Sunday, 17 February 2008

Apple to get the SDK ball rolling with “iWork Touch”? [Updated]

Here’s what we know:
  • iPhone SDK launches some time this month (this is official)
  • Installing 3rd party apps will require digital signatures (Engadget)
  • Firmware is likely to be an incremental update to 1.1.4, so expect evolution, not revolution (Macrumors)
  • 3rd Party Software will be distributed via iTunes (Macrumors)
  • The recently released update 1.1.3 provides a means for 3rd party applications to appear alongside the default apps on the start screen
  • Apple has recently extended its trademark registration to cover games (Trademork)
On this basis, we make the following four predictions (just guesswork - no insider info!)

1. iWork Touch
To get the ball rolling with selling applications on the iTunes Store, Mac Predictions anticipates that Apple will launch a mobile version of it’s iWork productivity app, enabling users to view and (to a limited extent) edit documents, spreadsheets and presentations (in iWork or Office format) on their phones. This will be paid-for software, and Apple may add extra features for tight integration with the desktop version of iWork.

2. “Documents” File browser
Since many 3rd party apps will require user access to part of the file system to work with documents, a file browser for iPhone is a likely addition as part of the 1.1.4 update. Whilst Mac Predictions has previously guessed that this app would be called “Finder,” with a Mac-style blue face icon, we’re now suspecting that it will make more sense to call it “Documents” since it’s functionality will be much more limited than the Mac’s Finder app.

3. Document syncing
This would probably involve adding a “Documents” menu to iTunes - users would probably have two options - to drag documents directly into the iTunes window, or to select a folder on your Mac or PC for syncing. iTunes would warn if any file extensions are not supported by installed applications

4. Copy & paste
This feature would be required for many 3rd party apps, and so will probably have to make its debut with the SDK

It appears that the MacRumors story referenced in this article may be a fake. This makes it less certain that the next update will be 1.1.4 - maybe 2.0 after all?


  1. The idea behind an iPhone/iPod touch version of iWork is one I've been hoping would become reality ever since I first heard about the iPhone.

    If it comes out I would definitely buy it and a Touch (iPhone not available in NZ and I don't want a hacked one) and I can finally ditch my Palm which has seen less and less Mac support and thus less and less relevance for me (a shame because I do like Palm devices).

    The idea of having document synching with iTunes makes sense as well and would actually remove the need for a file browser.

  2. I'll be curious how things are offered to Touch users vs. iPhone users this time around. Will another $20 update be required for the privilege of purchasing apps based on the new SDK?

  3. My guess is that Apple won't charge Touch users for 1.1.4 (because it doesn't contain any apps that they don't already have). But they will charge iPod touch and iPhone users for the iWork apps.

  4. For me, the killer app would be the ability to present Keynote presentations right from my phone, using an iPod to VGA dongle. I give talks from my laptop all the time, and I'd love to be able to do this and ditch my laptop.

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