06 Mar Let the new era begin.

zzzdk.pngApple 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.

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8 Responses

  1. I totally have to do it…


  2. 2

    http://developer.apple.com/iphone/program/ is apparently not available in France…

  3. 3
    Jimmy G 

    Absolutely agree- the only bad thing about the SDK is that we have to wait until June to use it.

    Truly revolutionary stuff.

    People are already astonished by this amazing device, showing them what it can do with this array of new apps will blow their minds.

  4. I think it’s gonna be amazing, cause while we have macbook’s that are portable, this is the first time where we also have a fully connected and online apple platform everywhere! that fits in your pocket too!

    Sure Windows Mobile has been around for years, but the main difference now is that people are treating the iPhone like a real computer. And not a mobile phone. So the applications are so much more fun, and useful.

    A wonderful new era indeed.

  5. 5

    If only we didn’t have to wait even longer …

  6. 6

    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. “Keeping a wishlist” when I go out shopping is not a problem that people are begging for a mobile-enabled solution too. I really hope that we can get beyond visions of mobile=shopping soon.

  7. 7

    Two things…

    (1) At this moment, downloading the SDK is *not* possible to us in the US either. Shame on Apple for not giving us *paying* ADC members a separate link.

    (2) Which is my second point – the SDK was *not* available to “developers” early. Unless (of course) you mean those developers that Apple selected….

    Great announcement. Fantastic looking SDK from what us mere mortals can see. And yet….

    We’re talking June. And yes, those ISV’s who simply do not rate? Well, here’s hoping we get that “pre-seeded to developers” SDK before April. Right now ADC Select is worthless. Likewise, the freebie ADC developer site.

    First Leopard, now iPhone. Apple is showing it’s priorities.

  8. 8
    Matthew Robertson 

    I thought the AIM icon was particularly good.

    Nonetheless, all the icons with backgrounds are reminding me of the beta incarnation of the OS X dock.