The iPhone’s software development kit, along with a host of new biz apps, should mean good news for e-books, just as Paul Biba noted earlier. Developers are increasingly aglow over the SDK, which means that sooner or later someone will come up with the ultimate reader for the iPhone–ideally .epub compatible and just as easy to use as Mobipocket. Here’s a chance for the open source community to act, now that the development tools are there, even if Apple is imposing some restrictions. I’ll also be interested to see what the commercial side does. Steve Jobs has raised doubts about Flash running on the iPhone. Where will that leave Adobe’s Flash-based Digital Editions?
Meanwhile, Apple has released the iPhone 2.0 Software Beta, and it’s clear that the company is making a big push in the business area, complete with new ways to let corporate employees keep up with mail on their iPhones and desktops—via connections with Microsoft Exchange Servers. And that’s relevant to e-books, since many there’ll be that many more iPhones on which apps can piggyback on each other. The iPhone your boss buys you for corporate mail might be just the ticket for e-books, too, at least if the IT department allows downloading of the right software, which it might if the same programs can display corporate documents—well, beyond the usual PDF.
Nope, the iPhone is not going to kill off the Kindle—not everyone wants to read off a small, K-sized screen—but the above is just another reminder of the need for publishers to think beyond the K machine alone.
Related: TidBIT’s plea for Apple to develop an iPhone e-reader and also the reasons why TidBITS is keener on desktops and the iPhone for reading its tech books than it is about the Kindle. Also see Tidbits’ excellent SDK coverage.