That sound you hear is hell freezing over.
Despite saying everything to the contrary and even opening a WebApps portal on their Web site, Steve Jobs today announced that Apple is releasing an iPhone SDK to developers in February so that they can develop "real" iPhone applications.
According to his missive in the Hot News section of Apple's site:
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.
Why February? Steve had this to say about the timing:
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.
At the end of this post, Steve drops the other shoe: The SDK will also allow developers to create applications for iPod touch. Yummy!
This is big news folks.
Developers that I hope are paying attention to today's announcement:
- Filemaker, Inc.–This is a huge opportunity to port the venerable Mac database to the iPhone. It's one of the applications that I miss the most from my Treo.
- SplashData, Inc.–Their amazing password and PIN manager is also badly needed for iPhone. Although the 1Password beta is getting closer, I need a real password and PIN manager for iPhone.
- Salling Clicker–As I mentioned in my post earlier today, iPhone is just made to be a BT/WiFi remote control and Jonas Salling is just the guy to do it.
- Newsgator–The iPhone needs a monster RSS client. Period. I've always been partial to NetNewsWire and it would be a perfect fit for iPhone.
- RogueAmoeba–As I also mentioned today, iPhone needs to be able to stream music to the AirPort Express bas station. If Apple won't do it, Rogue should port AirFoil to iPhone.