Apple iPhone 3.0 Could Give App Developers Headaches

Apple decrees that all submissions to the App Store must be compatible with iPhone OS 3.0, according to an e-mail being circulated among developers. The iPhone OS 3.0, due for a June release, will include over 100 new features and an SDK with over 1,000 new application programming references.

Apple circulated an e-mail to developers May 7 suggesting that all submissions to its App Store now need to be compatible with its upcoming iPhone OS 3.0.

"Beginning today, all submissions to the App Store will be reviewed on the latest beta of iPhone OS 3.0," read the e-mail. "If your app submission is not compatible with iPhone OS 3.0, it will not be approved."

"Existing apps in the App Store should already run on iPhone OS 3.0 without modification, but you should test your existing apps with iPhone OS 3.0 to ensure there are no compatibility issues," the e-mail continued. "After iPhone OS 3.0 becomes available to customers, any app that is incompatible with iPhone OS 3.0 may be removed from the App Store."

However, reports circulating online indicate that developers trying to build an app for OS 3.0 using a static library built using a 2.x SDK could run into issues, particularly a fragile binary interface problem.

In the rush to create new apps capable of running OS 3.0, developers find themselves up against a tight deadline: The operating system, which includes more than 100 new features, with an SDK loaded with over 1,000 new APIs, will release in June 2009. Currently, more than 25,000 applications have been created for the iPhone, and the number of apps downloaded passed the 1 billion mark on April 23.

Apple hints that the move is a necessary one, however, given the anticipated number of people who will begin using the new OS.

"Submissions to the App Store will be reviewed on the latest beta of iPhone OS 3.0," Jennifer Bowcock, a spokesperson for Apple, wrote in an e-mail to eWEEK on May 8, "in preparation for the millions of iPhone and iPod touch customers' move to iPhone OS 3.0 this summer."

OS 3.0 includes VPN on Demand, Certificate Revocation, Media Scrubbing and other features, some of which have been tailored expressly to appeal to the enterprise. End-user elements such as the ability to cut, copy and paste have been integrated in order to add functionality, as well as head off claims that the upcoming Palm Pre is a more versatile device. There will also be peer-to-peer capability, so that iPhone users within Bluetooth range can access others' streaming music and videos.

Some 50,000 developers were given access to a beta version of the program, in additional to an updated SDK, on March 18.

Apple says that roughly 17 million people in 80 countries currently use the iPhone.