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iPhone developer specs leaked

Boffins at the University of Washington Emerging Technology department have inadvertently leaked developer specs for the Apple iPhone, prior to its launch in seven days time.

The posting on the department’s blog, which has since been removed but is still viewable through Google’s cache, consists of notes from the ‘Designing Web Content for the iPhone’ session of Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference 2007, which took place June 11 – 15.

During the conference, Apple CEO Steve Jobs revealed that third parties would be limited to making web-based apps for the device, a move which has drawn some derision from the developer community.

Tony Chang, senior strategic integration architect at Washington Uni, and author of the post, takes a couple of pot shots at Jobs’ presentation.

“The intro slide for this session is called Designing Web Content for the iPhone. Notice it doesn’t say developing iPhone client applications for the iPhone,” Chang writes.

Jobs recently said that developing for the iPhone is easy as cake, programmers just have to develop for Apple’s Safari browser. “A web browser that no one uses and hasn’t been in the wringer like IE7 or Firefox in terms of security vulnerabilities,” Chang writes, adding that Jobs, “touts that Safari is the fastest web browser in the world by running a pre-canned demo of one website.”

The blog goes on to reveal that the iPhone supports all the latest internet standards, including WHATWG and HTML 5. Web pages will be limited to 10MB maximum size, as will JavaScript allocations. JavaScript will also be limited to 5 seconds run time.

Naturally, Quicktime will be used for audio and video and the iPhone will not support Flash or Java.

It has already been revealed that Google-owned user generated content firm, YouTube, has been encoding its mobile clips into a new format in an attempt to improve quality and preserve battery life when viewed over wireless devices.

YouTube is using the H.264 format for its mobile videos, which will be supported by the iPhone.

The device includes a feature called Pageview, which allows users to flip between different web pages and documents. However, the limitations of the feature means that eight documents maximum can be open on the iPhone at once.

But despite the frustrations of being limited to building web-based apps for the Safari browser, developers still seem to be champing at the bit to write for the iPhone.

iPhoneDevCamp, an unofficial developer camp for web designers, developers, testers, and iPhone owners has already been penned in for July 6-8 at Adobe’s offices in San Francisco. Attendees will be creating new web applications for iPhone, optimising existing web applications for the device, migrating Dashboard Widgets to web-based widgets and testing and optimising web sites for iPhone.

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