mocoNews - Why The iPhone May Be More Difficult To Develop For After The New One Arrives

Tricia Duryee
Wednesday, June 10, 2009; 9:00 PM

For the past year, developers have enjoyed the simplicity of building applications for the iPhone?write once, and you are done. But that may be coming to a screeching halt with Apple's new iPhone coming out later this month.

Engadget has dug up some technical specs on the upcoming iPhone 3G S that suggests the fragmentation within the App Store may begin soon. That means that going forward all of the apps may not work on all of the devices. It's pretty complicated stuff, but essentially what it says is that there will be some new graphics capabilities on the new phone that will enable a high-end gaming experience. But anything built using those APIs will be incompatible on older iPhones. Engadget writes: "Apps need to be written to support both if they're going to be maximally compatible. A 2.0-only app can't simply run on a 1.1-only device and not look as good?it won't work at all."

The problems will likely go beyond gaming. The new iPhone 3G S, unlike its older siblings, will be able to shoot video, have a higher-end camera, use voice controls and have an internal compass. Applications will be made specifically to target those hardware features. The "splintering" as Engadget calls it was likely inevitable. All this might do is make other platforms that couldn't claim "write once," seem more reasonable.


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