Apple’s iPhone roadmap SDK event at “Town Hall” in Cupertino has answered our expectations with 7 major announcements from El Stivo. The keynote has introduced us as follows:

  • Apple announces iPhone SDK package.
  • iPhone gets multi-touch games.
  • iPhone receives AIM services.
  • Apple enables VOIP over WiFi.
  • iPhone gets native Exchange support, including push E-mail, calendars, and ActiveSync.
  • iPhone SDK available for free from today, requires $99 developers membership.
  • iPhone firmware update version 2.0 hits in June.

It’s not that we were strangers to most of today’s new announcements, on the contrary, we’ve been craving for them since the day the iPhone was launched, and finally they are here. Lets view some of them in a nutshell:

Apple’s iPhone SDK

For months we’ve been hearing tons of speculations about it, but today, we finally get a chance to look at Apple’s long-awaited iPhone SDK pack and stand on this exciting developer kit essence. Based on OS X Xcode source code, Cupertino will provide iPhone developers the same API and developing tools, used by Apple, including Cocoa Touch app framework, 3-axis accelerometer, access to an interface builder – providing drag n’ drop structuring of the GUI and automated power management, location enabled app, 3D graphics accelerators, full access to media capabilities and to the iPhone simulator, in order to experiment and run the developing application on OS X.

Multi – Touch Games.

Apple’s iPhone finally gets some official multi-touch games with the accelerometer support, after teaming up with EA and SEGA (jailbroken iphones already have games). Current list includes:

  • Spore – from EA – coming up on September.
  • Super Monkey Ball – from SEGA – coming up on September.

All games are being developed with the new iPhone SDK and will be available to purchase via Apple store.

Apple’s iPhone AIM Client

We’ve been waiting for this application since day one, but it’s better late than never, having IMing with AOL iChat, designed for the iPhone with the ability to use your own contact list and store your friends’ photos next to their names, like the original application – SWEET.

VOIP Over WiFi

This one is really cool, as Apple enables developers to create VOIP applications for the iPhone and literally save you some bucks, once you contact your friends via wifi connection, when arriving to free hotspots. The meaning is that all iPhone users will be able to connect with each other through a Skype-alike application and speak without spending cell minutes. Personally i think it is going to be AWESOME.

Exchange Support

Another big one, as Apple gets into corporate environment, offering some office required elements as follows:

  • Exchange support.
  • ActiveSync support
  • Push E-mail.
  • Push calendar.
  • Push contacts.
  • Global address list.
  • Remote Wipe.
  • Cisco VPN.
  • Certificates and identities.
  • Security policies.

The meaning is that the iPhone will be using the ActiveSync directly with the Exchange server to push all data into it without any intermediate NOC and message servers. You will be able to toggle on/off any of the included functions, at your choice.

SDK Is Available, Developers Membership Costs $99

SDK will be available for downloading, free of charge, for anyone who wants to test his/her coding abilities. Developers who wish to distribute their applications via iTunes App Store (which will appear on iPhones in the next firmware update) will be charged for $99 annual fee. Mind you, Apple plans to launch a $100M fund with Kleiner Perkins VC to support young developers with their initiatives. Developers will have the freedom to set their own prices, if the application will be free Apple won’t charge you, otherwise, Cupertino will split the revenues 70/30 of the price.

Firmware Update v2.0 Available In June

All aforementioned wonders, including enterprise Exchange features, AIM client, Apple App. Store and others will be available for free in final version 2.0 in June, unless you’re iPod Touch owners, who have to pay for their update (*sigh*).

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Nir Ben Yona Shein
Internet freak and technology geek; Aspiring screenwriter, devoted tech blogger & Technologer chief editor . Early adopter with a keen interest in gadgets, technology, internet and mobile.


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