Apple previewed the next generation operating system for its iPhone and iPod touch mobile devices. In addition to opening up lots of new functionality for developers, users will also be pleased with new additions and more polish.
The event started with an introduction from Apple's Marketing Manager for iPod and iPhone, Greg Joswiak. He detailed some very impressive numbers concerning the iPhone OS ecosystem. 17 million iPhones and some 13 million iPod touches have been sold in the last two years, for a total of over 30 million devices running iPhone OS. There are currently over 50,000 registered app developers, 60 percent of which have never developed for any mobile platform. The App Store currently has over 25,000 apps available, resulting in over 800 million downloads to date.
Next, Senior Vice President of iPhone Software Engineering Scott Forstall came on the stage to detail some of the features and the over 1,000 new APIs available to developers. Developers now have a sanctioned way to sell additional content directly from an app, such as additional levels for a game or e-books for a reader app. Like the App Store, Apple handles all the logistics and keeps a 30 percent cut. Free apps, however, cannot offer this functionality. "Free apps remain free," said Forstall.