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Thread: Will apple open the iPhone?

  1. #1
    Default Will apple open the iPhone?
    Technology October 16, 2007, 12:01AM EST text size: TT
    Will Apple Open the iPhone?
    An official software-development kit may finally be announced at January's Macworld. Why the wait? It may have something to do with Leopard

    by Arik Hesseldahl and Olga Kharif

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    William Hurley loves his iPhone. But he'd love it even more if he could write software for it.

    He's not alone. Hundreds of programmers showed up at an iPhone event organized by Hurley, an executive at software maker BMC (BMC), even though Apple hasn't released the source code they need to exploit the device. That was in July, and the criticism of Apple's refusal to open the iPhone hasn't died down.

    Now it appears Apple (AAPL) will soon answer those pleas. Sources familiar with the company's plans tell that Apple will release a software-development kit for the iPhone in early 2008, enabling programmers to create games, business-productivity tools, and countless other applications for the device. Few details are known, but sources say an announcement will come in January, which suggests it may be slated for Jan. 15, when Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs takes the stage at the Macworld Expo in San Francisco.

    Why the wait? Some analysts suggest the delay has little to do with frustrating developers or Apple's official position about bugs from third-party software posing a threat to cellular networks. Instead, the timing may have more to do with Apple wanting to wait at least until the launch of the new operating system for its Macintosh computers. Known as Leopard, it was originally planned for June, 2007, but is now set for release on Oct. 26. Since the iPhone was built with the current Mac OS, the thinking is that Leopard's new capabilities will enable more robust features on the iPhone as well.
    Cat-and-Mouse Game

    Meanwhile, writing and installing individual programs that run on the phone remain officially forbidden, extremely difficult, and somewhat pointless given Apple's heavy-handed response to such efforts thus far. The only way to do it is to break the iPhone's software locks, as some hackers have managed to do, only to see Apple cripple such devices with a software upgrade. Not surprisingly, some iPhone owners have responded with lawsuits seeking as much as $2.6 billion in damages.

    Naturally, hackers quickly broke through the new set of software locks, suggesting that a cat-and-mouse battle may be under way. But the persistence also demonstrates just how eager programmers—both hobbyists and companies—are to build software for a device that Apple promises will be in the hands of 8 million people by the end of next year. "It's clear what the user community wants," Hurley says. "They're not hacking around with it for fun as much as they are because they want other features on the iPhone."

    Such features might range far and wide, from video and Internet calling to voice recording and instant messaging. But until Apple changes its policy, most developers will have to settle for the next best thing, as they did at Hurley's event in San Francisco, where they created Web-based applications that can be accessed through the iPhone's browser, Safari. Despite widespread frustration over the limitations, such events are planned for London and Germany in the coming months.

    Those familiar with the process of hacking an iPhone and installing unauthorized applications say doing so requires obtaining "root" access to the device's underlying software code. In the world of computers that run on Unix-based operating systems—which includes Apple's Macintosh computers and the iPhone—users with root access have no limitations as to which files and features they can tinker with.

  2. #2
    iPhone? More like MyPhone iPhone1118's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by freshfitz View Post
    Naturally, hackers quickly broke through the new set of software locks
    That made me laugh
    I am the MacBook Pro

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