I was so impressed watching the iPhone SDK launch last night. As usual with Apple there were some slick demo’s, some headline grabbing quote’s and some ambiguity but watching the 2 week old demo of Super Monkey Ball was a real clincher. This is a great mobile computing platform, not just a mobile phone platform. The full SDK launch is online but I’ve copied just the Sega demo below.
[qt:http://www.iand.net/media/iPhoneSega.mov 474 266]
Firstly the enterprise additions to the iPhone are vast and will surely meet almost any enterprise requirements. The addition of push e-mail, calendars and contacts looks great – very fast. I also liked the remote wipe which again adds to the security.
However of most interest was the SDK. Harnessing the best of OS X and utilising XCode the SDK is now available for anyone to download and try, as long as you have a Mac. More developers moving to Macs per chance? You can develop an app and use a virtual iPhone on the Mac to test it or hook up an iphone and download you app to the Mac.
Software distribution of your app is via Apple only using a new app called App Store. It will sit on the iPhone and allow you to download free and paid for iPhone (and iPod Touch) software wirelessly. It will also let you know when updates are available for your software. I guess the worst thing about this is how easy Apple have maid it – one click purchases etc. If your app is a pay for app, Apple will take 30% of the money for hosting, distributing etc. Sounds steep but there’s not been too much backlash about it. To publish an app you need to pay $99 to register as a developer. That charge is for the developer, not per software so not really that steep.
More confusing is what will be allowed. No VOIP over Edge was one of the answered questions, no porn or malware, no chipping app’s but no clarification on how protective Apple will be on something like iTunes. From Daring Fireball, Amazon MP3 store on iPhones? It also looks like there are restrictions that make the SDK only of real use in the USA. There are some blog’s stating than non US residents can’t download their app’s to the iPhone.
For me it really sparked something. I just wanted to download the SDK and start hacking. It will be difficult finding the time but I’ve already got a couple of small app’s in mind that I would like to put together, just to learn how it all works. The SDK, coming in at over 2GB was downloaded this afternoon. It’s playtime. Just a shame all this along with iPhone software v2.0 and the non beta SDK isn’t released until June.
One more thing…I’ve still not bought an iPhone. I’m closer than ever to spending cash on one except I’m convinced 3G isn’t far away. Decisions decisions. It’s really the wrong time for my yearly bonus to appear!