iPhone OS v3.0 - Lotta New Goodies

iPhone OS v3.0 - Lotta New Goodies

March 23, 2009

I was really excited by the news of the new iPhone OS v3.0 announced last week. Copy-and-Paste aside, there are a lot of less-talked-about features that I find pretty cool and crucial to the advancement of the platform:

Peer-to-Peer Connectivity over Bluetooth

This is a feature that I thought seemed so obvious to have baked in. With Peer-to-Peer connectivity, you are now given the ability to communicate with other local phones WITHOUT having to pair with them in order to do it. (Like you have to when you use a Bluetooth mouse or headset.) This is great for applications that would need to share pieces of data for short periods of time. Or games that share proximity for a short period of time. I'm just starting to mess with this now so I am really anxious to see what the full line of functionality that is provided for is.

In App PurchaseWith this feature, in my mind, the iPhone grows up. Now is when e-commerce will really begin to take off with the device. I also feel that now we will *really* begin to see some money being made in the mobile arena. In App Purchasing means that you can have fully-functional mobile e-commerce without having an entire website and all of the complexities that it involves. (Yes, I realize I am a developer of web-based e-commerce solutions. We plan to make some of that money.)

iPhone Core DataOf all the new functionality and features presented... none were more significant, (for me),then Core Data now being available on the iPhone. For those of you less geek-inclined... Core Data is a method for managing the data model for MacOSX applications. Up until now you had to write your own methods for handling things like data relationships, the adding, updating and deletion of records.

As anyone who has had to build an application with persistent data will tell you, while it's awesome to be able to develop using SQLite and plists on the iPhone, it does not compare with being able to code against an abstraction layer that just works! So I'll take the added complexity associated with Core Data any day of the week.

In SummaryI love developing for the iPhone and the Macintosh. The iPhone OS v3.0, even in BETA, is such a huge leap forward. Not just for the platform, but those who write software for the iPhone and have been waiting for Apple to enable developers to really take their applications to a level above "cute" or "neato" or niche.

The only outstanding issue I see before Apple is it's whole approval/review/rejection process for iPhone applications. As a developer, it is really frustrating. Their methods just seem so arbitrary. (One app gets rejected. Similar app, different developer and it get approved.) I would be will to forego new features and frameworks in the short-term in order to give Apple more time to create a more thoughtful and predictable review process with metrics and benchmarks to boot.

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