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Google Forcing Apple to Embrace Java on iPhone

Posted: December 31st, 1969 | Author: | Filed under: java, Programming, Uncategorized | Tags: | No Comments »

Google Forcing Apple to Embrace Java on iPhone

Picture of IrvinWith the Android SDK preview now out in the wild, we can guess a few things about the future. The first is that the iPhone will find itself stuck as a niche device, and never find its way into business, or be the “Jesus Phone” that everyone wants, if they don't embrace Java, or release a crippled SDK. The second is that Android will be a force to be reckoned with in the cellular industry and that Symbian had better watch its step. The third is that Google is proving its commitment to keeping information free.

The iPhone will remain a niche player if they don't embrace Java. This is a bold statement. What I really mean is that basically, more people know how to write Java applications, than know how to write Objective-C applications, or AJAX applications. It is a much better understood language, and with the Jazelle ARM extensions, the iPhone is an excellent platform for the language and a Java SDK could incite an explosion of applications developed for the iPhone. I have talked about the iPhone's Jazelle processor before, and it is almost a no-brainer as to Apple releasing Java and Swing for the iPhone.

With Google, however releasing a Java based SDK, the applications will be developed for the Android platform, these will include music playback applications, video applications, all sorts of mashups between, business applications, you name it. While the iPhone will end up being just an MP3 player with a phone, and a great browser crippled by an awful data network. People who love iTunes will keep using it, but the hue-and-cry of the prosumer and enterprise for better interoperability and more applications on the iPhone will go away, and people will just buy Android phones instead of pushing Apple.

By being whatever carriers and phone manufacturers want it to be, Android can easily become the most popular phone OS, quickly replacing Symbian, at least on “smartphones.” Let's face it. Until the iPhone the best interface we had, when it was not locked up, was on the Windows CE devices. Android gives users a good looking interface with minimal effort. Its pretty much going to become the standard OS for smartphones, and will aid Palm on its way to becoming only relevant as a Wikipedia article entry.

Google is making good on its mantra to a) do not evil, and b) organize and make available the world's information. It will effectively free the information that is inside my cell phone, and enable me to take my phone from carrier-to-carrier, or just use Google's service, hopefully. By finally opening the cell phone's software, something that for years had been intentionally obfuscated, and by democratizing software development for the mobile platform, Google will enable users to choose what they want to run and how. Carriers may try to stop users from installing applications, but I think that given the handset manufacturer's partnership with Google, they won't try.

All in all, this is the best thing to happen to the cellular industry, basically ever.