Former Facebook Developer Calls iPad “Everything He’s Been Wishing For”
Posted 01/29/2010 at 7:19am | by J.R. Bookwalter
Joe Hewitt is best known in App Store circles as the developer who created the excellent Facebook 3.0 app -- and then vocally abandoned the platform out of frustration with Apple’s approval process. But on the subject of the company’s new iPad, Hewitt is mincing no words.
The iPhone blog is reporting on developer Joe Hewitt’s recent blog entry with his own thoughts on the Apple iPad. While many others have been quick to dismiss the device as a “bigger iPod touch” or incapable of being anything more than another costly Apple toy, the former Facebook app developer sees nothing but potential for the device.
“iPad is exactly the product I’ve been wishing for ever since I wrapped my mind around the iPhone and its constraints,” Hewitt explains. “While the rumor mill was churning with all kinds of crazy possibilities for the Apple tablet, I mostly rolled my eyes, because I felt strongly that all Apple needed to do to revolutionize computing was simply to make an iPhone with a large screen. Anyone who feels underwhelmed by that doesn’t understand how much of the iPhone OS’s potential is still untapped.”
Citing the complexity of distilling the Facebook website into the tiny iPhone screen, Hewitt praises the bigger real estate that the iPad will bring to developers. And while the iPhone OS has been widely criticized for being a closed platform, Hewitt has some thoughts on why that makes the iPad so appealing as well.
“The one thing that makes an iPhone/iPad app 'closed' is that it lives in a sandbox, which means it can’t just read and write willy-nilly to the file system, access hardware, or interfere with other apps. In my mind, this is one of the best features of the OS,” Hewitt states. “It makes native apps more like web apps, which are similarly sandboxed, and therefore much more secure. On Macs and PCs, you have to re-install the OS every couple years or so just to undo the damage done by apps, but iPhone OS is completely immune to this.”
Of course, the developer is still critical of Apple’s tight-fisted approval process, although in recent weeks the company has been approving apps with lightning speed and even loosening restrictions such as now allowing VoIP apps to use a 3G data connection, where they were previously denied.