AT&T introduces New Developer Platform – Immediately fragments the Carrier industy
Today AT&T announced a new developer platform (link: AT&T Announces API Platform to Boost Innovation and Collaboration with Mobile App Developers).
Only one problem (well several actually).
- It only works on AT&T’s network/phones. So if I build something that works for them it won’t work on any other platform
- AT&T controls access to the API’s. This is the Carrier dream. You get to see only what they want you to see. Want to innovate? Then wait for the next set of API’s to be released
- No support for Privacy – you can now access the API’s to the device and unless there’s a fancy pop-up (easily suppressed) then you won’t know what’s happening
The holy grain for HTML is access to Native Device side API’s AND, the ability integrate that capability with Native Web Services. It’s the game changer and makes Mobile apps obsolete (well except maybe for gaming). However the along with nirvana comes the privacy problem. How do I control what has access to my device?
I can see it now. Lots and lots of Mobile Web apps (simple apps where the content lives on the server and you access it through a “browser like interface). But therein lies the disappointment – the interface on the Mobile device will never be a full browser – just a very limited Web run time engine (think Phone Gap).
The solution – a Mobile browser that connects to ANY Web service (not just a Web app) AND allows Native Device side API access with standard programming techniques, all while protecting the users Privacy.