Er...somethin' like that.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


So, we're all officially feeling the post-keynote RDF buzz, and for a damn good reason.
My thoughts, no particular order:
  • My overall reaction? "OMGOMGOMGIWANTONEIWANTONE!!!111eleventy"
  • This will entirely turn the smartphone market on its ear and turn them from executive toys to something that soccer moms carry. Nokia, Motorola, RIM and the like have the right to be scared.
  • Will I be able to turn off EDGE and use only Wi-Fi for data? Cingular's data fees are huge, especially in pay-per-use, and with Wi-Fi hotspots everywhere, I'll take the free option, thanks. (I suppose I can always call Cingular or hop on their account manager site and get rid of the pay-per-use data on my plan.)
  • What's the price if I won't/can't/don't lock myself in to another 2 years on Cingular? Some have said that it won't be available at any price without a 2 year contract, and others have wondered how Apple+Cingular will force a contract if the phone is purchased at the Apple Store. Maybe I'll get lucky and they'll decide that $499/$599 are the prices before the two year contract, and will come down to $299/$399 after the activation discount. It would make the iPhone more price-competitive with the other smartphones out there, but I wouldn't bet the farm on it.
  • I'm wondering how Visual Voicemail works, exactly. My theories:
    • The brute-force option is the iPhone gets the voicemail alert silently, secretly dials into the user's voicemail and records the message, then presents its own voicemail notification. However, that seems very hack-ish and lazy, and wouldn't require this deep level carrier integration that Apple's bragging about.
    • Another option, and the one I'm most dreading, is that it's data service-based. As in, the network pushes down voicemail messages as audio files over EDGE which are then stashed on the phone. Note my aversion to cellular data above. (Sub theory: This bit of data access is free as part of your iPhone's ordinary service plan?)
    • Yet another option is that they have some way using GSM only to random access your voicemail messages that doesn't use data, (IMO the best option) but how this would work is not something I've got figured out yet.
  • Lack of user-installable applications/widgets would indeed be a bummer, and may or may not be a deal-killer for me. I do, however, very much like Jon's theory on the matter, with one twist. The difference between widgets and applications in the context of the iPhone seems to be almost nil. The Stocks "widget" shown on the iPhone seems to be a straight port from the Dashboard version, and the Weather "widget" seems to only be modified to fit the screen better and allow for multiple locations. Remember that Dashboard widgets can embed Cocoa objects, allowing them much more power than simple HTML, CSS and JavaScript. (Heck, who knows how much of the iPhone interface is written as "widgets" as it is?) So Apple may, eventually, allow developers to write "widgetlications" (my term) for the iPhone, get them signed and put them on the iPhone one way or the other. In fact, the signing may or may not be required, if Apple's got Cingular in the corporate headlock that they seem to. In any event, I followed Jon's lead and filed a bug report, Radar 4918087. Here's what's inside, in case anyone wants to use it as the basis for their filing:
Title: Ability to Develop/Deploy Applications for iPhone
Developers should be able to develop, code and deploy their own applications for the iPhone using Xcode. The iPhone's rich software environment and extensive hardware and communications capabilities open up a world of possibilities for third-party developers.

see rdar://problem/4917169

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