SDK Roadmap: Color Commentary

Yep, iPhone Software Roadmap.  Hooray!

We're not able to liveblog the event here at Phone different, but we are able to put our two cents in -- stay tuned to this blog post during the event for color commentary on what Apple announces. It won't be up to the second, but you'll get a little more analysis in exchange for those extra minutes.

Bonus: comment on this post and we'll quote our faves in at the top.

T-Minus 25 minutes. When you see the "read more" link below, it's showtime!

All times below are EST, subtract 3 hours for actual Cupertino Time.

12:45: I'm feeling the Reality Distortion Field even though:

  1. I'm not there
  2. I don't expect to be happily surprised by today's announcement.

I've definitely crossed through that permeable membrane into his Steveness' realm, though.

12:55

Bri Guy: I'll give my first-born for cut 'n paste.

I'd give your first born, too. :p

Bad Ash: why delay a week for an announcement?

Exactly. I still think that they were working their butts off to get something real out the door but couldn't manage it. That's the one ray of light here - that we might actually be pretty close to real apps getting released because they were this close to getting it out.

rener: Games ready to ship? 3G iPhone announced? ActiveSync licensed (purely for Dieter, of course)?

No. No. partly cloudy, with a 30% chance of Exchange.

12:58: Reports that Disney employees have preferred seating -- that's interesting? Can't imagine that Disney has any relation to apps -- maybe we'll get more info on just why iTunes hasn't met the goal of getting movies in quickly enough, with a side of "every Disney film in on iTunes now"

As an aside, I will forego sourcing each little tidbit here during the liveblog, but will add them after. Kudos in advance to: Ars, Gizmodo, PhoneMag, Macworld, and Engadget. ...who are relegated to the back, but they get free power -- Apple's finally admitted that this live blog thing is real and they're paying attention to it.

Update again: going to put new stuff at top.

12:01: It begins. "Welcome" from Steve, in a turtleneck of course. Stats on the iPhone, 2nd to RIM in the US. Huuuge Safari usage stats, as we've previously reported. I wonder: 90% of people reading these live blogs must already know a lot of these figures -- or am I just so deep into cell phone news that it doesn't occur to me that not everybody knows that the iPhone is rocking the mobile industry.

12:05: Bam. Jumping right into Enterprise news. That bodes well - usually these things end with a bang. If we start with enterprise support, that may mean that the "bang" will be apps NOW. Crossing my fingers.

Yes, he said "push email" wouldn't say it if he wouldn't get it. Right? Right?

12:07: They're doing ALL of these things: push email, push contacts, VPN, security, remote wipe, enterprise config. I didn't expect that. This might just be bigger news, sales-wise and mindshare-wise, than the SDK. I care most about the SDK, but America and Wall Street cares most about enterprise.

Active Sync and Exchange support confirmed. BOOM. Except no "Boom." This announcement was given to Phil Shiller -- a sign that Steve still doesn't really care about Enterprise.

...now, the devil is going to be in the details. How will they implement this. Will the iPhone work with MSCMDM (search WMExperts for that one). If so, this is a RIM KILLER. Both MS and iPhone using the same device management tool? Goodbye RIM.

12:10: Demoing the support. Good and interesting that the support is built directly into the default PIM and Email apps in the iPhone. Good because it just might mean that Apple is going to have real (instead of half-a**ed) Exchange support on the Mac too. Interesting because, well, Apple licensing Microsoft's biggest Enterprise service (Exchange) is big big news.

12:15: Hehehehe! There's a photo showing how ActiveSync is direct, while RIM's NOC is indirect and a failure point. Hi BlackBerry Outages! Just like Palm, Apple's not going to let you forget about that one. When the marketing comes out for this stuff, Apple is going to take potshots at RIM. I wonder - Microsoft Guy and Mac Guy vs BlackBerry guy. I'll give a $25 Phone different Coupon to the person who comes up with the best candidate for BB guy in the comments!

rener: 802.11x is also a must for a lot of university networks

I am stupid - what's 802.11x and why do universities in particular care?

12:19: SDK time. They're really rolling fast. Overview of web apps and adding icons to the home screen. Please please -- give us an admission that "No SDK Needed" was a gigantic slap in the face. We need to hear you say that, to hear that even the Jesus Phone can sometimes stray.

12:20: Whoa - are they "releasing" today? Yes - starting today, we get the same "APIs and tools that Apple uses." Wow - color me pleasantly surprised. I was all doom and gloom before the event started (ref. the last PD podcast, as Bri Guy mentions in the comments below). They're calling it "Cocoa Touch." The basic idea here is that the iPhone is OSX at its core, but as you get to higher layers at some point it assumes you have a mouse and keyboard and no touchscreen. So development must be very similar to OSX development with Cocoa, but instead of Cocoa you have Cocoa Touch.

If they're not blowing smoke about this, then app development for the iPhone is going to be as advanced or more advanced than either Windows Mobile or Symbian in very short order. There are some similarities to developing for Windows Desktop and Windows Mobile (ref. .NET), but that pales in comparison to this.

12:27: Another "Boom" moment without the "Boom:" Core Location. Just like any app can look up a contact, any app can look up your location just like Google Maps does. How does this thing not have GPS?

I guarantee the 3G iPhone, the very next iteration, will have GPS built in. No question. If Location is a deep, OS-level service, then they're planning on GPS. Bank on it.

rener: Curse you Rogers and Canadian Data Rates!

:p

12:28: Aside for Windows Mobile nerds who know about the HTC video driver issue -- hardware video acceleration is built-in deep and available globally. Send the pitchfork-wielding mob over to Qualcomm and HTC.

12:30: Things we get access to: "multi-touch events, multi-touch controls, accelerometer, view hierarchy, localization, alerts, web view, people picker, and image picker camera" (via PhoneMag).

Hm. I assume that "data" via radio and WiFi are just assumed somehow, that the iPhone itself handles that. "Web view" is a really big deal -- allows for seamless integration of local and remote data, AKA true widgets.

WRT "true widgets," isn't it funny that Palm got this EXACTLY RIGHT nearly 10 years ago with their first wireless Palm device, then dropped it because it was too difficult to code for and not enough people had the wireless devices. Why didn't they bring those back?

12:33: Discussing the development platform now - it is XCode as expected. Want to develop for the iPhone? Get a Mac. That's just fine -- Apple is better off focusing their resources on one development tool on a single platform, they don't need to bring XCode to Windows users, they know that Windows users will come to the Mac just to be able to develop for the iPhone.

rener: That Apple's techs have fit Darwin, BSD networking, OpenGL, and all the Core services into this thing is unbelievable.*

You damn skippy.

12:35: Interface builder is drag'n'drop. Full iPhone emulator on the Mac. This is incredibly full featured and way more powerful that I expected -- I was half expecting them to hand out a flyer with a list of calls and bits of code.

Something this full featured makes me suspect that it's not ready TODAY. But they did say it was. Crazy. They really did delay it a week to polish this thing off. No... maybe they delayed a week to give some 3rd party developer a bit more time? Are we getting APPS TODAY?

12:39: Requisite "Hello World" app building demo. Able to build/compile/whatever (I'm not a developer) quickly. You can test in the emulator or test directly on a sync'ed iPhone.

Ok guys, give us time table. Tell us about distribution. Pricing for developers to get this stuff on iTunes. Apps.

12:44: Demoing some apps now. Touch Fighter -- full access to a really good accelerometer means you can just move the phone around to control the fighter.

Lots of people poo-poohed the touch screen and accelerometer on the iPhone because we've seen both on phones before -- but a high quality touchscreen and accelerometer, now that makes a big different, doesn't it? What used to be gimmicks can become genuinely new and engaging ways of interacting with a device.

I officially declare 2008 to be the year that the Stylus Died.

12:47: Mike Overbo, Editor Emeritus of Phone different and the host of our Podcast, is going to soil himself. EA is on stage and intimating that they have ported Spore over -- with a dev. platform they've never seen before -- in about two weeks.

12:50: Just in case you are missing what's happened here today: Apple took the "IT" phone of 2007 and early 2008 and just made it simultaneously ten times hotter to Business users (via exchange and, just now, a salesforce.com app) and general conumsers (via fun games).

And Steve Jobs hasn't been on stage the entire freaking time. What's the deal there? Giving credit to a team that's clearly been working quadruple overtime? Still bitter that his precious work of singular art is getting sullied by people who don't work at Apple?

12:55: AOL is coming up next. AIM? Yes: AIM. Hunh. That's interesting and I think in a good way. Apple could have said "Screw you guys, we're going to do iChat and stay the heck away from our iPhone, much less our big app announcement."

Instead, they eschewed their own program and let AIM write one instead. Kudos. Kudos Kudos -- it took AOL FIVE days to build it. FIVE. DAYS.

Oh, and now epocrates. I know that a lot of Doctors are hanging on to antiquated PDAs just because of a few medical apps. This helps them a lot.

2:01: Super Monkey Ball with accelerometer support. Swoon. "We had to fly a developer in to upscale the art for the iPhone"

Nintendo DS: You are going to lose market share to this. The big, high-resolution screen is the difference here. see my comment below about quality components.

chadman: Too bad I have to use GroupWise

Take heart, remember that there were rumors of Lotus support. If Apple is willing to support Microsoft and (rumor) Lotus and they're willing to forego writing iChat and let AIM have a shot at it instead, then they'll definitely not complain if somebody cobbles together groupwise support.

...though it might not be as deeply integrated, instead it would be standalone, I guess?

rener: they could seriously contend for mobile gaming market share.

I was thinking the exact same thing. It also seems like it's a big slap in Nokia's face -- they still haven't gained any traction with their N-GAGE platform.

2:05: "App Store." You can buy apps directly on the iPhone. I can't believe I didn't think they'd do this. It's obvious. Grumbles about having to go through iTunes are going to get overshadowed by the fact that you don't have to think about syncing, .cab files, .prc files, etc.

Good that Steve's finally back on. And yes, you can also buy through iTunes. And yes, I'm seeing the word "Free" next to apps. And yes, unlike iTunes WiFi, you can buy over EDGE or WiFi. And yes, you're alerted if there's an update. And yes, it's exclusive. No other way (short of jailbreaking)

A bit of a bummer, that last bit, but not surprising at all.

2:09: No charge to developer if they give the app away for free. Otherwise it's a 70/30 revenue split, Apple taking 30% is about what I expected. Actually, it's better. Apple is eating hosting costs, cc fees, and they're paying out monthly.

Apple says "no malicious apps or porn." Guess that means this stuff will be policed and vetted by Apple. Does that mean you have to submit your source code to Apple in order to distribute your application?

eeeeeeee.

2:11 iPhone firmware version 2.0. Beta is going out today to developers. Customers will see it in June as a free update.

Darn. Darn Darn Darn. June is close, but not close enough. It's what I expected, though. Unexpected -- another charge for iPod Touch owners because of accounting. $99 bucks in order to publish on iTunes. so Apple's not eating everything, but $99 is much less than I expected it to be.

2:15: One More Thing: iFund. Some VC firm is giving away $100 million (yes, that's the right number of zeroes) to iPhone developers... I guess you can go apply at www.kpcb.com .

That'll spur development and right quick.

rener: No pr0n, realistically, means stay-of-execution for jailbreak

True that. Jailbreak isn't going away... but it's certainly going to be minimalized.

2:20: Asking the press to stay for just a few more minutes. Hm.

Bodes ill? ;) Or it could just be a Q&A

2:23: Q&A Starting. We won't do all of these questions. Just the juicy ones.

Q: Business apps are coming, should RIM be worried? Steve: Go ask them. We're not sending them a message, we're sending customers a message [Gizmodo]

Seriously - Where did Apple buy that humungous gauntlet? You're most definitely sending them a message, Jobso. You're practically mooning them.

2:28: Q: What will happen if someone does a VOIP app? A: We will only stop VOIP over cell networks, but not WiFi.

That's interesting -- I wonder if it's because they know that VOIP over an EDGE connection will be an inherently horrible experience or if AT&T wouldn't let them because of their deal. I suspect it's both.

It's also a little foreboding -- Apple gets to decide what gets published and what doesn't, but I'm still unclear on what the criteria will be. Malicious - No. Porn - No. VOIP isn't either of those... So is the 3rd "No":

  • "Whatever hurts our business model with AT&T"
  • or is it "Whatever we think will deliver an inherently bad experience to the customer" ??

...Either way I don't know that I like that Apple should get to decide that for me.

2:34: a SIM unlock program will not be allowed in the iTunes Store.

That's an LOL right there.

2:38: Quote from Macworld:

  • More talk about iPhone versus Blackberry. "Why aren't CIOs really worried about security? Every email message sent to or from a RIM device, goes through a NOC up in Canada. Now, that provides a single point of failure, but it also provides a very interesting security situation. Where someone working up at that NOC could potentially be having a look at your email. Nobody seems to be focused on that. We certainly are."*

On Phil Shiller's office wall: A photo of the BlackBerry Pearl with a giant target painted over it. I said it before and I'll say it again, expect a massive anti-BlackBerry, poke-fun style campaign from Apple this summer in the same style as their current Mac vs. PC ads.

2:40: "Parental Controls" are coming.

Super Monkey Ball PLUS mom can turn off Safari to stop junior from looking at porn on the net. They'll sell a million this year to pre-teens alone.

2:45: We're done! Expect a LOT of posts in the coming days analyzing this big big news!

Dieter Bohn

Dieter Bohn is former editor-in-chief of Smartphone Experts, writing across iMore, Windows Phone Central, Android Central, and more. You can find him on Twitter (and everywhere else) @backlon.

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SDK Roadmap: Color Commentary

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Like mentioned in the latest podcast... why delay a week for a announcement??? I'd say we get something, even if it is just a little taste of what is to come later. Better than nothing.

Will Jobso restore our childlike sense of wonder, or harshen our mellow?
Games ready to ship? 3G iPhone announced? ActiveSync licensed (purely for Dieter, of course)?
Or nothing but a "see ya at WWDC" and a swift boot to the bum?

Enterprise announcement is HUGE. 802.11x is also a must for a lot of university networks. Next update looks like a biggie already!

I think I just heard Dieter faint!:
Schiller: "we have licensed ActiveSync for the iPhone." "Microsoft has come up with a much more advanced architecture, where the iPhone can work directly with the Exchange server in a more reliable and affordable way. We're building Exchange support so you get push email, push calendaring, push contacts, global address lists, and the ability to remote wipe it."

Sorry, 802.1x, universities run this for authentication on huge networks by large user bases. When iPhone first came out, there were howls of anguish from many campuses who ran 802.1x and whose iPhone users couldn't log in. (I, and many others, filed bug/feature reports on this with Apple):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/802.1x

OpenAL = interesting.
Hardware acceleration is cool "screamer", LOL!
That Apple's techs have fit Darwin, BSD networking, OpenGL, and all the Core* services into this thing is unbelievable.

Dieter is correct, they just wiped themselves in HTC's face with this, never mind all the so-so mobile attempts over the years that did the bear minimum and charged a premium...
(Though Apple has it's own share of similar issues -- Time Machine to AirDrive, hello?)

Re: Xcode
It's the same strategy as Final Cut and Logic, make the software dependent on the hardware and OS (via Core components) and then sell more hardware (which is Apple's business model anyway).
People will complain, but it's no different then needing a multi $K development box for PS3, Xbox, etc.

I officially declare 2008 to be the year that the Stylus Died.
It will be interesting to see how new software deals with a touch interface for the detailed stuff where a stylus would provide more pin-point accuracy.

If Apple doesn't bungle this (as they have with the Mac before), they could seriously contend for mobile gaming market share (the edge in convergence mitigating the limits in specific focus for the end user -- i.e. having all the other functionality may appeal to those who don't need full on PSP dedication...)
Plus, as Dieter says, the tech gives all sorts of DS style game options (mic, accelerometer, etc.)
I would pay just to be able to Pong my business contacts out of existence! Never mind Wi-Fi Mortal Phone Kombat!

Darth Jobso, bitten by investors and Fortune over the successor questions, wants to show his RDF padawans off to the world??

@Dieter: And Sony has been unwilling/unable to leverage PlayStation technology in Sony/Ericson/Symbian handsets (that Sony is so dysfunctional a company has been a huge boon to Apple in consumer electronics).

DS been served:
S"This is NOT a cellphone game. It's a console game, if anything, we underestimated what the iPhone was able to do from the start, we had to fly in another artist to scale up the art to match what the iPhone could actually output."

Dude, even big Treo apps crashed my 680, if Apple can up service levels by controlling distro, I'm a happy camper!
Free apps, and getting them via AppStore WiFi, killa!

No revenue share on free apps, 30/70 on pay-for apps?
Sounds fair. (Still smarting on only getting 10% gross from publishers...)

No pr0n, realistically, means stay-of-execution for jailbreak. (though pr0n is traditionally a rapid business model for new technologies, and being excluded from AppStore will likely minimize revenue...)

Why is iTunes a monopoly but no one questions PlayStation Network (store), Xbox Live Marketplace, etc.? Is it that people in the PC world aren't familiar with how console devices have traditionally worked?
(Maybe Steve can fund installer.app as competition for iTunes)

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