Apple today previewed its iPhone 2.0 software, scheduled for release this June, and announced the immediate availability of a beta release of the software to selected developers and enterprise customers. The iPhone 2.0 beta release includes both the iPhone Software Development Kit (SDK) as well as new enterprise features such as support for Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync to provide secure, over-the-air push email, contacts and calendars as well as remote wipe, and the addition of Cisco IPsec VPN for encrypted access to private corporate networks.

“We’re excited about creating a vibrant third party developer community with potentially thousands of native applications for iPhone and iPod touch,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO in the press release. “iPhone’s enterprise features combined with its revolutionary Multi-Touch user interface and advanced software architecture provide the best user experience and the most advanced software platform ever for a mobile device.”

The iPhone SDK provides developers with a rich set of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and tools to create innovative applications for iPhone and iPod touch. Starting today, anyone can download the beta iPhone SDK for free and run the iPhone Simulator on their Mac. Apple today also introduced its new iPhone Developer Program, giving developers everything they need to create native applications, and the new App Store, a breakthrough way for developers to wirelessly deliver their applications to iPhone and iPod touch users.

With the iPhone SDK, third party developers will be able to build native applications for the iPhone with a rich set of APIs, including programming interfaces for Core OS, Core Services, Media and Cocoa Touch technologies. The iPhone SDK will allow developers to create amazing applications that leverage the iPhone’s groundbreaking Multi-Touch user interface, animation technology, large storage, built-in three-axis accelerometer and geographical location technology to deliver truly innovative mobile applications.

Apple has licensed Exchange ActiveSync from Microsoft and is building it right into the iPhone, so that iPhone will connect out-of-the-box to Microsoft Exchange Servers 2003 and 2007 for secure over-the-air push email, contacts, calendars and global address lists. Built-in Exchange ActiveSync support also enables security features such as remote wipe, password policies and auto-discovery. The iPhone 2.0 software supports Cisco IPsec VPN to ensure the highest level of IP-based encryption available for transmission of sensitive corporate data, as well as the ability to authenticate using digital certificates or password-based, multi-factor authentication. The addition of WPA2 Enterprise with 802.1x authentication enables enterprise customers to deploy iPhone and iPod touch with the latest standards for protection of Wi-Fi networks.

The iPhone 2.0 software provides a configuration utility that allows IT administrators to easily and quickly set up many iPhones, including password policies, VPN setting, installing certificates, email server settings and more. Once the configuration is defined it can be easily and securely delivered via web link or email to the user. To install, all the user has to do is authenticate with a user ID or password, download the configuration and tap install. Once installed, the user will have access to all their corporate IT services.

The iPhone 2.0 software release will contain the App Store, a new application that lets users browse, search, purchase and wirelessly download third party applications directly onto their iPhone or iPod touch. The App Store enables developers to reach every iPhone and iPod touch user. Developers set the price for their applications — including free — and retain 70 percent of all sales revenues. Users can download free applications at no charge to either the user or developer, or purchase priced applications with just one click. Enterprise customers will be able to create a secure, private page on the App Store accessible only by their employees. Apple will cover all credit card, web hosting, infrastructure and DRM costs associated with offering applications on the App Store. Third party iPhone and iPod touch applications must be approved by Apple and will be available exclusively through the App Store.

The iPhone SDK provides a reliable, fast and secure way to create innovative applications for the iPhone and iPod touch. In addition to the rich set of iPhone OS APIs, the iPhone SDK also provides advanced tools for creating native iPhone and iPod touch applications including: Xcode for source code editing, project management and graphical debugging; Interface Builder with drag and drop interface creation and live preview; Instruments to monitor and optimize iPhone application performance in real time; and the iPhone Simulator to run and debug applications.

During the beta iPhone SDK program, a limited number of developers will be accepted into Apple’s new iPhone Developer Program and offered the ability to get code onto iPhones for testing. The Standard Program costs US$99 per year and gives members an iPhone SDK and development tools; access to pre-release iPhone software; technical support; the ability to get code onto iPhones for testing; and distribution of applications via the new App Store. The Enterprise Program costs $299 per year.

In addition to these new iPhone network and security features, the beta iPhone 2.0 software provides several new Mail features such as the ability to view PowerPoint attachments, in addition to Word and Excel, as well as the ability to mass delete and move email messages.

Apple plans to release the final iPhone 2.0 software, including the iPhone SDK and new enterprise features, as a free software update for all iPhone customers by the end of June. Third party applications created for the iPhone will also run on the iPod touch, and iPod touch users will be required to purchase a software update to run these applications. The free beta iPhone SDK is available immediately worldwide and can be downloaded at developer.apple.com/iphone/program. The iPhone Developer Program will initially be available in the US and will expand to other countries in the coming months. Apple is accepting applications beginning today from enterprise customers who would like to join the private iPhone Enterprise Beta Program.

Leading Developers, Enterprise Customers and Apple Partners comment on iPhone 2.0 Software:

• AOL: “No question the powerful tools and APIs in the iPhone SDK made it easy to develop a feature-rich mobile application for the iPhone,” said Kevin Conroy, executive vice president, AOL. “The rapid development cycle for this application was very intuitive, and when you add the App Store, it’s an unbeatable combination for development and distribution of mobile applications.”

• Cisco: “As a result of this collaboration between Cisco and Apple, iPhone users will have seamless and highly secure access to mission critical information as it is needed from anywhere in the world,” said Richard Palmer, senior vice president of the Security Technology Group, Cisco. “The connected world is becoming more mobile and collaborative where employees need access to private business information no matter where they are.”

• Disney: “Apple has really done their homework, addressing issues of security, manageability and integration,” said Randy Brooks, senior vice president, IT Strategy and Architecture, The Walt Disney Company. “We currently have hundreds of iPhone users and expect the demand to grow significantly with this release.”

• Electronic Arts: “The animation technology in the iPhone OS enables us to build awesome games,” said John Riccitiello, CEO of Electronic Arts. “I think iPhone consumers are going to be blown away by the games we create for this platform.”

• Epocrates: “By putting so much computing power into such an elegant mobile device, Apple has opened up tremendous opportunities for application developers,” said Kirk Loevner, chairman and CEO, Epocrates, Inc. “The technology and software in the iPhone OS will allow us to create new and innovative applications that help improve patient safety and provide healthcare professionals with an unsurpassed user experience.”

• Genentech: “I believe the iPhone is a watershed event in mobile computing for corporations,” said Todd Pierce, vice president, Corporate Information Technology, Genentech, Inc. “Genentech’s pilot with iPhone has shown its potential to be the most useful business mobility tool we’ve ever used. We now have 3,000 planned for deployment based on how easy and simple it was to integrate iPhone with our corporate email system.”

• Microsoft: “Licensing Exchange ActiveSync to Apple enables them to build support right into the iPhone for simple, out-of-the-box connectivity with Exchange Server,” said Terry Myerson, corporate vice president, Unified Communications Group, Microsoft. “Microsoft believes in building open and interoperable products, and Microsoft Exchange Server is no exception.”

• Nike: “With support for Exchange ActiveSync, this new iPhone release really delivers a true plug-and-play enterprise solution,” said Roland Paanakker, vice president and CIO, Nike. “We already had Nike employees using iPhones, and now look forward to deploying more iPhones to more business users.”

• Salesforce.com: “The opportunity to use the innovative iPhone OS platform to deliver compelling Software-as-a-Service applications to mobile users is empowering to us, and ultimately, our customers,” said Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO of Salesforce.com. “They are asking us for new ways to harness the power of Force.com to access their business information on any device regardless of location.”

• Sega: “The iPhone OS is a robust development platform that will allow Sega to deliver mobile gaming experiences that are truly compelling,” said Simon Jeffery, president and COO, Sega of America. “Using the iPhone’s accelerometer to power a tilt control feature adds a whole new dimension to Super Monkey Ball, and we can’t wait for gamers to try it.”

Source: Apple Inc.

MacDailyNews Take: For the carpets’ sake, we hope the adult diapers were strapped on tight today in Waterloo and Espoo.