Earlier today, I had the opportunity to watch the 2008 Apple World-Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) featuring Steve Jobs and other key Apple insiders. This keynote was similar to the Macworld one earlier this year where they continue to impress their audience. I’ll summarize the features and share my take on things as to how it benefits the industry and ultimately consumers (you).
First, you can find the Webcast of the Steve Jobs keynote, here.
Anyhow, the keynote consisted of these main topics:
- Enterprise solutions
- Open-source SDK for developers
- New Features (for the iPhone and Mac family)
Unlike previous keynotes, Jobs maintained a fairly hands-off approach, inviting other leaders in the company to mimic his flawless presentation skills, in addition to third-parties to share their experiences throughout the address. The audience for the conference was for developers and business development folks looking to take advantage of the Apple platform. Despite this, consumers also could see the awesome potential that would be coming soon.
- Apple acknowledged it held weak Enterprise support, but used that weakness to improve and potentially seize market share from RIM (Blackberry, etc.)
- Earlier in the year, Apple employed private Beta testers to launch pilot projects within some businesses such as Disney and other large companies like law firms.
- Apple earned some audacious compliments from the US Army, Disney and a professional legal services firm with regard to their Enterprise support, Outlook compatibility, among other recent developments.
- Push e-mail and calendaring is here, now. Push as in, the server sends a notice to new content, instead of “pulling” to find new content (somewhat like AOL Mail with legacy software) by comparison.
- Hand-held iPhone security is available for enterprises to adequately secure an iPhone in the event of theft/loss, as well as making it user-friendly.
SDK (Software Development Kit)
- Apple officially opens up and announces the release of their SDK for the iPhone.
- Apple describes the abstract on the development layers within the iPhone, explaining that the iPhone is literally running from the core of the OS X operating system.
- Object-Oriented Development is available. That is, even novice developers can make awesome applications…
- … And test them on their iPhone emulator on the Mac.
- Apple also offers performance benchmarking software and deep-diving debugging utilities to assist developers in creating reliable, speedy and functional applications.
- Literally, coding on the iPhone is like coding on OS X, for developers. This means rapid software development and minimal time to the market.
- Apple’s Corporate Beta Testers:
- Sega impresses the audience with their 3D video game. (3D!… OpenGL, on an iPhone!)
- EBay shows how useful and quick the development time is on the SDK, getting their upcoming eBay application out to market for free.
- SixApart flaunts their ability to leverage XMLRPC on the iPhone for their Blogging application to be used with their TypePad blogs.
- Associated Press (AP) leverages the iPhone for content distribution and content aggregation to enable readers to access Rich Content. Leverages the user’s GPS to bring local news. (This is good for journalists!)
- Medical applications can be incredibly useful for college students and even doctors for quick reference on the human anatomy, with easy access into Google and Wikipedia.
- Apple is strictly concerned for end-user performance and doesn’t let applications run in the background. (Close means close, not hide in the background.) Introduces one unified service to handle external input from Instant Message networks (example).
- Full document support for the office: Microsoft Office Suite, Apple Keynote (PPT Clone) and PDF attachments. Very useful for those road-warriors out there. Improved calculator for students.
- Parental Controls for parents [obviously], supporting content lockouts, Parental Advisory lockouts, and service lockouts (YouTube, for example).
- Language Support, which helps the iPhone broaden their global reach.
- iPhone users will get an update for free, iPod Touch users shell out $9.99 for it. (I still think it’s digital rape, if you ask me.)
- The “App Store” is going to be the open market for software vendors to sell apps and even give them for free with very, very reasonable rates for developers.
- Apple takes 30% of developer revenue if they sell it and enables them to be DRMed if they want.
- Apple provides unmetered free hosting and integrated support.
- Apple supports free apps at no charge.
- Apps <10MB can be installed over Wireless or 3G by users; >10MB can be done via the Mac/PC.
- Enterprise support/management. Enterprises can lock down iPhones and distribute proprietary content within an Intranet. It’s awesome.
- Apple’s .Mac, now refreshed with “Me.com.” Excellent syncing system for Apple devices and even PCs. Great for Office connectivity and keeping devices current with changes (like meetings/emails/pictures/etc).
- Finally, the iPhone is now equipped with 3G. As demonstrated, 3G downloaded a full rich-media Web site in 21 seconds, and EDGE in 59 seconds. Literally, 280% faster than the current infrastructure.
- Improved battery life… up to 24hrs of audio.
- Apple drops the price of the iPhone to $199. (It’s actually affordable now.) Will be available July 11th.
So, there you have it — the 2008 WWDC recapped. I might switch at some point… it may just win me over to AT&T.
Any thoughts or reactions? Share them in the comments below.