Noel Rappin Writes Here

iPhone SDK

Posted on March 9, 2008


I’m trying to figure out exactly why I’m so psyched by the Apple iPhone SDK announcement. The basic announcement wasn’t a surprise, and I don’t even own an iPhone. I did, however, dig out my Cocoa programming book and start studying.

Further thoughts:

  • The tools themselves seemed somewhat slicker than what was expected – a lot of Mac developers were pleasantly surprised that Interface Builder was included (although apparently it’s not in the first beta). There was a lot of speculation that the SDK release was delayed over security issues, but it also looks like polishing the tools took some time.

  • The demos were exceptionally well done, a very nice range of choices, and the continual push of how easy it was to make them. The quality of the demo is clearly one of the reasons that I’m excited.

  • As an aside.. say your boss came up to you and said you’re going to fly to Cupertino for two weeks to build something in the super-secret iPhone SDK, which you will get to present in a full-on Steve Jobs media event. How many nanoseconds would you need to wait before accepting?

  • Let’s see, the iPhone 2.0 comes out the end of June. So… by August 1, it should be the top mobile gaming platform going, right? Those were some seriously cool looking games…

  • The terms were more open than I expected. It’s particularly nice that Apple is allowing the developers to set the price. It’s particularly nice that they specifically included “free” as a price. They seemed to emphasize that Apple was going to try and get as many apps in front of developers as possible – I’d take the inclusion of AIM as a demo as a sign that even things that AT&T might not be thrilled with will be allowed.

  • The general sense of the existing indy Mac community is that the 70/30 split is reasonable given what Apple is offering. It’ll be interesting to see how the price points play out. (As pointed out by Jens Alfke, the App store model enables an entirely new class of micropayment software)

  • Still a number of questions: how will developers manage limited betas? Will developers be allowed to have the download be free, but have a separate license authorization? What about free but add supported (like Twitteriffic)?

Early line, here’s a short list of people or apps off the top of my head I expect greatness from:

  • MobileTwitteriffic, already essentially announced. The trick here will be improving on the web UI.

  • Red Sweater, apparently Daniel is considering porting Black Ink, and maybe MarsEdit.

  • Ambrosia Software. For a really great game – Sketch Fighter would work…

  • The Desktop Tower Defense guy. The UI would be tricky, though…

  • Somebody to do the killer To-Do list or GTD app. Omni?

  • A really cool doodle/draw program.

I think this is going to be a very fun ride…



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