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Apple explains iPhone SDK details, Xcode for iPhone

updated 02:00 pm EST, Thu March 6, 2008

iPhone SDK Details

As promised, Apple today provided development details for native third-party applications for the iPhone and iPod touch. The company has created a development kit that uses the same programming language and interface used by Apple itself and now includes Cocoa Touch, an API designed to add touchscreen input. Programmers now use a modified version of Xcode that is not only used to write programs for the iPhone but to manage them as well, including designing the visual interface, source control, and debugging.

Developers can also test the final results in an environment known as the iPhone Simulator, according to Apple.

Apple's Phil Schiller explains that the environment is possible due to the similarities between desktop and mobile versions of Mac OS X. While the kernel is optimized to work with the reduced resources of the handsets, the networking and media layers are virtually the same as for the desktop version of the OS and include both Core Animation and OpenGL for graphics as well as Core Audio and OpenAL for audio. Developers have access to much of the iPhone's hardware, including the accelerometer sensor and the camera. A sample game, Touch Fighter, uses the accelerometer exclusively to control the player and uses full 3D positional audio.

EA has ported a demo version of its upcoming life simulator Spore to the iPhone in as little as two weeks, Apple notes. SEGA has also ported a version of Super Monkey Ball that uses the accelerometer to steer the ball. This effectively puts a Nintendo Wii's remote into the phone, the game developer says.

AOL has also created a version of AIM for the iPhone in five days despite its developer's lack of experience for the Mac. Users simply swipe to change active chats. Other examples of third-party development examples include a medicine guide for doctors through ePOCRATES and a SalesForce.com app for customer relationship management (CRM).

A rough version of the iPhone SDK, including Xcode and iPhone firmware 2.0, is being sent out with "thousands" of developers and companies; the download for the SDK is free and will take roughly an hour to download, but developers can pay $100 to join the iPhone Developer Program. A finished version of both the SDK and the firmware is due in June.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    from macintouch

    Apple will distribute iPhone applications (and automatic software updates) wirelessly through the iTunes App Store, arriving in the next iPhone firmware update.

    So no internal distribution, no "Let me make my own apps" i guess, as well.

    Registered developers (who pay $99 to join the Apple Developer program) can distribute free applications without paying a fee;

    Excuse me, but $99 sounds like a fee to me. What does registering to be a developer entitle you to?

    And can you register a free program without being an honored member of the registered developers?

    Apple takes a 30% cut of the price of applications that are not free.

    30%? Now that's taking a nice bit from your developers, isn't it.

    I guess Apple's feeling is that the iPhone is such a great device, people should pay to be able to put anything on it...

  1. Geobunny

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Developer.apple.com down!

    Wow, Apple's developer site must be seriously overloaded just now. It keeps dropping the connection and won't serve up any pages. I've never seen that from Apple before.

  1. glasshalffull

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    re: from macintouch

    OMG. A business in business to make money! What's the world coming to?

    Why do I keep replying to testudo?? It's so pointless.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    re: from macintouch

    OMG. A business in business to make money! What's the world coming to?

    Please. If MS was doing this, you'd all be up in arms over how they're trying to s**** the little guy and just sucking people dry.

    It should make you all worried that next year Apple's new computers will require you to buy all software through the iTMS.

  1. dogzilla

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    re:testudo

    "So no internal distribution, no "Let me make my own apps" i guess, as well. "

    You can most definitely create your own apps and load them onto your own phone. They did that onstage while demoing development.

    "Excuse me, but $99 sounds like a fee to me. What does registering to be a developer entitle you to?"

    Do you even *read* the things you post? There is a fee to sign up as a developer. There is no charge to you as a developer to use the ITMS distribution mechanism if the app is free. THINK for a second you loon - no hosting fee, no marketing fee, no bandwidth usage charges. Clearly you've never developed an app, because distribution is still a big issue.

    "30%? Now that's taking a nice bit from your developers, isn't it."

    Again, you're showing your ignorance of what real-world development is. The closest parallel would be Windows Mobile development. What percentage do you think a place like Handango takes of total app revenues? You don't know, do you? I'll tell you: 40%. So Apple's 30% is lower than the average. Which makes your comment....what's the word I'm looking for?

    Seriously, after reading your posts on this board, it's clear you have some anti-everything-Apple agenda. And do me a favor, take the whole "Apple Fanboi" accusation, fold it so it's all pointy corners, and shove it. The only thing I'm a fanboi of is logic and clear thought - which it appears you have as much opposition to as you do Apple.

  1. rsande

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    fees

    Just to clarify a bit: There is a $99 fee to sign up for the Standard Program "for developers who are creating free and commercial applications for the iPhone and iPod touch", a $299 fee for Enterprise, which is for in-house applications.

    However, there is a FREE iPhone SDK just below those, which includes basically everything, AFAIK. It doesn't include one-on-one help with Apple developers, might not have as easy of a time uploading to iTMS.

    Also, to prevent people from claiming the 40% slice at Handango, here's a link to their FAQ: http://developer.handango.com/DeveloperInformation.jsp?siteId=1&CKey=DEV_FAQ#new2 "we retain 40% of the revenues".

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -1

    Re: testudo

    You can most definitely create your own apps and load them onto your own phone. They did that onstage while demoing development.

    Then why would you need at all to go through the stupid "App Store"? You should then be able to create an app, distribute it, and people load it as they see fit.

    Do you even *read* the things you post? There is a fee to sign up as a developer. There is no charge to you as a developer to use the ITMS distribution mechanism if the app is free.

    Excuse me, but you still have to pay the $99 to become a developer in order to then post your software for 'free'. You're not paying a fee because it's free, but you still have to fork over cash just to get it on there.

    Again, you're showing your ignorance of what real-world development is. The closest parallel would be Windows Mobile development. What percentage do you think a place like Handango takes of total app revenues? You don't know, do you? I'll tell you: 40%. So Apple's 30% is lower than the average.

    First, you're comparing it to one thing, Handango, and then saying Apple is lower then the average. Is that an average of 1?

    Second, you're just another poster using the "Well, this is how someone else does it, so Apple isn't as bad" excuse. You might as well say "Hey, the iPhone is just like a Windows Mobile phone".

    When Apple comes up with a device like the iPhone, it's all "Look how Apple is changing the landscape". But then when they just do another grab for cash, it's "Well, that's how -insert company name here- does it".

    Apple could have gone for something really different, a true mobile computer like people want. But they decided they like that influx of cash they get each month from AT&T, and now looking for more ways to get a piece of any action they can.

    From this, we can only assume they're also going to want a piece of every software written for the Mac soon enough.

  1. koolkid1976

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    re: from macintouch

    "So no internal distribution, no "Let me make my own apps" i guess, as well."

    And what percentage of iPhone users do you think is going to be writing apps just for themselves? Would you be one of those people, or you just like to complain? Apple is working on a way to get corporations to distribute software internally, so I think that's a bigger concern.

    "Excuse me, but $99 sounds like a fee to me. What does registering to be a developer entitle you to?"

    Free was never associated with the developer program cost. $99 entitle you to tech support and an assigned digital certificate that identifies the developer and their software.

    "30%? Now that's taking a nice bit from your developers, isn't it."

    30% covers hosting and credit card transaction fees that Apple say is "fee." But I think we are all smart enough to know there is no such thing as "free" when you have to pay a cost to begin with. It's like "free shipping" when the cost is built into the product. And that nice bit that Apple is taking also covers hosting cost for those distributing free software, which they expect to be the majority. Unless of course you preferred that Apple charged a 15% standard rate regardless of if the developer is giving the software away for free or selling. Do you think that's more fair?

  1. elroth

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -1

    re: re: testudo

    Just last week testudo and a bunch of other whiners were complaining that if iPhone apps were distributed through the iTunes Store, there would be no free apps allowed. Over and over again, the same complaint: "Apple will never distribute any free apps."

    Some people will whine about anything, and when that whine is proven false, won't acknowledge it, and will start whining about something else, which also may not be true (testudo's life in a nutshell).

    And here he goes again: "From this, we can only assume they're also going to want a piece of every software written for the Mac soon enough."

    Total hogwash.

  1. passingby

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    re:testudo

    Testudo, go and find something productive to do with your time, life is to short to waste in this way.

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