iPhone gets full Exchange support, SDK available, iFund set up for budding application developers

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Apple has finally announced two major pieces of news that should be music to the ears of applications developers and business users.

At an iPhone Special Event held at Apple HQ in Cupertino yesterday, Steve Jobs and co. unveiled the iPhone 2.0 beta software and Software Development Kit.

Due for full release in June, the iPhone 2.0 software will feature full, direct integration with Microsoft Exchange Server using ActiveSync, providing services such as secure, over-the-air push email, contacts and calendars as well as remote wipe, and the addition of Cisco IPsec VPN for encrypted access to private corporate networks.

This should hopefully alleviate many of the fears about the iPhone being used as a serious business phone.

Additionally, the Software Development Kit (SDK) is now available as a free download, so that anyone can start writing and testing applications for the iPhone. Well, anyone with an up-to-date Mac, that is.

According to Apple, the iPhone SDK gives everyone the same toolset that they’ve been using to develop native applications. Included in the package is an iPhone Simulator that allows Mac users to quickly test applications directly from the desktop.

Plenty of other technical details were announced, covered in more detail over on iPhonic.

Though anyone can download the beta software now (after free registration), only a limited number of US-based developers will be accepted onto the pay-for programmes for now.

iPhone users will receive the software upgrade free of charge. Unfortunately, iPod Touch users will be stung again, having to pay for the privilege of the new features.

Meanwhile, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB), a venture capital firm focused on technology, has announced a collaboration with Apple. They’ve launched a $100 million fund to invest in companies who are developing apps and services for the iPhone and iPod Touch.

“We think several significant new companies will emerge as this new platform evolves, and the iFund will empower them to realize their full potential,” said John Doerr, a partner at KPCB.

Stay tuned to iPhonic.tv for all the latest news.

(Via iPhonic and Digital Media Wire)

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