So I’m checking out the iPhone SDK this weekend. But I’m checking it out window shopping style because I can’t actually use or touch any of it. It’s like that JVC car stereo head unit I wanted back when I was 18 with no steady income. I could see it at the store. I could dream about it. I thought it looked really cool. But I couldn’t take it home and have my way with it. The iPhone SDK is just like that. How did we get to this point? How is it that an eager developer such as myself has absolutely no access to a a toolkit that would allow me to create products which help raise the visibility of a major platform owned by the same company that makes the toolkit? It’s all the result of the assumption many engineers have that everyone shares their vision. In other words, because I’m running Windows Vista SP47 everyone else must be as passionate about Windows upgrades and as paranoid about system updates so they should also be running Vista SP47.
Here’s the real problem. I got a Macbook pro, a pretty recent model. The iPhone SDK lists OS X 10.5 as a requirement. I’m running Tiger 10.4. I haven’t upgraded to Leopard. I mean I could, but why should I? My primary development is mostly Java and from what I hear Leopard takes a dump on JDK 5 and higher. I don’t even know if it supports JDK1.4.2. So an upgrade would be counter productive for me. Even if I wasn’t a Java developer, why should I spend how many more dollars for the upgrade? Just to develop for the iPhone? If Apple really wants to entice me to upgrade they should do so with a shiny new JDK release on Leopard. Lastly, I started the download of the iPhone SDK yesterday before I was certain of the system requirements. At 2.1GB my download monitor was reporting 2 1/2 weeks to complete the transfer. (Ok, my router got a little glitched and started affecting my throughput reducing my 1.5 DSL to less than 28.8K dial-up but that’s a whole ‘nuther topic.) I thought the JDK was getting beefy when they stuffed a DBMS and started approaching the 100MB threshold.
In all, yes – I’d like to use the iPhone SDK. I like what I see in the XCode demos. (I wanna see how the latest XCode stuff compares with IntelliJ Idea.) I’m eager to start. There’s just this hurdle in my way and I’m not sure if I’m ready to jump.