Apple Gets It

March 30, 2008

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Johnathan Zdziarski, blogger and author of iPhone Open Application Development (to be released book on how to hack your iPhone) was invited by Apple to speak at a conference held in a Cambridge Apple store, to talk about the history of hacking the iPhone and his thoughts on the device. Zdziarski was one of the first software engineers to hack the iPhone. Now, does this sound odd? One person wrote, “So for Apple to give Zdziarski the podium at an Apple retail location is a little like Steve Ballmer inviting Linus Torvalds to speak at a Windows product launch.”

So what does this got to do with Apple Getting It? Well, just the gesture of inviting Zdziarski to speak at the Software Development Kit (SDK) conference says a lot. Apple is finally not rebelling against change anymore, but beginning to embrace it. When the iPhone first came out, online open-source communities were trading hacks through third-party installer applications. Finally, a year later Apple understood the opportunity which could arise from creating it’s own SDK. By inviting Zdziarski and releasing it’s own SDK for iPhones, Apple is setting an example for other companies in the industry. It’s a lot easier to work with your customers to help them get what they want by giving them the tools to create their own customized product, then fight with them and give them the same old product. This just creates a hassle for both parties; the customer isn’t happy and the business isn’t profiting. It also gives a company’s development team a break, and creates many more product ideas and innovations that may never have been created without the help of SDK platforms.

Still iPhone’s SDK has its problems. It still doesn’t allow users to access low-level functions, like operate applications in the background and build certain types of objects, even though Apple insists it offers the same tools its programmers use to develop its software. But I’m sure hackers will come up with a way to fix that soon enough. Apple has however released a second version of their SDK, the Interface Builder, which is a visual editor that users can drag and drop items to create the user interface of their applications. Apparently this makes application creation a lot easier.

Oh and just a side note, remember how I wrote that post about the hacking contest for laptops (sure you do!) well it turns out the Macbook Air was the first one to be hacked.

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2 Responses to “Apple Gets It”

  1. wattsy Says:

    thats interesting how the Macbook Air was the first laptop to be hacked. Having contests to hack into computers can be beneficial as the problems can be exposed in the computer and get fixed quickly.

  2. mellaz Says:

    Zdziarski was one of the first software engineers to figure out how to hack the iPhone, and he’s the author of a forthcoming O’Reilly Media book called iPhone Open Application Development, which gives readers explicit instructions on jail-breaking iPhones. So for Apple to give Zdziarski the podium at an Apple retail location is a little like Steve Ballmer inviting Linus Torvalds to speak at a Windows product launch.


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