Live from Apple’s iPhone Software Roadmap Event [full details inside] | iLounge News

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Live from Apple’s iPhone Software Roadmap Event [full details inside]

iLounge is currently live at the Apple iPhone Software Roadmap Event in Cupertino, California. The event will begin at 10:00AM Pacific Time, 1:00PM Eastern Time. We will provide updates from this link as the event progresses.

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The scene inside Apple’s Building 4, where the Event is being held. Journalists, analysts, and certain developers are currently awaiting entrance into the small Apple auditorium chosen for this event.

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Representatives of companies such as Nike have been spotted inside. We plan to offer additional updates as the Event progresses.

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As of 9:51AM PT, the crowd was welcomed into the Town Hall auditorium. At 10:00AM, the event began.

Steve Jobs, Apple CEO: Thank you for joining us this morning for this special event. A few statistics: for the first 8 months, the iPhone has garnered 28% marketshare of smartphone market. The iPhone is really bringing internet to mobile device for the first time. You really have the Internet in your pocket. iPhone is 71% of the US mobile browser usage.

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Phil Schiller and Scott Forstall will be doing the heavy lifting. iPhone in the enterprise is first.

Phil Schiller: Customers have wanted to adopt iPhone into the enterprise. Genentech, leading biotech company. They have thousands of iPhones deployed within the enterprise: company says it’s a watershed event for their mobile computing. Also, universities are large customers with huge networks: Stanford has hundreds deployed from faculty and staff.

A lot of things people have told them would make iPhone huge in the enterprise. First, great e-mail integration. They want push e-mail directly from servers. They also want great calendar integration, no matter where, pushed to them. Also pushed contact information. They want more VPN, with Cisco support built right into the iPhone. They want enterprise class Wi-Fi and 802.1x, WPA2 security. And they want to be able to protect data if an iPhone is stolen. Apple is doing all of those things in the next version of iPhone software.

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Microsoft Exchange support right into the iPhone. Licensed ActiveSync so it can go directly into the iPhone, work with corporate exchange servers. The old way of doing this is to get updates from network operations center, which needs to get info from inside of a proprietary messaging server inside of a firewall. Takes a lot of money to maintain. That’s the old way. Microsoft has a more advanced way. ActiveSync now lets you work directly with an Exchange server, which is more reliable and portable. You will get push e-mail, push calendaring, contacts, and global address lists. It will be built into the apps already on the iPhone. Same e-mail app on iPhone will work with Exchange server, same calendar. Same contacts. Provides the best solution possible, best integration.

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Product demo, with help from Bob Borchers from product marketing (previously shown in the iPhone introduction video) sending information from a computer within the room. Information such as contact, e-mail, and calendar data is being created by Bob and sent to the iPhone, appearing right away on the iPhone’s screen. That’s what push is about—having stuff get sent directly, instantly from the server to you without forcing you to refresh or wait around. In the event of a theft, the phone can be pushed to be wiped, protecting your data.

Nike has let Apple deploy the enterprise features of iPhone on test within their site, and is happy with it; Disney has done the same. These are the features customers have been asking for, and that’s it on the enterprise.

Scott Forstall: Talking about the iPhone SDK. First, an update on web apps: Developers can built apps with web technologies. Has been incredibly successful, with over 1,000 web apps for the iPhone. They have continued to get better over the last 8 months, enabling developers to put icons on the home screen of the iPhone to take you to apps. Facebook and Bank of America have great web apps. BOA is the largest bank in the USA, and the industry meter for mobile banker. Now lets users bank from the iPhone. Already the most popular device for BOA mobile banking customers - over 25% of all mobile banking. Web apps will get even more, soon.

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Apple will give same internal native APIs and tools to third-parties, letting them build the same SDK Apple has been using. There are a lot of pieces that make up the SDK. Mac OS X has four layers - core OS, core services, media layer, and Cocoa, the UI app framework. The first three went straight to the iPhone. Cocoa is the best app framework out there, but it’s based on keyboard, so Apple updated it for the iPhone with a touch API, called Cocoa touch. This is the architecture of the iPhone OS.

Core OS: This is the same OS X kernel as used in Mac OS X. Optimized in certain ways, for low-memory on the iPhone, but it’s the same kernel. Networking kernel is the same. Power management is even better on the iPhone—automatic. Core Services: Address book. You can have applications talk directly to contact database. Also, you see that you can triangulate your location through Google Maps; now you have this in an API for location-aware other applications. Media layer: iPhone is a great iPod. Core Audio is part of it, on top of this you have OpenAL, an industry standard audio API for multi-channel three-dimensional positional audio, great for game developers. Built in. Video playback is seamless, using H.264 codec. Core Animation, powerful APIs to create layered animation. It was built in many ways for the iPhone; every animation on the iPhone comes from this. OpenGL Embedded is a screamer for 3-D graphics on the iPhone. Everything is heavily hardware accelerated with great, long battery life.

And Cocoa touch: built around touch as an input concept. Everything from single finger, multi-finger, to gestures. Multi-touch controls know all about accelerometer and other sensors in the iPhone. You mightn’t know that it’s a full three-axis sensor that applications can access. Web; there’s a Safari-based API. Also camera features. Years ahead of any other mobile platform for any mobile device.

A comprehensive set of tools will help developers build, debug, and create apps. Xcode was the basis, enhanced for the iPhone. Xcode is used for all apps on the iPhone. Knows all about APIs. Everything is managed for you. Integrates with your source code management system, letting you check codes in and out, create new branches, etc. You can plug your iPhone into your Mac, run the app live on your iPhone, and debug live from your Mac.

Interface builder is a tool to let you build your iPhone user interface. This is as simple as drag and drop. A complete library of all the UI controls from Cocoa touch is available. You can also localize to all languages you want to support.

Instruments is a comprehensive suite of performance analysis tools. You can compare interactions of different aspects of the app’s performance, and figure out easily how to optimize code based on realtime data from different parts of the app.

Xcode, Interface Builder, and Instruments will be joined by iPhone Simulator. This runs on a Mac, simulates entire API stack of iPhone, and includes some existing iPhone applications solely for the purpose of letting you see how they work. Full iPhone Safari is built in, with clicks simulating touches on the screen.

He’s going to build a Hello World application from nothing on stage. Single click from build to go. It’s just as easy to build live on an iPhone. Plug standard 30-pin cable into the Mac and iPhone. You can compile and drop into the iPhone with a click. Demonstrates use of touch, multi-touch, and use of the accelerometer in a new way—shake the phone to undo a change. Or use it to steer within a game application. And you can hear audio move around with 3-D positional audio. While you’re playing your game in debug mode, you can be tracking how it performs, and saving it on the computer to figure out how to optimize it—a stack trace will show you exactly where the frame rate falls, and what was happening to make it fall.

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They’ve let a handful of coders send out a couple of engineers to see what they could do in two weeks with an SDK they have never seen before—some had not even used Mac before. Here are the engineers. Electronic Arts is first. They’re a leader in making mobile games. Travis from EA comes to the stage. They wanted to use a lot of iPhone features—video, audio, etc. They’re starting with Spore. Using accelerometer lets you control Spore. Goal of the demo is to beat things smaller than you and become bigger. You can customize the gameplay using the touchscreen, adding additional limbs to the spore character, and move things around. They’re only demonstrating 2 levels in the demo, but have gotten all 18 working already. They threw in a cutscene just to show how the video of the iPhone could be used.

Next up is Salesforce.com. They provide software as a service, world’s leader in on-demand CRM services. Chuck Dietrich. 63,000 platform applications can be brought to the iPhone, and company’s customers will enjoy using them. Salesforce Automation (SFA) application lets you manage who and what is being sold on the road. Reps would love to see how they’re doing towards their monthly goals, providing rich reporting and analytic details to provide key metrics of business performance on the road. Goal is to let people who know how to use iPhone use apps developed for iPhone—simple. Reps can be shown exactly where to focus on sales opportunities; the iPhone lets you send more data to people if they’re detected on Wi-Fi than on EDGE network, which lets Salesforce choose how much data to push out to people on demand.

Next is AOL, which runs AIM Instant Messaging. AOL in two weeks has created AIM for iPhone. Provides status messages and buddy lists with icons instantly. Starting a conversation, live over the AIM network, was really exciting for the first time. You can swipe between multiple active chats that are going on at once. There is also a status panel so you can update what’s going on with you for your contacts. You can also pick a photo from iPhone and use it as your contact image, sending it directly to AIM servers so friends can see that as your image.

Every doctor knows about Epocrates. Company rep comes up to explain how doctors will be able to access drug formulation information, most common drugs prescribed, adverse reactions, and lots of clinical content. Also, existing functionality from company lets you do a check as to whether a new medication added to existing ones in person’s system can have a harmful effect. All of the animation between menus is handled by the iPhone. Drug identifier helps you do something new when a patient comes in and says they don’t know what the drug was they’ve taken—a drug can be IDed by matching it against known physical characteristics of a drug in the database.

Last is Sega. What would be great to bring to iPhone? Super Monkey Ball. Powerful SDK gives you ability to create 3-D graphics, tilt the iPhone to control the monkey ball on screen. Even if you don’t know what to do, you can figure out how to move the iPhone around to control it. This is not a cell phone game. It’s a full console game. And Sega underestimated what the iPhone could do: they had to bring an extra artist in to produce the graphics for the demo. The game looks sub-PSP quality but very, very good.

Once you have all of these amazing apps, how do you get them on your iPhone? Back to Steve Jobs.

Steve: What is your dream as a developer? To get it in front of every iPhone user. That’s not possible today because developers don’t have those resources. Apple will solve it by selling through the App Store, an application that will deliver apps to the iPhone through the next release of the software. Apps will be downloadable through iPhone. You can browse the Store in an interface similar to the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store. If you’re interested in getting an app, it gets wirelessly downloaded through cell network or wi-fi. Also through iTunes to browse and download. If you download an app, and it’s been updated by the developer, app store will tell you, and you can instantly get an updated version of the app. The App Store will be the exclusive way to get iPhone applications directly to iPhone users.

Developers want to know the business deal. Developer picks the price, gets 70% of revenues. Apple keeps 30% for hosting, credit card, marketing and running the App Store. Pay is monthly. Developers can also give apps for free. No charge for free apps hosted through Apple. Limitations: Apple will not distribute porn, malicious apps, or ones that will invade privacy. But Apple wants to get a ton of apps out there.

How will this be delivered: it will come in iPhone 2.0 software update. It will combine SDK plus all the new enterprise capabilities. Beta release going out today to thousands of developers and hundreds of companies, to get feedback. iPhone customers will get it in June, as a free upgrade. One other part: it’s not just the iPhone, it’s also the iPod touch. Same software will run on the iPod touch too, including the enterprise features. There will be a nominal charge for the iPod touch update.

How to become an iPhone developer: Go to Apple’s website. Get the SDK for free, run it on a Mac. But then you have to join the iPhone developer program if you want to run it on an iPhone or an iPod touch. Then you can distribute the app. It’s $99 to join the developer program.

One last thing: Kleiner Perkins, a leading venture capital company. Kleiner loves Apple-related entrepreneurs. Jobs’s own story is one of entrepreneurialism, failure, and then resurrection. Funding—they announce the iFund for the iPhone platform. It took millions to start some major companies. iFund is $100-million fund. Today, launch of the SDK will create the next big platform for Apple, providing a broadband pocket solution that knows who and where you are. They see it as bigger than the personal computer. They want to recruit great talent to build amazing companies. Matt Murphy and others at the firm will run the fund, and help entrepreneurs to create the next generation of companies.

Refreshments for everyone outside. Press will be staying for the next few minutes for a Q+A.

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Steve Jobs: Ten minutes for Q+A. What does the $100 million do for the iPhone developer community? It gives small companies an opportunity, and Kleiner a chance to fund great new developers.

This is about serving customers, and enterprise needs. iPhone has been out for less than a year, and Apple is moving very fast to get people as happy as possible.

Application limitations: It’s a big concern that apps can be viruses, violate privacy. On one side, there is a closed device like the iPod that always works. On the other side is a Windows PC where people spend time every day trying to get it back up to be usable. Apple wants best of all worlds. No malicious apps. Apple will have developers register for $99, giving an electronic certificate that tells Apple who the devs are. The distribution will be through the App Store, so if there is a problem, they can turn off the spigot. Other forms of limitation are being kept by Apple to itself right now. They’ll do best job they can and learn as they go.

If something slips through the cracks, they can turn off access very easily.

VOIP: The initial take is that Apple will only limit VOIP over the cellular network. It will be allowed over Wi-Fi. They won’t be usable at all over the cellular network, at least initially, this may liberalize over time.

Exchange/Enterprise: You can have multiple e-mail accounts, contact databases, calendars, etcetera. You can only have one Exchange account at once, however.

Apple as exclusive distributor, monopoly? If they don’t sign up with Apple, they cannot distribute their apps on the iPhone. Web apps will continue to be supported without using the SDK. Apple does not intend to make money off of the App Store, says Steve. It’s just like the iTunes Store. They just want an efficient channel for developers. This system, notes Phil, provides a great way to provide free apps to people as well, with Apple’s servers and store there to provide support that developers themselves couldn’t afford to provide.

Will carrier unlock software be permitted? No.

How much will iPod touch software update cost? Will accounting change for iPod touch over time? Apple does not look at this as a profit opportunity.

IT managers - how can they convert from Blackberry to iPhone? Because of Exchange server with ActiveSync, it’s easy. Tools will be given to IT managers to let them configure devices via e-mail or a secure web site.

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Rollout: This is international, and will be in all of iPhone countries. This is not an open-source project. It is for profit, to help sell iPhones.

How can enterprises distribute their own apps to their employees? There will be a special system for this.

What if an enterprise does not want employees loading their iPhones up with applications? Steve says they will have to discuss and think about that. However, Scott suggests that parental controls will let people turn off things like Safari or the App Store, and perhaps this can be extended to enterprise.

Why change your mind from last year, only allowing web applications: They have worked really well, but developers gave feedback that they wanted to do even more with the iPhone. To create an SDK is a lot of work, and it’s taken some time. Teams have been working tirelessly going through single API calls over 10 iterations, trying to make sure it all works.

Will there be a waiting period before apps are available to customers? The iPhone software development program is new, letting devs securely submit applications in a whole new process electronically. No additional details.

Carrier relationship: Apps were previously released through carriers. How does this work with carriers? Bandwidth would be a concern. This, says Steve, is part of the new relationship: Apple is responsible for the software on the phone, not the carriers.

Will developers be allowed to interface with Dock Connected accessories: In iPhone 2.0, there will not be APIs for this, anything different from what iPhone does now.

That’s the end of the event.

« iPhone SDK: Enterprise, SDK apps coming in June 2.0 software update

Fortune interviews Jobs on iPod, iPhone, Apple TV »

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Comments

21

I am mightily impressed…going to take longer than I had hoped, but woo!

The additional charge for the iPod touch upgrade saddens me, but I did dodge the previous charge by buying the 32 gig model, so I suppose I can’t complain *too* strenuously.

Here’s hoping Square Enix takes a look at this for possible Final Fantasy-related stuff…I imagine a touch-controlled RPG *might* be doable, using some lessons learned from their Nintendo DS development, plus the accellerometer… *drools*

Posted by Daniel S on March 6, 2008 at 3:13 PM (PDT)

22

I expect the iPhone hacker community to effectively disappear after this is released.

Sure, there will be those who want to unlock their SIM cards and things that are otherwise outside the law, but the market of normal users looking to add apps to their iPhone will disappear.

Why would a hacker program on their own and release things freely through their own webpage instead of paying $99 and allowing *everyone* with an iPhone to use their app. It’s a no-brainer. Even people who charge for their hacker apps will certainly see more revenue by going legal (due to volume), even with Apple taking a 30% cut.

This isn’t bad news for the hackers—it’s *great* news. Now they have a chance to be recognized as the great iPhone developers that they are, and some might even be able to eke a living out of this (rather than a hobby).

I think this SDK is a landmark day for Apple. A year from now there will likely be apps available that we haven’t even imagined yet.

In my opinion, from the long list of iPhone criticisms, only three remain. Apple has addressed everything else.

1)  Exclusive service providers (AT&T in the U.S.)
2)  Edge only (no 3G)
3)  No GPS

If item #1 is a dealbreaker for you, you could still buy an iPod Touch. I expect complaint #2 to be addressed in June, or by next Macworld Expo (January ‘09) at the latest. And item #3 has sort of been addressed with their location finder, but it’s not accurate or fast enough to be used while driving. (I expect true GPS to come to the iPhone within 2 years, however.)

The iPhone/iPod Touch is going to become a *huge* platform, rising above the current market of smartphones to become something else entirely.

Posted by BJ Nemeth on March 6, 2008 at 4:05 PM (PDT)

23

My one big question is still unanswered, though after reading through the story I have hope.  Will the SDK allow some programmer to access the BlueTooth radio to give us A2DP?  Please!?  I hate earphone wires with a passion.

Posted by Matt Muelver on March 6, 2008 at 5:10 PM (PDT)

24

I think that Apple planned this pretty good. And i agree with the $99 part. They protect the customers, make sure that privacy is protected and give freedom to design appliation, plus everything is over the iTunes store.

personaly, VERY GOOD JOB APPLE….!

Posted by dennis on March 7, 2008 at 4:58 AM (PDT)

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