The SDK update also gives developers the option to add notifications via a push server. "We're late on this," admitted Scott Forstall, chief of iPhone software development at the event.
Apple said the delay was due to required re-architecting of its servers to accommodate. Companies can use the technology to deliver notifications like sounds and text alerts when the program isn't loaded. Notifications are sent from third-party sources to Apple, which then delivers it to iPhones.
Map Access and street-by-street navigation
The mapping engine Apple developed with Google for the iPhone's built-in Map app will be opened up into a general purpose API. Developers will be able to embed its mapping features like multi-touch navigation, street and satellite views, and GPS plotting into their own applications.
Core Location will also let turn-by-turn GPS direction possible — but Apple warned that developers who want to include that feature will have to use their own maps due to licensing problems.
Micropayments, subscriptions and in-app purchases
iPhone 3.0 will support new payment options for third-party software like in-app micropayments and subscriptions. Joswiak gave examples of a e-magazine where users can renew the subscription from within its app or iPhone game makers selling additional levels a la carte.
Payments are done through iTunes accounts, similar to how music and apps themselves are presently handled. Users are prompted to give their iTunes password for verification within the app before the download starts.
Apple said the payment split will be the same for in-app purchases. Devs take 70 per cent of any revenue generated by their apps and Apple gets the rest.
Apple touched on additional features to be included in iPhone 3.0, such an ability to use the keyboard in landscape mode for all applications. This should be particularly handy in Mail for those lacking tiny, tiny fingers.
The update will also add a new voice memo app. Calendar gets support for subscriptions. And the CalDAV standard supported by Yahoo and Google for shared calendars.
Safari gets antiphishing technology and auto-fill. Parental controls are also being added to the iTunes app store.
The Developer beta is available today to everyone in the iPhone Developer Program. The rest of us need to wait until "summer" to get our hands on the new iPhone toys. ®