Developers to Mr Jobs: tear down this wall!
Apple faces calls to open iPhone
Office 2.0 Conference Apple is facing fresh calls to open the iPhone as new evidence emerged of the technical and legal challenges developers face putting their software on the device.
Delegates attending the Office 2.0 Conference have voiced concern over the iPhone's closed architecture, lack of developer tools, and the fact its version of Apple's Safari browser lacks common web plug ins they said needlessly complicate the process of porting software and online services to the device.
And it's not just Web 2.0 start-ups making the noise. SAP, the world's largest supplier of business applications, has pitched in, saying Apple gave the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) as the reason it can't install its software on the iPhone.
SAP had hacked its code onto an iPhone as a proof of concept, which is now on hold.
Apple's reality re-defining chief executive Steve Jobs launched the iPhone amid much hype and fan-boy clamor in June. Jobs attempted to offset the obvious drawback of his decision to make the iPhone a closed platform by offering a "sweet work around" in the form of writing applications to the browser in AJAX.
However, SAP's former general manager for emerging solutions Dennis Moore, now CEO for device manufacturer OQO, told the Office 2.0 conference it's not enough to write only to the browser, and serious business and consumer software needs to be able to deploy locally.
"A rich internet experience is important but it's not sufficient to meet people's needs yet. I call on Apple to open up the platform so people can deploy on it," Moore said.
Earlier he'd pointed out the limitations of relying purely on online services, as lack of network availability and bandwidth, and poor replication and back up.
TJ Kang, chief executive of hosted Office suite ThinkFree backed Moore saying he knew hosted providers who'd wasted two man months porting their online spreadsheets to the iPhone, because of deficiencies in Apple's Safari browser.
"It's like the early days of Java. Not like write once and run everywhere. It's a lot like write once debug and modify everywhere. It's something we have to live with."
SAP's senior vice president of Imagineering Denis Browne told The Register SAP had followed the lead of community developers in putting its code on the iPhone, but Apple objected. "The community wants this open and available, to put applications in there that are feature rich and business capable," Browne said.
As a first step towards openness, Browne hopes Apple will release an iPhone SDK and improve Safari's support for Flash and Java. Beyond that, Browne said the iPhone must become more like RIM's Blackberry in security and keypad, and support corporate email. Until things change, SAP's iPhone code hacking days seem over.
SAP is interested in putting its applications on the iPhone as part of a strategy in increasing its availability on new platforms for mobile business users.®
Jobs is a control freak - that's why the bloody products are sooo good. Absolutely NO unapproved 3rd party parts - hardware or software. From the battery to the lack of external plugin memory and even a reluctance to allow other headphones!!! The whole thing is designed as one seamless unit. That's why its so slick! It's also why I don't think I would buy one.
But that said, the hardware is just too good for the hackers to ignore: http://www.iphonehacks.com/ ...although this not good enough for Businesses who want legit products / licences / support, it's good enough for savy home users with a few pennies and a little tech know how.
If they only built a few essential business aps themselves though - even if you did have to purchase them seperately. Something to read/write office docs and outlook calanders and pdfs, support for exchange, a file manager, non-yahoo push email client. That's all business users want by way of third party aps anyway! They could keep it in-house and seamless. All would be happy!
Is it a serious business device anyway?
When you've got BlackBerry, Symbian, Palm and Windows SmartPhones does the iPhone really matter? Is it's mobile data service as good as a BlackBerry? No. Is it as cross-platform as Symbian? Ubiquitous as Palm? As many third party apps as Windows Mobile? No. Business was never crying out for it and better solutions already exist, so why bother? What people really mean is they want a free iPhone coutesy of their employer, yet more subsidy for white-collar workers and I thought BlackBerry leeches were bad enough...
Not the Office2.0 Conference I have been hearing about
The main thrust of your article seems to totally ignore the discussion and hype that surfaced at Office 2.0
For more on iPhone check this quick video from Rod Boothby http://innovationcreators.com/wp/?p=358 ... on their iPhone spreadsheet and the creativity of the developers at EditGrid.
You may also be interested in Boothby's views on Web 2.0 types of work (looks strangely familiar to an assessment method I put together for Workflow and BPM suites in the 90's). http://innovationcreators.com/wp/?p=353
Also, a lot of other reporting here http://www.webware.com/8301-1_109-9772214-2.html (or at least links to it) ... not that I agree with the bloggers views on what should or should not be in a Web 2.0 app.
Seems like the event was very interesting ...
And on the Apple iPhone hype (brown-nosing), check this one out from Ismael Ghalimi the organizer of the Office 2.0 conference. http://itredux.com/blog/2007/08/27/iphones-shipping/