Thursday, March 06, 2008

Apple Finally Releases iPhone SDK

First there was no need for an iPhone SDK:
"We have been trying to come up with a solution to expand the capabilities of the iPhone so developers can write great apps for it, but keep the iPhone secure. And we've come up with a very. Sweet. Solution. Let me tell you about it. An innovative new way to create applications for mobile devices... it's all based on the fact that we have the full Safari engine in the iPhone."

"And so you can write amazing Web 2.0 and AJAX apps that look and behave exactly like apps on the iPhone, and these apps can integrate perfectly with iPhone services. They can make a call, check email, look up a location on Gmaps... don't worry about distribution, just put 'em on an internet server. They're easy to update, just update it on your server. They're secure, and they run securely sandboxed on the iPhone. And guess what, there's no SDK you need! You've got everything you need if you can write modern web apps..."

Steve Jobs, June 2007
Then there was going to be an iPhone SDK after all:
"Let me just say it: We want native third party applications on the iPhone, and we plan to have an SDK in developers’ hands in February. We are excited about creating a vibrant third party developer community around the iPhone and enabling hundreds of new applications for our users. With our revolutionary multi-touch interface, powerful hardware and advanced software architecture, we believe we have created the best mobile platform ever for developers."

Steve Jobs, October 2007
I had predicted back in June 2007 that Apple would release an iPhone SDK:
I predict that Apple will go the BREW route: they will release an SDK, but you will need to pay big bucks to Apple to get your app/game certified so that it will even run on the iPhone. And consumers will only be able to buy these apps/games from iTunes. In the end, it's not about closing the iPhone for the consumer experience, or for the carriers - it's about proprietary vendor lock-in. When Microsoft does it, it's illegal, when Apple does it, it's cool??!!
Now that the details of Apple's iPhone SDK are out today, let's break down my predictions and see how well I did:

Apple will release an iPhone SDK.
Developers will need to pay money to Apple to get their applications certified for the iPhone.
Uncertified applications will not be able to run on the iPhone.
Consumers will only be able to buy iPhone applications from iTunes.
It was all about proprietary vendor lock-in after all.

I think I did pretty good there in second-guessing "His Steveness"!

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