Monday, March 29, 2010

Smart Phone Execs Seek Lighter Apps

The explosion in the sale and use of smart phones has spawned a new cottage industry among computer programmers. The slogan, “There’s an App for that!” has never been more true. Whether you use a Blackberry, an iPhone, or a Palm Pre, the list of programs (or apps) that will run on your new phone grows daily.

There are apps that allow you to surf the web, check the weather and book reservations at a local eatery. You can use you iPhone as a carpenter’s level, a geographer’s compass, musical instruments of all stripes and even a video camera.

Most of these applications are free or cost less than two bucks each and can be downloaded to your smart phone using the 3G network. The cost of the purchased apps is added to your phone bill, or in the case of iPhone apps, charged to your iTunes account.

While the proliferation of these apps is welcome news to the folks at Apple and the other smart phone manufacturers, there is one concern being raised by almost all of the major players in this smart phone game.

On Wednesday of this week, Apple executives are inviting application software developers to a special meeting at the sprawling Apple Corporate Headquarters in Cupertino, CA. The meeting is open to all smart phone application developers, not just those writing software for the iPhone. Executives from Apple will be sharing the results of some new market research that shows that the interest in new apps and in new phones is beginning to dwindle and if that trend continues the brisk sales of smart phones may dwindle as well.

Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO, will report that the increased number and complexity of the apps installed on the average smart phone are having serious negative unintended consequences. The phones are getting heavier and heavier with the installation of each new app. Jobs will urge programmers to use more efficient coding in order to keep of the files lighter.

In a recent press release, Jobs points out that a fully loaded iPhone with 100 Apps can weigh eight ounces, or a half a pound, more than the same iPhone weighs in without
the apps. “The software developers need to be more attentive to how many bits and bytes are really required for each app,” said Jobs. “If we don’t do something to address these overweight apps, before long the iPhone will feel like a brick in your pocket.”

You can read the summary of the discussions on the web page. It will be released on Thursday, April 1st.

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Anonymous Ricardo Ang II said...

I've always thought that it's only a matter of time when some of Apple's resource-heavy apps will morph the iPhone into the 2.5 pound-Motorola DynaTAC.

One step forward, two steps back for Jobs.

1:48 PM  

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