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Danger's Restrictive SDK

According to boing boing, Danger has set up an extremely restrictive developer program for the Hiptop:

AaronSw sez, "Danger's launched their developer site, which shows a surprising amount of uncoolness. To download the simulator, you need be verified that you own a Hiptop. To be able to put your software on real Hiptops, you need to write a program and get it approved by Danger or work for 'a company actively engaged in development for handheld devices.' Finally, they've got a system of 'Developer Dollars' to try and stop people from freeloading on the forums. What are they so afraid of? Why can't they just put the software up on a web server?"
This is extremely disappointing. Don't they want developers to write software for their platform?


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(Sorry for posting so late. Just got back in town.)

Requring that you prove that you own a Hiptop is somewhat surprising. It reminds me of the early days of Palm OS development where you had to own a Palm device to develop using the SDK because the emulator needed a ROM image to run. These days it's not an issue because Palm Source provides all the ROMS for free (once you are a registered developer.)

On the other hand, restrictions on software distribution does NOT surpise me in the least. It's the same problem you run into when you develop BREW, J2ME, or MS SmartPhone applications. Remember, these devices are running on carrier networks and the carriers will always act as the middleman in the software transaction. It's there way of getting their slice of the pie.

Welcome back, Jay!

I see what you're saying. You make good points. At the same time, the more open wireless platforms are to developers, the more successful they'll be. DoCoMo has a fairly liberal developer program for i-mode and, at last count, had something like 50,000 applications available for it. For those applications that achieve approved status -- there are a few thousand, I believe -- their developers can charge a monthly fee (typically less than $3 or so) and keep 91 percent of it. DoCoMo keeps all the airtime charges. Works for me.

Hopefully Danger will listen and will adjust their programs accordingly.

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