Since March, when the iPhone software developer kit was launched, a number of third-party companies and individual programmers have been racing to develop applications that run on the phone. At the conference, Apple highlighted a handful. Game developers are excited about the potential for using the built-in accelerometers as game controllers, and Sega showed off its Super Monkey Ball game. Loopt, a location-based startup that has previously only run on Sprint and Boost Mobile phones, demonstrated how a person using its service could find nearby friends. Typepad, a popular blogging tool, will offer software that enables easy mobile blogging on the iPhone.
In addition to the iPhone upgrades and previews of third-party software, Apple announced that it has revamped its .Mac service, a $99 a year service that provides e-mail, a Web page, and syncing options. It has been rebranded into MobileMe and will enable mail, calendar updates, and address-book changes to stay constantly synchronized over all Macs, PCs, and iPhones. This move illustrates that Apple is finally ready to recognize the importance of cloud computing, famously the province of Google and other Internet companies. However, since it’s a pay service, it’s unclear how much traction Apple will see as it competes with popular free services such as Gmail and Yahoo’s Flickr.
As with all Steve Jobs keynotes, bullet points were big, and technical details were scarce. However, in the coming weeks, and after the iPhone’s release on July 11, more information is expected to emerge. Some experts were predicting an upgrade to the phone’s camera, but on Monday, there was no mention of a camera update or added video capabilities.