Apple’s decision to throw open the iPhone software platform to outside developers looks set to trigger an explosion in new applications and external investment for the platform.
Information Week reports that Apple released a beta version of the iPhone software developer kit (or SDK, for those in the know) to external developers on Thursday, giving them the same tools to develop applications for the iPhone as Apple’s own staff.
Apple added some zing to the release by revealing that several developers have already developed some apps using the SDK – having only been given it two weeks ago. Electronic Arts and Sega, for example, built games that work by allowing the player to move the games characters around the screen by tilting the iPhone.
Apple says it plans to work with developers in the coming months to finetune the SDK before a final version is released. Developers will pay $US99 to join Apple’s developer program and must distribute software to iPhone users exclusively through Apple’s new App Store.
And, it seems, it won’t be long before we see a flurry of new applications developed using the new tools. Information Week says US venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers has already created a $US100 million pool of cash – dubbed the iFund – to back the development of applications for business and consumer markets.