iPhone Will Not Allow User Installable Applications

Updated ·1 min read

While I was back taking pictures of the iPhone for a second time, I got chatting with one of the security/information attendants guarding the device from our grubby little fingers. The impression I got from the information coming out of the keynote was that the device would feature a full install of Mac OS X, and would run any and all desktop-based applications, as indicated by Apple asserting that the device "Runs OS X." You can imagine my surprise when while talking to the booth attendant I was informed that users will not actually be able to install any applications. This is a point of utter confusion with me. Why would Apple refer to the software running on the device as "OS X," when in reality, it will be running the long rumored stripped-down version of the operating system.

The inability for users to install additional applications of their choosing certainly makes me think again about my intentions to purchase the device. While the iPhone is certainly revolutionary and exciting, why should I buy it if I won't be able to install additional applications such as a terminal/IRC client or Skype, as I would do with competing devices such as the Palm Treo.

It has been suggested by some that the inclusion of Widgets in the device would allow this kind of expandability, but it doesn't make much sense to me to try and fit full-fledged applications into something designed to hold a few lines of JavaScript.