Tech Apple to Open iPhone Development
posted by October 18 at 7:53 AMon
Yesterday, Apple announced that the long-awaited iPhone software development kit will be available in February, allowing officially supported third-party applications to be developed for Apple’s mobile platform. Yay.
The New York Times reports on this development today, and gets oh-so-many things wrong.
After engendering frustration from some customers and software makers, Apple has changed its policy to encourage independent developers to build programs for use on the iPhone.
I guess this is technically true, but misleading at best. This isn’t a change in policy, it’s what was expected—though un-announced—all along.
Several weeks ago, Apple released an over-the-air update to the iPhone that erased programs made by independent developers and caused some phones to freeze up.
Wrong, wrong, wrong. The update was not “over-the-air,” and it didn’t erase anything. It restored iPhones to their standard state, that is, un-hacked. Making unsupported modifications to software is—guess what—unsupported. Phones that froze up were almost all “unlocked,” meaning the firmware had been fundamentally modified to allow them to work on carriers besides AT&T. These users were clearly warned not to apply the optional update.
The article improves from there, in many ways contradicting the first half. It’s as if the reporter took a walk around the block to clear his head. He does close with a final bit of inanity, though at least it’s coming from someone else.
Advocates of unlocking the iPhone and creating programs for it assert that they paid for the device and it belongs to them, not to Apple.
“If Apple does something where they remove everything I did on it, I have a feeling that Apple is kindly lending me a phone to make phone calls,” said Mr. Houri, the executive from Mexens Technology.
Sheesh. Yeah, it belongs to you. You can fuck with it if you want—go nuts. But if you’re stupid enough to run a software update after you’ve modified the phone’s firmware and to expect whatever you did to be left alone, you’re, you know, really stupid.