Let’s take a look at what happens when a device is awesome but is overly controlled:
General Magic magic cap
Here was an amazing device for it’s time. It was a modem-enabled handheld mini computer platform with shopping, AOL, apps, etc. It was way cool. Handwriting recognition, touch screen, etc. Cool cool cool. Very cool. Annnd Closed. So it died.
Apple Newton / Message Pad
Died prematurely. Mindshare was taken over by people who learned their lessons and started from scratch. (whoops! no, wait, nevermind.)
Danger hiptop / Sidekick
Here was an amazing device for it’s time. Awesome hardware platform, innovative OS, USB, IR… fast graphics for gaming (for it’s time)… annnnd closed. Then open! Then closed. Then open, but only if you jumped through a ridiculous amount of hoops to get a “Developer account” and program in some obscure language that had no Mac compiler. So it died. (to me anyway)
Handspring / Palm Treo
Here was an amazing device for it’s time. Color screen, touch screen, built in keyboard, GPRS, heck, it was even hackable. Some of the hacks were so good that they made them into regular features, if you could endure the firmware upgrade process and not screw anything up. The problem here was that they were trying to staple on phone functionality onto a Palm device. And that worked out ok in some instances, but overall the OS is butt-ugly. Definitely stuck in the 90’s. I’m sure the paradigms were about as good as anyone could expect considering that nobody had really ever done anything beyond it at the time. This was the first handheld device that actually explored some of it’s vast capabilities pretty well, thanks to 3rd party application developers like http://chocopoolp.com. Developing for the Treo was essentially like developing for the palm… IE, on Windows exclusively. The treo’s problem is that there are a bazillion applications for Palm devices, but the reliability on the *treo* was pretty shoddy. So, you could install an application and wind up with an endless restart loop (*cough*AIM*cough*) Add insult to injury that every application that *was* reliable was $20. AND there were things on the desktop you could *NEVER* remove… Lots of great potential, but due to several organically grown problems, this is doomed to be overshadowed by something greater. So it died. (to me anyway).
well, certainly here is an amazing device. The hardware platform is like from another planet. But it’s a planet that we already have people from who live on earth. So the native application 3rd party developer scene took off like a…rocket, I suppose. There’s so much freaking potential in this thing, it hurts just to think about it. Arguably there were only a handful of amazing programs that came out while 1.0.4 firmware was available, and a whole lot more that were impressive, if not exactly amazing. Factory standard applications are adequate to amazing in most cases, and anemic in other cases.
3rd party developers are ITCHING to utilize the full potential of this device, and, once again, decisions are being made to control the experience. I hope to god that minds are changed at the top about this. This is an amazing device, and it’s true power will never be exploited if the doors are kept firmly shut and all they let people do is look in the window.
I want my multitouch Turntable app for my iphone. Remind me why this is a bad idea?
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