Will Steve Jobs Lift App Store Restrictions with iPhone 4.0?

App Store vs. App Market

Because of Apple’s draconian app regulations, the long app approval process, and the presence of an open-source competitor, the iPhone App Store is becoming increasingly unappealing for developers and users alike.

As a developer, you take a big risk developing for the App Store when Apple could reject your app for nearly any reason. Furthermore, Apple has a leash around its developers’ necks when it comes to the tools you can use to build an app. Sure, you can make an iPhone app, but you have to do it using Apple’s tools and you are forbidden by the Terms of Service from using private APIs or other programming languages, says one developer who claims, “Steve Jobs Has Just Gone Mad.”

Once you have developed the app, you have to put it on the slow-moving conveyor belt (i.e. the App Store approval process) and wait for it to get past all the inspectors inside. The rigid and unnecessary bureaucracy in the App Store becomes a barrier to production, and developers become frustrated. Guess where they go.


iPhone App Store Gold Rush

The App Store Gold Rush is over. Just submitting an app to the App Store doesn’t guarantee a good return on investment. The costs of finding a developer are high because the permitted programming languages are limited and the payoff for producing an app is not guaranteed.

These obstacles translate over to iPhone users, who have to wait longer to get app updates and new apps.

Android, on the other hand, is very inviting. There are many ways to develop an application for Android. The number of phones running Android is increasing. And Google does not put its foot down like Apple and police content in the Android App Market.

Slowly but surely, the Android App Market is taking over. Unless…

Apple, Don’t Let it Happen


I love my iPhone. I think it is a marvel of engineering, and I think Apple is home to amazing designers. But while the iPhone is cool, Apple is becoming increasingly uncool.

Like a good mother does for her grown-up children, Apple needs to learn to let go of its customers and developers and let us be who we are. If developers want to develop something, let them develop it. The community will decide what’s good and what’s trash. And concerned parents will set parental controls on their children’s iPhones. And the world will be merry.

On June 7, when Apple announces the 4th gen iPhone, I will be crossing my fingers to hear Steve Jobs say he is doing away with the App Store approval process altogether while improving parental controls to let people monitor content for themselves or their children, rather than Apple doing the censoring.

The Future of iPhone

The future of iPhone depends on more openness. “Open” is the buzzword these days, and people like it that way. Given a choice, I believe people will choose the most open, unrestricted and free. And in the battle between Apple and Google, Apple is not the brand most people equate with “open.”

This is not merely a competition between two companies. It is a war of ideologies, and in the end, I believe openness will prevail.

Give me Liberty, or give me Death! – Patrick Henry

Do You Agree?

Is an open iPhone a better iPhone? Will Steve Jobs do away with the App Store approval process and give users the freedom to do what they want with their devices?

Multitasking Face-Off: iPhone vs Android vs WebOS


When it comes to multitasking, Apple claimed at their iPhone OS 4 unveiling that “we weren’t first to the party, but we’re gonna be the best.” But is iPhone’s new multitasking feature really the best way to do multitasking? Check out these video demos of multitasking on iPhone OS 4, Android and Palm WebOS to decide for yourself who does multitasking better:

iPhone OS 4 Multitasking

Android Multitasking

Palm WebOS Multitasking

iPhone Jailbreak Multitasking Solutions

There are also some multitasking solutions that you can use if you jailbreak your iPhone, including:



What Do You Think?

Is Apple’s iPhone OS 4 multitasking really the best? Which multitasking solution do you prefer? I would love to hear your opinion in the comments.

XKCD “iPhone or Droid” Comic Takes a Jab at iPhone

XKCD, the online “webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language” has taken a jab at the iPhone in today’s comic “iPhone or Droid.”

Click to enlarge:
XKCD Comic: Droid vs iPhone

“iPhone or Droid” XKCD comic

Girl: Well, it depends what you want. The iPhone wins on speed and polish, but the droid has that gorgeous screen and physical keyboard.

Boy: What if I want something more than the pale facsimile of fulfilment brought by a parade of ever-fancier toys? To spend my life restlessly producing instead of sedately consuming? Is there an app for that?

Girl: Yeah, on both. Wait, no, looks like it was rejected from the iPhone store.

Boy: Droid it is, then.

The comic knocks the iPhone, calling it a flashy device for media-hungry children, while the Droid is presented as the more pragmatic choice with its “gorgeous screen and physical keyboard.” I got a kick out of the allusion to Apple’s ridiculous App Store approval process.

This comic arrives in the middle of the saga between iPhone and Droid, Verizon’s popular new Google Android phone. So what do you think? iPhone or Droid?

P.S. Don’t forget to visit the “iPhone or Droid” comic on the XKCD site and hover your mouse over the image to see the hidden message.

The Android Army: Will Google’s Mobile Phone Army Crush Apple’s iPhone?

There have been heaps of hype over the launch of Verizon’s Droid mobile phone, which is made by Motorola and powered by Google’s Android 2.0 mobile operating system.

Droid made its debut via a viral Verizon ad that pointed out all the things the iPhone “iDoesn’t” do.

Verizon’s Droid Ad

The Droid ad campaign drew eyes, despite some of the Verizon ad’s questionable claims. The mighty Google even helped Verizon publicize its phone by placing a Droid ad on the Google home page. And apparently, the Droid launch last week caused (some) lines at Verizon stores.

Will Droid Outsell iPhone?

So, is the Droid an “iPhone killer,” as the iPhone doomsayers portend?

Verizon Droid

Doubtful. Yes, Verizon’s Droid is impressive, but the Droid itself is not compelling or innovative enough to cause a storm of sales that could match Apple’s unprecedented iPhone sales. Droid is cool, but it’s no game changer.

Nevertheless, given the prominence of the Droid ad campaign and the popularity of Google’s new Android 2.0 mobile operating system, it is likely that Droid will cause a dent in what has for the last year been a smartphone market dominated by Apple.

What’s more important is that Droid will soon be joined by an army of mobile phones powered by the Android mobile OS.

Verizon’s Droid: One Soldier in an Army of Androids

Droid itself can’t take down iPhone. But it can gnaw at Apple along with the army of Android piranhas that will meddle into the marketplace in the coming months.

The Android Army

Droid is the beginning of the “Android army” phenomenon that no one is talking about yet. If you don’t recall, Google’s Android mobile phone software is open source, meaning any carrier can use it on any hardware. And that is the power of Google’s Android.

Think about it. The Droid is a collaborative effort between Verizon (the carrier), Motorola (the hardware maker) and Google (the software provider). There are infinite possibilities for collaboration on Android phones, while iPhone in the US is backed by just two companies, Apple and AT&T.

Collectively, the Android Army will possess the power — and market share — needed to seriously compete with Apple’s iPhone. If you don’t like iPhone, you don’t buy iPhone. If you don’t like Droid, you can still buy some other Android-powered phone. That scenario does not play well for Apple.

And while many people point to the iPhone App Store as proof of iPhone’s permanence in the marketplace, Google’s Android Market contains third-party apps that are usable across Android mobile phones, while iPhone apps are usable on iPhone only.

When Google unveiled Android in November of 2007, I argued that Android would present serious competition for Apple’s iPhone, but I did not consider the potential of the Android army that is in the works.

How Will iPhone Compete With the Android Army?

Steve Jobs

Can Apple singlehandedly fight off an army of mobile phone giants backed by Google, while iPhone remains bound to the immensely unpopular AT&T?

I don’t think even Steve Jobs, who was recently named CEO of the Decade by Fortune, can fend off the approaching Android army and maintain iPhone’s dominance of the smartphone market.

Apple better wake up and think about a new strategy, because it’s about to face a mighty competitor in Android.

What Do You Think?

Will the future see a smartphone space that is no longer defined by iPhone and BlackBerry? Will the Android army take down iPhone? Let me know what you think in the comments.

Is iPhone 2.0 a Better Match for Google’s Android?

Google Android phone

When Google last year unveiled Android, its open-source mobile phone platform, I published an article titled, Android vs. iPhone: Will the Google Phone Be an iPhone Killer?

At the time, before iPhone 2.0, it looked like Android had a good shot at taking down the iPhone, for several reasons:

  • Android phones were set to be priced around $200, while the iPhone at the time was priced at a minimum of $400 (for the 4GB model).
  • Because Android is open-source, developers can freely create applications for the phones. When I wrote my article last November, Apple had not yet released a software development kit for the iPhone, so any third-party applications on iPhone were unauthorized.
  • Apple signed a contract with AT&T binding the iPhone in the United States to the wireless company for five years, while Google’s Android phones will be built by various manufacturers and supported by many carriers.

Add to that the fact that when I wrote the article, there was still no mention of 3G data speeds or GPS being on the iPhone.

iPhone 2.0: A lot’s changed in half a year

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