This is the celebrated journal of Mr. Simon Collison A.K.A Colly

The US launch of the iPhone has put the rest of us three months behind, and I’m cross

6th September 2007

I spent the last hour writing a long rant about how every developer outside of the US is now on catch-up.

  • I wrote about how every day for the last three months I have endured blog posts, links and feeds about the latest cool stuff for the iPhone.
  • I wrote about developing apps and sites for the little Safari, and how only those in the US can experience this.
  • I wrote about this being the first time I have witnessed such a major gulf in shared knowledge, and that geographical location should not compromise anybody’s opportunity to develop for the web.
  • I wrote about my desire for Apple to build a tool into Safari to emulate the iPhone experience (a bit like Opera’s Small Screen View) so that even those without an iPhone could still develop for it.
  • I wrote about “Cuppa-tea-no” (as Andy Clarke calls it) and I wrote about Eric Meyer’s spot-on dissing of Media Temple for bringing back the “best viewed with” message.
  • I wrote a lot of stuff that many people in the US would possibly hate me for, and the rest of the world might like me for.
  • I wrote about the new iPhone Touch giving us Europeans a shot at understanding the iPhone experience.

And then Safari crashed, and I lost my entire article. Bastard. Still, you get my gist, right? It isn’t Apple’s fault, what with phone network politics being central to a worldwide launch, but it still makes me cross.

Responses

# Scott Powers responded on 6th September 2007 with...

To be perfectly honest I hope this iPhone “phenomenon” goes out with a blaze of glory. It’s not going to, of course, with the mobile web growing at an astronomical rate. At any rate, even being from the US, I agree whole heartedly. Developers on the other side of their respective pond should have every opportunity to develop for the mobile web (ie. iPhone, VCast, etc.)

On one hand I’m glad that Apple spent so much time getting a windows version of Safari out to us windows users but at the same time… what were they thinking? All the hype that surrounded and does surround the iPhone you would think they would have been more intent on adding functionality to Safari for those wanting to develop for the mobile web. Priorities a bit out of wack? Looks that way, eh?

# Jeff Croft responded on 6th September 2007 with...

You should write a blog post about why in God’s good name you would ever write a blog post in Safari. :)

# Simon Collison responded on 6th September 2007 with...

Scott: I agree that whilst the idea of using XHTML/CSS etc to create iPhone apps was a smart idea, providing a worldwide tool for Safari-mini testing would have been bloody useful.

Jeff: You’re quite right. My bad for writing directly into the browser. Obviously Safari has some built-in mechanism for spotting blog posts that in some way diss Apple.

# Simon Clayson responded on 6th September 2007 with...

Ah, but now they are cheaper over there, they may be cheaper over here if that day ever arrives. Is it still rip-off Britain?

Posts best written in Textmate or something with that save thingy function.

# Andy Croll responded on 6th September 2007 with...

Dude,

iPhoney (if you have Safari 3 installed)

And today’s big news allows an ‘iphone testing environment’. Although I wouldn’t buy one for myself, because I want an iPhone - and it look as though it’ll be the new year before the UK gets them and sometime in the 23rd century for Singapore. but at least you (we) can test now!

And am TOTALLY with you on the ‘best viewed with’. Sucks.

# Simon Collison responded on 6th September 2007 with...

Andy: Ah, yippee! Trust third-party developers to come to the rescue. Excellent. I’l try that when I get back from the big smoke tonight.

# Sam Brown responded on 6th September 2007 with...

I wholeheartedly agree, it is completely unfair and just wait until we see our price point too!

That said, a few developers I know over here in the UK simply snapped up the iPhone when they first launched in the US, albeit they can’t use it as a phone but they can use it as a mobile web device & test environment.

A costly way of doing things it must be said, and not everyones cup of tea having to buy the product twice.

iPhoney, as Andy Croll mentioned is the app you need, its our best case scenario until Apple pulls their finger out overseas.

# David Hughes responded on 6th September 2007 with...

Or you could by the new iPodTouch… I know I will be :-)

# Anthony responded on 6th September 2007 with...

I’m holding out hope that we’ll get a slightly improved version that would suit the European market better. We’ve been ahead of the US in mobile terms for a long time. (though still a year behind Korea)

An iPhone with 3G would be nice minimum…

My current phone can do everything the iPhone can do, and has built in GPS…

it’s just an ugly blighter running MS Mobile…

but then it didn’t cost me anything…

don’t think I’d want to go to 02 either…

in some ways to get an iPhone would be a backward step…

I haven’t paid for a phone in 5 years…

the iPod touch seems a much better solution…

but the iPhone is still damn tempting.

# Guy Carberry responded on 6th September 2007 with...

As someone who develops the odd website geared for a small screened device, i dont really get what i’d do differently to make it iphone-ready? Maybe ive not looked into it properly. But designing something using the usual web standards and writing content sympathetic to the limitations of the small screen seems to be more universal that aiming specifically at the iphone. Opera mini is great, Opera mobile gives a good representation of the desktop web in a small screen and Nokia’s web browser is also pretty good.

I can’t think why i’d want to develop something specifically aimed at iphone users - kinda reminds me of the intranet at work a few years back that used to say “sorry, this website is made for internet explorer” everytime i tried to access it using firefox.

Im pretty sure that the lessons we learned about the desktop web will filter down to the mobile web with time.

# Scott Nelle responded on 6th September 2007 with...

Even though I’m in America, I feel your pain Colly.  AT&T isn’t available at all in the state that I live in, so I too am left out of the party.  I’ll be trying to convince the company I work at to buy me an iPod touch as a testing tool (haha.)

# Shaal responded on 8th September 2007 with...

I know how you’ll be feeling by the crash of Safari now that you put so much effort in writing that article but hey, just consider the fact that Safari was not worth it;) and it was a small mistake you made~ That will make you feel better~ Best of luck in future, and don’t post something about Mozilla cos i love it as a browser;)

# MarkeeO responded on 13th September 2007 with...

Well, if you think it’s bad enough that you folks in the west are three months behind, how about the state of the web here in the Philippines? We’re almost five years behind..

Before most of my fellow designers here start developing for the iPhone (or iPod Touch—whatever we get our hands on first), many would have to clean up their table-laden codes, 2002-styled websites.

I wish my peers don’t have to order through Amazon (like what I did) just to read books like yours.. ^_^

# Johnny responded on 14th September 2007 with...

Am I the only one that is doubting to get an iPhone? I mean, for one, my current samsung phone drops weekly on the ground, I do text messages blindly in the car (seems difficult without keyboard)... and then there’s the whole locking thing.

I basically wish Palm would put out a Treo that’s as OSX compatible as the iPhone. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got an iMac and a Macbook but… so the least I would say is that I’m contra-Apple… it’s just that it looks sooo fancy that I think I just might to worry a little bit too much about this ‘phone’.

# Kirk responded on 15th September 2007 with...

and this is exactly why I’ll be importing an iphone once I’m fully satisfied that the unlocks which are now in the wild actually do what they’re supposed to do. It’s no the way I’d like it to go down but I can’t stand sitting here while friends and associates state-side get on with the business of living in the modern age.

# Josy responded on 20th September 2007 with...

loosing your article is really bad and i can feeling with you i know this, by me it happends many times :(.
that is one reason why i now always write first to a normal text editor for backup and than just copy & paste it, i don´t wanna write anymore for “nothing”.

do you write your article again? i´m looking forward it.

# Tomasz Gorski responded on 22nd September 2007 with...

“You should write a blog post about why in God’s good name you would ever write a blog post in Safari. :)” Jeff I agree it wasn’t a good idea, The iPhone is not made for things like that. I will also wait for the article. Regards

# Kirk responded on 22nd September 2007 with...

I couldn’t take it any more. My new iPhone is on its way to me now. I know we’re supposed to get it here Nov 9, but frankly it’ll cost me half to import it and I have no intention of moving to o2. So I’ll be sporting an imported iPhone which I intend to hack within the week.

# Tom in London responded on 24th September 2007 with...

nobody needs an iphone.

# Kirk responded on 24th September 2007 with...

Perfectly true Tom.

# Agriculture responded on 27th September 2007 with...

iPhone is great! And other phones are sucks! Stive Jobs said that they had developed phone over again and he was true.

# Kirk responded on 27th September 2007 with...

Having hacked my iPhone last night and played with it through day I can say it is a revelation.

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