Because of its secrecy iPhone is many things depending on the beholder, their interests, and desires versus where Mr. S. Jobs wants to place it in the gadgetosphere. So there has been much speculation – I will take one of the best, Tom Yagers column at Infoworld. He is intereting the Jobsian tea leafs to say that iPhone , despite having some sort of version of OS/X running the show (whew I hope they have boot up time down to a fast pat), iPhone is just a Safari browser with AJAX and Web 2.0 at its core.
Fine, I only have to wait 15 days to get all the final details; but I suspect that Tom is essentially right. It certainly makes more sense now that Mr. S. Jobs has made the Safari browser available in Windows (with 1Million beta download in first two days, is Linux to come??). However, on the point of the mobile interface being a worthy target,I am like Tom and many WAP, J2ME, Symbian, Windows Mobile, Linux Embedded developers – i.e finding the mobile interface to be one of the most challenging in all GUI development. In fact it might be thought of as The Mobile InYerface because it is one of the most difficult to program for with all its idiosyncrasies . Just ask any WAP, J2ME, Symbian, …. yada yada yahhh.
And as Tom rightly points out, the very nature of mobile hardware makes for some of the most daunting GUI Integration challenges. But this move to a Web Interface model may actually help to accelerate GUI Integration where developers will not have to write XAML/.NET or Swing/SWT/JavaFX or MacOS for desktop GUI then rewrite it all in ASP/ASP.NET or HTML/PHP or HTML/JSP/JSF/Struts or HTML/AJAX/DOJO/Spry/Etc for the Web and then rewrite again for mobile GUI using WAP or Windows Mobile or …… GUI Integration is all about bring the Java-like cross OS platform capabilities (write once run on any OS platform) to the world of GUI and Display/Presentation development (write once and use the same code or template for all display platforms or devices). That is why it should be no surprise to see Suns Java and JavaFX, Adobes Flash/Flex/Apollo, Googles AJAX/Gears, Microsoft SilverLight (hmmm what two major IT vendors, who are betting once again big on software ,are not in this line-up ???) are all addressing some if not most of the issues of GUI Integration. So just as Google/Gears helps developers capproach the online/offline problems of GUI Integration, iPhone/Safari forces the issue of IT vendors dealing with the problems of the Mobile InYerFace.