iPhone SDK - Step Right Up, Guess the Future... What Will Apple Do?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Cleverboy, Jan 1, 2008.

  1. Cleverboy macrumors 65816


    May 25, 2007
    Pocket Universe, nth Dimensional Complex Manifold
    When the iPhone was announced in January of 2007, all of its features introduced a number of questions... what I like to call "negative spaces". By "negative spaces", I mean that in order for certain things to exist, other things had to be in place. For instance, one such "negative space" I saw in January was the question of how it would accommodate iPhone ringtones, existing iPod games and how it would handle TV output.

    NOTHING was said by Apple, but a decision would need to be made either way. Come June 29th, we ran into a number of conflicting reports... Apple chose "simplicity" over "compatibility", and had apparently decided that compatibility with older iPod games was out, and that TV output would eventually be in (but strictly for video playback), and that ringtones would ONLY be available as a charged service... until finally relenting, signaled by an update to Garage Band that allowed consumer created ringtones.

    With the SDK fast approaching, we're presented with a new series of questions, and speculation to fill the "negative spaces" with answers is growing. Where will Apple fall by your guess? What other questions do you think they will NEED to answer? More importantly, what questions will they simply ignore?

    With the leakage of 1.1.3, we can see Apple now allowing "paging" (hinted by the 1.1.1 release and exposed by the jailbreak community). Now we also see Apple allowing icons to be rearranged, and web shortcuts to be added. This immediately answers one of the largest questions of how more apps will even LOOK on the iPhone.

    Here are some questions I've been thinking of:

    • How will consumers install new applications? Use iTunes? Will the iTunes API allow 3rd parties to install and prompt the "syncing" operation?
    • Will any iTunes integration take on an iTMS approach (PAID), a podcast approach (FREE), or a combination of the two?
    • How will Apple break up the phone features that developers can access? On some phones, programs must be "digitally signed" to access "deeper" features of the phone, but can run without a problem if they don't need such features. Will Apple give access to the "accelerometer"? Will Apple allow access to the "serial port"? Will Apple allow access o the "media library"? Or the "camera"? Will Apple allow applications to modify the system or make interface changes in any way? Will Apple allow a program like "Installer.app" to be installed, providing over-the-air access to new software from a large community of developers.
    • What requirements will there be for iPhone developers? MacOS required? ADC Select/Premiere membership required?
    • Is a paid/free version of XCode being prepared for Windows?
    • How will application usage effect the iPhone EULA (End User License Agreement)?
    • What sort of additions will Apple be making to its Human Interface Guidelines as relates to the nuances of "multitouch" and designing for UI consistency.

    Aside from those questions above... February will either set Apple up to be a mediocre contender or a veritable KING in the industry. One major piece still undiscussed, is how Apple plans to bring "disk mode", "file browsing" and "search" to the iPhone. Numerous reports have mentioned the possibility of "spotlight" in future releases. Without "disk mode" access, and the ability for consumers to access a file area, the concept of 3rd party applications has a noticeable "fatal flaw", as it related to things like "podcasts", "ebooks", and other downloadable data. Even while we wait for the 1.1.3 release... the "negative spaces" still unfilled are speaking volumes.

    What are they saying to you? :)

    PREDICTIONS for SDK and ROAD to iPhone 2:

    iPhone firmware update 1.1.3 will arrive before MacWorld. Possibly by the end of the current week (January 4th).

    Firmware update 1.1.4 will arrive at the end of February with the release of the official iPhone SDK. 1.1.4 will have very few if any noticeable new features, but will make a number of "under the hood" changes that clarify issues of 3rd party application deployment.

    iPhone 2 will arrive in mid-July. It will be 3G, and Apple will use all of the "disk mode", "spotlight", "GPS", "iChat video" and "coverflow/quicklook" features to show it off, before delivering firmware update 1.5 to all existing iPhone owners. The library of native apps will also be used as promotion, picking 2 or 3 top applications to highlight.

    Apple WWDC 2008 will feature a new round of improvements to the iPhone/iPod Touch SDK that expose more of the system.

    ~ CB
  2. plumbingandtech macrumors 68000

    Jun 20, 2007
    I spoke to a respected developer friend of mine, he does windows mostly but used to work at apple, and he basically said apple won't do xcode for windows since it would be a waste of resources, and by using a mac only to develop they could increase market share.

    It makes sense since this is a developer platform we are talking about and developers know you have to spend money to make money.

    I think a few hobbyists on windows will get mad, but who cares.

    It will be interesting though, very interesting what finally happens.
  3. Telp macrumors 68040


    Feb 6, 2007
    All i have to say is i hope atleast some good ones are free. Im kind of confused, j ust like with the ringtones, if theres a free way of doing it, whos gunna pay? You can hack your iphone and get everything for free or spend money for it. I hope its like a widget thing, all free (for the most part ith ink).
  4. nickspohn macrumors 68040


    Jun 9, 2007
    Good post.

    I personally think many, many of these apps are going to be free. Some of course are going to cost, but the majority will be free. Why would programs for computers be free (AIM, Paint, Basic Games, To Do lists, etc) cost anything?

    95% of webapps are free. Installer.app is free. All the programs made for Installer.app are free. People will do it for the traffic and attention, not the profit.

    Something with Widgets even. Look at all the yahoo widgets that are free. No one has really mentioned widgets, but i think that will play a role with the SDK.

    How will we get these? Probably straight from the Apple website, like they are submitted now. Or, even from 3rd party websites.

    As for iPhone 2, i seriously can't wait for it. I convinced myself before that it won't come out until mid 2009, but i'm hoping now it comes out this year. I'll be keeping my current iPhone and updrading.

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