"Weeeeeaaaak." That's how one blogger described the iPhone support for 3rd party developers announced at WWDC07 today, and after watching the video of this morning's keynote address by Steve Jobs I have to agree.
Jobs explained that Apple has been "trying to come up with a solution to expand the capabilities of the iPhone so developers can write great apps for it, and we've come up with a very sweet solution." But his "sweet solution" is nothing more than the ability to view web pages in Safari.
"It's an innovative new way to create applications for mobile devices," he continued. Uh huh. "You can write amazing Web 2.0 and Ajax apps!" Thanks Steve, we've been wanting to do that for a long time.
Dan Farber called this a "smart move", saying "it’s a friction-free and secure way to get tens of thousands of developers working in an iPhone ecosystem." Instead, I think it's a sure fire way to get tens of thousands of developers to completely ignore the iPhone.
According to Jobs, the apps will "look and behave exactly like apps on the iPhone." Except that you don't have to launch the browser to start any of your other iPhone apps, and they have full access to Core animation, utilize local storage, can be multi-tasked, and run at full native speed. Other than that they're exactly the same.