iPhone Live: Apple Lays Out Roadmap For Software, Enterprise; Will Add ActiveSync But No Timeline

Sitting halfway back in a packed room the size of a small movie theater, I’m in Cupertino today to hear Apple’s (NSDQ: AAPL) plans today for the iPhone. Only details shared to date is that it will involve the software roadmap and enterprise services.

The first topic they are tackling is the enterprise. They said they’ll be working directly with Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) to license ActiveSync, so that every iPhone will have access to their company’s Microsoft Exchange server and receive push email, contacts, calendar, global address lists, and remote wiping abilities. No word on when it will be available, other than that it will be released with the next software update.

In a demo, it’s as easy as going to settings and saying that they want to receive push email, contacts and calendars. An empty iPhone instantly has contacts, appointments and email.

Second, Scott Forstall, Apple’s vp of iPhone software, is tackling the question of the iPhone software SDK. He’s starting with the details, outlining the infrastructure of the iPhone platform. He listed off the APIs that developers will have access to. The list includes code that can access the address book, photos, location services using cellular triangulation, core audio, video playback, core animation, the accelerometer (which allows the device to go from portrait to landscape mode), among others.

Forstall gave a demonstration of what Apple developers could do in just two days of development time. In a game called Touch Fighter, he showed an aircraft-shooting game. To shoot, a person touched the screen anywhere, and to move the aircraft, you simply moved the phone. “This is two weeks of work and less than 10,000 lines of code,” Forstall said.

More demonstrations are being given by Electronic Arts (NSDQ: ERTS), SalesForce.com and AOL (NYSE: TWX). Apple wanted to see what they could come up with in only two weeks.

More announcements:

— Applications will be sold on the actual iPhone, through the App Store, an icon on the homescreen. Developers can set the price of their app, and share 30 percent of the revenues with Apple and keep 70 percent for themselves. Apps will also be sold through iTunes for the iPhone and iPod Touch.

— The SDK will be available starting in an hour in Beta, but will release more broadly in June with version 2.0 that will include all the enterprise updates.

Our sister site mocoNews.net has highlights from the Q&A.


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