"OS X" != "Mac OS X"

Digg is doing a good job of uncovering stories about the iPhone. Some of my questions from yesterday have been answered, and I'm not surprised to find I don't like the answers. Yes Andrew, I'm being negative again today. Sorry!

iPhone in Canada? Sounds like it might be early 2008, if I'm to believe this blog post by John Wiseman. I'd have to sign a 2 year contract with Rogers Wireless (since they're the only nation-wide GSM carrier), and will have to buy a data plan, which as I said previously is very very expensive in Canada. There has been talk of Canada entering the 21st century w.r.t. data plans soon but it hasn't happened yet. I've told Fido to disable the GPRS functionality on my last two phones because data was way too expensive.

TV and Movies in Canada? Dunno. They've got a month to get their act together before Apple TV comes out. But then I saw this strange post about some TV shows appearing as Podcasts in iTunes... I doubt this has anything to do with anything but it's interesting and I'll keep my eye on it. When I tried to access the "Extras" podcast iTunes wasn't able to get past the "Loading" screen.

So, can I develop for the iPhone? Nope.

Jobs said: "You don’t want your phone to be like a PC". I think his mind-reader is broken, because yes, I want to be able to open a Terminal session and ssh wherever, or run Python scripts or Java code or build and play games I make in Cocoa, or whatever.

Jobs said: "You don’t want your phone to be an open platform". YES I DO! My Nokie Series 60 phone is an open (enough) platform, that's why I bought it instead of another Sony-Ericsson phone or a Moto Razr. I can develop apps in C or Python or Java and run them on my phone. Python apps have access to Bluetooth and lots of other important APIs. I want that on iPhone. Big time. I want to be able to leverage my Cocoa skills to make my iPhone even better.

Jobs said: "Cingular doesn't want to see their West Coast network go down because some application messed up." That is a steaming pile of horse shit! Cingular isn't going to go down because an application messed up unless Apple and/or Cingular give developers that ability. Somehow Series 60 Nokia phones haven't taken down Cingular even though they're open to 3rd party developers... somehow Apple can't figure out how to keep developers from destroying the cellular network? Please.

Jobs has this completely wrong. Microsoft is way ahead of Apple on this one. In some important ways for independent developers, Microsoft's platforms are more open than Apple's. I can develop applications for Windows Pocket PC smart phones... not that I want to. I can even develop games for the Xbox 360 using the XNA tools. That is very appealing to me. Microsoft doesn't exist without developers, because they don't make any good applications of their own (and their operating systems aren't much better). Increasingly, Apple doesn't need think it needs developers, and increasingly, I can't develop for their platforms. The Newton was open. The Mac is open. iPod, iPhone and Apple TV are not open.

Finally, and I'm shocked I haven't found anyone else talking about this yet, but the iPhone does not run Mac OS X. Get that fallacy out of your head.

iPhone runs "OS X", whatever that is. You will not find Jobs say iPhone runs "Mac OS X" or Leopard or Tiger anywhere in the Keynote nor will you find that on the Apple web site. He and the Apple literature say it runs "OS X". Mac has nothing to do with it.

The iPhone runs on a Samsung microprocessor, so if it runs any part of Mac OS X its probably just Darwin and Mac OS X's audio/video layers, namely subsets of Quartz, CoreImage, CoreAudio, CoreAnimation, CoreVideo and QuickTime. And then subsets of QTKit, WebCore and WebKit. Probably little of AppKit, running on a much different WindowServer. All in all, very little of what we think of as Mac OS X. Unfortunately, just the way Apple wants it.

Written on January 12, 2007