Apple Opens iPhone Up to Web 2.0 Applications

By James Alan Miller

June 13, 2007

Third-party apps written to modern Web standards will behave like software using the browser built into the iPhone.

At Apple's Worldwide Developer's Conference (WWDC) this week, Steve Jobs announced third-party developers would be able to build applications for the iPhone, due for release on June 29th -- but only through Web 2.0 Internet standards.

This means their won't be a software developer kit (SDK) to enable developers to write applications that'll run directly in the iPhone's operating system, a modified version of Mac OS X. Rather, the Web 2.0 applications written for the iPhone will operate through the iPhone's Safari web browser.

"There's no SDK needed; if you know how to write applications for modern Web standards, you can go live [on the iPhone] on June 29," according to Jobs.

While the lack of an SDK and the inability to access the smartphone’s operating system appears to limit the complexity of the software written for the iPhone by third-parties, Jobs asserts these applications will behave and look just like software built into the iPhone by Apple itself. For example, with their applications, developers will be able to access iPhone services, such as making a phone call, sending an e-mail and displaying a location in Google Maps. 

“Developers and users alike are going to be very surprised and pleased at how great these applications look and work on iPhone,” said Jobs during his keynote. “Our innovative approach, using Web 2.0-based standards, lets developers create amazing new applications while keeping the iPhone secure and reliable.”

In other words, Apple will maintain a considerable amount of control over the software that runs on the iPhone. And any software developed by third-parties will run at a level above the operating system, so as reduce the chance that these applications will muck up the iPhone's performance and security.

One potential problem for developers is that some, if not most, of their applications may not be feasible in a browser. They may require native support for the flavor of Mac OS X the iPhone runs, which Apple is apparently not ready to offer. 

More Recent iPhone News

  •  While it is well known that Apple and AT&T will release the iPhone on June 29th, we now have an exact time, sort of. Jobs said the iPhone will become available at 6:00 pm. It is not known if he meant a specific time zone or at that time in each zone.

    Whatever the exact time, the iPhone will go for $499 for a 4GB model and $599 for a 8GB edition, both with a two-year contract from AT&T (Cingular), which has exclusive rights to the iPhone in the U.S. for the next 5 years.

  •  Rumor has it Apple will have three million iPhones ready for the June 29th launch date, the total number iPhones some analysts predict Apple will ship this year, period. Apple's goal is to take 1 percent of the mobile phone market, about 10 million units, in 2008 with the iPhone.

  •  There's been speculation that Rogers Wireless will provide the iPhone in Canada.

    Article courtesy of SmartPhoneToday



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