So I have just been watching the live coverage of the iPhone SDK announcement over on Gizmodo and I have to say I could not be more impressed.
“Cocoa Touch”, full Xcode support, full Interface Builder support, full Instruments support (on and off the phone) and best of all a full iPhone simulator. The development process looks to be very tidy and complete and I am not sure even the most cynical of Mac developers could be disappointed with it.
Support for MacBook Pro and Air multi-touch track pads is very cool but from what I can see there is no way to simulate that on a desktop mac or older MacBooks. Sync’ing the app to the phone for testing looks to be trivial though so this is not a major issue.
Support was obviously strong from the gaming publishers, a smartphone with a touch screen, accelerometer, core animation and 600Mhz chip was always going to make the game publishers go a little weak at the knees and they did not disappoint here with EA & SEGA both on board demoing several apps including Super Monkey Ball (obvious, given the accelerometer) and Spore (braver! and more interesting). Is this the start of a real mobile gaming platform that is able to tackle more than puzzle games and side scrollers? I hope so. One question that comes to my mind though is that with such strong support from the major games publishers, will this stifle independent developers from entering the games market? I hope not.
The iTunes application store looks, amazing, simple as that.
It is everything we could have hoped for and more with on-phone wireless browsing and download, automatic updates, simple payment process with a (reasonably expensive, but) simple pricing structure for developers. I have installed apps on my “smart” phones in the past but I am a geek and normal people just didn’t do it, until now. I do not feel I am making a huge statement when I say this will revolutionise mobile application use.
The iFund is interesting and shows that people think that there is real money to be made here, I completely agree.
All in all, a very solid set of announcements which I have not covered in detail here and I would suggest going to one of the main apple blogs for something more in-depth.
What was surprising was some of the reactions about the SDK and devlopment process being Mac only.
“I agree. I don’t think developers should be limited to which machines they have access to. This is pretty much bullshit. Pretty much. Xcode nor the simulator run on a PC. So, what, they’re going to cut Windows users out of the application lineup? I, for one, don’t feel like paying $1000 for a MacBook just so I can fuck around with some code.”
Was there ever an expectation that this SDK would be anything other than Mac only? I should be shot for including that quote here though, if it had been Windows compatible then people would still not have been happy and would instead have been asking for .NET support and other such ridiculousness!
I did not notice any mention of SDK restrictions regarding access to the EDGE network or the phone capabilities. EDGE I can understand as there is only so much damage an app can cause with an unlimited data plan but I am surprised it has full access to the phone. Correct me if I am wrong on this!
Anyway, I think Apple just hit this one out of the park, the reaction in #macsb was overwhelmingly positive. This post may be a little rough and ready as it was written while the announcement was happening so please forgive any mistakes or omissions and hey, at least I am topical once again! :)
Oh and I loved this comment from #macsb about the hello world app. Made me laugh!