Opening up the iPhone

Apple finally released a SDK. MIT Tech Review looks at what this could mean:

“This is a huge deal,” says Ken Case, CEO of Omni Group, a company that implements ideas from David Allen’s Getting Things Done in organizational software for the Mac operating system. “Apple has built this small handheld computer that’s based around the same fundamental technology of the Mac. What [the SDK] means for us is that we now have the opportunity to build software that people have been clamoring for since the iPhone was announced.”

Businesses will be more likely to dole out iPhones to employees because, in addition to e-mail compatibility and synching ability, Apple is now offering a way for employees to access business servers that are behind firewalls. Moreover, the phones can be cleared of all data remotely, if they are lost or stolen.

Nonetheless, says Allen, it’s still not a complete free-for-all. It’s not clear whether programmers will have access to certain layers of information about the phone, such as those that could allow them to build Bluetooth peripherals like keyboards. Allen says that he hasn’t yet had a chance to dive deeply into the SDK, but he’s not sure whether it will allow for software that lets iPhone users receive data, such as instant messages, while they’re placing calls over the cellular network (something that’s not possible now).

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