Half-open or Half-closed?

The iPhone will not allow third party applications to be installed. That much we know. Does that matter? Yes, but maybe not as much as it used to.

Steve Jobs was very demonstrative at MacWorld that the iPhone would allow you to surf the Web as if you were in a desktop web browser. We don’t have details yet, but I have to think that includes JavaScript. In 2007, JavaScript is just too essential for too many things people are doing. Google Maps. Google Mail. WordPress. etc. Possibly there’ll be Flash or Java too, but JavaScript is a real sine qua non.

Consequently, even if you can’t install an app directly onto your phone, you should certainly be able to load a web site. For instance, Google Maps would be very useful to have in the field. As more and more applications move onto the Web, it will become less and less important to be able to install software directly.

If the iPhone has Flash, then that’s good enough for any cell phone game. (I’m not sure it will, but if it does…) And if it can run Java applets? Then the sky’s the limit.

Open beats closed every time. If the iPhone really does have a full Web browser, it could be in reality the most mobile open phone platform yet. Wouldn’t that be cool?

2 Responses to “Half-open or Half-closed?”

  1. lefty Says:

    David Pogue’s iPhone FAQ http://pogue.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/01/13/ultimate-iphone-faqs-list-part-2/ says JavaScript yes, Flash maybe, and Java over Steve’s dead body.

  2. Steven O'Toole Says:

    From Pogue’s column: Jobs: “Java’s not worth building in. Nobody uses Java anymore. It’s this big heavyweight ball and chain.”


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