story by Ann Crane, pictures by Adam Tow
Some of the first few uber-geeks lucky enough to get their hot little hands on an iphone last week, grabbed their laptops and packed themselves off to a three-day iPhone hackathon. The iPhone DevCamp saw close to 400 web designers, developers file into Adobe’s SF offices this past weekend, all anxious find a spot, set up their laptops and pop the hood of the coveted device.
Based on BarCamp, the non-commercial event was organized in a remarkably short three weeks , focused around collaboratively developing web-based applications and optimizing web sites for the iPhone.
Apple is not allowing 3rd party developers to add apps on the home screen, therefore participants worked on ones that could then be accessed by bookmarking on Safari and then syncing the iphone. Most of the apps were being developed in Java, since the iPhone does not at this time support Flash, which is something for Apple to consider for the future.
Organizer Raven Zachary described the potential for iPhone developers coming from creating iPhone interfaces to existing apps, like myspace and facebook. He advised developers to come up with iPhone specific implementation of the these apps, noting both the large sell rate of the phones in the consumer market and the demographic that really uses it.
Don Booth, engineer at Adobe, presented an overview of a fantastic iPhone poker game. “We tried it on the iphone and it worked right out the bag, so we are here to relay some of our learning. Folks had questions about the Spry framework and if what we had in our AJAX framework would fit for their needs.”
Tomomi Imura was at the event, a mobile web Developer working on a new mobile search at Yahoo. “I’m here looking for more information, more hacks and tips and am really glad I’m here. It’s good to be exposed to what people already know.”
Nate Ritter, Eventful.com developer and community go-to-guy said, “They actually sent us here on purpose to see what we could build that is cool for the iPhone. John (another developer at Eventful.com) is building an application which will allow users to pick an events category, and based on interest and location, pull a real time listing of everything that is going on in their geographical area of interest.
Pizza and beer, camp-appropriate grub, alongside generous amounts of caffeine, fueled attendees, however it seems that just collaborating on cool apps for the iPhone for most folks was motivation enough.
Zooomr’s Kris Tate
A full list of the iPhone DevCamp applications hacked together at the camp is here.
More pictures here.
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