Sunday, March 09, 2008

Apple and the iPhone SDK multiplying the halo effect

I was tapped in to the live blogging of the iPhone SDK on March 6th, thanks to Ars Technica. This weekend I had opportunity to sit down and absorb the video of the event
Yes, it was interesting to hear the reactions to some of the demonstrations that utilized the SDK. People seemed to be impressed with the level of sophistication that can be leveraged in just two weeks of development. 
I came away with a negative and a positive thought. First the negative. The iPhone 2.0 firmware is going to add a lot of great features that makes the iPhone a great fit with the Enterprise but there is Still No Cut and Paste!
On the positive side I think the most significant aspect of this event was not even articulated. I am convinced that Apple has gone and created another halo effect. Think about it. If you want to develop for iPhone you need to do it on a Mac. Not only do you need to do it on a Mac but you need to use our Xcode development environment. 
The environment that Apple has created for iPhone development is very neat. There's an iPhone software emulator, a remote debugger and instrumentation to provide run-time profiling of applications. This is all well and good but the most significant aspect of this is that this is the same environment used to create Mac OS X applications
Yes, the most significant, but under-rated aspect of this announcement is that Apple may well have just created a whole new army of Mac developers. After all, if the iPhone is built on the core of Mac OS X and the development environment supports both iPhone and Mac OS Xdesktop applications how long will it be before we see a proliferation in Mac OS X applications? This has the potential to be a far bigger halo effect for Apple than the iPod. 
How long will it be before we see applications appearing on the iPhone, then on Mac OS X and finally being ported to Windows? It is already happening on the web where I am already seeing Web 2.0 developers build for Firefox and Safari first because they are both considered cross-platform browsers, unlike Internet Explorer. 

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