At SXSW, Apple just announced some new information on the 3.0 iPhone OS feature set. Apparently, Apple hasn't been sitting back enjoying their significant market lead. They've decided to really clamp down on their competitors and drop an astounding 1000+ new API's into their 3.0 iPhone OS. As of writing this article, the iPhone developer website has been taken down to update all the new content. And there is some interesting stuff in there...
- In App Purchase Allow users to purchase content or services from your application using the Store Kit framework. This new framework handles the financial aspects of the transaction, processes payment with the iTunes Store, and provides your application with information about the purchase.
- Peer to Peer Connectivity Add multi-player capabilities to your games using the peer to peer network connectivity and in game voice communication features of Game Kit. This powerful new framework allows any application, not just games, to communicate between devices using Bluetooth-no pairing required.
- Apple Push Notification service The Apple Push Notification service provides a way to alert your users of new information, even when your application isn't running. Send text notifications, trigger audible alerts, or add a numbered badge to your application icon.
- Maps You can now embed maps within your applications using the new Map Kit framework. Map Kit works with the Google Mobile Maps Service and features panning and zooming, custom annotations, current location and geocoding.
- Accessories Using the new External Accessory framework, your application can now communicate with "Made for iPod" hardware accessories attached to iPhone or iPod touch through either the 30-pin dock connector or wirelessly using Bluetooth.
- iPod Library Access Access music, podcasts, or audio books in a user's iPod library directly from your application using the updated Media Player framework. You can play, repeat and shuffle songs or whole playlists, or create sequences of songs using custom searches.
It appears many of the "Enterprise" features, you are hearing Microsoft and Palm talk about, as missing in the current iPhone OS have been resolved. This makes the iPhone, once regarded as a cool toy and okay phone, ready to enter into the larger Enterprise/Business class market in direct competition with Windows Mobile and Palm. Keep it dialed here from more information when the developer network comes back online!