Thursday, 6 March 2008

SDK Announcement Summary

Available now:
  • Beta iPhone SDK
  • iPhone Developer Program
  • iPhone Enterprise Beta Program
Available in "late June":
  • iPhone 2.0 firmware update (free)
  • iPod Touch 2.0 firmware update (price TBC)
  • iTunes App Store
  • Games, including Sega’s Super Monkey Ball and Electronic Art’s Spore
Apple has delivered exactly what they promised, albeit a week later than scheduled. The iPhone SDK is available today for free download from Apple.com (albeit their servers are currently struggling to cope with demand). Nonetheless, some iPhone fans will be disappointed that nothing new has been delivered for the end user today.

So let’s take a look at what today’s announcements reveal about the future of iPhone from the end user’s perspective. Firstly, we now know that that 2.0 firmware will be released in late June – whilst that doesn’t preclude any further incremental updates before June, it certainly makes them less likely.

Here’s what we know we can expect from June’s 2.0 update:
  • iTunes App Store – enabling users to wirelessly download and install iPhone apps, which will then presumably be backed up on next sync. It will also be possible to purchase apps via iTunes on a Mac or PC
  • New icon for iTunes WiFi Store - a small detail, but hey!
  • PowerPoint attachment support – this is revealed in today’s press release
  • Mass move and delete messages in Mail – also in today’s press release
  • VPN support – could come in handy for techies and corporates alike
  • Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync support – only interesting to companies that have Exchange servers
Presumably there will be more to the 2.0 update than that – we’re guessing that Apple is holding back some of the cool stuff for another Stevenote closer to the time. Strange though that during the SDK announcement, when Scott Forstall listed the features of the new “Cocoa Touch” application framework, he made no mention of a “File Picker” (i.e. Finder-style file browser) to go along with the “People Picker” and “Image Picker”. Hopefully this is a top-secret feature that’s been deliberately left out of the SDK beta just to tease us. Hopefully.

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