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iPhone Application Key Leaked 247

Posted by kdawson
from the sign-early-and-often dept.
HighWizard writes with word from Engadget that the iPhone SDK Key has been leaked early. "We're not exactly sure how this all went down, but we trust Erica Sadun over at TUAW when she says that it appears that the iPhone's SDK key — which will probably be required by all 'official' third-party apps — has been leaked. Two different sites currently have the key posted, but it's all just for show until next month, when the SDK hits for real — and the code is undoubtedly changed."
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iPhone Application Key Leaked

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  • Re:Bummer :-( (Score:5, Informative)

    by Admiral Ag (829695) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @12:25AM (#22217816)
    Forgive me if I misunderstand you, but where does it say that Apple is not going to allow free app downloads?

    I can see why they would want an authorization system, because they have already expressed their worries about iPhone malware. Moreover, Apple was going to have to distribute the apps anyway, because most people use iTunes to manage their iPhones. The hackers among us will find a way around it, but the idea seems to be to protect ordinary users, not frustrate the uber leet among us (of which I am not one).

    I'd be surprised if there weren't free downloads anyway along with the pay stuff. It may well be in the interest of some developers to offer free apps that complement their pay offerings or web services. The kind of small widgets that people will make are free anyway (and Dashboard widgets tend to be free). Podcasts are free, so it's not like iTunes doesn't already offer free content. Hell, they offer free DRMed songs every week.

    In any case, even if the apps do start off on a pay basis, I'm guessing that pressure from developers will lead to free apps being offered.
  • by lymond01 (314120) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @01:04AM (#22218054)
    the iphone is a locked down piece of crap.

    If anything locked down is a piece of crap then I guess you're right. But if you're saying it's locked down and is a piece of crap on its own, I think I disagree. Me and probably 95% of the people who have ever touched one.

    Opinions aside, I wonder if Apple was so against opening it up because they wanted to reserve the right to change the APIs to fit any updates they planned in the future. With control of the few installed apps, they can make core changes to the OS to extend the abilities of the iPhone, then rewrite the parts of the apps to fit with the new core. If they let anyone make apps, they'd either break them everytime the core changed (see the last 3 updates for examples) or they'd have to stabilize the core (which is probably what they've done now that they're releasing an SDK).

    I wonder if this is just prep for iPhone 2...let people go crazy with the first iPhone, and save the lockdown for the greater iPhone 2 soon to arrive.

    "Dude...3G is cool and all, but you can't even customize your apps on iPhone2. Check out this gnarly rdesktop client I've made..."
  • by bnenning (58349) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @02:11AM (#22218466)
    I think iPhones are a bit more constrained in some ways, it's a portable computer, but a handset platform like that doesn't necessarily have hardware preemptive multitasking to assure that the device can recover from an errant program.

    It's running a Darwin kernel, so it certainly has preemptive multitasking and memory protection. In my limited experience writing iPhone apps, if you stomp on an invalid memory location the app just dies and it goes back to the main screen
  • Wait, wasn't this for HD-DVD? So... Why do we care again? ;)
  • Re:Bummer :-( (Score:4, Informative)

    by marimbaman (194066) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @03:49AM (#22218852)
    sowing.

    *sigh*
  • Re:Bummer :-( (Score:4, Informative)

    by Mr2001 (90979) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @04:07AM (#22218914) Homepage Journal

    Apple could easily take the route of S60v3, and allow the conscientious user to disable the security requirement.
    They could, but is there any reason to believe they will? Has Apple ever passed up an opportunity to take advantage of platform lock-in?

    And as a truly responsible geek, you really should go out and look at the pre-existing signed application schemes before you continue this nonsensical panic. Even if you only look at the ones I've referenced here today (Nokia's S60v3+ and Sony Ericsson's UIQ3.x)
    Well, let's add Qualcomm's BREW to that list as an example of why the "panic" is appropriate.

    Ask any of the tens of millions of customers affected by BREW in the US about the last time they installed a free app on their phone, and if you're lucky, they'll describe a trial version of a game that disabled itself after 15 minutes. If not, they'll just laugh at the absurd concept of putting software on their phone without paying a monthly subscription or a hefty up-front charge.
  • Re:Bummer :-( (Score:3, Informative)

    by Tony Hoyle (11698) <tmh@nodomain.org> on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @12:48PM (#22222794) Homepage
    Steve jobs has previously referenced the Symbian model.

    In that you have developer keys, which are free (the SDK download is free), tied to your IMEI and allow you to sign applications for your phone as much as you like. These can access most functions but not critical phone functions.

    This leads to two classes of apps:

    1. 'official' apps, which have been through the vetting process and got a 'proper' key - this is much easier than it used to be, (there are plenty of small companies making profit selling apps at $15 a throw so it's not huge money).
    2. 'homebrew' apps, distributed unsigned, which you manually sign using your own signing key. Harder to install, no quality guarantees.. but open to anyone who can chuck a few lines of code together.

    Whether he's thinking of something like that remains to be seen.

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