Linked by David Adams on Wed 29th Oct 2008 20:55 UTC, submitted by Geir Johasen
Opera Software An interesting NYT Bits blog entry covers Opera's mobile browser. Buried in the middle of the article is this quote: "Opera's engineers have developed a version of Opera Mini that can run on an Apple iPhone, but Apple won't let the company release it because it competes with Apple's own Safari browser." It also talks about Opera on the Wii and browsers in cars. A good read. My Take: But back to the iPhone. As tempted as I am to just shrug it off, since Apple is free to run its App Store any way it pleases, as an enthusiastic iPhone user, I think Apple is shooting itself in the foot here, as it is with all the "competitive" apps being rejected. Apple does stand to lose some Google revenue by letting people use other browsers, but they have much more to gain by unleashing the creativity of the developer community and giving them the freedom to improve or replace core iPhone functionality. Hopefully competition from Android forces them to wake up.
Thread beginning with comment 335536
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Comment by squelart
by squelart on Wed 29th Oct 2008 22:54 UTC
squelart
Member since:
2007-03-22

As much as I hate seeing apps refused on pretext of competing with Apple's apps (e.g. mail, music, etc.) and also as much as I hate Safari crashes (getting a bit better) and confusing reloading/not reloading decisions, I see one argument for banning other web browsers:

As a web developer, I know I can develop a website tailored to the iPhone by following one set of rules, which are nicely documented on Apple's website. If Apple permitted other browsers, I would have to test and develop for them as well (unless they can reach 100% compatibility), and also test on all of them.

Web browsing is so important for the success of the iPhone that Apple cannot risk fragmenting the iPhone-tailored www.

But for everything else, please let all applications loose! I want a GPS nav program, I want a network sharing app, I want a better email app, etc.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by squelart
by mmu_man on Wed 29th Oct 2008 23:02 in reply to "Comment by squelart"
mmu_man Member since:
2006-09-30

iPhone-tailored www ???
The web is about _interoperability_.
That is, about providing *information* to everyone regardless the platform.
Even on the iPhone and its only browser shall I be free to force the font I want and other CSS values.
The only "compatibility" that should matter is the one to the W3C standards. Then Apple is free to implement features through a custom implementation of these standards for simpler use, but forcing formats on web pages makes them not web pages anymore.
Anyone thinking it's about providing something that *looks* how they want didn't understand what the web is.
Go read http://www.anybrowser.org/campaign/

Edited 2008-10-29 23:04 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 10

RE[2]: iPhone is one browser
by squelart on Thu 30th Oct 2008 01:11 in reply to "RE: Comment by squelart"
squelart Member since:
2007-03-22

The iPhone provides a different user interface from most computers: Small screen, no mouse but multi-touch interface. W3C does not provide a standard way to deal with those (yet).

For me, web *apps* provide more than just information, they provide a way to interact with the information. Because of my personal interests, I wanted to make an iPhone-friendly version of a graphical function grapher -- the 'standard' version works on all desktop browsers, so I'm all for W3C compatibility there. But as a lazy developer wanting to create this iPhone view, I don't want to deal with potentially different ways to access the non-standard interface.

Say Opera was available on iPhone, but not compatible with Safari's iPhone extensions. My app would appear as it does on the desktop, which would make it impractical to use on iPhone -- i.e. Opera fans would probably just never use it.

Now if jQuery took care of all inconsistencies between iPhone browsers, I would care less. :-)
Or if W3C offered a standard interface to iPhone-like gizmos and Safari followed it, that'd be great!

[edit] Oh, and I just wanted to give *one* argument for limiting browsers on the iPhone, from the point of view of web *apps* developers (on a new kind of platforms for which there are no standards yet), and Apple's "our way is the best and only way" motto...
As a simple user, I would love to be able to use Firefox on the thing! And as a freedom lover, I would indeed prefer if there were no restrictions on apps (unless illegal). But Apple has the right to restrict things on its product, customers have the right not to buy the iPhone, and finally everybody has the right to complain about restrictions. :-)

Edited 2008-10-30 01:26 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Comment by squelart
by UltraZelda64 on Thu 30th Oct 2008 00:40 in reply to "Comment by squelart"
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

As if Apple couldn't just say, "You can use any browser you like, but it's unsupported. If a page doesn't display properly, use Safari, or you're on your own."

I was never going to get an iPhone to begin with (never did get all the commotion about it), but bad behavior like this makes my stance seem much more solid.

Edited 2008-10-30 00:40 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3