What You Need to Know About the iPhone and iPod Touch SDK and 3rd-Party Applications

Apple announced details of the iPhone/iPod Touch SDK today. Some highlights:

• 70/30 revenue split from the iTunes Apps Store, the exclusive distribution method for iPhone applications.

• Free applications distributed at no charge (minus the $99 entry fee to iTunes Apps sellers).

• VoIP Apps will be allowed, but only over Wi-Fi connections.

• “Malicious” and “bandwidth hog” applications will not be allowed.

• Full Microsoft Exchange support coming.

• SDK looks robust, uses Xcode including an iPhone emulator.

• The first-shown apps included AOL Instant Messenger, Super Monkey Ball (!), a version of Spore, a dedicated SalesForce application, a pill and medical information identifier, and more.

• Apple and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (a VC firm) have created the “iFund,” a $100 million seed fund for small iPhone developers.

• “iPhone 2.0″ software platform—not new hardware, but the firmware update that allows these applications—available in June.

In short, the inability to load your own applications outside of the iTunes chute is disappointing, but the upcoming software really does look fabulous. Apple is not only taking a big swing at RIM’s Blackberry and other smartphones but the portable gaming market as well.

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10 Responses to What You Need to Know About the iPhone and iPod Touch SDK and 3rd-Party Applications

  1. Doomstalk says:

    @5: Nope. The iPhone, while having a perfectly capable Bluetooth chip, has the gimpiest stack imaginable. It only supports the profile for mono bluetooth headsets.

  2. pork musket says:

    Fantastic. As soon as they put in a 3G antenna I’ll drive to the Apple store asap.

  3. Toma says:

    One thing I’m still waiting on: iPod Touch owners must pay a “nominal fee” to have the ability to download apps.

  4. Kid says:

    I just need a 3G antenna, and someone to invent a Bluetooth keyboard for iPhone.

  5. KurtMac says:

    @#2 TOMA: Actually, you got your wish. From the Apple press release:

    Third party applications created for the iPhone will also run on the iPod touch, and iPod touch users will be required to purchase a software update to run these applications.

    It seems the message Apple is trying to send iPod Touch owners is, “Oh well, guess you should’ve bought an iPhone instead!”

  6. Benny says:

    now I have less and less of a reason to not buy an iphone.

    @ #3 KID: the iphone won’t connect to a bluetooth keyboard?

  7. dculberson says:

    “a pill [..] identifier”

    Hell yeah! That’ll make those ground scores so much sweeter and more convenient.

  8. Anonymous says:

    What I need is an SSH client for the iPhone. Until someone writes one, I can’t buy one because I need remote access to a couple machines via SSH.

  9. gabrielm says:

    It looks like everyone and their mom is trying to download the SDK at the same time. The main developer site goes up and down, while the download link just 404’s.

  10. ashley927 says:

    Instead of the AOL IM I use the BigString IM- (much cooler)- can I use this app with the phone? Or would I use the AOL PlugIn?

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