iPhone OS 3.0 SDK Beta: 1000 New APIs! Maps! iPod! P2P! iPod Access! Dock Access! More!

As part of their just concluded iPhone OS 3.0 Preview Event, Apple refreshed the iPhone SDK and announced over 1000 new API for developers which, according to Senior Vice President of iPhone Software, Scott Forstall, are designed to better help developers make great apps. (And a boatload of money for all involved, 'natch).

Highlights include:

  • In-app purchases, which means if you're play a First Person Shoot, you can pay $0.99 (or whatever they choose) to get yourself a better gun.)
  • Peer-to-Peer connectivity, which should allow multi-user, or multi-player interaction for games or information exchange using Bonjour and Bluetooth (no pairing needed).
  • Push Notification Service, which was first announced at WWDC last year, will finally make an appearance and allow developers, through Apple's server, to trigger badges (like Mail's unread message counter), custom sounds, and modal alerts (like the new SMS message box).
  • Maps lets developers embed Google Maps functionality in their own applications with full interactions, but also custom annotations.
  • Accessory support means developers can now interact with "made for iPod" certified accessories either via Dock port or Bluetooth -- no word yet on Bluetooth keyboards, however.
  • iPod Library access -- which we're sure Steve Jobs wrestled from Big Music's petrified hands -- let's developers access onboard audio content, so users can listen to their own stuff, in 3rd party apps.

There's a lot more to it, of course, especially at the deeper and more fundamental levels it looks like. Hopefully if Apple can get the App Store sorted out in similar fashion, iPhone Apps could be steamrolling into the second generation!

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

iPhone OS 3.0 SDK Beta: 1000 New APIs! Maps! iPod! P2P! iPod Access! Dock Access! More!


a very impressive release. they're fixing pretty much every problem i have with the current iPhone software.
i don't understand what there is to be disappointed about, other than a lack of support for video, which shouldn't be expected until apple bulks up the storage capacity somewhat, and improves the camera.
a very solid showing.

So with all these features being added to the 3G through the 3.0 update, do you expect a summer hardware update as well? If so what will be added (compass, faster processor, multi-core processor, more memory)? I really doubt they'd go for a higher res screen without advance warning to developers. Frankly, I doubt the memory and battery life would be sufficient for higher res.
What do you think is still missing? The lack of background apps other than notifications is a bit disappointing, but otherwise most of what I wanted was covered. The main reason I want background apps is for example playing Pandora or other streaming audio in the background while turn by turn directions is running or using safari. The 3.0 update sure will take a bite out of my Palm Pre excitement.

~Quite disappointing I thought.
No background apps is a real deal breaker, and will make me think hard about going to nokia (for camera/vid functions) or palm pre (for multi tasking)

Is it possible for new applications written in the SDK to expose their own API's? e.g. Pandora exposes an API which allows another app to write something that uses the Pandora API to stream music?