Apple Event iPhone SDK and the Enterprise

Apple had an event today at the Apple Town Hall. Today they talked about two main topics, the Enterprise market and the iPhone Software Development Kit (SDK) for building native (non-web) Applications on the iPhone. Here are the biggest things.

Enterprise Space:

– Push Email
– Push Calendars
– Push Contacts
– Global Address List
– Certificates and identities
– WPA2/802.1X
– Enforced security policies
– Device Configuration
– Remote Wipe in case it gets lost or stolen
(All of these features will be in the next software update)

Apple has also licensed Active Sync from Microsoft in order to build Microsoft Exchange support right into the iPhone.

The push email, push calendar and global address list will all be built directly into the same iPhone applications that every user will have. I wonder if this is where the 2 pane email view came from during the initial Keynote in January 2007.
My biggest concern is the exploitability of the Remote Wipe of an iPhone.


The biggest news of the day was the Software Development kit. They are opening up the same Application Programmable Interfaces (APIs) that Apple’s own in-house developers use to make applications. Some of the major technologies used are:

– Cocoa
– Media
– Core Services
– CoreOS

All of these technologies, excluding Cocoa, were used to create the iPhone Operating System. With CoreOS you have access to the following parts of the system. OS X Kernel, Lib System, the BSD TCP/IP Stack, Sockets, Security, Power management, Keychain, Certificates, File System, Bonjour, SQLite and Core Location. If you plan on developing with the SDK you have access to the following media technologies: Core Audio, OpenAL, Audio Mixing, Audio Recording (This is going to be huge), Video Playback, Quartz (2D) Core Animation, and OpenGL ES. The following image formats are supported, JPG, PNG, Tiff, PDF.

They’ve had to develop specific technologies for the iPod Touch and the iPhone. This is called Cocoa Touch. This technology controls all of the events and controls, the accelerometer, viewing hierarchy, Localization, Alerts, web views, People Picker (Contact list I think), Image Picker (the flick) and the Camera. With Cocoa Touch you’ll be able to build the interface using the Interface Building within Xcode with drag and drop to make it easier to program.

One cool thing you can do with the iPhone is use it as a live remote debugger and run the code against your iPhone as you build to test.

A note, you will only be able to develop applications within Xcode, meaning only on a Mac.

A New tool is being deployed, iPhone Simulator. You can run your iPhone applications right on your Mac to emulate the motion and way that an iPhone or iPod touch works.

A new store will be created, the AppStore. This will be available on iTunes and directly from your iPhone or iPod Touch. You will be able to download these programs over edge or Wi-fi. Why can’t we do this with the music?

Developers can allow free applications or pay for applications. They can set their own price, and will retain 70% of all revenue. This seems a bit low to me, but it’s not too bad considering that developers will not have to take credit card information or anything like that; it will all be handled by Apple. With free applications there will be no charge to either the consumer or the developer, which is nice for those who want to test the waters. Some applications will not be distributed, like pornographic ones, malicious applications or ones that invade privacy. This is a good move on Apple’s part. Apple will be the sole distribution point for all applications. We can expect applications that work over Wi-fi for VOIP to be developed and approved, but not over EDGE. This would go into AT&T’s revenue, and hence Apple’s. In order to keep malicious apps off the iPhone developers will have to register with Apple for a $99 fee. This will allow Apple to certify that these developers will not create malicious applications.

Two notes about development, There will be no other way to write applications for the dock connector other than what is already available with the “Made for iPod” program. This means that there will be no 3rd party keyboard support. Secondly, they never did mention anything a Bluetooth API, so I’m not sure if we’ll see other accessories like a Bluetooth keyboard.

The iPhone 2.0 software update will have the enterprise stuff and SDK stuff. Kleiner Perkins setup what they call the iFund. It’s a $100 million fund to help developers create applications for the iPhone.

I'm into everything technology related, particularly anything Apple related. I enjoy programming and tend to lean towards server-based technologies over client-based. You can contact me on twitter, via e-mail, or follow me on friendfeed.