Damon Cortesi's blog

Musings of an entrepreneur.

Goodbye 3rd-Party iPhone Apps

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This is kind of depressing. The new jailbreak method for the most recent iPhone 1.1.1 firmware was publicly announced today…and it relies on a vulnerability within MobileSafari. What a bummer.

Update: I assumed the link posted above was the same as some others floating around, but it is not. The iPhone Dev Team’s jailbreak does not not use the MobileSafari vulnerability. Nevertheless, the below still applies.

When the original iPhone firmware was cracked, applications were loaded on using currently-existing functionality within the iPhone software. I was fine with that. Now, however, you have to actively exploit a vulnerability to gain access to the filesystem. I have a problem actively exploiting software on my phone to install SSH and Yahtzee. This is my phone, my main point of contact…not some handheld game console.

This is what I was expecting from Apple originally. The first iPhone jailbreak was way too easy and I was surprised that Apple would make such a major design decision when they probably had no doubt people would try to break this beautiful little piece of technology. Looks like my intuition was right.

I will follow with a heavy heart as others visit malicious websites in order to put custom apps on their iphones and ipods…ipwn is now even more appropriate, hehe. I for one, will probably just upgrade to 1.1.1 one of these days and say goodbye to those cute little ants crawling across my screen and freaking out people wishing to borrow my phone.

Come on, Apple, give the people what they want. You’re squandering the possibilities of an awesome platform. Here’s a quick tip for you: Web 2.0 partially came about because broadband became cheap and multiple behind-the-scenes calls to a web server were no longer an expensive operation. You can’t put Web 2.0 Apps on a phone that’s got a connection as slow as a turtle and unreliable as a Pacific Northwesterner. Nobody wants to relive the days of the baud-rate modems and spend 10 seconds waiting for a page to load just to use an application.