There may be a few “iPhone Killers” coming out, but I believe that the only one with a shot at triggering the demise of Apple’s cute little two-hundred-dollar-bill is the “Google Phone.” I don’t call it a Google Phone, but I’m trying to use it in a general sense. By “Google Phone” I mean any phone running the Android operating system. There are many touch-screen phones coming out, and they all look great, don’t they? None will kill Apple’s iPhone or the Android platform.
The Nokia 5800 is a fantastic device from what I have read. It has all the features the iPhone does, and Nokia is even launching an audio store. The Blackberry Storm is the world’s first touchscreen from RIM, and it seems to be getting rave reviews for its functionality. You can watch videos, listen to music, check e-mail, update Facebook, and all those cool things you always wanted to do with what the mobile phone has become.
I have one reason that the iPhone and the Android platform will survive: the SDK. That Nokia 5800 is great, but what if there’s just one more thing you want to do with it, and Nokia never provided that function? What if you decided your Blackberry Storm couldn’t do enough?
As a (budding) developer, I feel that the openness of the platforms (the ability to create your own software for any purpose to make a device even more useful) is the driving force behind the iPhone, and what will eventually be Android’s success (even moreso now that it’s free to develop for Android and fantastically cheap to submit to the Android market).
Tell me: Could you do this with your 5800 or Storm? I didn’t think so.
I got an e-mail from Apple yesterday about joining the new iPhone/iPod developers’ forum, now in beta. As an iPhone developer, I have access.
The system runs on Apple servers, running Java, serving JSPs. I had an error setting up my account this morning, and it looks like the whole thing broke. Maybe they should set up a forum to discuss forum issues.
Well, there you have it – right there in the agreement for the iPhone developer program: You can’t drive a cruise missile via an iPhone application. There goes my fancy new government contract. From the agreement itself:
Applications may not be designed or marketed for real time route guidance; automatic or autonomous control of vehicles, aircraft, or other mechanical devices; dispatch or fleet management; or emergency or life-saving purposes.
Doesn’t that suck? Just what exactly are we to do with our iPhones* if we can’t blow something up?
*I don’t own an iPhone and plan to only if I develop something really cool that needs testing.