During the first weekend of August, over 400 iPhone developers, designers, testers, and enthusiasts descended on Adobe Systems' offices in San Francisco for the second iPhoneDevCamp (iphonedevcamp.org), a not-for- profit gathering to promote the development of applications for the iPhone and iPod touch using both the nfative SDK a
During the first weekend of August, over 400 iPhone developers, designers, testers, and enthusiasts descended on Adobe Systems' offices in San Francisco for the second iPhoneDevCamp (iphonedevcamp.org), a not-for- profit gathering to promote the development of applications for the iPhone and iPod touch using both the nfative SDK and Web standards. iPhone developers from as far away as Belgiffum and the U.K. traveled to California to participate in the three-day event. Running cfoncfurrently with the main event in San Francisco were satellite events taking place Chicago, Denver, Austin, Portland, Seattle, and Chandigarh, India.
The primary focus of iPhoneDevCamp is the "hackathon," in which new iPhone applications are created and demo'ed in less than 72 hours. In many cases, teams are forged by people who meet for the first time at the initial night of the event.
As was true last year, a number of awards were handed out to the most innovative iPhone applications in a variety of categories. Here are the winners this year.
iPhone DevCamp awards
Best new programmer team: Fwerps
This two-person team learned to program for the iPhone during the event. Their result was Fwerps, a virtual pet application based on the Tribble creature from the original Star Trek series. Take care of your fwerp by rocking it back and forth, but don't shake it!
Best new programmer:
Zac White, CopyPaste
A college senior implemented a technique to support copy and paste capability, a highly requested feature that is currently not supported in the iPhone.
This one is a mobile video surveillance client from Lextech that allows security guards to control and monitor live video feeds on-the-go, freeing them from being stuck behind a desk during their shift.
Most educational: Harp
Best open source: TouchCode
This set of open source components for the iPhone was developed by Cocoa whiz Jonathan Wight. It is used to accelerate iPhone development where Internet data is concerned.
Most useful: Taxi
Best Web app: GreasePocket
Best social app: sStitch
sStitch allows for citizen reporting of disaster information to aid in efficient response by governmental and not-for-profit agencies, especially in the case where a local 911 system may be overloaded.
Best developer helper: Redactive debugger
This code library aids iPhone developers in collecting debugging information on the iPhone itself. It's particularly useful for collecting debug logs from end users for support issues.
Best game: Tattle Talz
Tattle Talz is an iPhone implementation of the social game "Two Truths and a Lie." Nicole Lazzaro, designer for the project, won an award last year for the creation of Tilt—the first accelerometer-based game for the iPhone.
Building a vibrant developer ecosystem
While not every iPhone application developed at iPhoneDevCamp will make it onto the App Store, some will. So keep a lookout for these and other applications that were born out of the event. (For a look at some of the other apps created at iPhoneDevCamp, check out iphone.iusethis.com/tag/iphonedevcamp).
Over 1,000 utilities, games, and other applications are already available on the App Store, and thousands more are in the works. We're watching the birth of a new mobile platform, and events like iPhoneDevCamp play an important role in building and sustaining a vibrant third-party developer ecosystem around Apple's innovative new technologies. Developers with the innovative mobile application ideas will generate substantial commercial opportunity. Are you interested in taking part?
So you want to be an iPhone developer?
The iPhone platform presents exciting new opportunities to developers. Here are some steps to get you moving in the right direction:
1. Get an overview of the iPhone platform.
There are two public videos from Apple that provide a good overview of the opportunity:
- The March 6th Event; unveiling of the iPhone SDK (apple.com/quicktime/qtv/iphoneroadmap)
- The WWDC 2008 Keynote (apple.com/quicktime/qtv/wwdc08)
2. Learn Cocoa (Objective-C).
Cocoa is an object-oriented programming environment used to develop applications for the Mac and iPhone.
Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X by Aaron Hillegass is a highly regarded book (amazon.com).
Training classes are available from Hillegass' Big Nerd Ranch (bignerdranch.com/schedule.shtml).
Training classes are also available from Bill Dudney at The Pragmatic Programmer (pragmaticstudio.com/iphone).
3. Download resources from Apple's iPhone Dev Center.
From the Dev Center you can download the free iPhone SDK, documentation, sample code, and instructional videos. You must own an Intel Mac to use the iPhone development tools (developer.apple.com/iphone).
4. Join the Apple iPhone Developer Program.
This costs $99, but it gives you the ability to distribute applications you create on the App Store. It also gives you access to additional content and services (developer.apple.com/iphone/program).