Home > iphone, smugmug > Apple does the right thing – but no SDK? :(

Apple does the right thing – but no SDK? :(

September 6, 2007

Apple made a brilliant move today that’ll earn them lots of happy customers as well as lots of free press coverage. Everyone wins.

However, I’m with Scoble: Take my $1400 credit back, Apple, and instead release an SDK. SmugMug’s iPhone interface is totally awesome – about as good as it can possibly get in-browser. With an SDK, though, I promise – we’ll make the best mobile photo sharing app the world has ever seen. And guess what? It’ll help you sell even more phones.

So how about it?

Free idea for anyone who’s got a little time on their hands: Set up a site where those of us with rebates can “pledge” our $100 credits towards an SDK instead. Who knows? Maybe something will come of it with enough pledges.

Categories: iphone, smugmug
  1. September 6, 2007 at 1:59 pm

    It’s not exactly free press coverage, it’s costing them a few hundred million in store credit…

  2. September 6, 2007 at 2:08 pm

    You have a point. 🙂

    In my mind, I’d lumped the $100M into the “earn lots of happy customers” portion of the equation, because that’s clearly the goal.

    The “lots of press coverage” bit is just frosting on the cake. And thus, in some sense, free.

  3. Alex
    September 6, 2007 at 2:22 pm

    Apple has one of the best PDAs available… yet it’s locked so that it isn’t a PDA. It’s a shame they won’t take that one extra step so we can run some of our own applications.

    One day… maybe!

  4. September 6, 2007 at 6:11 pm

    Not “a few hundred million.” Steve noted Apple was on target to sell 1 million phones by the end of September. Let’s say they’re at 700,000 right now. So at $100 apiece that’s $70 million. Coupled with the fact it’s Apple Store credit and thus there’s margin there, figure the charge may be in the $40 to $50 million range.

    Oh… you have to also figure in the ~10,000 phones that went to Apple employeees… doubt they’ll get $100 back given they got a free phone. Maybe they’ll try though 😉

  5. September 7, 2007 at 7:33 am


    I’m a SmugMug user and absolutely love the service – thank you.

    I’m wondering what you hope you can accomplish with a native app vs a web app when it comes to SmugMug? All my interactions are web-based today – I dont interact with a destop app – so why would iPod touch / iPhone be any different?

  6. September 7, 2007 at 9:21 am

    @Chris Webb:

    Good question. I actually would be fine building web apps for the phone rather than native apps if they’d give us access to more of the phone via their web browser.

    Access to smooth, 3D accelerated animation like the other apps have would be a great start. Access to the accelerometer directly, too, would be awesome. The ability to integrate with some of the other native apps (Google Maps, say, rather than having to do Google Maps inside the browser) more closely. Flash! Java!

    But easily our single biggest request is better access to the filesystem. Right now, I *cannot* let my customers upload their photos from the iPhone to SmugMug. Why? Because they can’t browse to find them. No uploading = pretty crippled photo sharing.

    Likewise, we want to go the other direction. There’s 8GB in there, why can’t an app like ours take a few hundred MBs and use it for a local photo cache so browsing SmugMug is even faster than it already is? Keep your favorite photos on your phone automatically. Maybe even have an offline mode so even if you’re outta coverage or on an airplane, you can still show off the latest and greatest photos of your kids.

    This is a public forum, and we have some great ideas I don’t want to spoil, so I’ll leave it at that. Suffice it to say, what I’ve just mentioned is just barely the tip of the iceberg…

    Doing all of it inside of a browser isn’t my big complaint – my big complaint is that they’ve seriously crippled what I can do in a browser. 😦

  7. Matt
    September 7, 2007 at 10:45 am


    I noticed that with the iPhone interface it wasn’t showing up password protected albums.

    You couldn’t zoom in on the images using the iPhone.

    I don’t think there is any slideshow capabilities on the iPhone version.

    It would be real cool to take photos on your iPhone and have an instant way to send them to your SmugMug account. The emailing, though cool only lets the images go to a pre-defined folder.

    I’m not complaining, just indicating where there is room to grow, and some of this could be more easily accomplished or possible with a native application.

  8. September 7, 2007 at 1:11 pm

    Thanks Don and Matt. You have more than answered my question. I was obviously not thinking broadly enough about the possibilities.

    However, it was the simplicity that first brought me to SmugMug.

    Thanks for the great service, and I can’t wait to see what you guys come up with for the iPhone and iPod touch.

  9. October 16, 2007 at 10:54 am

    Just a heads up guys, looks like Apple may release an official SDK come January ’08 at MacWorld.

    Rumor is that they were waiting on Leopard before doing it… no idea why, but wanted to pass that along.

  10. cabbey
    October 18, 2007 at 11:07 am

    http://www.apple.com/hotnews/ As of yesterday shows an SDK slated for February.

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