Apple has announced availability of iPhone 3.0 SDK beta. With over 1000 new API and 100 improvements in iPhone it underlines Apple innovation. The innovation that doesn’t go with crowd but choose the way appropriate for mobile devices. For example instead of background processes they are offering notification infrastructure (understand here as ‘data center’ notification infrastructure highly scalable for multimillion notification deliveries over any custom applications). In fact they are using same principles already known from mail notifications or updates at current version of iPhone. There are other new cool features – transparent (no pairing) interacting with nearby users (devices) through Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, network. In show a company funded by iFUND showed a 3D game where a player was not able to make walk through a scene – he called his friend who appeared right in the 3D scene and helped him (played in a team with him). Apple is also opening their wired connectivity for supporting various devices ranging from medical (imagine you view your EKG or EEG right in your phone;) to consumer media (tuning TV, audio through iPhone). Shocking was also presenting (and mostly even presence) from ORACLE – their Business Intelligence application. iPhone 3.0 SDK allows to embed Google maps into your applications with annotations, but they have not mentioned any possible add-on layers on top of the Google map. Apple strategy is clear – to have iPhone not just for consumers and fun (and phone calls) but for serious business applications too. Not just throw away superior device with superior SDK but backing this all with their data center infrastructure for AppStore, Notifications, etc. Everyone can plug into this SaaS continuum either with content, applications or interaction in social networks.
My student Jiri Kaminek, who is in first year of postgraduate study at department of Applied Geoinformatics at Mendel University has created in very short time an impressive prototype for accessing WMS layers within iPhone using native iPhone SDK. It looks very promissing, with natural iPhone gestures, ability to access iPhone resources (tile cache, GPS position, history, etc..) . You can see his presentation on http://mapserver.mendelu.cz/iphonelayers together with sample screencasts. Codename of the project is iPhoneLayers. The big picture is that MapShake will store all map compositions and you will have various frontedns how to consume or shake your maps, iPhone will be one possible outlet where based on your current GPS position you will get your pre-shaked maps from MapShake store.
Update November 2009: Application is called Whatevermap and can be downloaded from AppStore. please check following category on this blog: