Mobile Blues

Tim Bray works for Sun Microsystems. He is an influential blogger, takes photographs, writes essay length pieces.

Now, you know about iPhone, a bit about Google’s Android, which is an SDK without hardware and we’ve mentioned open source contender Open Moko. You know Apple’s environment is closed source. Actually, let’s say Apple’s culture is closed source. So much so that developers for the iPhone are under Non Disclosure Agreements (NDAs). Apple will control which apps can run on the iPhone absolutely, because it is intrinsic to their business model. And those apps will only be available via the store which Apple provide.

For consumers the question is simply ‘which is the coolest phone with the most apps’. Currently there is only one contender. For developers it’s more complicated.

This is a piece of Tim’s about what a dismal set of choices mobile devices offer for developers and how far we are from realising the promise of mobile internet.

It also includes the line ‘many of my commenters disagree with me, but they’re wrong.’ Excellent.

Tim Bray’s Mobility Blues

More about how developers view the iPhone NDA and API restrictions

“… Apple’s top-down approach to design is a bust when it comes to its approach to the software for the iPhone. Developers for that are up in arms.

People are astonishingly angry at the fact that Apple first won’t let them talk about how to develop for the iPhone – because everything about programming for it remains under a non-disclosure agreement – and second, hasn’t let them get at its most useful application programming interfaces (APIs).”

Charles Arthur on Apple is turning its friends into enemies Guardian 07.08.2008

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