Ole Begemann

iOS Development

Steve Jobs Confirmed Native iPhone Apps in 2007

A final post about the Steve Jobs interviews at the D conference: at D5 in 2007, Jobs not only appeared in a joint session with Bill Gates. He also had his customary interview with Walt Mossberg. And in the Q&A session after this interview, Jobs pretty much confirmed that Apple would provide a way for third-party developers to write native iPhone apps in the future.

Quoting from minute 56:48 in the video:

Audience member: Steve, all indications so far are that the iPhone is, like you say, a beautiful piece of software wrapped in a beautiful piece of hardware. And the fact that it’s running on OS X is a fantastic development. I think I would speak for many developers, perhaps thousands of independent developers, who would love to write apps for that platform because I believe it’s gonna be a tremendous platform for the future. But the indications are so far that it’s closed and I was wondering if you could comment on that and do you see it opening up for developers in the future?

Steve Jobs: Sure, it’s a good question. This is a very important trade-off between security and openness, right? And what we want is we want both. We wanna have our cake and eat it, too. And so we’re working through a way, we’ve got some pretty good ideas that we’re working through and I think some time later this year we will find a way to do that because that is our intent.

Walt Mossberg: Find a way to open it up so that third-party developers …

Jobs: Find a way to let third parties write apps and still preserve the security.

Mossberg: But at the start, until you get that in place …

Jobs: Until we find that way, we can’t compromise the security of the phone. This is something that has to work.

Mossberg: Is this a network issue? Is this an AT&T issue? I mean, what [do you mean] when you say, “the security of the phone”?

Jobs: I won’t mention names but I’ve used, you know, we’ve all used a lot of smartphones that crash more than once a day. And the more third-party apps you put on them, the more they crash. And nobody’s perfect, but we’d sure like our phone not to crash once a day or more. And so we would like to solve this problem, I think we’re going down some really good avenues to do it. If you could just be a little more patient with us, I think everybody can get what they want.

Again, this was just a few days before WWDC 2007 where Jobs announced, to the dismay of all developers in the room, that the perfect way to write iPhone apps would be HTML and Javascript in Safari. Listening to this conversation, I do not think Jobs was alluding to web apps here, though. He talked about native apps, even though he would say something different at WWDC a week later.