Live blog: Steve Jobs at WWDC 2008

Live coverage of Apple CEO's keynote speech at the Worldwide Developers Conference, where he introduced the world to the next-generation iPhone.

Tom Krazit Former Staff writer, CNET News
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Tom Krazit
15 min read
New iPhone
Steve Jobs unveils the new 3G iPhone at Apple's WWDC. James Martin/CNET News.com

SAN FRANCISCO--At Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference here, CEO Steve Jobs took the stage just after 10 a.m. PDT. This is a live blog of news from his keynote speech as it happened. For a summary of highlights written after the fact, go here.

9:53 a.m.: Welcome once again to Moscone West, site of so many Apple events over the past few years. The members of the press are mostly seated, and all seem to have managed to make it to the stage without being trampled, although I guarantee that's the fastest some of them have moved in 20 years. Warm-up music so far is skewing old-school, with a Bo Diddley song to kick things off.

10:06 a.m.: We've been revisiting the '50s and '60s this morning with the warm-up music, running through Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, and the like. No Green Day or U2 yet, which either means something totally profound, or it doesn't. Spotted up front: Apple board member Al Gore; Apple Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook; marketing chief Phil Schiller; and Greg Joswiak, head of iPhone and iPod marketing. Lights are dimming on "Great Ball of Fire," and WWDC 2008 is under way.

Waiting for Steve Jobs at WWDC 2008
A bustling crowd waits for Steve Jobs' keynote to start. James Martin/CNET News.com

10:07 a.m.: Apple CEO Steve Jobs takes the stage to widespread applause. Standard outfit. "We've been working real hard on some great stuff that we can't wait to share with you." A record 5,200 attendees are attending the conference this year. 147 sessions are planned for developers, 85 or so for the Mac, and 61 or so for the iPhone. The numbers flew by quickly.

10:09 a.m.: "So, let's get started." Jobs revisits the three parts of Apple: the Mac, the music business, and the iPhone. "I'm going to take this morning to talk about the iPhone." Recently promoted executive Scott Forstall and Phil Schiller will help Jobs out. He confirms that 10.6 will be on the agenda for the week, and Snow Leopard is confirmed as the new code name.

10:10 a.m.: But first, the iPhone. In the first 95 days, 250,000 people downloaded the iPhone SDK. 25,000 developers applied, and 4,000 were admitted. He goes into the various parts of the iPhone 2.0 software, including the enterprise features, the SDK, and some other new features.

10:12 a.m.: Customers told Apple they wanted to hook the iPhone up to Exchange, and they did that with 2.0, Jobs says. The new software uses Cisco's VPN software. Thirty-five percent of the Fortune 500 participated in the beta program, including the top 5 commercial banks and securities firms. Higher education has also jumped on board, such as Duke, Stanford, and the University of Texas. A demo video is being shown about some of those enterprise customers, such as Disney, where Jobs resides on the board, and an international law firm.

10:15 a.m.: Apple doesn't usually do these kinds of enterprise-oriented videos at its events, with marketing and IT folks from large organizations singing the praises of the iPhone over a pleasing generic elevator-music-style backdrop. These things are a staple of most IT industry events, though.

10:17 a.m.: The video ends, and Jobs retakes the stage to talk about the SDK, before deferring to Scott Forstall. Forstall goes into a discussion of the APIs in the SDK, which are the same APIs that Apple uses internally to develop applications. Some of this is a repeat from March, where Forstall explained the similarities between the iPhone's operating system and Mac OS X. The bottom layers of the OS are essentially the same, but the Cocoa programming environment has been tweaked for a touchscreen.

10:19 a.m.: He goes into the development tools that those in attendance will be using to build applications, such as Xcode and Interface Builder. He also discusses a tool called Instruments, which is a performance optimization tool. Forstall moves into a demo of how to build a user interface for the iPhone using Interface Builder.

iPhone developer tools
iPhone developer tools James Martin/CNET News.com

10:23 a.m.: His mock application is going to merge the contacts databases and location-aware services. He's taking us through the actual development experience, dragging and dropping icons that represent things like the iPhone's search bar around the development environment. Once the application is done, the developer can test it right on a Mac for bugs or to make different aesthetic choices, such as whether to put things in the toolbar or within the regular fields.

10:26 a.m.: The application finds your friends within a certain radius, but Forstall says nothing about whether the application was designed for the current iPhone, which uses a Wi-Fi/cell tower type of location-aware application, or the new iPhone, which is expected to have GPS. Forstall reads off a few quotes from corporate developer partners like Disney--once again--and Fox Interactive.

10:29 a.m.: Forstall is bringing third-party developers onstage to talk about their application, and Sega revisits the stage. They demoed a game called Super Monkey Ball in March, and they've refined it. Ethan Einhorn of Sega comes up onstage to talk about the app. The initial game had four stages developed in two weeks, now they've got 110 stages, with all four classic monkeys.

10:30 a.m.: This demo is showing off the capabilities of the accelerometer, where the iPhone can be tilted back and forth to accelerate or brake. The tester gets a nice hand from the audience for hurling Baby Monkey through the goal. Super Monkey Ball will be available at the launch of the App Store for $9.99.

Showing tilt control on Sega games. James Martin/CNET News.com

10:33 a.m.: eBay is the next developer to show off an application, and Ken Sun of eBay comes onstage to show off Auctions on the iPhone. The iPhone is already the primary mobile device used on eBay's Web site, he says. The app has a basic front door with options to track auctions you've bid on, see whether you've been outbid, and to place new bids. You can also pick up the photos from the auction listings, and blow them up to full screen. eBay is making this app available for free.

eBay application on iPhone
eBay application on iPhone. James Martin/CNET News.com

10:36 a.m.: Loopt is the third company to demo, and it's talking about a location-based application. Again, no distinction is made whether this is an application using GPS or the current location-based service on the iPhone. Loopt blends your social networks with the Maps application, so you can see where your friends are. You can also go to their journal to see what they've been doing today, what pictures they've added, and so on. This app will also be free.

10:39 a.m.: TypePad is next up, for the mobile bloggers in the audience. Michael Sippey of TypePad shows off what they've put together, with a simple interface that lets you create a post, take a photo, or add a photo. You can take photos with the iPhone's camera and add them to a post, as well as add photos from your library on your iPhone. This will be yet another free application.

10:41 a.m.: Our good friends at the Associated Press also have an application to show off. Benjamin Mosse of the AP is showing off the application, which is essentially a reader-style app that focuses on local news. This is another location-aware application that sends you local news based on where you are. You can customize the feeds for your favorite sports teams, and browse AP photos and video. Those stores can be shared via text or e-mail, and civilians can upload their own stories and pictures to the AP from the iPhone, and continuing with the trend, it will be free.

10:45 a.m.: More applications! Brian Greenstone of Pangea Software comes up to show off two games the company ported from Mac OS X to the iPhone, Enigmo, a 3D puzzle game, is very CPU-intensive, says Greenstone, and it doesn't miss a beat in the demo. Cro-Mag Rally, which is apparently a caveman racing game, is the other game shown off. Driving looks hard, but he is racing on snow, and people from California don't know how to drive in the snow. Both games will cost $9.99.

10:48 a.m.: It's a parade of developers. An app called Band was made by a solo developer named Mark Terry, whereas all the other apps so far have been corporate-developed. Band lets you create music on the iPhone, with a touch-screen piano, and the demo guy cranks out a passable version of John Lennon's "Imagine." There are also drums and a 12-bar blues creation app, which lays down a bass line while you play guitar over the track, and a bass guitar, which is used to play the slinky bass line from Pink Floyd's "Money." There's other stuff, but time is limited. Terry says Band will appear on the App Store in a few weeks' time.

Developer shows off music application on the iPhone. James Martin/CNET News.com

10:50 a.m.: MLB.com is getting in on the action, so we can watch the tortured season of the New York Mets on our iPhones. Jeremy Schoenherr shows off At-Bat, as we check out the Royals-Yankees game. You can see who's at bat, who's pitching, the count, and the score: Mussina's off to a decent start this morning. You can get real-time video highlights of the Yankees turning a double play. They aren't really "real-time" since the highlights arrive after the fact, but still.

MLB on the iPhone James Martin/CNET News.com

10:53 a.m.: Modality is the next company that Apple is showing off. These folks, represented by Dr. S. Mark Williams, have developed an application that helps medical students ditch their flash cards and use an iPhone to view anatomical images of the body that are very detailed, down to the arteries and veins, and can quiz students on the various parts of the heart, for example. Within weeks of the App Store launching, the company will have about a dozen applications available for various health-care needs.

10:57 a.m.: Mimvista has another medical application that builds on their niche, medical-imaging software. Mark Cain is representing Mimvista, and he says developing one of their types of applications before the iPhone wasn't going to work. The idea is to connect doctors with their workstations, so they can evaluate medical imaging from the golf course. The application, like Modality's, can show extremely detailed pictures of the human system, as well as moving images. "The iPhone has created a new direction for our company."

11:00 a.m.: Forstall promises that Digital Legends Entertainment is the last demo for this morning. These guys built a game in two weeks, and Xavier Carrillo Costa shows off his game. Their game is called Kroll, and it's another caveman adventure game where you battle enemies, swing across rope bridges, and solve problems. They expect to have the game ready by September.

Push notification services
Push notification service on the iPhone. James Martin/CNET News.com

11:02 a.m.: Forstall's back. He thanks all the developers who demonstrated their applications. He mentions one feature request from developers: instant-messaging developers want to deliver notifications even when the application isn't running. This is the background-running issue that arrived after the March event. Forstall says background processes are bad for a number of reasons, such as battery life and performance. He uses the opportunity to ding Windows Mobile's task manager for handling background processes the way desktop Windows does, to widespread laughter and applause.

11:04 a.m.: "We have come up with a far better solution." Apple is going to provide a push notification service to all developers, which doesn't quite go as far as background processes. When users quit an application, they disconnect from the server, but Apple is going have its own application server that maintains a connection to the iPhone. You can push badges such as "how many e-mail messages do I have," custom alert sounds, and custom text alerts. Forstall claims the design scales, but this puts an awful lot of dependence on Apple's own Web services.

E-mail messages can be deleted in bulk, and you can save e-mailed photos to your photo library. The calculator now works in landscape mode, adding scientific calculator buttons. Parental controls and language support have also been added, including two forms of Japanese and Chinese entry. The Chinese language characters can be drawn with your finger.

scientific calculator
Jobs shows off iPhone's scientific calculator. James Martin/CNET News.com

11:07 a.m.: This will be available in September, but developers will get a chance to start playing with it soon. Forstall leaves the stage saying Apple has updated the SDK, but doesn't say much else about it. Jobs retakes the stage to talk about a few new features in the software: contact search, full support for iWork documents, and support for Microsoft documents, adding PowerPoint to the already supported Word and Excel.

11:09 a.m.: The software will be released in early July, a slip from March's expectations. iPod Touch users will have to pay $9.99 for the iPhone 2.0 software, which is a price reduction.

11:10 a.m.: Jobs runs through the capabilities of the App Store, which is the only way to get third-party applications onto the iPhone. The App Store has been expanded to 63 countries that will have access, up from 20-something countries. A 10MB app or less can be downloaded over the air, but you can only use Wi-Fi or iTunes for applications larger than that.

11:11 a.m.: Enterprises, however, wanted their own App Stores unique to their phones. Enterprises can authorize iPhones in their company and create apps that only run on those phones, Jobs says. Those applications can be distributed through a corporate intranet, and synced through iTunes.

11:12 a.m.: However, there will now be a third way: Ad Hoc. The example Jobs uses is a professor who wants to use iPhone applications within a classroom. The developer certification program can now be expanded to 100 iPhones, so apps can be shared within a development house or university environment.

11:13 a.m.: "Now, we've got something entirely new, and we're very excited about this. It's called MobileMe."

11:15 a.m.: Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, takes the stage to discuss MobileMe. He says it's "Exchange for the rest of us." Schiller "slips," referring to ActiveSync as ActiveStink. MobileMe delivers push e-mail, contacts, and calendars to iPhones. This sounds very much like the revamp of .Mac that has been discussed for months, where information is stored in the "cloud" from Macs, iPhones, or Windows PC. E-mail automatically gets pushed all devices that you register with the service, and pulls calendar updates from one device to another.

11:18 a.m.: Schiller shows how e-mail and calendar info can go back and forth from the device to the Internet. Apple has also built AJAX applications as part of the service. The Web e-mail application looks like iTunes in a way, sorting your e-mail where your songs would normally be. The idea is you can access contacts and calendars from any Mac, PC, or iPhone. There will be an option in the 2.0 software that lets you send photos right to the MobileMe service, in addition.

11:20 a.m.: It's time for the formal demo. Schiller fires up the service, logs in, and arrives at his e-mail inbox. There are icons at the top that let you scroll between e-mail, contacts, and calendars. You can drag and drop e-mails in the Web interface, send off quick replies to e-mails without opening the entire message, and move through your contacts and calendars.

E-mail in MobileMe.
E-mail in MobileMe. James Martin/CNET News.com

11:24 a.m.: The application, like .Mac, ties into your iLife applications, where you can share photo galleries with others. iDisk is still around, allowing you to store files online. Schiller shows how the iPhone accesses the same MobileMe account, where you can check your e-mail, and save a new contact to your contacts database.

11:28 a.m.: Schiller's now showing how you can access your photo galleries stored in MobileMe through the iPhone, switching back and forth between the iPhone and the Mac to show how quickly photos can be uploaded and accessed from either device. Apple's keeping the price the same as .Mac: $99 a year, but upping the storage to 20GB. It will be available with the iPhone 2.0 software, and Schiller confirms that MobileMe will replace .Mac. All the .Mac stuff will still work, but .Mac users will be automatically upgraded to the new service.

11:28 a.m.: Jobs retakes the stage. "Now I'd like to talk about something that's near and dear to my heart, the iPhone."

11:30 a.m.: They're showing pictures of the iPhone launch day, almost one year ago. "It's widely believed that this is the phone that has changed phones forever." But the thing Jobs really likes is that users love their iPhones, quoting 90 percent customer satisfaction numbers. Ninety-eight percent of iPhone users are browsing, and 80 percent are using 10 or more features. Steve says they have sold 6 million iPhones to date, since they ran out a few weeks ago.

11:31 a.m.: "We did figure out what our next challenges are." 3G networking, as you might have heard, is that first challenge. Enterprise support is the second, third is third-party application support, fourth is international support--as Jobs jokes about the unlocked iPhones all over the world--and fifth, everybody wants an iPhone, but we need to make it more affordable.

11:32 a.m.: "Today we're introducing the iPhone 3G."

iPhone models
The new 3G iPhone, which is thinner at the edges, has a black plastic back and metal buttons on the side, has a flush-headphone jack, and comes in white. Apple

11:33 a.m.: "We've learned so much with the first iPhone." Jobs shows off the pictures; it's thinner at the edges, and has a black plastic back and metal buttons on the side. It's the same screen, with a camera, a flush-headphone jack (which gets wild applause), and improved audio.

speed test
3G iPhone speed test. James Martin/CNET News.com

11:35 a.m.: Jobs goes over the 3G support first. Faster downloads are a no-brainer, he says. He does a side-by-side comparison of a Web page loading on EDGE vs. one on 3G. The National Geographic's home page downloads in 21 seconds on the 3G network, and the EDGE one is taking forever. Twenty-one seconds is a lot, but this is a pretty photo-heavy Web page. It took 59 seconds on EDGE. The 3G speeds are close to Wi-Fi, Jobs said.

11:38 a.m.: Jobs compares the 3G iPhone to the Nokia N95 and Treo 750, two other 3G phones, and says the 3G iPhone is 36 percent faster to download the same Web page. In an iPhone 1.0 to iPhone 2.0 comparison, an e-mail attachment downloads in 5 seconds on the 3G model, and 18 seconds on EDGE. Jobs says the 3G iPhone will allow 300 hours of standby time, improved from 8 to 10 hours of talk time on the 2G iPhone, and he's quoting 5 hours of 3G talk time. Browsing should give you 5-6 hours, video 7 hours, and audio 24 hours of continuous operation.

Jobs confirms the new iPhone will have GPS.

Jobs announced the new iPhone will offer GPS. James Martin/CNET News.com

11:39 a.m.: "Location services is going to be a really big deal on the iPhone." GPS data allows you to do tracking. Apple recorded an iPhone traveling in a car going down San Francisco's famously crooked Lombard Street, showing how precisely the iPhone can be tracked as it navigates the curves.

11:43 a.m.: Jobs moves into enterprise support, which was covered in detail earlier today, as well as third-party applications. When it comes to more countries, the 3G iPhone will be available in dozens of them, as a video with "A Small World After All" plays with the iPhone working its way through South America and Europe. No love for Venezuela or China, but India and Australia are added for a total of 70 countries. It will roll out to those places over the next several months.

11:44 a.m.: On to the price. The first iPhone was $599 and now sells for $399. The new, 3G iPhone will sell for $199 for 8GB of storage.

11:45 a.m.: The 16GB model will cost $299, and that model will also be available in white.

The 8G iPhone will go for $199, Jobs says. James Martin/CNET News.com

11:46 a.m.: Twenty-two countries will get the 3G iPhone first, and they'll all get it at the same time. And it's not coming until July 11. The "late" rumors win.

11:48 a.m.: Jobs moves into the new ad for the 3G iPhone, which pokes fun at Apple's secretive nature. The demo gods finally make their presence felt as the audio skips on the replay of the video.

11:50 a.m.: Jobs asks Tony Fadell, Scott Forstall, and their employees to stand up and take a bow, which they do to thunderous applause. It appears we're winding down here, as Steve revisits the sessions that are planned for the week's worth of conference events. And we close, to Chuck Berry's "Maybelline."

11:52 a.m.: A quick recap: the 3G iPhone is here, but it's late. It's not clear the slip will mean too much to Apple's goal of shipping 10 million phones in 2008, but the price cuts will probably more than offset any two-week delay in iPhone sales. Still, this means there will have been no iPhones available for about six weeks, from the middle/end of May to early July.

That's going to be it from the show floor, but stay with us all day as we take a look at iPhone applications, ponder the 3G model, and post tons of pictures and videos. Thanks for letting us bring you WWDC 2008.

Jobs gets started.
Wearing his standard attire, Steve Jobs takes the stage to kick off Apple's 2008 Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco. James Martin/CNET News.com