I had to chuckle when Steve Jobs painted himself as the underdog out to help publishers avoid the total domination of Amazon’s Kindle (hat tip to Techmeme for finding that NY Times post). Doing no evil? Hardly. Helping book publishers force Amazon to raise Kindle book prices to help his own iPad get more control? Absolutely!
Developers and many onlookers, for the most part, are fairly outraged. There are a few that seem to think it’s a good idea what Apple is doing, but it almost sounds like they’re sucking up to Apple, dislike Adobe, or have some other axe to grind. GigaOm is starting a series about the whole topic: Open vs Closed: How much is too much?
Speaking of axes to grind, I one too. I’ve written a little application for the CNC machinist’s world called G-Wizard. For a variety of reasons, I wrote it in Flex, which was extremely well-suited to the job. It turns out this application would be extremely handy to have in your hot little hand while you’re trying to operate the machine tool on the shop floor. I’ve got scores of users requesting an iPhone port. And in fact, Flex would be the perfect vehicle for this. G-Wizard already runs seamlessly on PC, Mac, or Linux with no extra effort on my part. It is delivered over the web and brings new data to itself from the web. Think of it as a minimal SaaS application (I may write some posts on how that works if there is interest). Flex’s ability to morph screen layout would be ideal to making it usable on an iPhone. Unfortunately, Apple is going to arbitrarily make it impossible for me to make my users happy.
Can I borrow a page from Adobe and just focus on the non-iPhone Smart Phone world? I guess I could, but so far I have had many requests for an iPhone version and no requests for, say, an Android version. I run Google Analytics on my web site, and it provides a nifty report of mobile visitors. It turns out that 84% of my mobile users are using an iPhone, iPad, or iTouch. Sure, Android is growing like crazy, but its got a long ways to go to catch the iTsunami that is here today.
It looks like I’m stuck suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous Apple behavior. Rats!