A year and some after the Facebook platform's launch, few of its widgetmakers have made any real money — unless you count the venture capital they've raised. Just a month after the iPhone 3G launch, Apple CEO Steve Jobs says that $30 million has already changed hands through the iTunes App Store. Even the guy behind the do-nothing "I Am Rich" application made a few thousand bucks. So you, wantrepreneur Web developer, you're thinking: Gee, I made, like, four-and-a-half Facebook Zombie widgets this past year. Maybe I should cook myself up an iPhone app. But hold on there, Steve Jobs Jr. Do you really know what you're getting yourself into?According to Iminlikewithyou's Charles Forman, who's working on porting his startup's copycat games to the iPhone, there's not much in common between the platforms besides the word "app."
A Facebook app is easy. It's a Web app. The hard part is all the viral "mutherfuckery" that they do. iPhone is like writing a program. Theres a big upfront learning curve. It's a totally different ballgame. A shit developer can make some Web app. But you have to be a good developer to make an iPhone app.
Forman couldn't deliver a cogent explanation of the differences — something to do with the "real-time" nature of iPhone apps. So we asked our favorite developer with a heart of gold and a tongue of acid, former Uncov blogger and Pressflip cofounder Ted Dziuba, to elaborate. The best he could do, below.
- You're going to have to figure out how to store data without MySQL. Years of PHP development has warped your mind to think that everything must be object relational. There's no 12-step program yet, Apple will release it with the next firmware update.
- We know you like to live a life free of authority and rules, but there's one rule you're going to have to follow: Objective C syntax, and the compiler will taser your ass if you get out of line.
- Information wants to be free, right? Well, not Apple's. Especially the developer documentation: that will cost you $99. But you already own more than $8,000 worth of Apple equipment, what's another few bucks? Anyway, since I'm not forking over $100 to look at documentation, that's really as far as I can go.