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Apple's iPhone SDK is Finally Here


If you have an iPhone and are a developer, you have probably thought about writing a cool application for this phone. Well, today at the iPhone SDK press conference Apple announced that they have released the iPhone SDK.

You can watch the Keynote here.

Or if you prefer to read about it you can read a live blog about it here.

Below is an excerpt from the blog that I thought was particularly interesting.

10:19AM - "Ok, I'm here to tell you about how developers can build great apps on the iPhone. Before I get into the SDK, I want to give an update on web apps. This has been incredibly successful, there are over 1,000 web applications for the iPhone."

He's highlighting some web apps, including Facebook. Yep, great, let's get to the SDK dude.

"Already the iPhone is the most popular mobile device with Bank of America -- it accounts for 20% of ALL mobile banking with them. But today what I really want to tell you about is the native iPhone SDK."

10:21AM - "Starting today... we're opening the same native APIs and tools to build our iPhone apps."

"3rd party developers can build native iPhone apps using the same SDK that WE do. There are a lot of pieces that make up the SDK in a set of APIs -- that suits us well, Apple is a platform company. We have the most advanced platform in the world in the form of OS X. It's comprised of four layers..."

"The core OS, core services, media layer, and Cocoa -- to build the iPhone OS we took the bottom three layers to form the iPhone OS. Cocoa is interesting and it's the best app framework out there, but it's based on a mouse and keyboard. So we took everything we knew.. and built Cocoa Touch."

10:22AM - "This here is the architecture of the iPhone OS -- let me dig a little deeper. We'll start with the kernel. This is the same OS X kernel based on the same project and same source files of OS X; the networking layer we use is the same BSD networking layer we use on OS X. And power management... Apple has more than a decade of experience in advanced power management."

10:25AM - "We started with those advanced power management techniques and went beyond that -- the core OS power manages all of the chips, all the sensors, your application, automatically. Now, core services, I'll just highlight a few. We have a complete set of APIs for your app to talk directly to the contacts DB on the iPhone, and an entire database API with SQLite.

"Core Location - we've taken that and patched it into an API so you can create location-aware applications. The media layer... starting with Core Audio, this is the low-level audio layer; on top of that we've built OpenAL, an industry standard."

10:27AM - "Video playback: seamless video playback, uses our h.264 codec, built right in." So we can add new video codecs right? RIGHT? Sigh. "Core animation... OpenGL ES, the embedded version of OpenGL and a screamer for 3D graphics on the iPhone. In fact, this entire layer is heavily hardware accelerated."

10:29AM - "Cocoa Touch - our advanced touch event system; the accelerometer - what you might not know is that it's a full 3-axis sensor, and you can use that in your apps as well. ... this is the architecture for the iPhone OS, the most advanced mobile platform out there. We think we're years ahead of any other platform. We borrowed heavily from OS X -- we started on the shoulders of a giant."

"We have a comprehensive set of tools to help developers create and debug apps -- let's start with Xcode. We started there and enhanced it to support the iPhone; now we use Xcode to build the OS and apps for the iPhone. What is Xcode? It starts as a great source code editor -- it knows all about the iPhone SDK, will code-complete the APIs for the iPhone SDK."

10:30AM - "... it also integrates directly with source control management system, subversion, cvs... integrates with iPhone SDK documentation, and also has a nice debugger -- it's also a great remote debugger. Plug an iPhone in, run the app live on your iPhone, and be debugging it from your Mac. This is incredibly powerful."

10:32AM - "The next tool I'd like to talk about is Interface-Builder -- this is the tool you'll use to... wait for it... build your application interface. We have the complete library of iPhone interface assets, just drag them onto the canvas." Showing making connections from the view layers to control layers; it's also localizeable. "Next: Instruments..."

"We took those three and enhanced them for the iPhone, but there's a brand new tool: the iPhone Simulator. It runs on a Mac and simulates the entire API stack on your computer."

10:34AM - "So, we have a fantastic set of tools in addition to an amazing set of frameworks." Demo time. iPhone Simulator gets going -- looks identical to using an iPhone. Tiny bit creepy, actually.

Below is the blurb that Apple puts on their site about the SDK.

The iPhone SDK includes the Xcode IDE, Instruments, iPhone simulator, frameworks and samples, compilers, Shark analysis tool, and more.

You can download the free SDK here.
Please note the technical requirements are an Intel processor-based Mac running Mac OS X Leopard

You can get more information about the SDK here.

Unfortunately, I don't have access to a Mac, so I won't be able to make any applications for the iPhone (although, I haven't tested the Spy or Digg Burry Recorder on it yet, so maybe I've already made an iPhone application). However, if you have access to a Mac and want to make iPhone applications you can now go for it. If you do create the next killer iPhone application let us know about it by writing a blog post about it using your free Ajaxonomy account.