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Steve Jobs confirms native iPhone SDK by February

post #1 of 144
Thread Starter 
In a new posting to Apple.com's Hot News webpage, chief executive Steve Jobs has confirmed plans to release a software developer's kit (SDK) for iPhone by February that will allow developers to write native applications for the touch-screen handset as well as the iPod touch.

Here's an unedited copy of Jobs' note from the Apple Hot News page:

Third Party Applications on the iPhone

Let me just say it: We want native third party applications on the iPhone, and we plan to have an SDK in developers’ hands in February. We are excited about creating a vibrant third party developer community around the iPhone and enabling hundreds of new applications for our users. With our revolutionary multi-touch interface, powerful hardware and advanced software architecture, we believe we have created the best mobile platform ever for developers.

It will take until February to release an SDK because we’re trying to do two diametrically opposed things at once—provide an advanced and open platform to developers while at the same time protect iPhone users from viruses, malware, privacy attacks, etc. This is no easy task. Some claim that viruses and malware are not a problem on mobile phones—this is simply not true. There have been serious viruses on other mobile phones already, including some that silently spread from phone to phone over the cell network. As our phones become more powerful, these malicious programs will become more dangerous. And since the iPhone is the most advanced phone ever, it will be a highly visible target.

Some companies are already taking action. Nokia, for example, is not allowing any applications to be loaded onto some of their newest phones unless they have a digital signature that can be traced back to a known developer. While this makes such a phone less than “totally open,” we believe it is a step in the right direction. We are working on an advanced system which will offer developers broad access to natively program the iPhone’s amazing software platform while at the same time protecting users from malicious programs.

We think a few months of patience now will be rewarded by many years of great third party applications running on safe and reliable iPhones.

Steve

P.S.: The SDK will also allow developers to create applications for iPod touch. [Oct 17, 2007]
post #2 of 144
Woohoo!

post #3 of 144
If this turns out, then my last objection to the platform may well be moot, but we'll have to see how it's set up. I think it would have been nice to have this known up front rather than be speculation for months.

Per the article, from what I've seen on their site, Nokia allows self-signing. I think it takes an extra step to have it operate on the device though, but that makes some sense.
post #4 of 144
Yay!

February is not that far away in the grand scheme of things.

Lets just hope Apple doesn't try to rip off developers charging them for certification, as that will immediately prevent any freeware apps. We'll see - I expect we'll hear more at MacWorld. I also expect we're about to see a new iPhone firmware that will totally screw anyone's ability to put custom apps on it...
post #5 of 144
Sadly, any attempts by Apple to provide a stable and secure dev environment will be greeted as not enough by the 'we want it all NOW crowd'. Face it... hacking is WAY more fun.
BTW, anyone thinking that such an environment could have been provided within the first few months of release are delusional, so spare us the 'whoo hoo... we forced Apple's hand' victory chants.

But overall... YEA!
Apps for my Touch I'll be able to trust!
post #6 of 144
I knew this would happen. I've been saying so for months!

Jobs said quite a while ago that Apple would have a solution for creating apps for the phone that would satisfy everyone. He said that it was a lot of work to do, and that they hoped that it would be out by the end of the year.

Considering how software projects go, February isn't too late.

This will make a huge difference. I wonder if they will have a beta for Macworld. It's interesting that they are confirming it now. It's almost a random date. Unless it has something to do with one of the lawsuits.

At any rate this covers one of my needs. Now, if they can have a 3G model before too long, I'll plunk my money down.
post #7 of 144
This is very good news. Not sure whether it was planned all along, but who cares? In the long term, mobile OS X now has a very good chance of burying mobile Windows.

An interesting thing to note is that the iPhone is a very visible, large target for malware writers. Since iPhone runs OS X, Apple have a lot to lose in viruses appearing for the iPhone, as said viruses could (depending on how they work) spread to Apple's computers, and that would be
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post #8 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post


An interesting thing to note is that the iPhone is a very visible, large target for malware writers. Since iPhone runs OS X, Apple have a lot to lose in viruses appearing for the iPhone, as said viruses could (depending on how they work) spread to Apple's computers, and that would be

Everyone who's been calling for a little rationality on this subject has said all along that the reason that an SDK was not released out of the box was precisely for this reason. You don't release a brand new platform built on a powerful operating system and immediately open it up to uncontrolled, anonymous development.
My concern is that Apple may be reacting too much to the pressure and releasing the keys to the kingdom too early.
I want them to lock this baby down like a drum before they start letting every malware author take their crack.
post #9 of 144


Great news!
- removes one of the main objections for iPhone adoption (at least in the corporate world anyway)

And February gives them enough time to do a great job, and cater for any new devices that may be announced in the intervening months!
post #10 of 144
The part that sucks about it is that all that shit we were using for free will probably cost us an arm and leg now.
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post #11 of 144
Hope it rolls w/ a 3rd party Quicken widget like I had on my Treo. Stuffing receipts in my wallet was not enough to keep me from an iPhone, but I sure miss that convenience.
post #12 of 144
Jobs said to be patient. Maybe the children will stop throwing their hissy fits for a little while.
post #13 of 144
Excellent.

A very welcome move. There's a small amount of FUD (I know the Nokia signing restriction he mentions, and it's a user selectable option that defaults at the secure setting but can be changed) but otherwise this is a very welcome move.

That's really thrown me. I was about ready to buy a Nokia E90, and now I'm all indecisive again!

Amorya
post #14 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by <2cents View Post

Jobs said to be patient. Maybe the children will stop throwing their hissy fits for a little while.

Yes, definitely. If he'd only have said this at the beginning there would have been very little bitching.

It was the "write a web app if you want to develop" line that everyone was up in arms about. I could easily have handled "We'll have an SDK next year; they're hard to write and will take time".

Amorya
post #15 of 144
Awesome. Now, the real revolution countdown has just started. A million thanks to Apple and Steve. This is a great early Christmas gift for all of us!
post #16 of 144
OMG!

apple.com HackED!!!!

His Steveness would never.....

On a more serious note, does this mean the 'newton' is again mothballed? - If it existed, and was imminent, as AI pointed out, wouldn't AAPL want devs to program for it instead of iPhone/touch? Or possibly it is all a ruse for Feb. release of the newnewton™
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post #17 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by onlooker View Post

The part that sucks about it is that all that shit we were using for free will probably cost us an arm and leg now.

Ah... the new whining meme arrives right one cue.
post #18 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

My concern is that Apple may be reacting too much to the pressure and releasing the keys to the kingdom too early. I want them to lock this baby down like a drum before they start letting every malware author take their crack.

Applications are digitally signed in Leopard (optional for 3rd parties), and some run in a sandbox.

I imagine that's what will happen on the iPhone. Or rather that all applications will require a digital signature and all (non-Apple?) applications will run in a sandbox.
post #19 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

I want them to lock this baby down like a drum before they start letting every malware author take their crack.

You mean how all those malware authors have infested Mac OS X? What's so special about the phone version that's supposedly so easily threatened? The only thing I can think of is abandoning secure coding practice in order to get a less secure product out the door sooner, and then trying to mop it up afterwards. I think most people with good coding experience would suggest that's really the worst way to do it, it's short term gain for long term pain.
post #20 of 144
Reasons why SDK wasn't announced before:
  1. Need to shake out the bugs.
  2. iPod Touch is mentioned and Apple did not want to "show their hand".
  3. Some features are dependent on Leopard (Xcode 3.0/Obj-C 2.0) so it couldn't be released until Leopard was released.
  4. Steve wanted to surprise us at MWSF.
Reasons why SDK was announced now:
  1. Whiners.
  2. Ambulance chasing lawyers.
post #21 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I knew this would happen. I've been saying so for months!

Jobs said quite a while ago that Apple would have a solution for creating apps for the phone that would satisfy everyone. He said that it was a lot of work to do, and that they hoped that it would be out by the end of the year.

Considering how software projects go, February isn't too late.

This will make a huge difference. I wonder if they will have a beta for Macworld. It's interesting that they are confirming it now. It's almost a random date. Unless it has something to do with one of the lawsuits.

At any rate this covers one of my needs. Now, if they can have a 3G model before too long, I'll plunk my money down.

This news hasn't hurt the stock... it's at it's highest ever.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #22 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Per the article, from what I've seen on their site, Nokia allows self-signing. I think it takes an extra step to have it operate on the device though, but that makes some sense.

More strictly it's Symbian that manages the application signing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eAi View Post

Lets just hope Apple doesn't try to rip off developers charging them for certification, as that will immediately prevent any freeware apps.

That was the problem Symbian ran up against when it released OS 9.0 a few years back. In the 7.0 days 3rd party devs could just bung any app on their phones without signing. Symbian OS 9.0 introduced application signing so that apps couldn't run without a cert from Symbian. When Symbian first released 9.0, it was prohibitively expensive to open source developers but they quickly amended that.


Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

BTW, anyone thinking that such an environment could have been provided within the first few months of release are delusional, so spare us the 'whoo hoo... we forced Apple's hand' victory chants.

It's not that it 'could' have been provided, more that it 'should' have been provided. Or are you one of the delusional sort that thinks web apps are ok?

Face it, the iPhone would be released 9 months late if they had to do an SDK too and then the hardware would look even more at odds with Nokia, SE and even Moto's phones than it does today. No SDK and releasing Leopard late was the monumental compromise Apple had to make to release a 2G phone in 2007.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

An interesting thing to note is that the iPhone is a very visible, large target for malware writers. Since iPhone runs OS X, Apple have a lot to lose in viruses appearing for the iPhone, as said viruses could (depending on how they work) spread to Apple's computers, and that would be

No, that is impossible. Firstly it's an entirely different architecture and secondly all iPhone apps are signed and will not run without a checksum that matches. OSX on the Mac doesn't run like that. In Leopard they've also now introduced an application sandbox in which some applications run, protecting the OS from the application. Perhaps someone who understands that more than I do would like to comment. Go on - NDAs can surely be broken now?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

Everyone who's been calling for a little rationality on this subject has said all along that the reason that an SDK was not released out of the box was precisely for this reason. You don't release a brand new platform built on a powerful operating system and immediately open it up to uncontrolled, anonymous development.

That's quite frankly a load of bollocks. Mac OSX is more powerful than iPhone OSX and less secure and allows completely anonymous development.

The reason they haven't released an SDK yet is simply because users are still beta testing the iPhone and they've not nailed down the API yet. When they do, then you'll get an SDK.
post #23 of 144
Skype, Skype, Skype, Skype, Skype!

I'd be all over an iPod Touch for VoIP on WiFi if it meant I wouldn't have to pay AT&T's ripoff prices for voice and data plans or ever have to deal with them again.
post #24 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

The only thing I can think of is abandoning secure coding practice in order to get a less secure product out the door sooner, and then trying to mop it up afterwards. I think most people with good coding experience would suggest that's really the worst way to do it, it's short term gain for long term pain.

Only if you build - or let others build - on the code base you'll want to replace. Otherwise it's just a reload/reboot away.

The API's are the critical part of the iPhone software design. You have to make them solid before you can release a SDK to the public. You can't even talk about releasing a SDK before then, or developers will have conniptions.
post #25 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

P.S.: The SDK will also allow developers to create applications for iPod touch. [Oct 17, 2007]

P.P.S.: The SDK will also allow developers to create applications for a future PDA/eBook type product, even though we have no intention of announcing such a product at MacWorld SF in January. And since we have a policy of not talking about future products, I can't tell you about its larger screen, stylus support, handwriting recognition or video conferencing capabilities. -Steve
post #26 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kolchak View Post

Skype, Skype, Skype, Skype, Skype!

I'd be all over an iPod Touch for VoIP on WiFi if it meant I wouldn't have to pay AT&T's ripoff prices for voice and data plans or ever have to deal with them again.

I'm sure it'll happen, sadly.

Personally I'd rather have my teeth pulled by a Lancastrian into DIY dentistry.

On the other hand, a Gizmo Project or decent SIP client I can use would be extremely useful. Or Apple could just get off the pot and add SIP to iChat properly.
post #27 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

P.P.S.: The SDK will also allow developers to create applications for a future PDA/eBook type product, even though we have no intention of announcing such a product at MacWorld SF in January. And since we have a policy of not talking about future products, I can't tell you about its larger screen, stylus support, handwriting recognition or video conferencing capabilities. -Steve

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Based on Intel Silverthorne. The wireless computer on your hand. Full Keynote and PowerPoint NATIVE file support for the ultimate presentaton remote. Great!
post #28 of 144
WAHH WAHH WAHHHHH

zomfg! february! why make us wait so long!?!? early adopters should get a certificate to allow us to pick up an SDK two months earlier since we paid so much more. WAHHH and edge is slow, WAHHH and there's no gps. sheesh the camera sux, no video? WAHHH wtf no "massage my balls" feature for when it's in my pocket? i can't believe this thing is so HEAVY. discontinued the 4GIG! wtf?!? i have to use ATT??? visual voicemail doesn't work on other networks? lame [they should set up their networx to accommodate hackers] i can't run halo3 on this thing? lamez. it doesn't fold up to the size of a paperclip in my pocket and then unfold into a laptop size when i take it out? it doesn't have some future technology that's been theorized in yesterday's science journals? soooo antiquated! i can't wait until apple releases iPhone 2.0 so i can bitch about all the great things they didn't include in ver 1.

[SDK is great. so is Apple. if you want something to bitch about, buy stock in MS - that's as good of an investment as stuffing your mattress w/ cash]
post #29 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kolchak View Post

Skype, Skype, Skype, Skype, Skype!

I'd be all over an iPod Touch for VoIP on WiFi if it meant I wouldn't have to pay AT&T's ripoff prices for voice and data plans or ever have to deal with them again.

I don't know.. is there microphone input circuitry on an iPod touch?
post #30 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post

MSymbian OS 9.0 introduced application signing so that apps couldn't run without a cert from Symbian. When Symbian first released 9.0, it was prohibitively expensive to open source developers but they quickly amended that.

Symbian certified/signed now costs as little as 250 Euro if you are in an operator developer program at premium level (which for some operators is free). That I think is reasonable. OK rules out freeware but you should be able to recoup 250 Euro with donation or beer-ware
post #31 of 144
Reading people whining about whining is just as annoying...
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post #32 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

Sadly, any attempts by Apple to provide a stable and secure dev environment will be greeted as not enough by the 'we want it all NOW crowd'. Face it... hacking is WAY more fun.
BTW, anyone thinking that such an environment could have been provided within the first few months of release are delusional, so spare us the 'whoo hoo... we forced Apple's hand' victory chants.

But overall... YEA!
Apps for my Touch I'll be able to trust!

You, my friend, are right on the money with your comment. If anybody thinks Jobs is doing this to placate the whining crybabies they need to wake up from their wild fantasy world. This was planned from the very beginning and waiting for the Leopard to be turned loose.

You're also spot on about the 'we want it all NOW crowd'. Nothing will satisfy them. They'll simply find something else to whine about, or file lawsuits over.
post #33 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by onlooker View Post

The part that sucks about it is that all that shit we were using for free will probably cost us an arm and leg now.

I hear that giant sucking sound..... oops, it must be your arm and your leg...
post #34 of 144
Would be awesome if the apps were either freeware, or .99c
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #35 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by troberts View Post

Reasons why SDK wasn't announced before:
  1. Need to shake out the bugs.
  2. iPod Touch is mentioned and Apple did not want to "show their hand".
  3. Some features are dependent on Leopard (Xcode 3.0/Obj-C 2.0) so it couldn't be released until Leopard was released.
  4. Steve wanted to surprise us at MWSF.
Reasons why SDK was announced now:
  1. Whiners.
  2. Ambulance chasing lawyers.

Yes, that does deserve an internet slap. *SLAP*
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #36 of 144
The 3rd party app that will surprise people when it arrives (not because it's gonna be good, but the mere fact that no one had thought of it much) Firefox. Safari user myself though.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #37 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

You mean how all those malware authors have infested Mac OS X? What's so special about the phone version that's supposedly so easily threatened? The only thing I can think of is abandoning secure coding practice in order to get a less secure product out the door sooner, and then trying to mop it up afterwards. I think most people with good coding experience would suggest that's really the worst way to do it, it's short term gain for long term pain.

Hey, I brag on Apple's security as much as anyone. (Work on Windows... I know the difference.)
Just don't want Apple to err on the side of complacency.
post #38 of 144
I've been saying they were going to do this for months also, I knew they were holding off because they needed Mac OS X 10.5 to be released first. From day 1 I knew the iPhone was designed for use with Mac OS X 10.5 since it is likely running a version of that on board. But since 10.5 was delayed, they wanted to get this out there, so had to release it hampered by the fact that all the options weren't opened. 10.5 allows syncing of to-do lists and notes with the iPhone as well


I said when the iPhone came out that I was going to wait til spring, that is still my plan.

Apple could not announce anything earlier because the reason they didn't was due to the Leopard Delay, and they just didn't want to make that look bad.
post #39 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by zunx View Post

Awesome. Now, the real revolution countdown has just started. A million thanks to Apple and Steve. This is a great early Christmas gift for all of us!

Right on.

Aside from the rumored comment Jobs made last week re: iCal functionality on the Touch - I am not a programmer, so can someone answer me this?

Is it possible for a 3rd-party developer to create a Touch/iPhone application that will allow better iCal event creation/editing than iPhone's current application, while still syncing seamlessly with iCal on the base computer?

If so, I've already said I will buy an iPod Touch immediately. I will also jump for joy if they upgrade its storage. And give it a video camera!

Thanks, Steve -
post #40 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

Sadly, any attempts by Apple to provide a stable and secure dev environment will be greeted as not enough by the 'we want it all NOW crowd'. Face it... hacking is WAY more fun.
BTW, anyone thinking that such an environment could have been provided within the first few months of release are delusional, so spare us the 'whoo hoo... we forced Apple's hand' victory chants.

But overall... YEA!
Apps for my Touch I'll be able to trust!

In a previous open letter, Steve wrote:

"It is generally not Apple’s policy to trumpet our plans for the future; we tend to talk about the things we have just accomplished. Unfortunately this policy has left our customers, shareholders, employees and the industry in the dark about Apple’s desires and plans to become greener. Our stakeholders deserve and expect more from us, and they’re right to do so. They want us to be a leader in this area, just as we are in the other areas of our business. So today we’re changing our policy... Today is the first time we have openly discussed our plans to become a greener Apple. It will not be the last. ... We apologize for leaving you in the dark for this long. "

What got people upset was not the delay in providing an SDK, but Apple's refusal to mention one at all. Steve Jobs said "we're working on a solution" and a few weeks later he says "We have a REALLY SWEET solution-- web apps!". Up until now, it appeared that Apple would never provide an SDK for native applications.

Your last statement shows your hypocrisy. First you blast those "whiners" for demanding more than just web apps, and now you go "YEA! Apps for my Touch". At least those "whiners" stayed true with their demands, unlike the blind Apple defenders who change their story whenever Apple changes its story. So those "whiners" have every right to celebrate Steve's announcement. They certainly did more to get a response from Apple than the blind defenders.

"I try to be a good Christian. I follow all the teachings of the Bible. I even follow the teachings that contradict the other teachings." --Ned Flanders.
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