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Friday, March 28, 2008

Apple releases updated version of iPhone SDK

Apple has released an updated version of the iPhone software development kit, adding support for a popular tool.

The new SDK is available for downloading on Apple's site, and now comes with Interface Builder. That tool allows you to design user interfaces in line with Apple's human interface guidelines, which is a requirement for iPhone applications.

This is a helpful reminder that the SDK is a beta product until June, when it's scheduled for a formal release. After an initial bottleneck, Apple has started accepting developers into its program to begin developing and testing their applications for a June release.

Microsoft hopes to offer applications to iPhone consumers that could benefit the use of Office on both the Mac and mobile phone.
Microsoft recently interviewed developers to consider a variety of possibilities that include offering its Office functionality on Apple's iPhone.

The plan began when Apple released its iPhone SDK (software development kit) earlier this month which gives developers access to the same tools that Apple uses for building new applications that run on the Mac OS X-based mobile phone.

"It's really important for us to understand what we can bring to the iPhone," Tom Gibbons, corporate VP of Microsoft's Specialized Devices and Applications Group, said told Fortune magazine. "To the extent that Mac Office customers have functionality that they need in that environment, we're actually in the process of trying to understand that now."

The software giant hopes to assist customers connecting the iPhone to more options than just the Exchange server. The iPhone can be synced with Mac or PC e-mails, calendars and contact lists. Apple licensed Microsoft's ActiveSync protocol for connecting the iPhone to an Exchange server earlier this year.

Gibbons said the software giant has experience with the iPhone environment and is very confident on providing the new application. Microsoft developers are still getting comfortable with the SDK and are going over feasible plans that could benefit iPhone consumers.

The final iPhone SDK will be released in June, along with new versions of the iPhone and iPod Touch operating systems. The latter gadget contains the same platform as the iPhone. AT&T remains as the exclusive cellular provider of the smart phone.

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