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Apple Releases Beta 4 Of iPhone SDK

The latest build includes Xcode integrated development environment, an interface builder, frameworks and samples, compilers, and the Shark analysis tool.
Apple has released the fourth beta version of the iPhone software development kit, which includes OpenGL ES support in the smartphone simulator. OpenGL ES is a royalty-free, cross-platform API for 2-D and 3-D graphics on embedded systems, such as those found in smartphones.

Developers have been asking for the support, so they can test OpenGL applications through the simulator, rather than directly on the iPhone, according to the Apple enthusiasts site MacRumors.com.

Other features in the latest version of the SDK, released Wednesday, include Xcode integrated development environment, an interface builder, frameworks and samples, compilers, and the Shark analysis tool. Developers are building applications in anticipation of a June launch of a new version of the iPhone operating system, as well as an Apple App Store.

The SDK is available for free download through the company's Apple Developer Connection Web site. Developers who want to test their code directly on the iPhone and distribute their applications through Apple's App Store have to apply for membership in the iPhone Developer Program. Apple released the first test version of the SDK on March 6.

Since the SDK's release, developers have logged a number of complaints, starting with Apple's requirement that all distribution of applications to iPhone users go through the company's App Store.

More recently, developers learned that they wouldn't be able to create music players for the iPhone. The SDK apparently doesn't permit access to iTunes, the iTunes library, or any facets of the iPhone's music player. As a result, music services such as Amazon.com and eMusic, won't be able to write their own download services for the iPhone.