Apple previews beta release of iPhone OS 3.0

Apple previews beta release of iPhone OS 3.0

The iPhone OS 3.0 beta release includes an updated SDK with more than 1,000 new APIs, including In-App Purchases, P2P connections, an app interface for accessories, access to the iPod® music library, a new Maps API and push notifications.

In-App Purchases will allow developers to offer subscription content and provide the ability to sell new content and features in a simple and secure process.

Another key developer feature in the iPhone OS 3.0 beta software is the ability for apps to interface with hardware accessories, creating a whole new element of control for iPhone and iPod touch accessory developers as well as a new ecosystem of solutions for customers.

Developers will also be able to use Apple's new Maps API to integrate Google Mobile Maps services within their apps, which will offer Google Map tiles, current location, custom annotations and geocoding.

The iPhone OS 3.0 beta software includes the Apple Push Notification service, which provides developers with a mechanism to alert users with sounds, text or a badge.

ABI points out that while the Map Kit framework enables developers to embed native Google Mobile Maps services in their software, due to licensing issues turn-by-turn navigation developers will need to use their traditional map sources.

"Navigation-enabled iPhones will provide additional competition to an already struggling PND market," says Dominique Bonte, practice director, telematics & navigation at ABI. "At the same time it will offer a new market to navigation software vendors such as Telenav, Garmin, and TomTom, which already have developed iPhone-compatible navigation software but up to now were not allowed to sell it."

Bonte added that the support of subscription-based software products allows off-board navigation vendors to charge recurring fees through the iTunes App Store.

"Together with some other new features, this shows Apple is gradually opening up more iPhone capabilities in a trend towards more openness," says Bonte. "This is needed with iPhone sales recently dropping and some fierce competition to be expected from Android phones and Symbian's touch screen platform."

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