Mobile devices, Planets and the Human Condition

Apple, Apple, Apple. whats going on Steve? don't like my signature?

, posted: 3-Jul-2008 13:56

The release of the iPhone 3G and its accompaning software upgrade to version 2.0 is imminent and
whilst Apple may be making some good decisions, some of those decisions are also very flawed.

So Apple will be releasing new software great.
They have already released the SDK great

you can start writing apps and have them ready to go when you upgrade to the iPhone 2.0 firmware or you buy your iPhone 3G.
erm.... well... no.

Therein lies a large issue.

You can write apps just fine, you can run them on the iPhone emulator, make sure they are 100% fantastic and work great.

Apple have fully integrated code-signing into the SDK, so when you build your application a digital signature gets embedded into the executable.

- great, you can be assured that you have signed your application.

but wait! Theres more...

You don't have a valid digital signature. therefore your app won't run on your phone.

In order to have the SDK sign your application properly so that you can actually deploy it to your phone, you have to sign up to the official program, which costs, a not-unreasonable fee of $99 (USD one assumes),

So that sounds fair enough - to an extent.

First of all, surely they could have done something similar to the iTunes system whereby they generate a unique ID based on the usb signal between the phone and the pc
(or something Along those lines, I can't quite recall how iTunes does it, I'll be looking at this is an article coming up so will correct it then)

- Ok, Ok, I can already see a number of reasons Apple wouldn't want that, as it would mean people would just distribute source rather than apps.

So fair enough, Bite the bullet and sign up for the official program, because lets face it, you want to try and get the jump on the next guy who has also thought of the "next-big-thing-app" and get it all ready for the big release!.

So then you keep signing into to your account at the iPhone Developer Program waiting with unsatiable anticipation.

But each time. you see this

"Thank you for applying to the iPhone Developer Program. We have many more requests than we can serve during this initial beta period, so we must limit the Program at this time. We Plan to expand it during the beta period, and we will contact you regarding your enrollment status at the appropriate time. We appreciate your patience"

um? what? excuse me? I pay you money. you give me polite message saying "Your desire to create applications that will be a large part of the life blood for our product is important to us. we value your clientelle. commonly asked development questions and their answers can be found on the developer website, please continue to wait. you are number 9,999,999 in the que current wait times are..."

And you are left waiting asking "Current wait times are??????" "CURRENT WAIT TIMES ARE???!!!??"

But they wouldn't want to incorrectly set your expectation.

So by all accounts a majority of developers who have signed up to the official program (and paid $99 or more) to get the SDK haven't actually been declined, but are still waiting.

Whats going on here Apple?
I have two theories that immediately spring to mind:

Theory 1: Apple is carefully investigating developers to ensure that they are not involved in any of the iPhone hacking scene to ensure the longest time to market for a hacked SDK, and ensuring they track each and every copy which has the capability to release signed apps.

Theory 2: A wee bit of the "oops we did a might bit of underestimating here and can't handle the demand"

Ok, so maybe it is neither of those theories, however there are many reasons for the delays to many developers for a signing capable SDK,

Its good business practice to not just go "All-In" and throw your cards on the table pre-flop - especially if you aren't quite sure if your cards are pocket aces or pocket 2's (lets face it, we all know apple are definitely holding a pocket pair in the whole mobile space at present)

So a sensible roll-out is understandable.

but surely a sensible, gradually increasing numbers approach only works if there is plenty of time prior to go-live?

and so looking at the lack of availablity of Apps. the number of Apps that are being trumpeted about by Apple which are already freely available via jailbreaking and installing "Installer" and/or "Cydia"

Why do I even want iPhone 2.0?

I'll be discussing this and much more in the next part of this article which I'll post in the next 12 hours or so.

Other related posts:
iPhone Rates and Plans with Vodafone
The best web based iPhone app yet! Scenario Poker for the iPhone.
Apple releasing self-destruct code for iPhone, iCripple

Comment by Me, on 3-Jul-2008 21:07

All true, except you don't pay until you are accepted not before.

Comment by barf, on 4-Jul-2008 12:50

Too right. Apple need a beating with the clue-stick.
So do Sony and Microsoft Xbox while theres a lynch mob.
Sign my apps to join their distribution and market control network, yeah right.

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