Jobs woos developers: Third party app iPhone kit coming in February

Jobs woos developers: Third party app iPhone kit coming in February

Summary: Apple CEO Steve Jobs said Wednesday there will be a third party applications developer kit for the iPhone and iPod Touch in February.In a post in Apple's "hot news" section, Jobs said:Let me just say it: We want native third party applications on the iPhone, and we plan to have an SDK (software developers kit) in developers’ hands in February.

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Apple CEO Steve Jobs said Wednesday there will be a third party applications developer kit for the iPhone and iPod Touch in February.

In a post in Apple's "hot news" section, Jobs said:

Let me just say it: We want native third party applications on the iPhone, and we plan to have an SDK (software developers kit) 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.

So why will this take until February to get this iPhone kit into developers' hands? Jobs explained that security is a big reason (also see Techmeme).

 

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.

Jobs also gave Nokia some props for being open with recent limits for security. Matthew Miller has also touted Nokia's relationship with developers. Perhaps those relationships, the prospects of an open mobile OS from Google and Nokia's pursuit of touch screen technology prodded Apple to create a developers kit.

Jobs said:

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.

Matthew reckoned that digital signatures are a good tradeoff.

Steve mentions the way Nokia digitally signs some applications, I believe Windows Mobile does this as well, and it looks like Apple will try to apply that same level of verification and trust to their SDK. I don’t mind this verification if it means I can install and use a reliable applications and think there does have to be some level of security with 3rd party apps.

I'm really curious to hear some thoughts about this move. In any case, it's good news. Maybe Jason O'Grady will get some of those iPhone features he wants from third parties.

Also see:

All iPhone news, posts and reviews.

Apple Core iPhone posts.

Topics: iPhone, Apple, Mobility, Software Development, Telcos, IT Employment

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31 comments
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  • Too little too late...

    iPhone has already failed. Applications for it will not help. Windows Mobile is the only mobile phone OS worth owning and using. Without native Word and Excel, there is no point to a phone. I had an engineering friend of mine create an HDMI cable from my Windows Mobile phone to my HDTV at home and I use Pocket Word and Excel to do some "heavy thinking" at home on the HDTV in the den. If my wife wants to watch TV, I send her upstairs.
    Mike Cox
    • Only a 5 or 6

      But I like the wife comment.
      shallow_diver
    • what about your rep?

      ...does he drop by for a "heavy thinking" session?
      voyager529
    • As long as . . .

      You and Your Rep aren't 'squirting' each other (or your wife <eewwwwww!!!>) with your Zunes while you're doing that heavy thinking . . .

      5.5, dude.
      JLHenry
    • Not your best, Mikey

      ... but I know it's late-- in fact it's past your bedtime. You get yourself upstairs and come and say goodnight to your Mom and me.
      Mike Cox, Sr.
    • Right...

      "Without native Word and Excel, there is no point to a phone."

      Right. That's what I always look for. (God forbid I would think about wanting a phone that doesn't have to be rebooted once a week, or an on-screen keypad that can keep up with my presses.)

      From a Windows Mobile "smart" phone user...
      rynning
  • OSX 10.5 probably has a lot to do with it

    Adrian Hughes pointed to an Apple page showing new features in 10.5.

    Since Jobs made heavy reference to security in the iPhone apps announcement, it's worth looking at tsome new security features in 10.5 (on the Apple page). some of the new features include:

    Signed Applications

    Feel safe with your applications. A digital signature on an application verifies its identity and ensures its integrity. All applications shipped with Leopard are signed by Apple, and third-party software developers can also sign their applications.

    Sandboxing

    Enjoy a higher level of protection. Sandboxing prevents hackers from hijacking applications to run their own code by making sure applications only do what they?re intended to do. It restricts an application?s file access, network access, and ability to launch other applications. Many Leopard applications ? such as Bonjour, Quick Look, and the Spotlight indexer ? are sandboxed so hackers can?t exploit them.

    Application-Based Firewall

    Gain more control over the built-in firewall. Specify the behavior of specific applications to either allow or block incoming connections.

    Enhanced VPN Client Compatibility

    Connect to a broader range of VPN clients. Leopard supports Cisco Group Filtering as well as DHCP over PPP, which allows you to dynamically acquire additional configuration options such as static routes and search domains.

    Tagging Downloaded Applications

    Protect yourself from potential threats. Any application downloaded to your Mac is tagged. Before it runs for the first time, the system asks for your consent ? telling you when it was downloaded, what application was used to download it, and, if applicable, what URL it came from.

    Whether any or all of these would be included in iPhone is anybody's guess, but they do point to useful features. One would think that Applw would want to get 10.5 out, with such features, before allowing 3rd party apps on the iphone.
    j.m.galvin
    • Nice to see OSX catching up to XP

      [i]Tagging Downloaded Applications

      Protect yourself from potential threats. Any application downloaded to your Mac is tagged. Before it runs for the first time, the system asks for your consent ? telling you when it was downloaded, what application was used to download it, and, if applicable, what URL it came from.[/i]

      This was in XP SP2 (a [b]free[/b] update, unlike Leopard) and basically asks you to "Cancel or Allow" the opening of the file. I'm sure though that Apple's "Cancel or Allow" is a [b]brilliant[/b] security innovation.

      snicker, smirk :)
      NonZealot
      • MAN!!! Is that the best you can do?

        It's sad really. Like watching Evander Hollefield pass from a great
        fighter to a great joke. You just have to know when to leave the field
        with your dignity my friend. Or at least pick your battles more wisely.

        Pagan jim
        Laff
        • And yet no rebuttal?

          So you say that my point was weak, weak, weak, yet if you can't even refute my weak points, what chance do you have with my strong ones?

          snicker, smirk :)
          NonZealot
          • It's about usability...

            OS X will ask you at the end of download if you are sure you want to run what
            appears to be an application. This is a logical place to ask it as it serves multiple
            functions by acknowledging that our download is complete and by also warning
            you that the file could be trouble if it comes from an untrusted source. It gives you
            a sense of closure to an action and isn't at all irritating.

            Windows, on the other hand, kind of does the same thing but completely out of
            sync with he flow of things...kind of like the obnoxious uncle in the plaid suit that
            doesn't have the tack to know when to shut up. Doesn't Microsoft do any usability
            studies???

            It doesn't really matter who did what first..it is who does it best...that's what
            innovation is.
            CowLauncher
          • So you've never used Windows?

            [i]Windows, on the other hand, kind of does the same thing but completely out of sync with he flow of things[/i]

            Funny but IE asks if you truly want to run what appears to be an application right after you download it. It [b]also[/b] flags the downloaded file as coming from a potentially unsafe source and prompts you, just like OSX is finally going to do... 3 years later. Doesn't Apple do any usability studies??

            snicker, smirk :)
            NonZealot
          • You have strong ones? I remeber back many moons

            ago you had a point or two but many an Elk migration has come and
            gone since.......

            Pagan jim
            Laff
          • Still haven't answered the question!

            Regardless of whether or not I do have strong points, if you can't refute my weak points, you simply have no chance against any strong points that I [b]may[/b] come up with in the future.

            snicker, smirk :)
            NonZealot
          • See below my friend...

            Pagan jim
            Laff
        • Sorry, Jim.

          But NZ is right (Ack!! Gag!!!) on this one. I was struck with the same thought "Gee, hasn't that been part of XP since like SP1 or something?" . . .
          JLHenry
          • Ah but is he?

            Purely technically he is. He does miss the point about doing it better
            but that in and of itself is not my point. My point is that certain
            things are going to be done by every OS out there Linux, Unix,
            Windows and OSX regardless of who does it first. File systems,
            backups...etc...etc. In the end it's who does it better and not the
            similaritied but the differences that will make or break and OS. Sure
            XP did it first and I'm not arguing that but it's all the other things that
            OSX is doing with Leopard that make it a WOW OS and not so much
            VIsta. Remember also that despite that fact that XP did it first before
            thte iPod there were MP3 players. Before the iMac (first generation)
            USB existed in both cases Apple just did it better....

            Pagan jim
            Laff
      • Nope, you're right.

        WinXP had it first. But to get application signing, application-based firewall, and a half-baked sandboxing, pull out your credit card, bud; you need to upgrade to Vista. And remember, if you have XP Home, you can only upgrade one of the Vista Home versions. If you have XP Pro, you can only upgrade to one of the Vista Business versions. Otherwise, it's full $$$ for you.

        So, if you want the equivalent VPN and Media center functionality that a $129 copy of Leopard gets you, you're buying Vista Ultimate, and if you have XP Home right now, you're paying full price for Vista ultimate.

        So much for free.
        frgough
        • Sorry but you are wrong

          [i]But to get application signing, application-based firewall, and a half-baked sandboxing, pull out your credit card, bud; you need to upgrade to Vista.[/i]

          Well, only if we ignore the fact that ZoneAlarm is free and XP supports the ability to run [b]all[/b] processes as restricted rights users. In fact, Windows has had that ability 7 years longer than OSX has!!!

          snicker, smirk :)

          Oh yeah, XP has had a [url=http://pcworld.about.com/magazine/2407p132id125187.htm] "sandbox" option [/url] built in since its inception.
          [i]When running in the 'Protect my computer' mode, the program is able to read Registry settings, but it cannot change them. In addition, if your hard disk is formatted with NTFS, the program won't be able to alter any files associated with the current profile, including cookies, temporary Internet files, the desktop, and My Documents.[/i]

          You were saying?

          [i]So much for free.[/i]

          So much for your Windows knowledge!!

          PS Don't forget about Linux. Free [b]and[/b] better in every single way than OSX!! Please try again though, it is always entertaining to watch you expertly prove your lack of knowledge.

          snicker, smirk :)
          NonZealot
          • In logic

            your argument is known as moving the goal posts and is considered a fallacy (big surprise you'd use a logical fallacy).

            1. Zone alarm is a third-party product. That's moving the goalposts one.
            2. XP cannot run all processes as restricted rights user. That's just simply wrong. For example, WGA cannot run restricted rights. Microsoft Update cannot run restricted rights.
            3. Sandboxing is more than locking the registry. Strike 2.
            4. Sandboxing is more than locking files from modification by a program. Strike 3.
            5. If all these features you are touting for XP were so awesome, MS would turn them on by default. It doesn't because they break just about everything, including OS components. Penalty box for you.

            6. And, just for the sake of argument, assume everything you say is perfectly true. That makes Vista a huge rip-off and MS a lying con artist for trying to sell it to you because of its improved security.

            Either way you look like a fool. Which would explain why you rock in the corner by yourself with your idiotic little snickers and smirks.

            But, hey, someone actually paid attention to you today, so that means you must have worth as a human being, right?
            frgough