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Comment on "Developing for the iPhone"
by Ben — Jan 14
@ Josh: When Apple opens the iPhone to 3rd party stuff, it will almost certainly be in the form of Widgets, which might well end up being cross-compatible in some form with desktop OS X (write with Dashcode, deploy anywhere). But it's not just a potential usability distraction. A poorly-written widget could suck a lot of data across the mobile data network, and if it becomes popular, then Cingular bears the brunt of all that unnecessary traffic on their network. There are ways to get around this, such as building network throttling into the iPhone OS's widget runtime environment, etc. But it's not surprising that this won't be available or ready on day 1-- it's an eminently cuttable feature for the v1 product.

Apple is not shooting themselves in the foot here. You'll notice that no one besides developers are currently clamoring for 3rd party apps on iPhones, and for the immediate future, Apple will do just as good a job as anyone else could in providing the obvious functionality for the phone. As time goes by, it might well become worthwhile to open it up and find out who can add more value there, but it ain't necessary now.

Re: naming of OS X versus Mac OS X. I'm fascinated by how much attention this has gotten. It seems quite obvious to me that an iPhone is not, in any meaningful marketing sense, a Macintosh, just as an iPod is not a Macintosh. Macs are the computers, yeah? Why would you ever refer to what the phone is running as "Mac" anything? It's not a Mac Phone, thus it doesn't run Mac OS X. <shrug>

What they're running on the phone is almost certainly a Darwin kernel with special drivers, some desktop-similar frameworks, and a iPhone-specific shell/window manager. They call it out as OS X to communicate the relative sophistication of the platform and imply its relationship to the desktop OS.
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