The Macalope seconds Michael Gartenberg’s final assessment of the iPhone.

Yes, I think it’s not perfect, but let’s be clear, the innovation and design outweigh any issues by an order of magnitude, perhaps several.

Indeed. The inverse Zune relationship.

And what’s funny is, this is precisely what the rational analysts were saying it would be. It would feature several compromises that not everyone would like, but its interface will make you forget things like, oh, that you’re now paying $500 a month to Cingular for data services.

  • hostilemonkey:

    You mean $500 a week, right? And let’s be clear – that’s just for the Safari unlocking code

  • Rich:

    Closed system? Did they miss the widgets?

    Those things are just as good if not better than any crappy J2ME app.

  • Let’s hope Steve can beat some sense into wireless providers the way he has with the music people (for the most part). I couldn’t agree more that those complaining about Cingular, the iPhone’s storage, and 3G are completely missing the forest for the trees. We just saw the portable device (not just the phone) get reinvented in a jaw-dropping manner, and the constant complainers wouldn’t have been satisfied unless this thing did all its voice and data transfer at broadband speeds and for free.

  • People on the Ars forum and some other websites forget that they are not a random sample of the population. What they want in a phone is far above and beyond what Joe on the street wants from his phone. I know some people who have Mac’s who don’t install 3rd party apps on that, or know anything about the Mac developing community. They wouldn’t care if their OS was locked down as tight as it is on the iPhone.

    This kind of thing got said about the iPod when it came out. It’s now an icon of the generation. Please people lets just wait and see.

  • Something just occurred to the Macalope.

    Widgets use JavaScript, but Safari on the iPhone doesn’t do Java.

    How does that work?

  • Ken:

    Java Javascript.

    But the widgets are still closed!

  • Ken:

    err… Java not equal Javascript. Lost some characters there.

  • But you still have to have a Java runtime environment installed for JavaScript, n’est-ce pas?

    So, does iPhone Safari do JavaScript?

  • Matt Green:

    Javascript runs entirely in the browser, it has nothing to do with the Java language or runtime from Sun. It was named Javascript by Netscape as it was introduced alongside their support for Java in the browser. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Javascript

    Widgets would be able to do quite a bit, but there is even more that isn’t possible without having a full programming language and library layer(IM, terminals/ssh and other remote access software etc). That said, most of those sort of features are something that the highly-technical minority are interested in, which has never been Apple’s chief target audience.

    I’d also expect Apple themselves to add many applications as time goes on. A mobile iChat client seems like a no-brainer.

  • Karl von L.:

    Certainly not. Java and Javascript are not remotely related, “Javascript” was an unfortunate choice of language name. We should all be calling it ECMAScript instead, which is what the standardized version of the language is called.

  • Karl von L.:

    Oops, that “certainly not” was in response to the first question, not the second.

  • Well so far the iPhone seems as buttoned down as it could be to please several parties, I would assume no Javascript, otherwise GTalk would work and so would a whole bunch of very useful things. My personal bet is it doesnt. Which would be weird as Nokias Webkit implmentation also includes a companion called Javascript Core alo made by Apple, go figure.

  • As was mentioned, Java and JavaScript have nothing to do with each other, except for sharing a similar C-style syntax and half of a name.

    Webkit uses JavaScriptCore (http://webkit.org/projects/javascript/index.html) to implement JavaScript, and I’m sure it was ported without much difficulty.

    I’ve got a few thoughts up on the iPhone as a Blackberry competitor up at http://jdeber.blogspot.com/2007/01/apple-consumerelectronicsworld-2007.html, if anyone cares.

  • Hmmm, for some reason, the comma I typed after that URL got included as part of the link. A working link is http://jdeber.blogspot.com/2007/01/apple-consumerelectronicsworld-2007.html

  • Thanks for the clarification.

  • What strikes me is that Steve Jobs emphasized on the fact that the iPhone runs OS X, including Cocoa. Why would we care that it has Cocoa if it remains a closed platform? After all, I never heard him talk about the OS and APIs in the iPod.

  • Jed:

    I’m sure that Safari will run javascript. I’m equally sure it will be able to run web apps perfectly well. You can do quite a lot with web apps these days.

    The whole reason they can make a device like this is because it’s closed. Their advantage over the opposition is that they make the entire thing, hardware and software. Steve actually made the point in the keynote. So, at this stage at least, they need a closed environment just to be sure that it’ll work. No-one says that has to be forever.

    But what a lovely potential roadmap now. Those wishlists getting published everywhere are probably just revisions a, b and c to the line over the next couple of years. As the hardware gets ever more powerful it’ll be increasingly possible to add these extra features.

    Sigh. All I know is that I’m having to revise my childhood dreams. Steve Jobs thinks this is another revolution and the iPhone seems to pretty much fit the criteria of what we were all told ‘would be possible one day’ back in the early days of computing. It’s the device we all drew pictures of as kids. A ‘communicator’. All it really lacks from those fantasies is a teleport function and I guess that’s gonna take a while.

    Oh dear. I’m now wondering how many years/revisions before I can have a 5mm thin, 5 inch, 300dpi, full touchscreen, 48 hour battery life, open filesystem, 100Gb hard drive version. 5 years? 10?


  • Jed:

    Oh, and read Rentzsch. In particular, read that last sentence…


  • Jed:

    And it already seems to be a hit in Germany. Amazon has a pre-order page up, surely prematurely, and it’s just hit no.1 in the charts, even at 1000 euros. Great fun.


    I think they’ll be able to sell as many as they can build for the forseeable future.

  • I thought Netscape renamed LiveScript to JavaScript smply because Java was popular at the time.

    It’s one of the worst decisions ever. The fact that it’s still confusing people as smart as The Macalope, over 10 years later, makes me want to cry a little.

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