Apple's iPhone 3.0 Could Be Boon For Developers - InformationWeek

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6/16/2009
06:59 PM
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Apple's iPhone 3.0 Could Be Boon For Developers

The new features will let third-party companies create compelling applications for corporate and casual iPhone users.

Apple iPhone 3G S
(click image for larger view)
Apple iPhone 3G S

While Apple's 3.0 iPhone software will give consumers multiple new features, the update is primarily seen as a way for developers to create new and innovative applications for multiple types of users.

Developers said Apple has really opened up the device by including more than 1,000 application programming interfaces, as well as the ability to create app-specific accessories that plug into the device's docking port.

"As an update, Apple's done a good job balancing for all types of developers," said John Poisson, CEO of Tiny Pictures. "It's a balanced, incremental improvement on an SDK that was quite pleasurable to develop for compared to other mobile platforms."

One of the most appealing features of the software update is the push-notification system. In this system, an app is connected to an Apple server that has a persistent connection with the iPhone, and the user can be sent an audible or visual notification if there's any activity in the program even if it's closed.

Apple had to implement this system because the iPhone doesn't allow apps to run in the background like rivals Android, BlackBerry, Symbian, webOS, and Windows Mobile do. Apple said running programs in the background would be far too draining on a handset's resources and battery life. While developers may argue which is the best approach, nearly all will agree that having a solution will open the door for more engaging apps.

"There are obvious benefits for things like e-mail programs, but there are multiple possibilities for enterprise apps," said Senthil Krishnapillai, director of product management at Sybase, about the notification system. "Things like a CRM program or custom app could be created that keep mobile employees connected with their manager or the business."

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