Apple has just revealed the new, open Software Development Kit for the iPhone. It’s an exceptional program, which had been pre-seeded to developers. It allows developers to create native applications for the device, which had been highly desired since the start.
I was reasonably tight-lipped about this because I got a stash of email from companies a while before the keynote of today. I’ve been working on iPhone apps with developers for a few weeks now, and as such, I had been expecting a reasonably fully fledged SDK to appear. A device that already astonished people worldwide will now perform almost any desirable function, in a beautiful and revolutionary way. We truly stand at the brink of a user experience and software development revolution.
An online friend, Leonardo Cassarani, said:
Imagine something like Delicious Library’s barcode scanning on iPhones. You could read users’ reviews of the product you’re considering buying. Or auto-update your delicious library via the web. How about keeping a wishlist as you go out for shopping, maybe record the store names and addresses so you can get back to it and buy it or integrate it with something like Amazon’s wishlist?
This is a perfect example of why this is going to change a lot of things in the software industry. Not to mention, the target audience of people owning an iPhone will soon be much larger than the audience of desktop software – especially Mac software.
Although it’s not looking great for application icons, currently (the ones in the presentation were mediocre at best), you can imagine my enthusiasm about creating interfaces for all these great new applications, with a more interactive usage model than ever before. New applications are even promised a way to poll the iPhone for its location, it’s acceleration and tilt – making a game that responds to the way you hold the device an ‘obvious idea’. Where there was a limited model of development first, it seems the only boundary right now is the creativity of the designers and developers working with this.
I would say I expect to see a lot of cool apps coming out in June, but fortunately, I won’t. I know for sure that we’ll see a lot of great apps in June.
Edit: Thomas made this funny point:
Your shopping-oriented examples are really just slightly modified versions of the same hoary old “imagine if you could buy a soda..with your phone” that we’ve been hearing forever… (entire comment)
I think that if you feel this way, you’re failing to see the implications to anything in the web and desktop application spectrum today. Social networking, content exchange, collaboration, and more of such concepts in software are about to be reinvented in ways oriented at the most pleasant interaction model in existence. There’s bound to be some great rethinking of rusty conventions and repairing of broken implementations of good ideas.