SDK: The silence is deafening.
As we fast approach the end of February, iPhone users, smartphone addicts, apple developers and tech geeks look to the skies and ask: Where for art thou, SDK??
Numerous rumors have popped up lately on the internets suggesting that it has been delayed for up to a month. The source of this rumor is BusinessWeek. While I can imagine that Apple is having issues getting the SDK ready for ‘the public’, the stranger truth is that the SDK was never intended for ‘the public’. It is aimed squarely at Software Developers. That’s why..you know…its called a ‘Software Developer Kit’. I happen to believe that the delay (if there is one) is less to do with the actual SDK, and more to do with the next version of the iPhone’s firmware. Right now the iPhone is being Unlocked/Jailbroken more than ever, due to the extreme ease of use of the current Ziphone-based GUI/CLI software. Everyone I know has jailbroke now (even me!) just because it is so damn easy. For Apple, this creates stress, as they unwittingly have to compete with a method that provides free, easy access to the iPhone to install 3rd party applications. They need to convince Jailbreakers to upgrade to the newest firmware, to get official applications from Apple. The problem is, there are already a LOT of apps available for the iPhone unofficially, and they are predominantly freeware as well. As I have mentioned before, there is also a lot of ‘cruft’ in Installer.app. But, if you are sensible, then there is a few gems available to download and install.
Apple wants everyone to see the value of following their way, and so it must offer up some enticements. While with the release of the SDK there will be a lot of good applications coming down the pipe, it also needs to get people instantly ‘involved’ with the process. So it needs some Boom-factor at launch. Something to make jailbreakers think “wow, time to ditch all my apps for CUT AND PASTE!!”. I believe that when the 1.1.3 firmware was released, Apple wanted this to be the base OS for the SDK (the signs are there in the firmware). But, alas it got broken wide open. And Apple cannot have a situation where they launch their own application database, ALONGSIDE an already established free unofficial competitor. So it needs to be shut out of the goodness. Close all holes, barricade the doors, and make sure only those with a Apple sanctioned clean firmware get into the party.
Of course, I could be completely wrong. Apple could this week drop the SDK with little fanfare. Just put it out there and wait. But then again, that would be so un-apple-like, so non-steve-jobs-like as to be simply madness!. THIS. IS. APPLE!!