But when push comes to shove, I'm growing more convinced with the iPhone/iPad they really do see the future as being closed & proprietary.
Is that why they have developed the best mobile browser to date? Pushing HTML5 instead of Flash? Contributing to webkit?
The future is going to continue to be dominated by the web. Apple provides a really good web platform in their products.
You can write any web application you want, and get people on iPhone and iPad to use it. HTML5 has great support in Safari.
You can write any full application you want for the Mac platform, using one of the best development environments in Xcode.
You can write any application you want for the iPhone and iPad, as well, using the exact same environment. The only question is whether or not you're going to be able to distribute it in the App Store. Apple has decided to tightly control that marketplace. Some of their reasoning is valid -- security issues, quality control issues, etc. Some of it has to do with branding, things they don't want to be associated with. Some of it has to do with appealing to the widest audience. And yes, some of it has to do with business.
What I would like to see Apple do, and I think they eventually will be forced by the marketplace to do this -- is to allow apps to be installed from sources outside the App Store. Google Android will push them to do this, if for no other reason than Apple can answer all critics.
Invariably, Apple tends to solve criticisms eventually, before they erode mindshare.
Consider the history of iPhone:
- Criticism #1: What, no native apps, only web apps? Solved in OS 2.0.
- Criticism #2: What, no copy and paste? Solved in OS 3.0.
- Criticisms #3 and #4. Now Android is picking up steam. What are the primary advantages people name for Android? Multi-tasking and an open marketplace.
Well, Apple is rumored to be addressing multi-tasking in OS 4.0. I'm not one of those people that berates them for not having it from the beginning, I think they tackled major problems that plagued earlier "smartphones," i.e. overly complex process management, and battery use issues. As hardware evolves, battery life is less of a problem, and I am confident Apple can solve user interface challenges.
If they did address multi-tasking and application installation, what would all of you guys bitch about? Oh, right. AT&T.
Disclaimer: I own stock in Apple and Google.