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Open and shut case

Danger has released a developer SDK for the Sidekick, with some interesting restrictions. Namely, user-developed applications can’t be transmitted to the Sidekick over the air unless they’ve been approved by both Danger and (at present) T-Mobile. Let the recrimination phase begin!

I am of two minds about this. On the one hand, it’s hard to deny that part of the Palm’s success was the open SDK and the resulting flood of applications. I want to play IF on my Sidekick… oh. OK, then. (I swear I did not find that link before I chose my sample desired application.) Still, you get the point.

On the other hand, saying that closed-development machines won’t make it in the consumer market is just silly.

The open question, I think, is whether the Sidekick is more like a TiVo or a Palm. The average consumer doesn’t care whether or not he can write applications for his cell phone, or even if there are a lot of third party apps. If the Sidekick primarily appeals to the average cell phone user, the ease of use of the SDK won’t matter. If it’s a high end tech toy, it will be an issue. And let’s remember that despite the avid adoption by the geek market, the Sidekick is intended as a hip teenager-oriented tool.

In other Sidekick news, Danger and T-Mobile released the new software release last week. I can now auto-lock my phone without worrying about not getting phone calls. In an unexpected side benefit, my battery life has been extended by around 50%, which means I can forget to plug it in at night and still have a cell phone in the morning. I don’t know if this is because the keyguard saves a lot of battery life or what, but it’s nice.


  1. From the “examples” download:

    “Full source code for… ‘terminal’ (telnet and ssh client)…”

    I sure hope they’re planning to release outside the development environment soon.

  2. Very very much to my annoyance, the forms aren’t working for me — I enter a bunch of information and I get a blank screen.

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