Leave it to Apple to make the process of building software to work with new third party iPhone hardware sound like some Kafkaesque nightmare. Here's the basic gist of it: Apple, just like always, has to approve any third party hardware that plugs into one of its iOS devices over the 30-pin dock connector. What's new is that before only the first party manufacturer could build software that works with that hardware, but now Apple is allowing that manufacturer to act as a gatekeeper for third party apps that would interoperate with its hardware. That means exciting times for app developers that are raring to mix with the likes of Line 6's MIDI Mobilizer (pictured) and AKAI's SynthStation 25, but it's also a far cry from the land of computers where anybody can build a plug-and-play USB MIDI device, and anybody can build software that speaks to it. It also means juggling proprietary SDKs, NDAs, and other agreements, which could become very difficult for developers if or when the hardware availability balloons. Hopefully we can get something more elegant before it comes to that. Hit up the source link for an in-depth discussion of this issue.

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