Apple’s disappointing iPhone message

Macworld: One of the biggest questions surrounding the iPhone since its January preview was whether developers outside of Apple would be able to create software that would run on the phone.

And just 18 days before the iPhone’s June 29 release, Steve Jobs stood on stage at the Worldwide Developers Conference and told software makers that Apple had found an answer: a “sweet” way to support outside iPhone development.

Unfortunately, if you’re thinking that Apple really addressed third-party development in Steve Jobs’s keynote, you’d be wrong. While many people have clamored for support for widgets and applications, Monday’s announcement actually did nothing at all to address either issue. Instead, it told developers that since Safari on the iPhone is a full-fledged web browser, they can use Ajax and CSS to make nice, pretty Web-based applications.

Now, don’t get me wrong, you can do quite a bit with Ajax and CSS, as the demo of an Apple-created address book lookup tool showed. However, tools created using this solution are not true applications.

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