Daniel Eran over at RoughlyDrafted Magazine continues to take my breath away with his keen analysis of what the iPhone will actually be and the hows and whys everything on the market today will be crushed in its path. He continues to push my enthusiasm pedal for owning an iPhone.
These three articles are lengthy, detailed, and thoughtful. Sit back for a good hour and get a true education.
More Absurd iPhone Myths: Third Party Software Panic
Opening up the Sega Dreamcast nothing for that platform, because hobbyist developers didn’t actually write any apps worth playing.
That’s the same problem hounding Linux on the desktop: everyone likes the idea of a communist paradise, but only if magical workers do all the work and maintenance for free. As it turns out, supply and demand are really both measured in terms of dollars, not in fantasy wishes and ideological karma points.
Just like the failure of common Java VM development on desktop machines however, mobile middleware development results in lowest common denominator apps that are poorly integrated with native programs, don’t look good, and aren’t easy to use, and are best suited for very simple games and toy applications.
That’s why they’re called craplets.
Anyone trying to portray the iPhone as a consumer toy compared to existing mobiles is simply an idiot. Existing mobiles are all toy junk, and everyone knows it. That’s why everyone from Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer to Nokia’s Anssi Vanjoki are sweating bullets as they try to casually shrug off the iPhone.
That makes the iPhone unlikely to have a Java VM. Good riddance. The whole “Write Once, Deploy Anywhere” mantra of Java has been revealed to be an impractical joke for mobile devices. Java has useful applications elsewhere, but there simply isn’t a demand for general purpose applets that can run on every phone.
If the world really wanted generalized sorta-works-everywhere software, we’d be running WinCE on mobiles, Linux on the desktop, and all of our applications would be written for the most minimal version of X Window. All three have been a failure in the mass market, for good reason: the middle of the road is no place to drive.
The Egregious Incompetence of Palm
In many ways, the Palm OS has hit the wall in a manner similar to Apple’s Mac System 7 in the early 90s. Problems in the Palm OS relate to legacy issues from the late 90s, just as Apple’s problems with the Mac were bound to design considerations made a decade prior. Just as the Classic Mac’s golden age was in the late 80s and early 90s, Palm’s occurred in the late 90s and into the millennium.
Palm Copies Apple: 2002-2003
Palm found itself in a position similar to Apple in the early 90s: falling behind while watching its once glorious empire slowly fall to Microsoft licensees. It made a number of efforts remarkably similar to Apple’s.
Copland: Rather than rapidly pushing the Palm OS to a new foundation with modern OS features, Palm struggled with the Palm OS much like the old Apple struggled with its aging Mac System Software between 1991 and 1997.
Efforts to deliver a fully modernized Palm OS similarly never materialized at Palm between 2001 and 2007 either.
Move to RISC: Instead, Palm moved the Palm OS from DragonBall processors to the more modern ARM Architecture in 2002; this step mirrored Apple’s move from 68k to PowerPC.
Origins: Why the iPhone is ARM, and isn’t Symbian
The iPhone isn’t a smartphone as much as it is a handheld computer with specialized mobile and media applications. Apple already has a platform suitable for a full computing environment. Everyone else has Linux. How does Apple’s OS X compare to Linux in sophisticated mobile devices?