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I may not like it, but I get it

Apple has stated, on many occasions that there will not be any emulators or sandbox applications like that allowed on any of the iOS devices.

The main reasoning for this is that it removes their control on the applications available for the platform. While I don’t like this in principle, I can understand why they’d do this. The level of control allows them to ensure user experience, device performance and basically eliminates the possibility of viruses that affect the platform.

You see the exact same level of control from Microsoft at the moment with the Windows Phone. True, it does use Silverlight as one of its primary programming frameworks, but you cannot view Silverlight-enabled web elements in the browser on that device. This is done for the exact same reasons as with Apple’s mobile products.

While it’s true that Apple has been undone by their closed platform policies in the past, Microsoft used to suffer from what Android is now suffering from… Too much openness. 

Windows Mobile used to be marketed much like Android and, like Android, there were many different models, which could all do different things, behaved differently and offered vastly different experiences to the users.  Apple has effectively proven that if you give a stable, consistent platform, you can capture a market and dominate.  There were originally no apps and no App Store for Apple either, and they opened up (what I think is an out-dated, poorly supported, set of tools for developers) to development by third parties, and originally they flirted with flash and a much more relaxed set of rules for apps.  It proved disastrous for both Apple and it’s user base as apps built in flash and some of the other tools had several issues and opened users phones up to both technical (memory leaks and inconsistency) and licensing issues.  They resolve this a lot when they locked things down to almost where they had them before.   I am not saying I agree with this model, because I do not.  What I am saying, is that as a businessman, I understand it and can see the reasons.

On the other hand we have Google with the open-love version of a phone.  I have three friends that have Android phones, all have the same version and none of them work alike, nor do any of them have the same experience.  Two of them hate it and one is indifferent about it…  They are all highly technical and this is not like them at all about technology.  The biggest problem is that you have no idea how something will work from one phone to another…  One game works great on one phone and tanks horribly on another, and these are the same models!

I find that the best phone and phone OS I’ve seen in years is the new Windows Phone 7.  It allows a fair bit of freedom for developers, advanced, evolved tools (for FREE!!!!) while still offering a consistent, stable, fast interface that ensures that you know exactly what to do when you grab the phone.  The offering of 9 different phones gives users a great choice of layout and hardware features while keeping the standards at the top of what is available for a Smartphone these days.

When it comes down to locking App development for a device such as a phone or a purpose-built tablet or other device, I understand and approve of the practice as long as it does not preclude everyone from being able to develop for the platform.  

I think that, when something negatively affects stability, performance and/or the ability to make money for a platform, then a vendor has the right to restrict that item or technology from their device.

Posted in Devices.


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