Thursday, March 06, 2008

My Take on the iPhone SDK Announcement

Today's big news in the tech world undoubtedly came from Apple, with their announcement of the iPhone/iPod Touch Software Developer's Kit (SDK). Admittedly, I am probably not completely aware of all he pieces of the announcement (there are many). However, I would like to take some time to reflect on what this announcement means.

The SDK has been highly sought after since Apple announced it would be coming. Up until now, very few third party applications have been available for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Unlike other portable platforms, Apple's has a tremendous amount of potential and there is certainly a large pool of developers looking to develop for the iPhone. Although I do not own an iPhone or an iPod Touch (I am waiting for a $399 32GB iPod Touch), the added capability brought to the table by third party software is a major plus for the iPhone. Clearly the interface can facilitate many different utilities and programs Apple has not yet provided and that will be useful to have in your pocket.

The ability for third-party developers to add capability to the iPhone as they see fit is the best way for Apple to insure that the product stays cutting-edge and ahead of the market (with the exception of additional necessary hardware upgrades). I was glad to see that Apple
did not go the way of some of the rumors before the announcement suggested, where Apple would control what applications developers created would be available to iPhone/iPod Touch users. They did announce the App Store, which will be an application on the iPhone that allows the user to pick through a huge library of for-pay and free software for their iPhone. This does allow Apple some control over what products are most accessible to the users, but if it is done
like Apple's current Download section for Mac Desktops, it will be an extremely useful one-stop location for applications compatible with the device, without stifling independently designed software ideas.

From here on out, it will be interesting to see what kinds of apps developers come up with and how these new capabilities change the habits of iPhone users and change the minds of potential adopters.