Commenter Anji was the first to bring this to my attention but I did see it in the inbox (thanks guys for feeding my iPhone addiction) and all over the news when I got home from my business trip yesterday. Apple will be releasing a software development kit (SDK) so that developers will find out how to write programs authorized to be used with Apple iPhone and the iTouch. As I replied in my email to one person last night, half of me was “yeah” and the other half was “ohnoes, February 2008?”
I admit to being a bit spoiled now because the hacked iPhone third party application system is a breeze. There is one installation program that is used to install all the programs. These programs can be installed via the iPhone with no connection to a computer. Plus, all the great applications are free. Almost all the developers allow you to give donations and I have given one to the awesome developer of the Books.app but what will the SDK do to those developers? I.e., once the big names start developing third party software will these brilliant innovators be shoved aside?
I have very few complaints about the books.app reading program. Recently the developer added a scrollbar to quickly move through the book and every font on your iPhone can be used instead of just the original three. About the only thing I miss is the ability to make my own bookmarks and annotations. Other than that, this free program is nearly as good as any commercial one out there.
My hopes is that Apple opening up its phone makes the programs these developers have created more robust.