MacMost Now 53: What the iPhone SDK Means

Gary Rosenzweig takes a look at what the announcement of an iPhone SDK will mean for iPhone users.

Video Transcript
Hi, this is Gary Rosenzweig. Yesterday Steve Jobs and company announced the iPhone SDK, our software development kit. Let's take a look at what this is going to mean for those of us with iPhones on this episode of MacMost Now.
So, what did we learn yesterday; well, we learned three things: the first thing is that the development kit is available now for developers, but the applications won't be available for regular iPhone users until the end of June. The second thing we learned is; the application will be sold and distributed freely exclusively through the app-store which will be part of the iPhone interface, and part of iTunes. The third thing that we learned was that developers will have a business arrangement with apple: They will have to be approved by apple and there will be some qualifications. For instance no porn no malicious software that type of thing, and they'll get a revenue split, 70% to the developer, 30% to apple for costs.
Now also at the press conference yesterday, a few developers took the stage. These are developers that got asked by apple to come to Cupertino and spend a couple weeks with the development kit. They developed some test applications. One was: Spore by Electronic Arts, which is kind of a mini-version of the game we don't know if this is ever going to be a real product. And another one which is much more likely to be seen in June, which was a version of Super Monkey Ball from SEGA. So almost immediately the front page of the apple website showed information about the STK. It was right there on the front page and you can click and go to a special developer's section about the STK. There were lots of videos, some demos, and of course a download of the STK which is a whopping 2.1 gigs. You also can pay to be part of the developer program. And this is to get them to make sure that all of the developers are on the up and up and don't have any malicious intent, so it's mostly just a fee for a security check.
So, what will this really mean? Well this means is that at the end of June, more likely the beginning of July there will be this app-store, and you'll be able to purchase all sorts of applications. There is likely to be games, productivity apps, con-activity apps, all sorts of different things. And you'll be able to get a lot more use of your iPhone. In fact it'll become a platform, a full platform for software development, and a really interesting one at that, because a lot of these apps are going to take advantage of the fact that you can simply manipulate what's on your iPhone by moving it around. It has what's called an accelerometer inside of it that can detect when you move it and how you orient it, and we've already seen that in action in some of the apps, but apparently it's even more sensitive that we thought. In addition there is a very high-resolution screen on the device, and of course there's the multi-touch so there will be lots of interesting applications made for it. Some of these applications are probably going to be based on some entertainment thing or general population things, things that anybody can use if they're interested enough. Other things are going to be very specialty oriented, maybe a specialty application for doctors or nurses, or for your industry, or for keeping inventory in certain types of stores. The sky's really the limit, so there'll be lots of specialty applications created, and it looks like they may be created on the iPhone much easier than on other mobile devices. This means a very wide adaptation of the iPhone in lots of different places.
So the more interesting applications are for the iPhone, the more people will buy an iPhone. The more people buying an iPhone, the more applications may be developed. This may indeed help apple reach it's goal of selling ten million iPhones by the end of this year.
But is the iPhone really a good device for developing applications? Well it looks like it might be. It has a version of openGL on it, which means we'll be able to do 3D objects on the iPhone. It has lots of core technologies for handling audio, for handling database connectivity. All sorts of things. It looks like this software development kit may be worlds above the software development kits for other mobile devices. And of course, let us not forget that most of these apps that'll be developed for the iPhone will also work on the iPod Touch, making that a very useful Wi-Fi PDA. So just how big of an announcement is this? I mean, this has the potential to be huge! This could revolutionize everything! It could be a true mobile connected computing platform. So we'll see what happens, and it's going to happen fast. By the end of this year, we'll really know what the potential of the iPhone is. Until next time, this is Gary Rosenzweig with MacMost Now.

Comments: 3 Responses to “MacMost Now 53: What the iPhone SDK Means”

    Charlotte
    3/7/08 @ 8:08 pm

    As always, your MacMost Now videos are excellent! Thanks so much for all that you guys do there. -C

    boz
    3/8/08 @ 11:28 am

    Wow, the $99 fee is a “security check”? That’s completely wrong….. and you aren’t sure if we’ll ever see Spore as a real product on the iPhone? Care to place a wager?

    You need to get a clue… Wearing an “i  code” t-shirt doesn’t make you competent to report on developer matters.

    3/8/08 @ 12:17 pm

    boz: So, what do you think the $99 fee is for? Have some inside information you want to share?
    So what are your credentials? You say you disagree, but you are not presenting any information.

Comments Closed.