updated 09:55 am EDT, Wed June 11, 2008
iPhone SDK & GPS nav.
Apple may be attempting to block competition when it comes to GPS navigation on the iPhone, developers have observed. In the most recent version of the iPhone SDK, Section 3.3.7 of the license agreement tells users that "applications may not be designed or marketed for real time route guidance; automatic or autonomous control of vehicles, aircraft, or other mechanical devices; dispatch or fleet management; or emergency or life-saving purposes."
The language effectively bans much of the third-party software that might exploit the iPhone 3G's new GPS module, which could in theory be used to provide in-car or on-foot guidance beyond the static options present in Google Maps. The rules may prove especially frustrating for nav-unit maker TomTom, which yesterday told Reuters that it has already developed navigation software for the iPhone and plans to sell it commercially.
It is speculated that Apple may have the intention of developing its own real-time navigation software, but it has not announced any such plans to date.