After Apple’s announcement and subsequent release of the iPhone and later the iPod Touch, my brother and friends bitched about Apple’s stupidity and Steve Jobs’s control freakiness. They all complained about Apple’s unwillingness to allow or even encourage third party development of native iPhone applications.
Over the last few months, many, many articles have been written about the subject, mostly bemoaning Apple’s stance. Even Apple’s competitors in the cell business (namely Nokia) latched on to this and proclaimed that their phones are ‘Open to anything’, unlike the iPhone.
After few of such discussions with my brother and various other friends, I made a bet with all of them that as soon as Leopard is released, Apple will announce and then make available a native SDK (Software Development Kit) for the iPhone.
I made that bet on a logical rationale that my friends denied.
After the iPhone came out, it became widely known that it was running a version of Leopard. Since the Mac’s version of Leopard was still in Alpha stage at the time, it only made sense that the iPhone was running an Alpha version too.
Since Apple had set a June deadline to release the iPhone that meant they had to make sure that it works reliably. Which means that they chose a fairly stable build of the Leopard Alpha, fixed as many bugs as they could to insure stable and solid operation of the phone, made sure that their own applications on the phone are not stumbling on any bugs and they released that.
When working with an alpha-grade system, an SDK is nearly impossible. If I were Apple, I wouldn’t want to expose the inner working of an alpha-grade system to outside developers either.
Now that Leopard reached release status, that means all the features have been finalized and the code has reached an acceptable stability level. So now a native SDK has become feasible (Finally!).
However, Apple is still cautious. Just like prudent users who don’t install and use a .0 release on a mission critical system, Apple is taking its time to finalize and release the SDK. They’ve set the date of the release to sometime in February. That would give them time to iron out the majority of the big bugs that will crop out as soon as Leopard is released.
The iPhone’s SDK will be based on Leopard version 10.5.2 or 10.5.3. Of course the iPhone’s firmware will be updated to reflect the more mature version of Leopard available.
Now all we need is a firm date for the availability of the iPhone in Canada.