Episode Fifteen - iPhone and Safari

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This week the Apple World Wide Developers' Conference is underway. XL T-shirt shacks in San Francisco are doing a great business, but you could fire a cannon down the personal hygeine isles of the drug stores. Yesterday Apple CEO Steve Jobs delivered a keynote address containing news that was a bit of a bummer for developers but very intriguing for the rest of us. It turns out if you want to develop applications for the soon-to-be-released iPhone, you have to develop Web 2.0 applications, especially ones that run like cheap pantyhose on Apple's Safari browser. Jobs also announced that Safari will now run on Windows machines. So, what's that all mean? Think of it like this. While the iPhone actually has the Unix-based OSX as its real operating system, its applications ecosystem is the Web-standards compliant Safari brower. So, Web 2.0 applications will be able to not only run on the iPhone but make use of cool iPhone hooks like phone calling, Google mapping, address book look up etc. And, by making Safari available on Windows, Apple is increasing the chances that Web developers will create apps that run great on Apple's own browser. It also means that Windows folks who buy an iPhone (there won't be a ton of those when its released at 6 p.m. on June 29) will have the same browsing experience in hand and on their desktops and laptops. Let's break that down even more. The whole culture of Web 2.0 (collaboration, moving apps from the desktop to the web, mashup data) is coming to a mobile device near you. In fact, its going to be the DNA of the device. Sure, hardcore developers would rather write applications that can hook into the core OSX goodness of the iPhone, and I get that. But, for the general public, man, this is going to be a wild mobile safari. Speaking of Safari, think of it as a Trojan horse on Windows machines. Remember, Apple and Google are making nice these days. So sure, you could run Office on Windows, or Google Docs and Spreasheets in Safari on a Windows box. Get the idea? So, Web 2.0 on iPhone. A Trojan Horse in social media clothing.

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