In IBM's planned future, everything will communicate with everything. The company has now announced a new software development kit, Mote Runner, that will allow programmers to put anything from coffee makers to environmental monitoring systems on the "Internet of things."
The Web is still a-twitter after Steve Jobs's pronouncement yesterday that an official software development kit is in the works (due next year) for the iPhone, allowing programmers to build native third-party applications. There's something about the tone of this communique—effectively a CEO's blog post—that I just love, so to quote:
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. We are excited about creating a vibrant third party developer community around the iPhone and enabling hundreds of new applications for our users.As many are pointing out as the dust begins to settle today, Steve saved the best for his love note's conclusion:
P.S.: The SDK will also allow developers to create applications for iPod touch.
While programming for the iPhone is great and all, that last juicy morsel is what seems to be getting Mac developers most excited. No matter how successful Apple's superphone becomes, its sales will likely remain a drop in the ocean when compared to the iPod, a gadget that has managed to sink its hooks into mass consumer consciousness like none before it. Safely assuming most future 'Pod permutations will be sporting higher-performance processors and an OS X operating system like the iPod touch, developers are licking their chops at the prospect of selling their applications to such a huge market of users.
In the end, though, Apple will have final say over what apps can and can't do via an "an advanced system which will...protect users from malicious programs." So you can probably stop crossing your fingers for that iPhone Bit Torrent client. The outlaw days were fun while they lasted. —John Mahoney
Today is a special day for PPX—our first proposition has reached its endpoint. As screenshots, binaries and source code for the iPhone's "hello world" application surfaced late Sunday, the necessary verifications was there to finally confirm that the iPhone Dev team has indeed succeeded in running a simple third-party application. Trading is currently suspended on IPHACK, and pending final approval, the stock will officially delist sometime in the next 24-48 hours. Holders of IPHACK rejoice—you just made some money (POP$100 per share, to be exact). For the record, PPX called it from the beginning: the price reached POP$80 (80% probability) less than a week after the iPhone's release and didn't look back.
As you can see, the application doesn't do too much yet (other than display a greeting to "netkas," one of the hackers responsible - see more on his blog), but "hello world" is the necessary first step for any programming platform to grow. The door is open—now it's only a matter of time until more full-featured apps start to pop up.
The interesting question now is how will Apple respond? Will they attempt to plug the hole via a software update? Fully embrace the move and release an official software development kit for programmers? Or simply ignore it? My money, for now, is on the latter—with the iPod, anyway, Apple has been fairly tolerant, allowing the iPod Linux crew for instance to hack away in relative comfort. But the iPhone is a decidedly different beast, so it will be interesting to see what happens. Hmm, do I smell PPX prop potential? —John Mahoney