Apple has just posted today’s WWDC keynote address on the newly designed apple.com. If you couldn’t make it out to San Francisco this year for WWDC, here’s your chance to watch Steve go over 10 of the coolest new features in Leopard. There wasn’t a lot of new ground covered in today’s keynote, and I heard more than one developer grumble in disappointment at the lack of new announcements or information. We did a get a glimpse at the new Leopard finder and desktop, which while not earth-shattering are certainly improvements. And Safari for Windows is at least interesting.
But was it just me, or can you sense the awkward dissatisfied silence from the whole audience when Steve said that they were going to allow third party development on the iPhone after all, but by this he means only browser-based web apps. I think for once in his life Steve didn’t do a great job of presenting his material to this audience. It is after all a very good thing that Apple has decided to provide URL-based access to the iPhone’s telephony, email, and other services, but that point really got lost on the crowd I think, who were expecting an SDK to access these things. We’ve known all along that web apps would be one possibility for third-party iPhone development, and Steve’s “there’s no SDK, just use Safari and standard Web 2.0 technologies like Ajax to develop iPhone apps” message didn’t highlight the power of what they are actually allowing here. (As one colleague commented, “just try getting your web app to make an actual phone call on a J2ME-based phone.”) Personally, I think that there are a lot of interesting possibilities for third-party development with this kind of access to the iPhone’s main features, and I’m not surprised that Apple isn’t letting us get at the OS or place buttons on the home screen, but his message clearly didn’t go over well with the developer audience here in San Francisco.
Let us know in the comments section if you were satisfied or disappointed with what Steve revealed about Leopard, Safari for Windows, and iPhone development opportunities.