The SDK update also gives developers the option to add notifications via a push server. "We're late on this," admitted Scott Forstall, chief of iPhone software development at the event.
Apple said the delay was due to required re-architecting of its servers to accommodate. Companies can use the technology to deliver notifications like sounds and text alerts when the program isn't loaded. Notifications are sent from third-party sources to Apple, which then delivers it to iPhones.
Map Access and street-by-street navigation
The mapping engine Apple developed with Google for the iPhone's built-in Map app will be opened up into a general purpose API. Developers will be able to embed its mapping features like multi-touch navigation, street and satellite views, and GPS plotting into their own applications.
Core Location will also let turn-by-turn GPS direction possible — but Apple warned that developers who want to include that feature will have to use their own maps due to licensing problems.
Micropayments, subscriptions and in-app purchases
iPhone 3.0 will support new payment options for third-party software like in-app micropayments and subscriptions. Joswiak gave examples of a e-magazine where users can renew the subscription from within its app or iPhone game makers selling additional levels a la carte.
Payments are done through iTunes accounts, similar to how music and apps themselves are presently handled. Users are prompted to give their iTunes password for verification within the app before the download starts.
Apple said the payment split will be the same for in-app purchases. Devs take 70 per cent of any revenue generated by their apps and Apple gets the rest.
Apple touched on additional features to be included in iPhone 3.0, such an ability to use the keyboard in landscape mode for all applications. This should be particularly handy in Mail for those lacking tiny, tiny fingers.
The update will also add a new voice memo app. Calendar gets support for subscriptions. And the CalDAV standard supported by Yahoo and Google for shared calendars.
Safari gets antiphishing technology and auto-fill. Parental controls are also being added to the iTunes app store.
The Developer beta is available today to everyone in the iPhone Developer Program. The rest of us need to wait until "summer" to get our hands on the new iPhone toys. ®
Re: No 3rd party background app
"The "NO 2 APPS RUNNING" screamers should know the catch here is that 3rd party applications cannot run in the background, which is fine, as the only application most would want running at the same time would be music playing while they browsed the web or something."
Wouldn't work in the Nokia Sports Tracker scenario then. The beauty of this kind of app is you can have it sat in the background tracking your every movement via GPS, and yet can work on other foreground apps at the same time.
Okay, Nokia provided this one, but by the sounds of it such a similar app on the iPhone will come from a 3rd party. So means foreground only.
As an example, when I go skiing, I use Nokia Sports Tracker, launch it, put it in the background, and go off down the slopes leaving it running most of the day. It's constantly tracking and whenever I stop I can dive in to other apps (e.g. I might want to browse the web in the restaurant, or I could be stopped on the slope and want to view a PDF piste map). Similar is when doing walks or cycling, having a document with a route plan or guide open, whilst tracking at the same time. There's a mashup kind of potential too where you could have independent tracking apps feeding data somewhere. e.g. Google Lattitude and Sports Tracker, or either of those plus a navigation app (in Nokia's world, e.g. Nokia Maps), whilst driving to combine nagivation and tracking.
These are just a tiny example, but there are hundreds of other potential cases where you want a 3rd party app in the background (Google Lattitude being a prime example and the reason why Google has not offered it for the iPhone yet).
Until you've had the ability though you probably won't realise just why you need it. If you're coming from another phone platform it becomes an obvious omission. It doesn't exactly encourage migration to Apple (but then competitors aren't Apple's potential customers. Apple devotees are).
@ Bod & other application tards
The iPhone can run 2 applications at the same time. I can happily browse my menus while listening to the iPod app, my calendar will still alarm no matter what app is open, my stopclock will tick away, the phone will ring, I will get voice alerts, etc.
The "NO 2 APPS RUNNING" screamers should know the catch here is that 3rd party applications cannot run in the background, which is fine, as the only application most would want running at the same time would be music playing while they browsed the web or something.
Upping the ante
"Apple upped the ante when it came to mobile phones, which other manufacturer made a phone that was completely touch screen, which company made it so easy to install and uninstall applications on your phone and which company made it so easy to use your music library, that did not need you to scroll though thousands of tracks, instead you could just flick through your cover art and select the track! Which phone allows you to resize photos just using two fingers!"
Other manufacturers were too busy concentrating on making phones do what phones do best. Making calls! ;)
What Apple provided was a very sexy sleek UI which beat the crap out of all other manufacturers. It is very nice I will admit. But it's just the same as everything else with Apple. It's like Safari 4. It is now (after much complaint about earlier Safari versions) Google Chrome but with shiny fluff you don't need. Looks nice, but that's about it.
For all the sexy UI, the iPhone won't give me a GPS mapping application that caches entire continents worth of preloaded maps so I don't have to use an Internet connection to look at maps, provide navigation, and won't let me jump out to fire up the browser, read a Word document and/or do GPS sports tracking at the same time the map app is running with GPS active. Sports tracker mulit-tasking in particular on Nokia devices is great. Have it stay in the background tracking whilst you do other things on the phone, even listen to music, make calls & surf the web.
In fact Google Latitude is noticeably still absent from the iPhone. Why? Key to Latitude on a phone is multitasking, so it can update your location regardless of what you are doing on the phone and even if it's sat in your pocket sleeping. Even my 3 year old S60 based Nokia can do this with a fraction of the price and power.