Apple’s iPhone platform: We ain’t seen nothing yet

“Start with something simple and build it, grow it, improve it, steadily over time. Evolve it,” John Gruber writes for Daring Fireball. “The iPhone exemplifies this strategy.”

“The iPhone was not conceived merely as a single device or a one-time creation. It’s a platform. A framework engineered for the long-run. The iPhone didn’t and doesn’t need MMS or a better camera or a video camera or more storage or cut/copy/paste or GPS mapping or note syncing, because the framework was in place so that Apple could add these things, and much more, later — either through software updates or through new hardware designs. The way to build a complex device with all the features you want is not to start by trying to build a device with all those features, but rather to start with the fundamentals, and then iterate and evolve,” Gruber writes.

“There’s no better example than background tasks. The problem isn’t that the iPhone OS isn’t technically capable of pre-emptive multitasking, like the old Mac OS. Some of Apple’s own apps — like MobileSafari, the phone app, the audio player, the new-to-3.0 Voice Memos — already continue running when in the background. In fact, because it’s built on the same Unix underpinnings as Mac OS X, Apple had to do more work to create the upcoming push notification system than they would have had to do to just enable background processing for third-party apps. Scott Forstall said as much on stage during the iPhone OS 3.0 special event. The problem is not the software but the hardware — the current CPU is too slow, there isn’t enough RAM, and battery life is already stretched thin,” Gruber writes. “Apple could do it now, but they couldn’t do it well, so they will wait.”

“iPhone OS 3 is an impressive year-over-year improvement over iPhone OS 2, which itself was an impressive year-over-year improvement over iPhone OS 1,” Gruber writes. “But we ain’t seen nothing yet.”

There’s is much, much more in the full article – highly recommended – here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Edward W.” for the heads up.]

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