In his opening keynote at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference on Monday (June 11), Steve Jobs teased open the Web 2.0 door to mobile developers (with the safety chain well and truly left on!), revealing a slim ray of light from Apple’s impending smartphone sunrise on June 29, by announcing that mobile developers will be part of the success story.
Apple has been criticized by the mobile development community for refusing third-party access to the iPhone – unlike Windows Mobile from Microsoft, which provides application programming interfaces to developers – arguing that the best strategy to maintain security and high performance is to keep tight control over the iPhone’s OS.
But moments later Jobs halts the door from swinging wide open – confirming Apple’s strategy for third-party software on the smartphone will be based mainly on Apple’s Safari Web Browser and not so much on its native operating system.
Jobs said the iPhone would include a full-featured version of Safari 3, and went on to suggest that developers leverage the tools they currently use – for example AJAX – to integrate with the iPhone’s built-in services instead of dwelling on a software developer kit (SDK) that would not be forthcoming.
Despite the deflated reception Jobs was insistent:
We think we have a really sweet story… [this way] you can start building your iPhone applications today.
Only time will tell. Well 17 days and counting to be exact!