Archive for January 11th, 2007

The iPhone will have Apple-controlled apps

iLounge talked to Steve Jobs about the applications isuse on iPhone. Steve said that only pre-approved, pre-tested apps by Apple will be allowed to enter iTunes and get sold. Basically, the way this usually works is that serious companies will have to get into signing a contract with Apple to get their SDK, then Apple will actually have to qualify by testing the app for a fee (e.g. if the UI is what an iPhone user expects, if it crashes etc) and then it will make its way to the iTunes Store.

In theory, this is a good thing. The user will only get to choose between the best and most stable software instead of random crap that every Joe programmer writes in an afternoon. On the other hand though, this pretty much takes away the freeware/enthusiast market. Forget having a freeware port of VLC or Adium. As long as there is enough market for a specific app, commercial companies will create it and sell it (they can’t get away giving it out for free as themselves will have to pay Apple). And Apple, possibly not only will get money for the SDK and the testing time they will offer, but also a percentage of the iTunes Store sales. And of course, no piracy will be possible, like the current iPod games, these will be DRM’ed apps.

Excellent plan. If you are an Apple stockholder that is. Personally, I prefer open systems and instead being myself responsible of what crap I install. But that’s me.

Update: The Slashdot crowd comments on this. Apple is doing the same mistake Motorola is doing. I mean, heck, even my brother, a hard-working electrician, doesn’t wanna get any phone that doesn’t run third party apps to extend the original capabilities of the device. Apple could have changed the “phone business” (which is need of a change) and instead only changed the “phone”. This, along other problems that this first model has (from price to non-replaceable battery) will prove thorny for Apple to catch on. I am not sure that they will be able to get that 1% of market share that Jobs wants to get, not like this at least.

The world of TenGO

I really can not say enough about TenGO. This is an amazing piece of software, a really out-of-the-box experience that lets touchscreen users to type up to 75wpm. You can check their Flash demo here.

Now, what really got my attention this evening though was the last section of this page: in order to implement TenGO you apparently need 10 virtual keys as a minimum. And guess what! Humans have 10 fingers (well, most of them)! Their next challenge would be to implement it with a special glove or sensors attached to fingers. This mean that you would sit on your chair and just tap your fingers to one another to type text instead of having to reach for a keyboard and type characters one by one (although this method doesn’t have to go away as not all text is real words, e.g. URLs).

You know me guys. I am difficult, and therefore more likely to criticize a product rather than kiss its ass. But TenGO deserves it; and it’s a mystery to me why no company that deals with touchscreen OSes has bought them yet (and this ranges from MS to SonyEricsson, Motorola, Palm and now Apple).

Random stuff

– I went to visit my doctor today. He said that I was “funny as hell”. Meant a lot to me.

– I’ve added a small mobile portal page for those who would like to have a homepage to their cellphones/PDAs with all the right mobile links (click the MobilePlay link to get a lot more mobile links). The URL is http://mobits.com/wap.html

This story reminded me of a scorpion bite that made a cousin of mine to fall ill for 3 days. And I was to blame. You see, there was this nice flower in a very steep part of my village around 1982-3. And I wanted it. Because I was not good at climbing, I told my cousin “I bet you can’t climb up there and get that flower” (he was a good climber). He said “I can”, and I replied “no, you can’t”. Well, that was enough for him to climb up. He got to the flower, and there was the scorpion that bit him. I felt awful afterwards but thankfully he survived the bite (some don’t, especially as young at age as he was).

– My JBQ got offended by Steve Jobs’ insulting keynote talk about “baby wap browsers”. Well, the point of the matter is, the iPhone runs on a very high speed ARM processor and it requires more RAM than any smartphone (trusty sources say). Now, try to run Safari (or just WebKit) on a 50 Mhz cellphone, with a 128×160 screen and most importantly, with 1 MB of RAM. While Openwave’s UP.Browser and Teleca’s Obigo can and Opera Mini steals its way through, Safari would shit on itself instantly. So Steve, let’s keep it real, shall we?

– My brother called me today using a special card number where he gets 100 free minutes of calls, everywhere in the world. Apparently the card was part of a newspaper release (in Greece, newspapers are giving away stuff when you buy them, DVDs, CDs, books etc). During our chat it seemed obvious to me that quality was lower and there was some lag. Obviously, the system was running on a VoIP server rather than via normal telecommunications.

– My little bro also told me that he gave the phone I had sent him a few months ago to his brother-in-law. I am happy to learn that the Linux-based E680i found a new home and that it’s actually going to be used (my brother hated it because there are no apps for it as Motorola doesn’t release the SDK).

– The adult film industry chose HD-DVD. This might be the death of the Blu-Ray business. No matter how well the PS3 sells (or not).

– I am selling the LG Chocolate at Craigslist. I don’t believe that anyone will buy it. :-)