His basic message was this: no other company can duplicate this on a mobile phone (or on any other operating system for that matter)!
Ok, sometimes he tends to massive exaggeration but this one started me thinking. I guess my coleague is essentially in the right, and it boils down to the technology (not management). As I don't know much about iPhone I'll be shamelessly wallowing in conjecture now, but read on. The first thing I thought about was: yeah, that wouldn't be certainly possible with JavaPhone! They are doing it in Objective C and Cocoa as "Java and GUI don't mix" and "Friends don't let friends Swing" (guess who said this*). And Java is the programming language of choice today! You can even do real-time programing with JRockit's deterministic garbage collection of late!
* it was the creator of Tomcat and Ant
** for example "Why Java?" on http://www.wantii.com/wordpress/?p=5
*** see http://www.informit.com/discussion/index.asp?postid=d1e63fde-10d5-404b-8a14-6ff0b92c1ee1 for some lively discussion on that phrase, you can google for "Java? It's so 90-ties" for some more Java critique
As I said, I didn't new first thing about iPhone at the time I wrote this entry. But gradually I've learnt some new things, and now I can compare my then guesses to the facts.
2. Yes, I was partially right about GUI programming: yes, Java isn't up to the rask, but Sun seems to have noticed this and works on Java-FX: "a new family of Sun products based on Java technology and targeted at the high impact, rich content market"****. The reasons why a new take was needed were summed up as a following series of questions:****
- Why does it take a long time to write GUI programs?
- How can we avoid the “Ugly Java technology GUI” stereotype?
- Why do Flash programs look different than Java platform programs?
- Why does it seem easier to write web apps than Swing programs?
- How can I avoid having an enormous mass of listener patterns?
* see: http://cocoasamurai.blogspot.com/2007/01/how-i-think-iphone-software-works.html
*** for some cool pics of Google Phone see: http://www.google-phone.com/ or - even better - http://www.seekxl.de/blog/2007/08/05/google-phone-fotos-vom-google-phone/
**** Sun's Java-FX presentation: http://jazoon.com/jazoon07/en/conference/presentationdetails.html?type=sid&detail=2161