Apple to add enterprise features and SDK to iPhone in June

Subject: General Tech | March 6, 2008 - 11:57 AM |
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A little off topic perhaps, but after sitting through some live blogs of the Apple SDK announcement there are some interesting bits of news coming out.  First up, Apple announced a move toward the enterprise customer by adding in features like native ActiveSync Exchange support, push email, push calendar, push contact, remote device wiping, Cisco VPN, WEP2 support and certificates and identities to name the majority.  There weren't any direct mentions but I assume that push email will be available to users that do not have access to an Exchange server, but since Apple didn't mention anything about a separate service (like the Blackberry.net service) to address it, its cloudy at best.

The main attraction for most users is the news about the Apple iPhone SDK.  The software implementation itself looks very impressive and allows developers to run, test and debug their applications directly on an iPhone while it is attached to the Mac (no PC stuff announced).  There is also an iPhone simulator for Mac included in the SDK. 

The custom apps will be provided via a new section store on the iPhone called the "Apps Store" that will come with the new iPhone 2.0 software in late June.  Apple is going to allow developers to charge what they want for programs and will pay them 70% of the totals monthly and use the other 30% to cover their costs of servers, maintenance, credit card fees, etc. 

Several developers showed up to demo for Apple including EA which showed a cut down version of Spore on the iPhone, Sega that showed off a version of Super Monkey Ball and AOL that showed off an AIM client.  No word on if or when these apps are actually going to ship.

The bad news here was that users will have to wait until LATE JUNE to get their hands on any of this, unless they want to spend the $99 it costs to buy your way into the Apple iPhone developer group and get access to the SDK tools. 

I am personally curious to see how the Enterprise software changes affect the iPhone as my main beef with Apple's product was the horrid email support it offered for anyone getting more than a handful of messages a day.

You can catch the minute-by-minute blog of the event over at Engadget

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