Sunday, March 9, 2008

Apple today previewed its iPhone 2.0 software, scheduled for release this June, and announced the immediate availability of a beta release of the software to selected developers and enterprise customers. The iPhone 2.0 beta release includes both the iPhone Software Development Kit (SDK) as well as new enterprise features such as support for Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync to provide secure, over-the-air push email, contacts and calendars as well as remote wipe, and the addition of Cisco IPsec VPN for encrypted access to private corporate networks.

The iPhone SDK provides developers with a rich set of APIs and tools (including programming interfaces for Core OS, Core Services, Media and Cocoa Touch technologies) to create native applications for iPhone and iPod touch. The iPhone SDK will allow developers to create applications that leverage the iPhone’s Multi-Touch user interface, animation technology, large storage, built-in three-axis accelerometer and geographical location technology to deliver truly innovative mobile applications.

Starting today, anyone can download the beta iPhone SDK for free and run the iPhone Simulator on their Mac. Apple today also introduced its new iPhone Developer Program, giving developers everything they need to create native applications, and the new App Store, a way for developers to wirelessly deliver their applications to iPhone and iPod touch users. The App Store enables developers to reach every iPhone and iPod touch user. Developers set the price for their applications — including free — and retain 70 percent of all sales revenues. Users can download free applications at no charge to either the user or developer, or purchase priced applications with just one click.

Some companies including Electronics Arts, Sega and AOL have already demonstrated applications for iPhone. The first two companies showed Spore and Super Monkey Ball games where you could manipulate the character by rotating the device. AOL demonstrated iPhone-version of their internet-pager.

Also Apple has licensed Exchange ActiveSync from Microsoft for the enterprise market and is building it right into the iPhone, so that iPhone will connect to Microsoft Exchange Servers 2003 and 2007 for secure over-the-air push email, contacts, calendars and global address lists. Built-in Exchange ActiveSync support also enables security features such as remote wipe, password policies and auto-discovery. The iPhone 2.0 software supports Cisco IPsec VPN to ensure the highest level of IP-based encryption available for transmission of sensitive corporate data. The addition of WPA2 Enterprise with 802.1x authentication enables enterprise customers to deploy iPhone and iPod touch with the latest standards for protection of Wi-Fi networks. The iPhone 2.0 software provides a configuration utility that allows IT administrators to easily and quickly set up many iPhones, including password policies, VPN setting, installing certificates, email server settings and more.

In addition to these new iPhone network and security features, the beta iPhone 2.0 software provides several new Mail features such as the ability to view PowerPoint attachments, in addition to Word and Excel, as well as the ability to mass delete and move email messages.

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