Java on the iPhone: Will It Matter?
Over the past few weeks, we've heard a lot about Sun and the fact that they're planning to bring Java to the iPhone. What does this mean for developers? Will it matter?
I don't have an iPhone right now, but Rick does, and I'll admit that its a cool device. Unfortunately, here in the US I feel like the AT&T network is pretty much crap and have been waiting for a 3G version that might give reasonable network speeds. We recently heard that Apple released their SDK for the iPhone, something that developers have been wanting since the release of the iPhone - with two major things missing right now: Java and Flash support. I know this is Javalobby, but Adobe has been making some sweet progress with AIR and Flex, and Flash is pretty much ubiquitous on the web.
Strangely though, in nearly all the news I've read about Adobe and Sun trying to get Flash and Java onto the iPhone, it seems that Apple could care less. Opening up the iPhone to the millions of Java and Adobe developers would bring the potential for exciting new applications to the platform. As they move towards a 3G network, integration with from these two vendors that was as tight as the native integration (we know Java can do it), would definitely be a selling point for me. Does Apple not care? Apple has always had a serious case of not invented here syndrome, and their latest posturing about Java and Flash seems to continue that trend.
Would Java on the iPhone be a way to seal the deal for those of you without one right now? Can Sun deliver it in a timely fashion in a version that lets us have access to all the cool functionality that the iPhone allows? I can't say, but with JavaOne just around the corner, maybe we'll hear more in the next 2 months. Here's hoping they can get Java SE or JavaFX on there and not just Java ME!