In thinking about the iPhone, it occurs to me that it is more a small handheld computer with a telephony application than it is a traditional mobile phone. In this vein, I have some questions about the iPhone:
- How easy is it going to be for third party software developers to create applications for the iPhone? Clearly the phone will have some different APIs than the desktop version of OS X, but will developers be able to build applications using their regular development tools?
- How will software for the iPhone, from Apple or third parties be distributed? Will it be easy to install applications and system updates via the iTunes syncing? If the answer is yes, the iPhone is clearly vastly different from other mobile phones, which most people never update at all.
- Can you turn off the phone features and still use the music player and other non-communications features? In other words, can I use it on an airplane?
- Is the IMAP push protocol the phone uses going to be open? Will Gmail be able to offer it as well as Yahoo? Will I be able to deploy some software on my own server that enables IMAP push to an iPhone?
- If it’s a little computer running a Unix-like operating system, how easy will it be to crash?
- How long until we see the first iPhone virus?
In other news, David Pogue has posted some first impressions after spending an hour playing with an iPhone.
Update: Apparently it is more a mobile phone than a tiny personal computer. Jupiter analyst Michael Gartenberg says it’s a closed box.