OT: Apple iPad



#2

Well, that iPad looked kinda neat, so I thought maybe I might want to develop an app for it. Oh, you have to pay Apple $99 to get the SDK to write any code for it (in addition to having an Apple computer, of course). Gee, I remember when you bought a computer and it came with BASIC so you could develop something right out of the box, no extra charge thank you. My Apple ][ even came with two programming languges, Applesoft BASIC and Integer BASIC.

Times have changed. For the worse.


#3

I can't wait to see Byron Foster's 42s running on an iPad.


Regards,


John


#4

On a related note, the iPad could end up being home to the world's first reasonably usable TI-92 emulator.


#5

Could be a great platform for a HP-71B emulator too.

#6

Do you really have to pay to get the SDK? I thought you only have to register and pay if you want to run your programs on an iPhone etc. (and not in the emulator which is good enough to learn iPhone programming). And then you get a possibility to sell your programs easily in the App Store and earn money (if you are lucky, much more than $99).

Well, Apple has cool gadgets but they also know very well how to earn money. Now, they sell eBooks, too, which is a fast growing market ...

Regards,

Juergen


#7

Juergen, I think you have to pay the $99 to be an individual developer and get the SDK. From whatever Apple web page I was at, it certainly seemed that the SDK was not free. I may be wrong.

I am not interested in making apps for others to use, I'm just interested in seeing how it is programmed and playing around with it. But it looks like that will cost me $99 (plus the cost of an Apple computer to develop the app on).

You are right, Apple knows how to make money! Always has.

Don


#8

On http://developer.apple.com/iphone/, they say the following:

Quote:
To access iPhone SDK 3.1.2 and additional technical resources and information, log in with your Registered iPhone Developer Apple ID and password, or sign up as a free Registered iPhone Developer today.

I think you mix up something. Signing up as a Registered iPhone Developer is free, but if you want to distribute your program over App Store you have to join the iPhone Developer Program for $99.

As far as I heard from colleagues they have some good and useful tutorials. Give them a try and enjoy :-)

Cheers,
Juergen


#9

Still much cheaper than software develpment for Windows used to be. MS development tools used be quite expensive. Meanwhile there a few free tools from MS (Visual Basic Express comes to my mind.)


#10

Yes Visual express may be free, but as soon as you want to make something a little bit more professional you have to pay for it. And the license is pretty expensive.

Whereas the XCode is the same version whether you develop for iPhone, iPad or OS X.

As a footnote, if you want to develop only for OS X, its free since XCode comes with it. Its only to develop and deploy to iPhone or iPad you need the registration.

#11

Godd morning!

Quote:
Times have changed. For the worse.

Yes and no, I would say (regarding the term "worse"). As a convinced Macintosh user for over 20 years, I had great expectations in this thing. Technologically, these are more or less met: Fast processor, large enough and seemingly very responsive touchscreen, long battery life, UMTS, WLAN and Bluetooth wireless capability, GPS sensor. Apart from the missing OLED display that some rumours attributed to the iPad. And the missing USB (and FireWire and DVI and PC card) interface.

But unfortunately, it turns out to be a kingsize iPhone and not a Macintosh. None of my programs will run on it. Only "apps". That have to be uploaded through the iTunes store, even if I program them myself. The same with all documents for the eBook-reader (probably). And so on. So its a lifestyle/consumer product, not a computer.
I'm glad that I found a replacement logic board for my titanium PowerBook, that I originally wanted to replace with an iPad when it broke. This way, I can wait until the iPad evolves into something that really replaces my notebook computer...

And regarding its use as a "pocket" calculator: Why is everybody thinking in terms of emulators only? This thing really offers the opportunity to be much more than that: A truly customisable calculator. With hundreds of keys if necessary. All unshifted and without the need to navigate through those awful menus.
What I would like to see is something like a "CDK" (calculator development kit). A toolbox that can be used to create ones own calculator by dragging and dropping keys and display elements into the most convenient positions. With a library of mathematical functions in the background that can be assigned to the keys at will. This should not be much harder to implement than an emulator?

Greetings, Max


#12

Quote:
Only "apps". That have to be uploaded through the iTunes store, even if I program them myself.

I'm confused, are you saying that if you develop an app yourself and want to use it on your own iPad, you have to load it via the iTunes store?

#13

Hi!

Quote:
I'm confused, are you saying that if you develop an app yourself and want to use it on your own iPad, you have to load it via the iTunes store?

It's always been this way on the iPhone. Why should it change with the maxi-iPhone?


#14

You can use the SDK to develop applications for the simulator on the Mac. If you want to run them on a device, you have to register. It costs you $99/year to be able to push to the device (thru a cable or thru itunes if you sell/give away in the appstore).

For instance, there are a couple of applications I have developped which I use only on my iPhone and my wife's iPhone. I created what is known as an Ad-hoc version which can be installed by having the user drop the application and related certificate in their iTunes.

For the iPad, as consumer and developer we have a shared directory which can be used to exchange information between the iPad and the computer. So we could possibly put PDF files in that directory to be read by a special purpose PDF reader.

Actually this document exchange schemes opens the door to a lot of potentially interesting apps.


#15

Hello!

Quote:
For the iPad, as consumer and developer we have a shared directory which can be used to exchange information between the iPad and the computer. So we could possibly put PDF files in that directory to be read by a special purpose PDF reader.

Hopefully. If one can't directly push one's documents onto the iPad to use the device as an eBook-reader, then it is definitely going to be no-no for me. Like the Amazon Kindle, where you have to upload your _own_ documents onto your _own_ reader through Amazon and pay for the service. No way!

Greetings, Max

#16

Quote:
You can use the SDK to develop applications for the simulator on the Mac. If you want to run them on a device, you have to register. It costs you $99/year to be able to push to the device (thru a cable or thru itunes if you sell/give away in the appstore).

So in a roundabout way, Don is right, it costs $99 to develop an app for your iPad. What's the use of developing an app without eventually putting it on the target platform?

#17

Quote:
... it costs $99 to develop an app for your iPad. ...

Per year!

#18

I didn't know, I don't have an iPhone, or any other i(Product).

#19

Quote:
It's always been this way on the iPhone. Why should it change with the maxi-iPhone?

Maxi-iphone? Seems Apple didn't get consult with women when they named their new table. Google "IPad jokes"


They still have time to change the name :-)


Edited: 29 Jan 2010, 3:03 p.m.

#20

I've been a tablet PC user for several years - currently a Fujitsu Stylistic ST-5030D which runs Windows XP Tablet. Main use is as a reference computer for all my project materials. I keep linked PDF's of all project files for a particular project. I can quickly look at drawings, specifications, change orders, etc, in the office and in the field.

Having said that, I have been waiting for the iPad hoping that it would stir up the marketplace. But have to admit, I wes not too impressed - just a large iTouch/iPhone. No easy way to put my own generated content on it - which is my main use.

But, I do think the real opportunity for it will be in the colleges/universities. I can forsee a university including an iPad in the tutition and the students would purchase/download all the text books and other study material thru iTunes. The textbook publishers would love it - it would totally eliminate the used textbook market (which the publishers hate), since there would be no way to transer the textbook to another user. Also, no sharing of text books - every student would need to purchase a textbook, since most students would not be willing to loan out their iPad to another student to study from.

Will text book prices come now - doubt it. They might actually go up since it's a closed market place.

A lot of colleges are already distributing course material on the iPhone/iTouch/podcasts and I think the iPad could accerate that trend.

By the way, Poqet, in conjunction with Fujitsu, had the first "PAD" touch screen tablet with their PoqetPad which ran MSDOS. This was introduced in 1991. I had one and it had the virtual pop-up keyboad to type on. It was used mainly in vertical markets, such as inventory.

Bill


#21

Bill,

Yes, you can put generated content in a shared directory. When connected to a computer the shared directory appears as a drive on your desktop.

You just have to make sure you are putting stuff you have some sort of reader for.

#22

Quote:
Times have changed. For the worse.
Not yet. You still have the choice not to use products from companies controlling the market at the expense of customers freedom.

#23

Well, if you can't develop an application on your own, say on a Mac PC with the Apple furnished SDK, and load it directly on the iPad and execute it, then I have no use for the iPad. I thought it would be an interesting platform to learn to develop something for. But I will never agree to use a third party service just to load my app on a computer I own anyhow. I can't imagine anybody with any sense would do that.


#24

You do not need to use a 3rd party service. You pay $99 for a cross compiler. You cross compile it. You create a bundle and drop it on iTunes and then you sync. No 3rd party service needed. If you think your app is worth something, well you've paid the $99 you might as well published it for others and perhaps get a bit of coin back.

OR

You jailbreak it and do it anyway you like.


#25

Egan, as far as I'm concerned, iTunes "is" a third party. The first party would be my Mac computer I would develop on, the second party is the iPad I would own, and those are the only two parties I want. And, from what I've gathered from this thread, that $99 would have to be paid every year, for example, if I wanted to change my app a year down the road. If that's the way Apple currently works, count me out, that's not a price I'm willing to pay.


#26

Let me be a bit clearer. When I said iTunes, I meant the iTunes application, not the iTunes Store. You can develop an app and create an ipa bundle and then drag and drop it onto iTunes and then sync with your phone. If you desire, you can share that bundle with your family and friends (if you have their iPhone ID) and like you they simply just need to drag and drop onto the iTunes app. I do not see how this is third party. Many PDAs/Phones use some type of OS app to install apps on the device. I know this was true with my Palm and my WinMo devices. The 50g has an OS app too.

As for the $99 tax, I do not think Apple is really interested in the hobbyist market. The $99 tax entitles you to create iPhone/iPad/iTouch binaries and publish them on the App Store. Unfortunately, whether or not you publish you still pay $99. The $99/year is a subscription model. I suppose that if you never update Xcode or your i* OSes, and never publish, then I'd expect that you could continue to create ad hoc bundles for yourself and friends. But who is not going to upgrade their OS at least once a year.

Bottom line your code does not have to leave your laptop or i* device, however there is no free ride. Before you throw in the towel over principle, register and download the free Xcode SDK. You'll be able to create free-to-redistribute OS/X apps and i* apps for use in the simulator. You may unlock some hidden talent, and while developing your personal-not-to-be-shared-super-secret-app you may stumble across that killer app. So far you're out $0 (if you already own a Mac and your time is worthless :-). Publish the killer app for $99, recoup your $99 and then some.


#27

Thanks for the explanation, Egan. I appreciate your insight into how this whole thing works. Obviously, I've been out of the loop for awhile (like 30 years!). The Apple model with software development, i-whatever, and $99 developer/subscription fee bears no resemblance to the PC (and Mac) world of 20 or 30 years ago, which is what this old fossil is used to.

Around 1987 or 88, I developed an air traffic control simulator on my Macintosh. I forget what model of Mac that was on; it was something between the original 128k Mac (which I bought in 1984) and a PowerBook Mac laptop. But in those days, you could buy a Microsoft QuickBASIC compiler, write and compile your code and create the executable, put it on a floppy disk and sell it to whomever you wanted for whatever price you wanted. And then they could run it on their Mac. I'm sure the MS compiler cost around $100, probably. I did have to pay Apple some amount of money to license MacinTalk, which was the Apple speech synthesis application that my app used, and that was a yearly fee. I only paid it once because a year after I started selling it, I stopped. My advertising expenses always exceeded by sales receipts, and it just wasn't "fun" anymore. The things that made it worthwhile were (1) it was fun to learn how to develop a Mac application, (2) since I was the designer and implementor, I could write it exactly as I wanted, and (3) I met lots of great people who bought it and had suggestions about how to make it better, many of which I implemented. I am still friends today with one gentleman who lives in San Francisco and who was one of my first customers. So it was fun and I never regretted it. I still have a copy of the source code (but it won't run on anything I currently own).

So when I saw the neat-looking iPad, I thought it would be nice to develop an air traffic control simulation that would run on that nice platform, with all of it's innovative user-interface features. Like, if you tilt the thing, all the planes will fall to one side of the radar screen! But, seriously, I thought it would be cool to see what is required to code on that platform. Of course, that would require an Apple PC, which I don't currently own. And the $99 fee I could live with as long as it was a one-time fee and I wouldn't have to keep paying it in future years, because, despite the iStore, I have no interest in selling whatever it is I create, I'm just doing it for fun and to learn. But apparently Apple isn't predisposed to "fun" and the individual programmer who just wants to learn and play. Not that they ever were, really, but my experience base, even with the PC, is you buy a language compiler once, you don't keep "re-buying" it in the future.

So I'll wait and see. I'm not saying I will never do this, but I'm not going to sink money into buying an Apple computer to develop on, buying the iPad, paying the $99, and then find I must continue paying $99 forever.

That's just too high a price for "fun."

And I don't know what "jailbreak" means, but it sounds like something I wouldn't want to do.


#28

Hello!

Quote:
And I don't know what "jailbreak" means, but it sounds like something I wouldn't want to do.

Me neither, that's why I haven't bought an iPhone until now. If I have to "crack" something that I buy before I can use it to full capability, I'm not interested.

The 1988 Macintosh you mention must have been a Mac II. Big ugly grey box, but lightyears ahead of the Windows PCs of that time. That's the Mac that got me started too - I was ph.d. student then and it was the only machine (available to us at least) that was able to run "Mathematica". Is your air traffic control simulation still somewhere to be found? I have an old PowerBook 150 somewhere that should be able to run it.

Greetings, Max

Edited: 30 Jan 2010, 12:25 p.m.


#29

I don't have an iPhone or iPod Touch, but I think I know what jailbraking is: It's a way to install software of your own liking on the device.

#30

Wouldn't a WindowsMobile device be something for you? Few years ago MS gave away the Embedded Visual Tools CD at the cost of p&p. I bet there will be similar devices running WM or Linux soon, probably at half the cost.


#31

Thomas, Windows Mobile does not especially interest me. The new iPad does, but I can't get really interested in it unless it lets me load my own developed application directly on it, which it sounds like it will not do. So I'll wait awhile and see what happens.

#32

Quote:
The Apple model with software development, i-whatever, and $99 developer/subscription fee bears no resemblance to the PC (and Mac) world of 20 or 30 years ago, which is what this old fossil is used to.

In general OS/X Mac development today is really no different than Apple II development 30 years ago. The APIs are well documented and the development tools are free (e.g., BASIC in the 70's and C/C++/Objective-C today) and the code generated royalty free.

The iPhone, iPod, iPad is different. It follows the traditional consumer electrics model. If you think $99/year is bad look at the costs to be an official Nintendo, XBox, Playstation, PSP, etc... developer. These platforms all have closed development models, high fees, rigid approval processes, etc... Makes i* development look like a breeze. And the volume of Apps in the App Store proves it. IMHO, i* development compared to other embedded machines in its class (close proprietary embedded systems) is superior.

Bottom line Apple stopped being a computer company when the iPod was released. They even changed their name from Apple Computer Inc. to Apple Inc. to reflect that. Apple wants to be the next Sony, Nokia, etc...

Quote:
Around 1987 or 88, I developed an air traffic control simulator on my Macintosh. I forget what model of Mac that was on; it was something between the original 128k Mac (which I bought in 1984) and a PowerBook Mac laptop. But in those days, you could buy a Microsoft QuickBASIC compiler, write and compile your code and create the executable, put it on a floppy disk and sell it to whomever you wanted for whatever price you wanted. And then they could run it on their Mac. I'm sure the MS compiler cost around $100, probably.

You can still do that today, except that you pay nothing for Xcode.
Quote:
I did have to pay Apple some amount of money to license MacinTalk, which was the Apple speech synthesis application that my app used, and that was a yearly fee. I only paid it once because a year after I started selling it, I stopped. My advertising expenses always exceeded by sales receipts, and it just wasn't "fun" anymore. The things that made it worthwhile were (1) it was fun to learn how to develop a Mac application, (2) since I was the designer and implementer, I could write it exactly as I wanted, and (3) I met lots of great people who bought it and had suggestions about how to make it better, many of which I implemented. I am still friends today with one gentleman who lives in San Francisco and who was one of my first customers. So it was fun and I never regretted it.

I think that is why most of us still do it. I still write Apple II programs for my Apple //c for fun. Lately I have been using the cc65 C cross compiler. But I dabble in Forth and ASM as well.
Quote:
I still have a copy of the source code (but it won't run on anything I currently own).

There are a number of great vintage Mac emulators. My 2nd computer was a Mac 512K. I use vMac to emulate it. Every now and then I'll write a program for it for fun. Apple's support site still contains Apple II and vintage Mac OS files free for download and use. More vintage Mac abandonware can be found here: http://www.macintoshgarden.org/. For PowerMac emulation use SheepShaver.
Quote:
So when I saw the neat-looking iPad, I thought it would be nice to develop an air traffic control simulation that would run on that nice platform, with all of it's innovative user-interface features. Like, if you tilt the thing, all the planes will fall to one side of the radar screen! But, seriously, I thought it would be cool to see what is required to code on that platform. Of course, that would require an Apple PC, which I don't currently own. And the $99 fee I could live with as long as it was a one-time fee and I wouldn't have to keep paying it in future years, because, despite the iStore, I have no interest in selling whatever it is I create, I'm just doing it for fun and to learn. But apparently Apple isn't predisposed to "fun" and the individual programmer who just wants to learn and play. Not that they ever were, really, but my experience base, even with the PC, is you buy a language compiler once, you don't keep "re-buying" it in the future.

What you are really buying/year is the license to develop, execute, and publish on the i*. Again when you start to think of the i* more like a Nintendo DS or PSP and less of a computer and given the history it makes sense.

Of course there are alternatives, Linux and WinMo are "open" and have a different model. MS wants you to create apps for WinMo so that more OEMs have to license WinMo to run your apps. Apple, Nintendo, Sony, and the rest of the consumer electronic giants do not license their tech to anyone. It's a closed model, you sign an NDA, they approve/reject your code, etc... E.g., Nintendo has to approve your retail artwork--if you suck at drawing, you are out.

Linux is the light at the end of the tunnel. I've had two embedded Linux PDA's and run Linux on everything but my MacBook. My job is Linux-based. I really like Linux, but so far Linux on my PDA's and desktop have been seriously lacking in one way or another. Android/Chrome OS may change that, but it sure is taking a long time. I got the iPhone because of the apps, not because of Apple. BTW, same reason I abandoned Mac for Windows years ago--Apps.

Linux has numerous advantages, but a big disadvantage shared by WinMo--it has to support multiple devices making app development a challenge. E.g. I could not run a EMU48 on my WinMo device because it had a keyboard and no stylus. Sony, Nintendo, Apple, etc... keep it all inside, the apps and the experience are awesome.

Quote:
So I'll wait and see. I'm not saying I will never do this, but I'm not going to sink money into buying an Apple computer to develop on, buying the iPad, paying the $99, and then find I must continue paying $99 forever.

There are other reasons to buy a Mac. I'd make recreational i* development your last priority.
Quote:
That's just too high a price for "fun."

Can you put a price on "fun"? :-)
Quote:
And I don't know what "jailbreak" means, but it sounds like something I wouldn't want to do.

Every closed consumer electronic device has some sort of hack to allow hobbyists to develop applications without any restrictive license or costs and/or to repurpose. This is true of the PSP, Playstation, Nintendo DS and Wii, iPhone, iPod, iPod Classic, XBox, TI83, etc... E.g., the 50g has a hacked firmware to run HPGCC3 code! BTW, when the "open" Android phone first released it needed a Jailbreak to run unauthorized apps. How ironic. Unsure of the current state of things.

Each platform hack is different, some require a hardware mod, others a software mod. To jailbreak an i* requires that an unauthorized program be added to your list of programs so that you can install more unauthorized programs. It's just software and it is reverseable. Given the smorgasbord of authorized apps today, fewer and fewer jailbreak.

BTW, this computer hacking mentality goes all the way back to the late 50's. Open vs closed, the individual vs the institution, etc... is nothing new. (Read the book "Hackers" by Levy for the complete history--a must read IMHO).

Bottom line the embedded space is still mostly closed. Development of i* products compared to many other non-traditional-computer consumer electronic products is actually not that bad. Protecting profits is clearly the motivator--not necessarily a bad thing.

Edited: 3 Feb 2010, 10:59 a.m.


#33

Thanks, Egan, that is enlightening.

Quote:
Can you put a price on "fun"? :-)

No, but my wife can (and does)!

Anyhow, Katie has got me interested in re-purposing my 12c+ now, and I am learning how to do that. So I'll leave the iPad alone for now.

Don

#34

Android didn't ever need a "jailbreak" to run unathorized apps. From day 1 there was a setting to allow loading apps from web sites other than the Android Marketplace.

The Android "jailbreak" is to get root access to the phone. The main reason to do that is to run a tethering application.

This is in comparison to the Apple iPhone ,iPod Touch, and iPad, where it is not possible to load non-App-Store applications without a jailbreak.

Edited: 4 Feb 2010, 1:31 a.m.


#35

Quote:
The Android "jailbreak" is to get root access to the phone. The main reason to do that is to run a tethering application.

Thanks for the clarification. IIRC, root access was also needed to run a number of applications that had to run as 'root', e.g. Screenshot, Tweaks, etc... But your point is understood, Android development not as restrictive as iPhone.

The message I was trying to get across is that just because its Linux it is not necessarily 100% open.

Edited: 4 Feb 2010, 10:49 a.m.

#36

Dear all,



I absolutely agree that times have changed. Well, this is not just a revolutionary insight, as times always tend to change. And if it is for the worse, time will tell. So we have somewhat that resembles an incursion, doesn't it?



Apart from the specifics of the iPad, the market strategy to embed software and hardware to one sole product is not just new. It is essentially the strategy of Apple.

The separation of hardware and software was first established successfully by the IBM-PC/MS-DOS system. This was the opposite of the strategy which was followed by companies like Commodore, Atari, Sinclair and also Apple. The main advantage of the open system for the consumer was the pricing, the disadvantage surely the poor coordination between hardware and software, as we all have stories to tell. However, the disadvantage resulted in an explosion of creativity, as many skilled people took the chance to engage their capabilities in the development of that insufficient system. You may make me eat my words, but I believe that the drawbacks of the open system was the surge for platforms as Linux and even for the whole internet stuff, which never had such a broad distribution if there were not the kind of people who showed interest to make things work better. If the initial development of the internet was to be promoted by companies it probably never would have been any more than a military network system or a high-cost amusement for well-to-be people.

When I look at the discussion on the iPad software-development, I have the strong impression that the pendulum swings back in terms of end-user creativity. A situation appears to arise where some companies try to dominate the computer(-like) market by the coerced embedment of hardware and software again. Even worse, they appear to impede the end-user of being creative. Or is there any standard to encourage own programming in devices including iPad, Kindle or the like? Instead, I am confronted with a frightening juridical apparatus, euphemistically called "licensing" before I am able to test my skills with a "hello world" program. Today, programming isn't even chic or trendy, for the masses it is the pastime of socially impaired nerds. This aggravates the situation which finally will lead us to a pure-consumer attitude where creativity and one's own initiative is unwanted.

Instead, the handling with computers will be restricted to the use of "apps" in a "cloud" environment where all activities will be controlled by a handful of companies and monitored by some unknown authorities with unknown purposes – welcome, brave new world!





Sorry for the long reply. If I had more time it would have been shorter for sure (based loosely on Goethe).



Frido

#37

Or you could do the next best thing and buy a Archos 9. Netbook internals, 9" wide screen, running Windows 7 so all normal software works, you get a 60GB HDD and you can do more then one thing at then time.

Yes I bought one, use it as a email/ebook reader/web browser/notetaker when not home.

Dimitri


#38

I expect that we will see an abundance of *Pads this year and Apple has set the price. I expect to see ASUS and others with something around $199-$299 before year-end.

I am going to guess that Apple's profits will be on the 30% they snag off of every iApp and media sale. Apple can afford to drop the price to be competitive. The competition however has to make its profit on the device alone. It may either be expensive or lacking in features (usability features IMHO) or quality.

If you want a tablet that is also a hobby (i.e. you install it, set it up, troubleshoot it, virus scan it, update it, etc...) then the value would be on the non-Apple devices. I dumped my Linux-based PDA's for an iPhone because I was tired of it being a hobby.

I expect that most people here will be more attracted to non-Apple tablets because of the technical nature of the audience here. If you recall when the iPod released it was a subset of most other MP3 players, cost more, and you had to use iTunes. But it was so easy to use and relatively trouble free. It was the MP3 player for everybody else. There are more non-techies than techies. People that just want a thing and not a hobby. The iPad with its high price, lacking features (e.g. Flash video, open development model, front facing camera, etc...) will still be the better seller. And all those that provide content via Flash (like many already) will be rushing to develop apps and HTML5 content.


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