Tag Archives: development


Please take warn­ing: this post will con­sist almost entirely of other people’s con­tent and links to that con­tent.

I picked up the PDF ver­sion of iPhone Open Application Development from O’Reilly today. I’ve only skimmed through it, but it looks like a pretty good overview of design­ing, writ­ing, and imple­ment­ing iPhone appli­ca­tions using the cur­rent Open Source tool­chain. No doubt, large amounts of it will become obso­lete when Apple releases the offi­cial SDK, but the APIs should at least remain the same.

Land of the Lost was cooler than LOST. I remem­ber those Sleestaks being scary mo-fos.

Merlin Mann has a list of Five sub­tle changes in the event that Microsoft acquires Yahoo! at 5ives which I will reprint in their entirety (and with­out per­mis­sion, I might add):

1. your Flickr.com pho­tos are still your own (although human faces are now obscured by selected part­ner com­pany logos)
2. owing to unavoid­able data cor­rup­tion, all Upcoming.org events must be rein­stalled monthly
3. fol­low­ing upgrade to Vista, click­ing del.icio.us links now requires 1 GB of RAM and 40 GB drive space (per link)
4. Jerry Yang now com­pelled to “do that funny MC Hammer dance” when­ever Ballmer’s meds start wear­ing off
5. folksy motto tweaked to “If You Ever Want to See That Pretty Family of Yours Again, You Damned Straight Better F—ing Yahoo!”

The Flickr thing is actu­ally a pretty good point. I remem­ber when Flickr and Yahoo merged and there was a lot of yelling and scream­ing about it. They made you get/merge Yahoo accounts and imposed harsher lim­its on the free accounts. It makes me won­der if Microsoft is going to revive Passport or MSN or force Yahoo to start using their MS Live accounts or some­thing.


Posted in: Software

Macworld Predictions

Macworld is around the cor­ner, and that always means new prod­ucts will be announced and pun­dits are try­ing to pre­dict them before they’re out, based on the tiny bit of infor­ma­tion that has trick­led out of Apple. Here are my pre­dic­tions:

* The iPhone devel­op­ment kit. This is a no-brainer. I pre­dict that this will be open to all devel­op­ers, as they can’t NOT do this because every other smart­phone (Windows Mobile, Blackberry, Sidekick, the Nokia OS) is open enough to allow any­one to write apps. Select devel­op­ers will be able to place their appli­ca­tions in the iTunes store, mean­ing there’s lots of expo­sure, easy mon­e­ti­za­tion, and I’m going to say that these iTunes-partner-apps prob­a­bly have more low-level access to the under­ly­ing OS. This will make them more pow­er­ful than other apps, and makes Apple happy because they have more over­sight. Homebrew devel­oper apps will be more lim­ited and will have to be down­loaded from devel­oper web­sites. Because they will not be in the “walled gar­den” of iTunes, devel­op­ers are left to fig­ure out their own pur­chase meth­ods and ways to attract atten­tion.

* New iPhone firmware to sup­port the devel­op­ment kit. We’ve seen a leaked ver­sion of firmware recently with nice faux-GPS sup­port from Google Maps. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that that was incom­plete firmware and that the offi­cial release will also tie in the Back-To-My-Mac, bring­ing the iPhone, Leopard, and .Mac all into the same party. You’ll be able to access your home machine from any­where with a cell­phone con­nec­tion (if you bought Leopard and are sub­scribed to .Mac, of course.) The con­nec­tion will be mostly read-only. It will lever­age the built-in reader (that can read PDF, Word, Excel, and other doc­u­ments) so that you can read them while out.

* Everyone has been talk­ing about either a tablet PC (an iPhone on steroids) or a Flash-memory based (i.e. non-hard-drive) MacBook. There have been patents sur­fac­ing about a way to dock a note­book into/behind the screen of an iMac. I can’t see them mak­ing a pure tablet PC, as that’s use­ful to a very few num­ber of peo­ple. The iPhone is great for con­sum­ing con­tent, but the folks that want some­thing larger also want to cre­ate con­tent, and for that you need a decent key­board. My ini­tial thought is that we’ll get an ultra-thin con­vert­ible laptop/tablet with an iMac-like dock­ing sta­tion for the opti­cal drive, full key­board, printer, and such. You can run it as a lap­top, or you can flip the screen around and close it to be a tablet. I’m going to say that it’s NOT touch-screen and that the con­vert­ible mode is sim­ply for dock­ing (and per­haps eBook-like func­tion­al­ity with accom­pa­ny­ing but­tons.) If it does hap­pen to be touch-screen, it won’t be multi-touch because the OS and iApps are not quite there yet, and I’m not sure that the mul­ti­touch screens in larger sizes are cost effec­tive quite yet for con­sumer prod­ucts.

* My next thought is that, no, that doesn’t quite feel entirely Apple-like. It’s a lit­tle too deriv­a­tive. What I can see them doing is com­ing out with a new iMac in which you can remove the screen and carry it around the house. It’s a tablet, sort of, but in the same way an X Terminal was a PC back in the day. All of the smarts (CPU and mem­ory), the hard drive, and every­thing else is back at the base sta­tion. The screen is a remote-control win­dow into what the computer’s doing. Of course, it will have a touch-screen for basic data entry: but­tons, scroll bars, an on-screen key­board. It’ll talk over WiFi. It’ll have enough smarts in it to con­nect via WiFi to the inter­net (whether it’s in your house or at a cof­fee shop doing the Back-To-My-Mac thing) and con­nect to your base sta­tion. If it can’t con­nect to your base sta­tion PC for some rea­son (con­nec­tion down or power out at home, for instance), it pro­vides some lim­ited appli­ca­tions on its own: web brows­ing, RSS, wid­gets, that kind of thing: enough to browse the web and get some work done with Google Apps. This ties together Leopard, its screen shar­ing, its Back-To-My-Mac, and the porta­bil­ity and con­ve­nience of hav­ing a couch surf­ing “lap­top” to have at hand while watch­ing TV (“What else was that guy in? I’ll look it up on IMDB”) or as morn­ing blog read­ing over break­fast.

* On sec­ond thought, nahhh... nei­ther of these two tablet-like prod­ucts quite seem like some­thing Apple would make. The first one seems a bit too dumb. The sec­ond lim­its what you can do by your band­width: you can browse the web and work with doc­u­ments, but how great will the per­for­mance be when try­ing to play a video file?

So really, I can pre­dict the things we KNOW will hap­pen: iPhone apps and firmware. I have no idea about this whole tablet/laptop/whatever thing.

Posted in: Dear Diary iPhone