AT&T Posts Developer Guidelines

Mar 31, 2008

AT&T took a step toward a more open network, posting its developer guidelines to the Web. These developer guidelines were previously only available to application developer partners and handset makers. This release comes a week after Apple released its SDK and a week before Verizon Wireless is scheduled to reveal technical specs at its Open Development Device Conference.

AT&T has said this decision is as much about giving customers what they want as it as about keeping up with the competition. AT&T spokesperson Brad Mays, wrote in an e-mail: "This speaks to the growing competition among wireless carriers to further differentiate their services and the importance of giving consumers more things to do with their wireless phones as the capabilities of those phones increase."

Along with "openness," AT&T has said that this new push is about encouraging developers and handset manufacturers "to consider the needs of seniors or customers who have disabilities when designing products and services." The carrier calls its developer guidelines Universal Design principles, or "the practice of designing products and applications that are usable by the broadest possible range of consumers."

With the Universal Design guidelines, any developer can create a program and submit it to AT&T for certification. Approved programs will be made available on the carrier