"We have been trying to come up with a solution to expand the capabilities of the iPhone so developers can write great apps for it, but keep the iPhone secure. And we've come up with a very. Sweet. Solution. Let me tell you about it. An innovative new way to create applications for mobile devices... it's all based on the fact that we have the full Safari engine in the iPhone."
"And so you can write amazing Web 2.0 and AJAX apps that look and behave exactly like apps on the iPhone, and these apps can integrate perfectly with iPhone services. They can make a call, check email, look up a location on Gmaps... don't worry about distribution, just put 'em on an internet server. They're easy to update, just update it on your server. They're secure, and they run securely sandboxed on the iPhone. And guess what, there's no SDK you need! You've got everything you need if you can write modern web apps..." Weeeeeaaaak.
After these remarks, Scott Forstall, VP of iPhone software, took the stage for some developer demos:
"Your applications can take advantage of the built-in native services." He's in the iPhone -- no new apps up on screen, the same 11 as before -- sorry iPhone fans!
"We built a custom corporate address book app to use our internal LDAP... it actually took less than one person-month to do this. It's under 600 lines of code to do the whole thing." Shows up the vCards as they look in the built-in contact app. Not too shabby!
We can take advantages of the built in services for iPhone... we can call right from the web app, we can email right from the built-in email application.... I can even tap on his address, it takes me directly to the built in Google Maps app. ... " Ok, that's all sorted.
So, it looks like those earlier rumors about there being no GPS on the iPhone are correct. There is no mention of GPS, only of manual entry of addresses, etc.
After all this, we still don't know much about how easy it will be to develop apps for the iPhone. Apparently, there will be no developer kit, which will likely make things harder for anyone looking to make new apps. And as Jobs kept pointing out, it's only 18 days until the iPhone arrives.
While it's great news that there will be third-party apps on the iPhone, I remain skeptical about how "full" Safari will be on the iPhone. We still have no idea how easy the device will be to use to surf the Web, not to mention how slow the EDGE data connection will be.
What do you think? Will the Safari browser on the iPhone offer users full access to Web 2.0 on their handsets? Or is this more of the reality distortion field at work?