Apple heads! give me a break…
Since Apple and Cingular announced the date of the apple iphone (29th June) and the rumour there will only be 4 million made this year. All I hear about now is the iphone. At the girl geekdinner the women from google who presented made a joke about the iphone which clarified in my mind that the hype is getting stupid.
Slashdot lead today with some good news that the iphone will allow 3rd party developers to build on it.
In an exciting shift from previous statements, Apple CEO Steve Jobs revealed at the D Conference that 3rd-party development will be supported on the iPhone. Questions remain as to whether the opening of the platform, slated for later this year, will be through Dashboard-like widgets or a separate SDK.”
But what gets me is the silly comments afterwards. People were suggesting Skype on a phone would be good, another person a wifi detector and then finally wrote this.
Cellular networks are fragile. Much more fragile than the larger internet. They tend toward monoculture and proprietary systems, and haven’t had the shakedown that standard internet network hardware and protocols have had. So Jobs’ quote about him ‘not wanting third-party apps bringing Cingular’s network down’ actually makes some sense (some mobile phone applications have more-or-less done this in the past). And
Bullshit. Utter crap. Why is there this paranoia about the iPhone, when Symbian, Windows CE/Mobile have allowed this for years? There is no way an application on a device should or could bring down a base station, let alone a cell network.
Oh, and as for this gem:
bringing Cingular’s network down’ actually makes some sense (some mobile phone applications have more-or-less done this in the past)
Cite. Go on. I would so so love to see a citation of any evidence of this. Any, whatsoever.
Thankfully someone with some sense.
What kills me is there are some great phones on the market including the Nokia N95 and of course my phone the SPV M700. Both have GPS, 3G, Wireless b/g, Bluetooth 2.0 and mass storage via flash memory. They both play music and video very well and this is the best part don't cost a bomb to get on contract. We know for a fact this isn't true of the iphone, which looks like the price of a ipod plus a expensive 24month contract.
I could rant on about the iphone all day but I just want to point out that if you avoid the plain old phones and look into the smartphone market you will find phones which can do everything the iphone does. Symbian and now Windows Mobile developers are very good at creating and hacking around with these phones now. Theres huge catalogues of software which have been developed which also makes these phones rich too. I think Apples SDK will be messy and full of holes. I'm not saying the others are any better but there SDKs have been out for a long time and there quite public.
The phone could be fake or Apple will sue them out of business at least in North America and Europe. But if its true the Meizu M8 (found on Engadget) and comes out before 2008. I'd certainly be tempted if they create a slightly more european one (3g, wifi, etc). But lets be honest, its got some amazing specs already.
the M8 is now said to measure in at a scant 57x105x11.5-mm and packs both a GSM and Chinese TD-SCDMA 3G radio, a 3.3-inch 720×480 pixel display, Bluetooth, a 3 megapixel camera, and an ARM11 CPU capable of recording video at 30fps at the device's full 720 x 480 resolution. Too good to be true?
So the truth is starting to trickle out. First a note on openness via Kid666.
In The New York Times, Steve Jobs confirms every developer’s worst fears about the iPhone:
‘These [iPhones] 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.’
If Microsoft said that, everyone would jump and down (like they are about Vista) but Apple says it and the follows shake there heads like zombies. As Kidd666 says, nooooooo!
3G also looks like it won't happen says Engadget
It's not unheard of for a firmware upgrade to unlock new features or functionality in a device, but the sources we've spoken to have made it pretty clear that Apple hasn't wedged a UMTS or HSDPA radio into this thing.
A couple of other things. Did Apple steal Visual Voicemail? on top of stealing the maybe dropped trademarked name of iPhone by Cisco. I kinda of agree with Nokia no usable 3G and europe (which is a bigger market and us europeans are use to something small and powerful in our hands? DLTV) will have to wait comments. It is also worth checking out what DL.TV make of us Europeans.
And I'm also pretty much done talking about it now. Still very worried about the closed nature of the device but then again the iPod is also a closed type device and you can even run linux on it now. Its also worth pointing out that the Candy Bar touchscreen devices are very much the way forward now.
I couldn't go to sleep without saying something about the Apple announcements today.
So first up the Apple TV. This for me was disappointing, I was hoping to have something which maybe I could upgrade to. But for now my XBox running XBMC will still have a spot under my TV. I had expected something a little cheaper and cleverer. Its a worthy device which I would recommend to others but the software on it is underwelming. For example no 1080p support, yes its a very high standard but with shows going out on the net in
1080p (macbreak for one) and with the xbox 360 and PS3 supporting it. You would have thought Apple would get on board too. Anyway hopefully its a software upgrade. I'm also hoping someone ports XBMC or something better to it. Frontrow doesn't seem to have been upgraded that much and looks simply boring compared to the open source efforts of XBMC. Final thought for now, great hardware underwhelming software.
And now the iPhone or Apple phone. I do like what Apple's done. It seems like they've taken a HTC Windows mobile device and built a much better interface for it (multitouch). Finger based instead of Stylus, ok cool but not revolutionary. The features of the phone are good, I'd expect they will have 3G for the European (Q4 2007) and Asia models (2008), and it has most of the stuff you see in current phones – EDGE, Wifi, Bluetooth, etc. These
may sound amazing to the usual phone buying people but nothing special to a Windows Mobile owner. For example the fact the music pauses when a call comes in is nothing new. My Ericsson T28 use to that with the MP3 attachment, most phones do that. Matt at work didn't believe me and Ii showed him and earned myself a pound in the process. People wondered how Googlemaps could pin point your location without GPS, well Wifi and GSM can be used to pin point location. Oh one more thing the Proximity sensor isn't a new
thing either. My old gold bar Ericsson had that feature, so you could answer the phone by waving your hands over it and it wouldn't do anything to the buttons while its next to your ear.Widgets on your phone, been done by Opera already. Multi-session text? Sounds like IM to me. High DPI screen is nice but the Nokia's also have high DPI screens. 8 or 4gig, well teh Nokia N91 had 4 gig over 12months ago and Samsung already have a 8gig phone. Suprised Apple didn't go with just Yahoo or Google instead of both. Also
very surprised Google didn't offer Push email. There was no mention of Java support, or its poor 2 mega pixal camera. Lessig talked about read/write ability a while ago, well this is certainly a read device, it certainly doesn't feel like an empowering device for writers.
Don't get me wrong, all the tweaks to software and hardware to add up to a great phone which I would buy if it came out sooner that Q4 of 2007. The price point is not too high, but I expect it to be at least 250 pounds on Orange with a 18 month contract. Would I say Apple will put some more spice back into the mobile market and force mobile and software makers (Microsoft pay attention) to spend more time looking at the functionality of simple things like text, email and voicemail. For example Microsoft don't
actually provide a MMS or voicetag client for Windows Mobile 5, so you get some 3rd party solution which usual suck and is totally inconsistent with the rest of the phone. Visual voicemail makes sense and is one of those tweaks which I can imagine not living without once you have it.
So overall, yes I wouldn't mind one but I'm not holding my breath or rather next upgrade decision for it. I'll get one in Q2 of 2008 when its been tried and tested and Apple have upgraded some of the lows like Battery life.