Third Party Developer API Set to Debut in February
It looks like Apple is finally going to open up and let third party developers release applications for the iPhone. Taking a queue from the open source community and social networks such as Facebook, this could be a huge move for Apple.
According to Steve Jobs,
“Let me just say it: We want native third party applications on the iPhone, and we plan to have an SDK in developersâ€™ hands in February. We are excited about creating a vibrant third party developer community around the iPhone and enabling hundreds of new applications for our users. With our revolutionary multi-touch interface, powerful hardware and advanced software architecture, we believe we have created the best mobile platform ever for developers.”
This was originally brought to my attention by Cory Andrews, the smartest technophile I know who commented,
“It seems like they could set up a 3rd party developer program, let developers submit their applications to Apple for a basic testing and vetting process. Applications that are approved are made available for download through iTunes with an automatic installer, like for Firefox plugins. You could have apps that you pay for, and they share the revenue with the developers. I bet that would be huge, and they could keep their arms around it.”
While I agree with what Cory said, I also believe that the real payoff for Apple in doing this is the free research and development. Let third parties figure out what your users want, then absorb the best of the best and offer them as official paid-for offerings. This is similar to what many open source projects have done in the past and what many feel Facebook is currently attempting to do.