As you probably already know by now, last Wednesday Apple unveiled to the world its new "tablet computer" - the Apple iPad. Shortly after the event came to a close, like always, Apple issued registered developers of it's ADC network the next beta of the iPhone OS SDK. Version 3.2. Now among trivial changes, like this version of OS only being compatible with the iPad, one change has been uncovered which is slightly confusing.
If you're not familiar with VoIP or Voice Over Internet Protocol, the technology allows for telecommunication using the internet. Take a service like Skype, for example. It uses VoIP to connect its millions of users to other users around the world at very little, or no cost at all. Ever since the introduction of the iPhone SDK, Apple has stood by the fact that its partnering mobile networks, AT&T in the US and O2 in the UK, weren't so keen on the fact that developers could (if they wanted) use VoIP to circumvent monthly call plans. So, Apple being Apple and wanting to keep relations sweet put a restriction on the iPhone SDK stating that use of VoIP over a 3G data connection was prohibited.
Late Wednesday night though this all took a turn around - for the better, with the introduction of the iPhone OS 3.2 SDK Beta - as now, this SDK does support VoIP over the iPhone's 3G network. In fact, a few applications, such as iCall and Fring, are already supporting this new rule, ultimately saving you money on phone calling through local and international ad-supported calling. This all leaves me to ask myself one question .. What must AT&T, O2 and the other mobile networks selling iPhone call plans around the world, think of this move? Did they sanction it? Maybe they believe they're going to make so much of a killing off 3G pre-pay plans with the iPad this Spring, that they don't care about loss of revenue in regards to call plans on the iPhone?
Anyway, It's not exactly clear if the same SDK rule will make the jump over to the iPad, but to be honest, I can't exactly see myself holding that 9 by 7 inch device to my ear without losing some serious street cred ..