Apple unveils iPhone SDK

Apple on Thursday unveiled the iPhone SDK (software development kit) at a special event at the company’s headquarters in Cupertino, Calif. Apple executives said the SDK provides developers with the same tools it uses to develop applications for the iPhone.

Applications for the iPhone will be built on a Mac using Xcode, the same development tool used to build Mac OS X applications. Using the tool, developers can memory usage and other ways that applications can affect the iPhone hardware.

Apple also introduced a new development tool called iPhone Simulator. This tool runs on a Mac, and simulates the entire API stack of the iPhone OS. Apple said that you can run your iPhone application in the simulator, which gives developers an incredible turnaround time on development.

Scott Forstall, Apple’s vice president of iPhone Software, explained that Apple had to build a version of its development framework, Cocoa. Dubbed Cocoa Touch, the new development tools are based on the touch interaction with the iPhone instead of the keyboard and mouse interaction users have with a desktop computer.

Forstall said the SDK is made up of several Core technologies. Much of what you find in the iPhone operating system is the same as what you would find in the Mac, except power management, which is even more robust on the iPhone, according to Apple. Core Services, Core Location and Core Audio will also be available to developers.

“So we have a fantastic set of tools, in addition to the amazing set of frameworks that make up the iPhone OS,” said Forstall.

Apple also took some time to show off some of the newest Web apps that run in Safari. Forstall highlighted sites like Facebook and Bank of America during his talk.

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