Apple previews new SDK, App Store functionality

Apple has announced that it has added over 1,000 new API functions to the iPhone SDK in version 3.0 -- peer-to-peer connectivity and Bonjour support, among other goodies -- in addition to a subscription sales model and in-app purchases (great for optional content like game levels and city guides, we'd imagine). Devs will also be able to interface hardware accessories and Google Maps directly to their applications, which should be a big win for location-based stuff. What's more, the long, long overdue push notification functionality will finally be ready to roll, though it seems like there isn't much (if any) change from what was supposed to launch last year. App authors still have a lot more to read up on, though, because they've also added access to the device's iPod library, streaming media calls, and in-game voice -- another huge step toward making the iPhone a world-class gaming platform. One thing Apple's notable holding the line on is background apps; they're saying the same thing about battery life issues that they've said before, but at least we'll still be getting some push out of the deal. We're also going to be seeing support for in-app email access and text selection -- don't see a lot of that on an iPhone these days, now do you? A beta version of the updated firmware and SDK will be available to members of Apple's iPhone Developer program starting today, which should give 'em a nice head start on taking advantage of the new features.