Iphone 3g : Live blog: Steve Jobs at WWDC 2008

New iPhone

Steve Jobs unveils the new 3G iPhone at Apple’s WWDC.

(Credit: James Martin/CNET News.com)

digg_url = ‘http://digg.com/apple/Live_blog_Steve_Jobs_at_WWDC_2008’;SAN FRANCISCO–At Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference here, CEO Steve Jobs took the stage just after 10 a.m. PDT. This is a live blog of news from his keynote speech as it happened. For a summary of highlights written after the fact, go here.

9:53 a.m.: Welcome once again to Moscone West, site of so many Apple events over the past few years. The members of the press are mostly seated, and all seem to have managed to make it to the stage without being trampled, although I guarantee that’s the fastest some of them have moved in 20 years. Warm-up music so far is skewing old-school, with a Bo Diddley song to kick things off.

10:06 a.m.: We’ve been revisiting the ’50s and ’60s this morning with the warm-up music, running through Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, and the like. No Green Day or U2 yet, which either means something totally profound, or it doesn’t. Spotted up front: Apple board member Al Gore; Apple Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook; marketing chief Phil Schiller; and Greg Joswiak, head of iPhone and iPod marketing. Lights are dimming on “Great Ball of Fire,” and WWDC 2008 is under way.

Waiting for Steve Jobs at WWDC 2008

A bustling crowd waits for Steve Jobs’ keynote to start.

(Credit: James Martin/CNET News.com)

10:07 a.m.: Apple CEO Steve Jobs takes the stage to widespread applause. Standard outfit. “We’ve been working real hard on some great stuff that we can’t wait to share with you.” A record 5,200 attendees are attending the conference this year. 147 sessions are planned for developers, 85 or so for the Mac, and 61 or so for the iPhone. The numbers flew by quickly.

10:09 a.m.: “So, let’s get started.” Jobs revisits the three parts of Apple: the Mac, the music business, and the iPhone. “I’m going to take this morning to talk about the iPhone.” Recently promoted executive Scott Forstall and Phil Schiller will help Jobs out. He confirms that 10.6 will be on the agenda for the week, and Snow Leopard is confirmed as the new code name.

10:10 a.m.: But first, the iPhone. In the first 95 days, 250,000 people downloaded the iPhone SDK. 25,000 developers applied, and 4,000 were admitted. He goes into the various parts of the iPhone 2.0 software, including the enterprise features, the SDK, and some other new features.

10:12 a.m.: Customers told Apple they wanted to hook the iPhone up to Exchange, and they did that with 2.0, Jobs says. The new software uses Cisco’s VPN software. Thirty-five percent of the Fortune 500 participated in the beta program, including the top 5 commercial banks and securities firms. Higher education has also jumped on board, such as Duke, Stanford, and the University of Texas. A demo video is being shown about some of those enterprise customers, such as Disney, where Jobs resides on the board, and an international law firm.

10:15 a.m.: Apple doesn’t usually do these kinds of enterprise-oriented videos at its events, with marketing and IT folks from large organizations singing the praises of the iPhone over a pleasing generic elevator-music-style backdrop. These things are a staple of most IT industry events, though.

10:17 a.m.: The video ends, and Jobs retakes the stage to talk about the SDK, before deferring to Scott Forstall. Forstall goes into a discussion of the APIs in the SDK, which are the same APIs that Apple uses internally to develop applications. Some of this is a repeat from March, where Forstall explained the similarities between the iPhone’s operating system and Mac OS X. The bottom layers of the OS are essentially the same, but the Cocoa programming environment has been tweaked for a touchscreen.

10:19 a.m.: He goes into the development tools that those in attendance will be using to build applications, such as Xcode and Interface Builder. He also discusses a tool called Instruments, which is a performance optimization tool. Forstall moves into a demo of how to build a user interface for the iPhone using Interface Builder.

iPhone developer tools

iPhone developer tools

(Credit: James Martin/CNET News.com)

10:23 a.m.: His mock application is going to merge the contacts databases and location-aware services. He’s taking us through the actual development experience, dragging and dropping icons that represent things like the iPhone’s search bar around the development environment. Once the application is done, the developer can test it right on a Mac for bugs or to make different aesthetic choices, such as whether to put things in the toolbar or within the regular fields.

10:26 a.m.: The application finds your friends within a certain radius, but Forstall says nothing about whether the application was designed for the current iPhone, which uses a Wi-Fi/cell tower type of location-aware application, or the new iPhone, which is expected to have GPS. Forstall reads off a few quotes from corporate developer partners like Disney–once again–and Fox Interactive.

10:29 a.m.: Forstall is bringing third-party developers onstage to talk about their application, and Sega revisits the stage. They demoed a game called Super Monkey Ball in March, and they’ve refined it. Ethan Einhorn of Sega comes up onstage to talk about the app. The initial game had four stages developed in two weeks, now they’ve got 110 stages, with all four classic monkeys.

10:30 a.m.: This demo is showing off the capabilities of the accelerometer, where the iPhone can be tilted back and forth to accelerate or brake. The tester gets a nice hand from the audience for hurling Baby Monkey through the goal. Super Monkey Ball will be available at the launch of the App Store for $9.99.


Showing tilt control on Sega games.

(Credit: James Martin/CNET News.com)

10:33 a.m.: eBay is the next developer to show off an application, and Ken Sun of eBay comes onstage to show off Auctions on the iPhone. The iPhone is already the primary mobile device used on eBay’s Web site, he says. The app has a basic front door with options to track auctions you’ve bid on, see whether you’ve been outbid, and to place new bids. You can also pick up the photos from the auction listings, and blow them up to full screen. eBay is making this app available for free.

eBay application on iPhone

eBay application on iPhone.

(Credit: James Martin/CNET News.com)

10:36 a.m.: Loopt is the third company to demo, and it’s talking about a location-based application. Again, no distinction is made whether this is an application using GPS or the current location-based service on the iPhone. Loopt blends your social networks with the Maps application, so you can see where your friends are. You can also go to their journal to see what they’ve been doing today, what pictures they’ve added, and so on. This app will also be free.

10:39 a.m.: TypePad is next up, for the mobile bloggers in the audience. Michael Sippey of TypePad shows off what they’ve put together, with a simple interface that lets you create a post, take a photo, or add a photo. You can take photos with the iPhone’s camera and add them to a post, as well as add photos from your library on your iPhone. This will be yet another free application.

10:41 a.m.: Our good friends at the Associated Press also have an application to show off. Benjamin Mosse of the AP is showing off the application, which is essentially a reader-style app that focuses on local news. This is another location-aware application that sends you local news based on where you are. You can customize the feeds for your favorite sports teams, and browse AP photos and video. Those stores can be shared via text or e-mail, and civilians can upload their own stories and pictures to the AP from the iPhone, and continuing with the trend, it will be free.

10:45 a.m.: More applications! Brian Greenstone of Pangea Software comes up to show off two games the company ported from Mac OS X to the iPhone, Enigmo, a 3D puzzle game, is very CPU-intensive, says Greenstone, and it doesn’t miss a beat in the demo. Cro-Mag Rally, which is apparently a caveman racing game, is the other game shown off. Driving looks hard, but he is racing on snow, and people from California don’t know how to drive in the snow. Both games will cost $9.99.

10:48 a.m.: It’s a parade of developers. An app called Band was made by a solo developer named Mark Terry, whereas all the other apps so far have been corporate-developed. Band lets you create music on the iPhone, with a touch-screen piano, and the demo guy cranks out a passable version of John Lennon’s “Imagine.” There are also drums and a 12-bar blues creation app, which lays down a bass line while you play guitar over the track, and a bass guitar, which is used to play the slinky bass line from Pink Floyd’s “Money.” There’s other stuff, but time is limited. Terry says Band will appear on the App Store in a few weeks’ time.


Developer shows off music application on the iPhone.

(Credit: James Martin/CNET News.com)

10:50 a.m.: MLB.com is getting in on the action, so we can watch the tortured season of the New York Mets on our iPhones. Jeremy Schoenherr shows off At-Bat, as we check out the Royals-Yankees game. You can see who’s at bat, who’s pitching, the count, and the score: Mussina‘s off to a decent start this morning. You can get real-time video highlights of the Yankees turning a double play. They aren’t really “real-time” since the highlights arrive after the fact, but still.


MLB on the iPhone

(Credit: James Martin/CNET News.com)

10:53 a.m.: Modality is the next company that Apple is showing off. These folks, represented by Dr. S. Mark Williams, have developed an application that helps medical students ditch their flash cards and use an iPhone to view anatomical images of the body that are very detailed, down to the arteries and veins, and can quiz students on the various parts of the heart, for example. Within weeks of the App Store launching, the company will have about a dozen applications available for various health-care needs.

10:57 a.m.: Mimvista has another medical application that builds on their niche, medical-imaging software. Mark Cain is representing Mimvista, and he says developing one of their types of applications before the iPhone wasn’t going to work. The idea is to connect doctors with their workstations, so they can evaluate medical imaging from the golf course. The application, like Modality’s, can show extremely detailed pictures of the human system, as well as moving images. “The iPhone has created a new direction for our company.”

11:00 a.m.: Forstall promises that Digital Legends Entertainment is the last demo for this morning. These guys built a game in two weeks, and Xavier Carrillo Costa shows off his game. Their game is called Kroll, and it’s another caveman adventure game where you battle enemies, swing across rope bridges, and solve problems. They expect to have the game ready by September.


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