Sunday, April 11, 2010

Few more thoughts about iPhone OS 4.0

This article is in continuation to Avinash Birnale's (VP tech at Endeavour) comments on iPhone OS 4.0

·         Apple edging out cross compiler generated CCG apps. How and Why? John Gruber -Daring Firewall - pointed out that there has been a change section 3.3.1 of the iphone developer program license. Opinion is divided on who or what exactly is apple trying to target here. In part this leaves little space for the Flash to iPhone compiler. CS5 is close to release. There is still not clarity whether this bars all others who are writing cross compilers.  PhoneGap, Ansca's corona SDK etc.

Implementation. What we are not sure is how this is going to be implemented - enforced in a fool proof manner. Presumably, its by way of automated inspection of code bundles. Endeavour, given that we develop applications for all mobile platforms clearly believes that this is an unnecessary step. As software developers we are and should continue to be free to use tools of our choice to create apps and solutions.

Quality concerns. Perhaps, Apple is paranoid about the end user experience with cross compiler generated - CCG - apps.  One could argue that if indeed the CCG apps offered a subpar experience then market would reject those. On the other hand such apps may flood the app store and lead to a general decline of standards.

Why help populate other app markets? And finally of-course , Apple will not make it any easier to build app inventory at other app stores.

·         Multitasking. There are no data points on what will the impact on battery life. It will be interesting to find out what exactly has changed at the firmware (or hardware) to support this. It may be a matter of simply using very light weight threads (Jeroen v./ Utrecht, Netherlands on aardvark) or  very limited services that a frozen program has access to (Markus M./31/ Vienna, Austria  on aardvark).

Whatever it is, as pointed out by Avinash Birnale earlier it is likely that new hardware is on the way.

·         iAd opening a front against Google?  Google will be watching iAd closely. They have number of patents on serving targeted adverts to users.

Implementation. Because this is based on HTML 5 means creative agencies (who build ads in flash) will now need to do so using html5 , what impact does this have on scalability of many such campaigns?

iAd is a closed ad network. Means apple controls the targeting, serving , measurement and pricing of these ads. This is likely to be a problem when it comes to running campaigns. How will you for example get apple to work with your media agency when the mandate is say "target the 45 - 70 year old golf playing demographic", how do you measure results?

Opportunity for developers to build apps? Particularly if the Ads are interactive or use location etc. Ads will perhaps go through the same validation process as apps.

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