The “iPhone SDK bitching” developers – A bunch of babies? - Macenstein

The “iPhone SDK bitching” developers – A bunch of babies?

Above: Delphi managed to control a car using the iPhone’s mobile Safari.

Now, I’m sure an iPhone SDK will lead to some amazing apps (and a ton of lame ones) but honestly, I think many developers started bitching a bit too early and too loudly last year when Apple announced the iPhone was going to allow for “Safari-only” apps. I understand the major arguments for wanting an iPhone SDK – chiefly, “how the hell do you make money on a web app?” – and I understand an SDK should open up more control over the look and feel of the app, and (hopefully) some new access to the iPhone’s underpinnings, etc.. But the one argument I heard thrown about that I will no longer blindly accept is that Apple’s web app solution was too limiting, at least not after Delphi’s demonstration at CES this week.

Gizmodo posted a video of a proof of concept iPhone web app (working entirely inside of mobile Safari) that is able to remotely control a car (yes, a frickin’ CAR!). Using the iPhone’s touch screen, one can remotely start a vehicle (in this case, a GMC Acadia), roll down windows, check RPMs, and gain access to the car’s diagnostic codes. Presumably, since this is just a proof of concept, this is only the beginning of the potential integration, and you could perhaps one day also listen to music from your iPhone while in your car. 🙂

Seeing this video has really made me question just how long and hard many developers looked into the potential of mobile Safari apps before crying foul. I realize mobile Safari has its limits and some developers are legitimately hampered, but after Delphi’s demo, I do find myself wondering if the big stink made in the press over a lack of an iPhone SDK was as warranted as many of us non-developers assumed when we read developers’ angry blogs.

“Prove me wrong kids, Prove me Wrong”
– Seymour Skinner

I’m sure many developers will “Wow!” us with their sweet new SDK-made apps performing all sorts of heretofore impossible feats… but when you see an un-jailbroken iPhone control a friggin’ car… well, someone better write an SDK app that adds frickin’ lasers to the damn thing.

10 Responses to “The “iPhone SDK bitching” developers – A bunch of babies?”
  1. Paul Walker says:

    Controlling a car via phone is easy on the phone side.All it needs to do is send a few bytes to a server in the car when one of the buttons is pressed. The car is doing the real work.

    a real SDK allows developers to use all the phone’s functions — mulri-touch, the microphone, interface sounds are all entirely inaccessable from the web. and the iPhone’s javascript performance is accepable for most websites – but no-where near what native apps allow

  2. The Cos says:

    I’m actually going to be very surprised if Apple’s iPhone SDK allows access to the microphone. PLEASANTLY surprised, but surprised.

  3. roz says:

    Different “applications” require different solutions. You can indeed do amazing things in the browser – but that is not the answer for all uses.

    The key is to let developers decide the best means to achieve their solution.

    And don’t fault developers for asking for the iPhone to be a reasonable deployment platform for compiled code. They are trying to help Apple and iPhone.

  4. Raferty says:

    As a former developer (Atari, if that even counts anymore)
    I can understand your point here, developers did scream bloody murder when they were told no “real” aps, and there’s not much you would expect a hand held device to do that couldn’t be accomplished via the mobile safari tools.

    that being said, I think a lot of this has to do with the denied “front page” status. There is a lot to be said about being able to have your apps icon on the iPhone’s main page.

  5. Zephyr says:

    They’re not a bunch of babies, they just lack imagination. Hopefully the SDK will inspire them.

  6. Dave-O says:

    I’m gonna be James Bond now!

  7. DiagnosisMurder says:

    I dont think you understand how programming works, all he is doing is interfacing with a website, one could just as easily do it from a PC.

    The reason why a native SDK is important is so developers can have access to native functions such as the speaker, the mic, display interface, and directly connect to other servers using non HTTP based protocols thru safari,

  8. Mitch says:


    You are SO wrong about this. A proof of concept website – big woop! Let’s see a real solution and then you’ll at least have a foundation for your incorrect conclusions.

    Web based apps are not the ideal solution because they require access to the web. Slow connection (or no connection) to the web and you can’t run your application.

    I have been pleased with the collection of websites that are available to iPhone users but REAL programs that can be loaded directly on the iPhone are ideal.

    There have been lots of cool apps written for jailbroken iPhones. Native applications run faster, can do more things, look better, are more accessible and are more convenient.

    Were you being serious in your post? Looking for page hits? Having a bad day? Drinking?

  9. A webpage does not need to have internet access. This is the most retarded statement ever. A widget is merely Javascript but it doesn’t need internet access at all. There is no webserver required to run the calculator widget or whatever. An HTML page doesn’t NEED a webserver or a connection to the Internet at all. Just because this one is connecting to a webserver in the car doesn’t mean it needs access to the internet in fact I hazard a guess it’s just using WI-FI or bluetooth.

    Programming is programming is programming. Be it Cocoa, C++, Java, HTML, XHTML it’s ALL programming. You need to get your head out of your arse if you think that HTML, XHTML, and Javascript isn’t programming merely because it’s an internet technology. You’re still writing scripts that tell the computer what to do so by very definition it is programming. I think all these “We need an SDK” people aren’t really that talented if they can’t learn languages other than ones that require SDKs.

    What’s more the notion that native apps run better is somewhat a dubious claim. I think Google Docs runs just as well and in some cases much better than NeoOffice/OpenOffice and Microsoft Office and that’s a web app. I don’t think people are truly giving web apps the credit they deserve.

  10. Luke says:

    IMHO, developing for the Mac is great because of Cocoa and the other core frameworks, not the Objective-C language. If Apple is endorsing 3rd party development for the iPhone, the frameworks need to be made available for the reason of practicality, not to make development possible. Why do you think Apple is going to be releasing an SDK?

    Those who think that an SDK is unnecessary really need to look deeper into their position. Why should I need to build my own library of basic UI controls when the OS is already hiding them away?

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