Tellme Eyes iPhone SDK

Voice services provider Tellme Networks, a Microsoft subsidiary, acknowledged it is looking into the Apple iPhone's software development kit (SDK), but that it has no definite plans as of yet. Microsoft is also rumored to be working on integrating its Office suite into the iPhone, but Tellme communications manager Marci Pedrazzi says any application the company develops would be done "independently" of Microsoft.

Tellme already provides voice services to a number of mobile providers, including Helio, Sprint, and AT&T. The company's voice-enabled mobile search functions have been applied to directory assistance, a feature that could spark interest from the iPhone user community. While Pedrazzi is unaware of other speech companies working on the iPhone SDK, she notes that Tellme has already devoted two staff members to researching the project.

"[Voice] is the number-one most requested feature for the iPhone," Pedrazzi notes. "People in voice services should be looking at it, and we think it's an important audience."

The Microsoft Office suite, which the company is rumored to be pushing for inclusion in the release of the next iPhone—one consumers hope will be a 3G phone. Furthering the race to build solid applications, iPhone released a beta 2 version of its SDK today. The new SDK comes with Interface Builder, a feature that aids companies in creating well-designed and easy-to-use programs—the hallmark of many Apple products. So far, a handful of big-name companies, including Salesforce.com, and game developers Electronic Arts and Sega, have vocally stated their iPhone SDK initiatives.

And though Pedrazzi says it's too early to make any definitive claims, she notes that the iPhone SDK is on Tellme's "roadmap" of new phones and services, but that a definite plan of action has not yet been drawn.

The news comes following Nuance Communications' confirmation that it are involved in the Open Handset Alliance's Android phone, and will provide voice products to Samsung Mobile and AT&T. Pedrazzi states that Tellme is not currently looking in to the Android project.

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