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  • Odyssey Number Five

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Apple Reveals iPhone SDK Details

At Apple’s iPhone Roadmap event on Thursday, Scott Forstall Apple V.P. for iPhone Software, revealed details on the long-awaited iPhone Software Development Kit (SDK).

Mr. Forstall said Apple will deliver the same API’s and tools that Apple itself uses to develop native applications for the iPhone. The core OS, OS X, uses the same elements as Mac OS X: Cocoa, CoreServices and CoreOS.

Mr. Forstall recounted how the Core OS has the OS X Kernel, Library System, BSD TCP/IP, Sockets, Security, Power Management, Keychain, Certificates, File System, CoreLocation, SQL Lite and Bonjour. Basically Apple took everything it knew about developing for Mac and transfered it to the iPhone.

Developers will have access to all the core audio and video capabilities: Core Audio, OpenAL, Audio recording and playback, JPG, PNG, TIFF, PDF, 2D Quartz, Core Animation, and OpenGL "ES". Developers will also have access to the accelerometer and the camera.

Mr. Forstall said that this is the most advanced platform on a mobile phone and that "Apple is years ahead of any other platform for mobile devices." The development IDE, just as on the Mac, is a version of Xcode which includes the traditional Interface Builder and performance profiling tools. Apple, in fact, developed a technique to connect an iPhone to Mac, run the software on the iPhone but als use a Mac for debugging.

During the demonstration, Mr. Forstall show the audience how he built an app to morph a picture, then use the accelerometer interface to shake the iPhone and restore the picture to its original form. It only took him two days to write. Mr. Forstall went on to say that Apple gave some key developers two weeks with the SDK to see what they could do. Travis Boatman at Electronic Arts came up with the game "Spore" with all kinds of touch screen fun.

Mr. Boatman had never used a Mac for development before.

[Thanks to ars technica for information about the iPhone SDK features.]

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