Salon On iPhone's 3rd Party Apps: More Questions Than Answers

“Any questions?” “Yeah, aren’t these just tarted-up Widgets?” “Ummm…”

Farhad Manjoo at Salon posted a fairly cogent analysis of the Web 2.0/Safari/No SDK style of programming that the iPhone and, presumably OS X, will now support. He’s basically asking all the pertinent questions, but probably won’t get answers until October:

Could you run a version of Skype on the iPhone? Could developers create a jukebox app for iPhone that competes with iTunes? What about a photo-editing program? And what about Firefox on Safari?

While Firefox on Safari is a bit of a stretch, I’m in complete agreement. Does this hamper iPhone innovation or open it up to a whole new audience? This also raises a very interesting question. Is this toolbox going to appear on all versions of Safari and, if so, will you be able to cross-platform your Safari apps, much like you would with XUL. Perhaps the programming language just some sort of Ajax-y XML thing?

These are important questions because, as we saw with Boot Camp, Apple knows it needs to get its spikes into Microsoft. After years of playing second fiddle, they have enough mindshare to convince folks to install their admittedly sub-par browser onto Windows boxes, even considering all the popular and important competitors out there. I stopped using Safari because of speed and compatibility issues but I’d go back if I was getting some sort of bonus with the iPhone. What is that bonus? My head hurts.

Steve Jobs locks up the iPhone [Machinist]