Google’s Android haunted by Steve Jobs’ warnings on app signing security

“In May 2007, I interviewed Steve Jobs on the subject of native apps for the iPhone months before the new phone first went on sale,” Daniel Eran Dilger writes for AppleInsider. “Six years later, his answers are now haunting Google’s rival Android platform because the search giant has failed to heed the advice leaking from the top of Apple’s ship.”

“Certain parties have since rewritten the history of the App Store to tell a very different story: one where Steve Jobs was opposed to the very idea of native apps. This version of events maintains that Apple didn’t have any plans for an App Store until the jailbreak community (and perhaps some early Android hobbyists) demonstrated how great apps could be, forcing Apple to reluctantly open its own app store in response,” Dilger writes. “Jobs didn’t set out to simply stop native iPhone development out of ignorance of its potential. I know that because I asked Jobs about it at the company’s 2007 shareholder meeting, amplified at the microphone in front of the assembled news media tasked with covering the event. When I asked ‘does Apple recognize the needs of large, institutional buyers who are excited about the prospect of applying low cost, handheld computers with their own custom development?’ Jobs clearly replied that Apple was aware of the demands of third party developers, but that the company was also still working on how to balance the needs for secure software and deployment. It was a work in progress.”

Dilger writes, “In October [2007], Jobs came out with one of his rare public blog entries where he stated, ‘Let me just say it: We want native third party applications on the iPhone, and we plan to have an SDK in developers’ hands in February. We are excited about creating a vibrant third party developer community around the iPhone and enabling hundreds of new applications for our users. With our revolutionary multi-touch interface, powerful hardware and advanced software architecture, we believe we have created the best mobile platform ever for developers.’ Jobs’ next comments, in retrospect, sound eerily prophetic: ‘It will take until February to release an SDK because we’re trying to do two diametrically opposed things at once—provide an advanced and open platform to developers while at the same time protect iPhone users from viruses, malware, privacy attacks, etc. This is no easy task. Some claim that viruses and malware are not a problem on mobile phones—this is simply not true. There have been serious viruses on other mobile phones already, including some that silently spread from phone to phone over the cell network. As our phones become more powerful, these malicious programs will become more dangerous. And since the iPhone is the most advanced phone ever, it will be a highly visible target.'”

Much more in the full article here.


  1. There’s some really good stuff in this article, but I’m having trouble with 2 things:

    • May 2007 wasn’t really “months” before iPhone went on sale (June 29, 2007)

    • When you ask a single question at a shareholder’s meeting, it’s a reach to claim 6 years afterwards you “interviewed” Steve Jobs.

    Dilger has written some terrific, insightful things over the years but he can really be his own worst enemy sometimes.

    1. A peculiar couple of inaccuracies. But if that’s the worst that we can say about his writing over the years, he probably gets the title of “Best Tech Blogger on the Web”.

    2. Curious, have you ever been quoted Bubbles?

      You praised Daniel Eran Dilger for nothing specific and then claim he’s at war with himself over nothing specific?

      That is some deep shit. Verbose but woefully lacking in substance.

      Why are you writing in this forum Bubbles? Are you that guy who goes around posing as a well-read Apple consumer making fluffy comments about nothing, just to be annoying? It’s working.

  2. I happen to remember – and maybe others do as well – that when the first iPhone was announced in January 2007, for release in June; the reasonable question was raised, why announce it that far in advance? There were several strategic reasons, of course, for doing so; but one of answers I remember in response to this question was precisely the answer mentioned in Dilger’s story, the need to make sure security was tightened up to Apple’s satisfaction. Smartphone Security was already a known concerned in the IT trade press; why Google didn’t pay attention to this only shows there is something seriously lacking in the management of that company. I keep getting the feeling that the children, not the adults, are in charge of running the place.

    1. Had to get FCC approval which took until May. The approval process would have killed the secret anyways, so Apple decided to deviate from their normal routine and announce it in advance.

      1. See? This is where you go wrong with your reading comprehension, Bubbles.

        You misunderstood Abrey’s premise from the get-go. Abrey already stated myriad reasons were in play over the early disclosure of iPhone but what was lost on you is, he was leading the conversation in the right direction; security.

        Your comment cashed in on Star-Favor from the mouth-breathers who also failed to grasp what Abrey was saying;


        Google’s Android platform is a bag ‘o hurt. And I can prove it.

        An Android app skyrocketing to the top of the charts enables stalkers to monitor your every move. This is going to get good when…

        • Ex girlfriends/boyfriends begin stalking you electronically
        • Your boss can track you day and night
        • The police will, if your phone is confiscated, begin tracking you

        When will Judges being issuing cellphones to tether you to the Judicial system pending trial?

        Abrey asked some interesting questions but I wouldn’t rely on Google Search for the Truth.

        I predict an Eden-like walled-garden monitored by a fleet of satellites Designed and Manufactured in Cupertino California as an Apple-centric security measure to protect Its consumers.

  3. Nice.
    Funny how these stories just lerk in the shadows for years and years and suddenly they pop up. Like the story with the guy that had photos on his HDD for so many years from when Steve Jobs came back to Apple. So long ago, still so relevant are these.

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