IPhone APIs 3G and nothing new

As for 3G, it’s a perfectly rational decision not to support 3G for the initial US version. AT&T’s 3G coverage (and in the States in general) is spotty and the fact that the iPhone (opposed to most other phones with WiFi support) automatically logs on to open and known WiFi networks for internet connectivity should actually make the experience quite impressive most of the time. Many of us spend most of our time either in the office or at home, and apart from that, EDGE is actually not too bad. It would actually not surprise me if Apple still had an extra card up it’s sleeve, using HTTP compression technology to speed up the downloads. The rumors that the European version will support 3G (and not be released until late Q1 or even Q2 next year) are getting louder and make perfect sense.

The lack of API suggests to me that Apple is trying to drive 3rd party development to use the integrated Safari browser instead. Keep in mind that this is a fully compatible XHTML/Javascript browser. Just look at some of the things that people have been doing with AJAX in the past 24 months or so. It’s possible to write pretty much any end-user application you can think of that way - and it keeps the applications securely isolated from the phone’s OS - which in my mind is a half-decent excuse by Jobs for not having an API. By supporting URI schemes like tel or wtai, they could allow calls to be set up directly from such applications, and by adding a couple of custom tags, schemas and/or javascript calls that would give access to things such as the address book and the maps. My money is on that being what Jobs was referring to here (see Q&A session). I believe my theory is further supported by Apple’s release of Safari for Windows, guessing that Jobs is buying into predictions that browsers are replacing operating systems as the most important software on any device.

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