DC Metro subway, where Cingular has zero coverage.

Here in New York there is no coverage from anyone in the underground portions of the subway.
post #19 of 42
Quote:
During an interview on Tuesday, he said that Apple had not decided whether to enable a voice-over-Internet service like Skype — a potentially divisive issue for Cingular, the exclusive carrier for the iPhone, because it could come at the expense of cellular voice revenue.

This would be artificially crippling the phone. Hopefully Apple won't do it.
post #20 of 42
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

I think this will be the case at the beginning. Over time it will open up.

Five generations later, the iPod hasn't opened up any. The few apps available are games published by Apple, using the same model as they're proposing for the iPhone. I've always thought this was a huge bummer too...

I think Steve's logic as presented in the article is faulty. Palms with lots of 3rd-party software are flaky because they use an antiquated OS model that puts all running programs in the same space and allows them to hook into the OS and break things. The iPhone, with its modern software, could place each 3rd-party app in a sandbox and simply shut them down if they got out of line, used too much resources or otherwise threatened the "Phone" aspect of the phone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

Here in New York there is no coverage from anyone in the underground portions of the subway.

Here, Verizon has an exclusive contract in the tunnels. Jerks!
post #21 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by wmf View Post

Wrong. Symbian, Palm, and Windows Mobile phones allow anyone to write apps. The iPhone is just plain crippled.

It's the best looking cripple I've ever seen.

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post #22 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

I think this will be the case at the beginning. Over time it will open up.



Here in New York there is no coverage from anyone in the underground portions of the subway.

Reason-- you don't want to let someone detonate something using a cell phone as a trigger.

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post #23 of 42
Quote:
Five generations later, the iPod hasn't opened up any.

That depends on your definition of open. The iPod is open to music and video that was not purchased on iTunes. Which is a far more important than video games.

The iPod is not a communication/networking device like the iPhone. I don't see why it would need the same functionality.

Quote:
Here, Verizon has an exclusive contract in the tunnels. Jerks

Yeah that stinks.

Quote:
Reason-- you don't want to let someone detonate something using a cell phone as a trigger.

Uhhh OK? You are allowed to have cell phones. You just won't get a connection.
post #24 of 42
i think its a good idea steve keeps the apps through apple...makes the phone safer and more reliable..and i think the apps he will place on their will be very useful...im actually kind of glad its going this way

and im glad to hear the 3G network will be able to be started through only software, mean the technology/hardware is already in the phone so software will probably come by when actually needed, i just think that steve knows this will drain battery and isnt offering it just yet
post #25 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by wmf View Post

Wrong. Symbian, Palm, and Windows Mobile phones allow anyone to write apps. The iPhone is just plain crippled.

Not apps that take advantage of phone functionality, just little toy apps that usually only do cute things. Hell it's the same with the PDA's, most of the apps are damn near useless. I have tried several times in the past couple years to go electronic with Palms and ditch my old steno pad, but I always run into crap software that say's it will do what I want, but then gets in the way so badly it is slows me down. I'm going to watch to see if this device will finally do what I want/need.

I guess that's a bit of a tangent, now to get back on track - ALL the actual cool stuff on the iPhone used network or cell connectivity -- didn't it. I can see why Apple wouldn't want just anyone writing a network-enabled app, you could have all kinds of problems that would eventually come back to Apple as the platform provider. As long as Apple plays honest gatekeeper I have no problems with somewhat restricted 3rd party access. I would think under a scenario like that non-network enabled apps would be quite straight-forward to get approved.
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post #26 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Reason-- you don't want to let someone detonate something using a cell phone as a trigger.

Like an egg timer or travel alarm clock won't be just as effective in a place that is always crowded. Freaking stupid. Cell phones are used as triggers in areas where traffic is not constant. But hey, bureaucrats are usually ignorant so I shouldn't be surprised.
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post #27 of 42
Quote:
Not apps that take advantage of phone functionality, just little toy apps that usually only do cute things. Hell it's the same with the PDA's, most of the apps are damn near useless.

That's funny. The supposed cutting edge computer geniuses over on Ars have their panties in a total knot over 3rd party apps on the iPhone. Many saying they use or develop apps for other phones.
post #28 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

I think you've either mis-understood this thread or posted in the wrong one.

That communication landed in the wrong place. Sorry about that.
post #29 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

This would be artificially crippling the phone. Hopefully Apple won't do it.

Yeah, that's exactly the kind of thing that Apple needs to be pushing hard. Letting the carriers dictate the limitations of handsets to protect profits is an ongoing crime. No one would sit still for ISPs demanding that your computer have crippled functionality so you had to give them more money to do basic things.

I'm really hoping that the iPhone will be successful enough to allow Apple to override whatever remaining bits of business as usual Cingular might be trying to cling to, and that the results spread like a virus through the industry.
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post #30 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiro View Post

Apple has told folks at the show that third party devs can contact Apple about developing for it and that all apps will need to be QA tested by Apple. Remember this device will be directly connected to a major chunk of critical US communications infrastructure, you don't want just anyone with direct access into it. This will reduce the number of apps available, an unavoidable fact. Hopefully the QA process doesn't cost too much or we will only see for-pay stuff from devs with deep pockets. My guess is WWDC will have an iPhone track that will answer the hows and constraints.

I think it has more to do with the fact that cingular doesn't want to lose out on things like ring tone revenue streams.

All this nonsense about bringing down their whole network is just that, nonsense. After this i will not be buying one. I can get a treo that does everything the iphone does as well as run third party apps on it and it doesn't cost me half as much. This is so stupid on the part of apple that i hope they flop with this.
post #31 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiro View Post

Not apps that take advantage of phone functionality, just little toy apps that usually only do cute things. Hell it's the same with the PDA's, most of the apps are damn near useless. I have tried several times in the past couple years to go electronic with Palms and ditch my old steno pad, but I always run into crap software that say's it will do what I want, but then gets in the way so badly it is slows me down. I'm going to watch to see if this device will finally do what I want/need.

I guess that's a bit of a tangent, now to get back on track - ALL the actual cool stuff on the iPhone used network or cell connectivity -- didn't it. I can see why Apple wouldn't want just anyone writing a network-enabled app, you could have all kinds of problems that would eventually come back to Apple as the platform provider. As long as Apple plays honest gatekeeper I have no problems with somewhat restricted 3rd party access. I would think under a scenario like that non-network enabled apps would be quite straight-forward to get approved.

There is quite a bit of speculation that at least widgets may be opened up to third parties at one point, but they definitely fall into the category of 'toy apps that usually only do cute things'. Still I think that some sort of additional offline functionality would improve the iPhone.

As to serious network-enabled apps, Steves point about interrupting phone service is valid. It's not a computer (according to Apple at least), and access to its primary function must be protected. Still, I feel like this problem could be overcome at an OS level if Apple really wanted to. Almost all mac users eventually must force-quit an application, and even an iPod must be occasionally reset. Other cellphones are certainly not infallible as well. I have to think that there are additional reasons for apple withholding access beyond the technical difficulties. I'm not suggesting any sort of monopolistic practices, but Apple's isolationism is getting fairly extreme.
post #32 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

Here's the one from Greg. Can't find the Jobs one in my browser history for some reason.

Anyway, on further thought it would seem that there is the possibility that Apple will allow third-party development, but with very tight controls, like the iPod.

I don't think Apple is going to let just anybody put software on their new phone. The way you mentioned will probably be the only way.
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post #33 of 42
Wouldn't it be cool to have Delicious Library for iPhone? Will they jump the hurdle that Apple puts up. I don't know.
post #34 of 42
I just don't understand Apple and their apologists on this thread. I've installed plenty of apps on my Mac and it works fine. Yes, sometimes an app goes bad and I force-quit it - it sure is a good thing that OS X is so reliable and secure. I wonder where we could find such a reliable OS for a phone...
post #35 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by monitron View Post

Hey all..

I hope I'm not breaking any rules or etiquette by making this blatant plug as my first post on these forums, but here goes.

If you're like me, you were very excited when you heard about the iPhone, then very disappointed when you heard the news that it was to be a closed platform with no user-installable applications. To attempt to persuade Apple to reverse this decision, I've created a petition which I plan to deliver to Apple Corporate with as many signatures as possible:

iPhone Third Party Application Support Petition

If you agree, please give it a read and consider signing.

Thanks!
Justin

I was excited when I heard about the iPhone and then very disappointed when I heard it was "locked" and required me to pay homage to Cingular for at least two years How about first petitioning Apple for an "unlocked" iPhone NOT requiring any cell provider. Or, better yet, persuade Apple to put all the iPhone tech plus Skype and minus cellphone into the next iPod! Then we can start talking about third party app development.
post #36 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macvault View Post

I was excited when I heard about the iPhone and then very disappointed when I heard it was "locked" and required me to pay homage to Cingular for at least two years How about first petitioning Apple for an "unlocked" iPhone NOT requiring any cell provider. Or, better yet, persuade Apple to put all the iPhone tech plus Skype and minus cellphone into the next iPod! Then we can start talking about third party app development.


So which other provider has rewritten their service software to provide the appropriate voicemail and conference calling protocols? The price Apple paid for Cingular to do that was a two year exclusive. Without a deal like that the iPhone would have been just another dead concept inside the closed doors of 1 Infinite Loop. I suggest a little patience. Don't buy the phone if you don't like Cingular.

What I think will happen is a major move over the next 18 months by other providers to try to add like service interfaces. But Apple owns the patents on the phone end so the service rollouts will wait until original iPhone ship + 2 years, when the exclusive period is over and Apple can introduce an unlocked version to an entire cell industry that want a piece of the successful pie.
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post #37 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macvault View Post

I was excited when I heard about the iPhone and then very disappointed when I heard it was "locked" and required me to pay homage to Cingular for at least two years How about first petitioning Apple for an "unlocked" iPhone NOT requiring any cell provider. Or, better yet, persuade Apple to put all the iPhone tech plus Skype and minus cellphone into the next iPod! Then we can start talking about third party app development.

Or you can wait until the iPhone is released in Europe when they are legally obliged to sell unlocked versions and then import it for whatever crazy price it is (Amazon Germany says ~$1200. Better yet buy it and then break your contract, works out to only $850 or so and unlocking is free to cheap)

I agree with 3rd party development and VOIP over WiFi, although adding it to the 6G iPod is unlikely (the MultiTouch screen on the other hand…).


The random access voicemail is nothing new, and I doubt the visual part of it is hard to add. Random access voicemail for consumers is something new however, and we should all thank Apple for pushing it.
post #38 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiro View Post

Not apps that take advantage of phone functionality, just little toy apps that usually only do cute things.


Beyond the fact that I have several apps that directly connect to the internet on my Treo (Verichat, Opera, Eudora, and MobiTV), there are a lot of other uses for apps. As a grad student, I find it a lot easier to put reference material on my Treo then carry a book around. I have three dictionaries and translators installed, as well as diagnostic software for my car. Just because you don't have use for a lot of PDA apps doesn't mean that others don't either.
post #39 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by infinitespecter View Post

Beyond the fact that I have several apps that directly connect to the internet on my Treo (Verichat, Opera, Eudora, and MobiTV), there are a lot of other uses for apps. As a grad student, I find it a lot easier to put reference material on my Treo then carry a book around. I have three dictionaries and translators installed, as well as diagnostic software for my car. Just because you don't have use for a lot of PDA apps doesn't mean that others don't either.

Sure, but just because you have a use for some specialized third party apps doesn't mean that iPhone sales are going to be substantially impacted if they're not there, or come later.

A lot of the criticism of the iPhone has been in the "if it doesn't do exactly what I want it to do it will fail" vein, which I guess is inevitable, but I think the iPhone is the kind of product that moves the whole "smart phone" category out of it's geek ghetto and into the hands of Mom and Dad. For that market, "three dictionaries" means exactly nothing.
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post #40 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Sure, but just because you have a use for some specialized third party apps doesn't mean that iPhone sales are going to be substantially impacted if they're not there, or come later.

True, but just because Mom and Dad probably aren't going to be putting apps on their iphones doesn't mean it isn't a worthy feature which will improve the product. There's two ways to market - look for a niche and then build a product to fit it, or build a great product and convince customers they want it. I think apple has done a good job on the first approach, but adding useful features (ie app support) can still make good business sense.
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