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iPhone SDK Roadmap and Microsoft Exchange Support

Posted on 06 March 2008 by Staff

Apple iPhone

Apple today unveiled the iPhone and iPod Touch Software Development Kit (SDK) and Microsoft Exchange support

Software developers finally get a look at the iPhone SDK roadmap to create applications for the phone. Over a year after the iPhone was introduced, and a couple of week late, Apple has given developers the tools they have been asking for. Starting today Apple will be open up the same APIs and tools that they use internally to build iPhone software. Now third-party developers can now begin to officially produce legitimate software, not iPhone software hacks. The SDK will rely on Apple’s Xcode development environment for Mac OS X, but optimized for the iPhone. So basically, if you can develop applications for the Mac then you should be able to do the same for the iPhone.

The full featured SDK gives developers full access to the iPhone’s core OS including graphics and networking. Apple created something called Interface Builder, that “Makes building your user interface as simple as drag-and-drop” plus debugging and analysis tools. What does this mean for the average iPhone user? It mean there will be a host of new software including everything from games and instant messaging to powerful business applications. The applications will be exclusively distributed through iTunes and the new AppStore, a new wireless store for iPhone applications. You can search applications right from your phone and then download them via Wi-Fi or through the cellular network. The same software developed with the SDK will also run on the iPod Touch including all the new enterprise additions.

Apple also introduced Microsoft Exchange support built right into iPhone, removing the greatest barrier for adoption of the iPhone into the corporate world. Apple has licensed ActiveSync with Exchange server from Microsoft. Built into the next software update, the iPhone will have access to push email, push contacts with global address book, live calendar events and remote wipe plus additional security. Although IT managers will inevitably find something to complain about, the list will have been reduced significantly, making the iPhone an almost unstoppable business tool.

The iPhone 2.0 software update that will make all this happen will not be available until June, but developers and companies will get a beta SDK starting today.

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