March 6, 2008

imageMore favorable response is pouring in on the iPhone SDK, which significant capital will support, but John Gruber, whose Daring Fireball was a key inspiration for my Engadget column Switched On, points out that enforcement will have some challenges.

It leads me to another question. How easy will it be for applications to spread virally for the iPhone? I’d expect the App Store to support links and ratings, much like albums in the iTunes Store. Will iPhone applications, like other mobile ones, have the ability to share a demo or trail version with a friend or colleague? For that matter, will the App Store offer try-before-you-buy versions?

And speaking of the iTunes Store, isn’t it odd that the App Store, launching in June, will be available over EDGE, but the iTunes Music Store is available only over Wi-Fi? I have to think full-fledged games would be bigger than song downloads. That would lend credence to speculation that we can expect a 3G iPhone in June.

Update: Michael Arrington notes that when applications are not active, they quit — shades of early Mac OSes. Will we see a multitouch MultiFinder? And, again, would Apple allow a utility that would juggle multiple applications, the way Switcher did in early versions of Mac OS? He also notes John Gruber’s excellent question regarding whether Amazon would be able to deliver a version of its AmazonMP3 store for the iPhone. However, if it’s true that apps can write only to their own little sandbox, it looks like the answer would be no. Or, in any case, any such purchased tracks would not be synced back to iTunes. There’s no problem if you buy them on the desktop, of course.

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