iPhoneDevCamp plans a comeback

A conference for the people who build iPhone applications will return for a second year, amid a dramatically shifting landscape for Apple’s mobile device.

iPhoneDevCamp will convene in San Francisco this August. Organizers bill the event as a chance for iPhone developers to meet and share ideas and best practices for making apps that run on Apple’s smartphone.

The inaugural iPhoneDevCamp took place last July, just a few weeks after the iPhone’s release. Attendees at that event focused on familiarize themselves with the ins and outs of the newly released phone, though the weekend ended with developers producing several dozen Web-based apps aimed at iPhone users.

Circumstances will be quite different for this year’s installment of iPhoneDevCamp. Not only will the iPhone be an established product this time around, the method for producing applications for the phone has changed. Apple has released a software development kit for building native iPhone apps. In June, the iPhone 2.0 software will introduce App Store, Apple’s method of selling iPhone applications to the public. Those topics alone will give developers plenty to talk about.

But don’t expect iPhoneDevCamp to focus solely on native applications. “We are going to build web apps and native apps,” organizer Raven Zachary told Macworld. “We don’t want to discourage developers from Web apps but the reality is many of the attendees will be building native applications.”

Building Web-based apps is still an important piece of the iPhone puzzle, Zachary said. With a year’s worth of collective knowledge built up with Web apps, developers can share best practices and continue to push the envelope.

While there were hurdles to overcome with last year’s conference–most notably, that the phone had only been for sale for about a week–this year’s conference may have its own challenges. Among those is Apple’s Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA) that all developers are required to sign. “Part of the reason we chose the date in August was to give some time between the release of the app store and the conference,” Zachary said. “If the NDA is not lifted, we will have to talk in more general terms. We want to do this properly.”

However, Zachary hopes the NDA will be lifted by the time the conference takes place August 1-3, allowing the developers to speak freely at iPhoneDevCamp 2.

iPhoneDevCamp is slated for Adobe’s San Francisco offices, the second consecutive year the company has hosted the developer camp. Zachary hopes to accomplish a lot during the weekend and will work with developers on creating new applications, migrating Mac OS X applications, and testing and optimizing applications.

“We are hoping to explore and discover the limits of the platform and have developers share their knowledge with others,” Zachary said.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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