Apple considering third-party iPhone apps | iLounge News

Apple considering third-party iPhone apps

Despite initial reports that the iPhone would be a “closed” platform, Apple CEO Steve Jobs revealed that the company is still considering allowing third-party applications to run on the device. During Apple’s annual shareholders meeting yesterday, Jobs said that the company is “wrestling with” the issue, which comes as a surprise given comments made by the Apple chief earlier in the year. “You don’t want your phone to be an open platform,” Jobs said in an interview following the iPhone introduction in January. “You need it to work when you need it to work. Cingular doesn’t want to see their West Coast network go down because some application messed up.”

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I applaud Apple for their caution, but they’re wrong that I don’t want third party apps on my phone.  There’s a lot of potential in any pocket device for applications of limited necesity, applications we’ll never see from Apple.

I’d love some kind of database app (a FileMaker light, if you will) and a collaborative “white boarding” tool.  Folks with kids could use a “finger painting” app to keep the youngsters busy.

I don’t care how you get to third party apps—sell them on iTunes and charge a $10,000 licensing and certification fee, if you think that’s what it’ll take.  Create a limited API, similar to Dashboard.

I write software and I joke around the office that if Apple had released a developer’s kit in January, I would have quit the same day and started working.

Posted by dasmb on May 11, 2007 at 12:01 PM (CDT)


Perhaps if they used a system like Nintendo had with the NES.  It was my understanding that games were licensed by Nintendo for play on their system.  Games also had an official Nintendo seal of quality.

Of course, it was a lot harder for third parties to manufacture cartridges.  But perhaps a system of software release like this could keep the standards of quality high?

Posted by Granata on May 11, 2007 at 12:41 PM (CDT)


Look at the Palm OS, an open OS is a STRONG plus overall. It allows people to use the device for ways Steve & Company can’t think of. Look at all the different iPod accessories from chargers to Alarm clocks to recorders. 

To have 3rd party software would make the iPhone exceptional! It wouldn’t cause AT&T (Cingular’s) west coast service to go down.  Worst case it increases demands on iPhone Apple support staff, but will increase usability and sales.  It will allow people to write programs to open Office docs (Docs to Go- a 3rd party software) for the Palm is known to work better than Microsoft’s native software.

Do what you need to Steve, but please release the API and put systems of review in place if you desire.  Especialy having the OS essentially a scaled down version of OS X will garner huge 3rd party software development!

Posted by wheatie on May 11, 2007 at 12:46 PM (CDT)


We have to be careful here. Keep in mind that the iPhone IS running a modified version of OSX. It’s mroe or less safe to assume that that fact alone means that it can run more complex and powerful applications than we are used to on our phones. This is great for us, but can you imagine someone writing Limewire to run on the iPhone? Next thing you’d know Cingular’s data services would collapse. It’s important for Apple and Cingular to control what goes on the phone.

That being said, there are a lot of applications that I feel need to be available including an Office type product.

Posted by Ryan on May 11, 2007 at 1:07 PM (CDT)


Palm OS - that’s a great example ... of a stagnant OS that hasn’t done anything significant in at least 5 years.  Yeah, it’s open, but open to do what?  Run on PalmPilots?  They were great in their day, but so 1996.  When Palm starts releasing their flagship Treo devices running another OS, you know that Palm OS is in serious trouble.

I’d be happy if they did a similar system as they have with iPod games:  License some of the big software makers to provide apps and do good quality control to keep the user experience top notch.

But the bit about causing the West coast service to go down was a laugh.  If it were in fact at all possible, that would just indicate a really poor OS on Apple’s part (and a really poor network structure on Cingular’s part).  I’ve never heard of any other phones bringing down entire networks due to buggy 3rd party apps (of which there are plenty).  Virus writers would have a field day if such a thing were possible.

Posted by dodo on May 11, 2007 at 1:16 PM (CDT)


Awesome.  A glimmer of hope that I’ll eventually be able to ditch my Treo 700p and get an iPhone.

Posted by Cool Cat on May 11, 2007 at 1:45 PM (CDT)


Any idea how well Flash will be supported? I could imagine a large suite of online utilities that would work for the Iphone if they were Flash/Java based.

Posted by destro on May 11, 2007 at 2:56 PM (CDT)


if only know they would consider third party manufacturers for desktops and laptops.

with vista being the load of crap it is, mac os could take over a very large of market share if only it was more available to the masses

Posted by hydra-calm on May 14, 2007 at 12:25 PM (CDT)

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