I read about this last week and think it is quite interesting. One of the bigger independant palm developers with a reputation for putting out excellent palm software down the years, such as 2day and 4cast, has developed an application port for the iPhone platform. I'm surprised actually that there have not been more or if there have been it is has been quite low key.
Certainly some of the bigger software houses such as SplashData, Ilium and the people behind HandBase have all been quite early to the party but there are still a whole heap of developers who still seem to be clinging to the apparant sinking ship that is Palm. I'm amazed that some other bigger palm people such as the guy behind Hobbysist Software have not as yet brought anything out. Perhaps they know something we don't about Palm…..
Anyway, on the subject of software for the iPhone there has been so much shit thrown at the AppStore down the months that it is time to take a step back and just look at the benefits of the system as opposed to certain other sites just continually berating it or getting all prissy about their "developer rights". Yes, there is the NDA or whatever it is and Apple can willy nilly refuse applications, which is far from ideal but them are de rules, but if you are a developer you would have to be pretty darn stooopid to bring out an application that interferes with the core Apple iPhone apps…it will not get accepted.
So , in my opinion, here are the positives:
- the developers get 70% of the revenue from the AppStore. How many other comparable sized online retailers give that amount? PalmGear? Handango? If it was such a poor deal for them would so many be flocking to produce apps for it? They also get the benefit of Apple paying the running/admin costs, not them.
- a centralised point for buying applications instead of hunting around the web trying to remember where or from who you bought an app 3 years ago. It is all very simple and for me, at age 47, I can do without all the hunting down.
- no more serial numbers! I cannot emphasise this enough….no more stupid, annoying 45 digit codes that take about 2 minutes to enter or having to store them all somehwere and worrying about losing them amongst the 12 000 emails you have stored. No more having to plead with the developer for a new code every time you move device.
- all my applications I use and even the ones I don't use are stored within iTunes for easy retrieval. Chopping and changing between apps is easy and if I re-add something later on I don't have to ere-enter the serial number as there is none.
- I don't have to manually reload them one by one into the likes of Active Sync or Palm Desktop.
- Update notices are sent to me on the device and I can download these updates without connecting to a desktop syncing system.
- the prices are dirt cheap compared to other platforms….a powerful database application like HandBase for under £6 ain't bad compared to standalone palm and windows mobile versions.Takephone itself is only $2.99, almost embarrassingly cheap.
God, all this is making me sound like some rampant fanboy but it's not meant to come across like that. The AppStore has its faults and the vast majority of you reading this can already name them but the fact remains, it's an incredibly easy way to keep all your apps in sync and organised under the one roof. This goes with the whole iPhone mantra…ease of use. When I was using windows mobile phones I almost used to dread having to start from scratch with a new one as it would involve having to locate the oft misplaced app files, sync them across to the device and then open each one and re-enter the serial numbers. Often, I would miss updates and only really read about them through other sites and then you go through the download new version and sync across again syndrome…all a bit tedious.
I've spent about 6/7 years fighting the "smartphone" wars, being an early adopter and getting shafted right up the jimmy jacksie. Now, it is time to take a back seat and let others continue the battle. All I want now is an easy life.
As Shaun says over at pda 24/7, and he is not a person to dish out Apple praise lightly….mind you, is it praise as often McGill speak with forked tongue.
….."the fact is that Apple has created the Application Store monster almost perfectly and barely put a foot wrong. The iPhone is also a much more compliant piece of equipment when it comes to developing great quality titles. I am no fan of Apple, as you know, but no one does this kind of thing like it does"
However, as mentioned previously on here Apple needs to have a better classification system and look at their search function which invariably, I find, can't find apps. In addition, how about a new "new apps" category on the iPhone itself?