Image via The Verge

Carrier AT&T is holding its sixth annual Developer Summit at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas today, and President and CEO Ralph De La Vega addressed some 2,500 attendees from 33 different countries. “What’s good for developers is good for customers,” said La Vega while explaining why AT&T runs this developer summit.

Shortly, Chief Marketing Officer David Christopher took the stage to announce AT&T’s new API platform for HTML5 web applications meant to run across multiple devices and mobile operating systems, reminding that the web really is the ultimate app store. Interesting enough, Visual Voicemail for the iPhone (which turned 5-years-old today) was AT&T’s very first network API, so you could say Apple also helped revolutionize how carriers interoperate.

An impressive 85 percent of all smartphones will have HTML5 browsers by 2016, Christopher explained. The new API Catalog sports 130 individual APIs divided into 14 different categories — it is essentially a revamped U-Verse API catalog. The APIs enable a range of features, such as completely automated sign ups to use APIs in minutes, wrappers for Ruby, PHP and Java and tons of sample code in Github.

A storefront for web apps called the “App Center” will be available later this year (developers can sign up for a beta here). In short, this new platform is conceived from the ground up with HTML5 developers in mind and targets most cellular networks, not just AT&T’s…


Later this year, AT&T will add APIs for music, speech, advertising, message management, contacts, storage, user content management, more advanced payment features, and more. To help push the new APIs, AT&T will be collaborating with Appcelerator, appMobi, Sencha and Microsoft. The Windows Maker will distribute the APIs through its cloud platform dubbed Windows Azure. AT&T also joined OpenStack, a group of 140 tech companies, as the first United States carrier to do so. There is also an innovation center for startups called “AT&T Foundry” and a brand new cloud platform dubbed “Cloud Architect.”

Cloud Architect is available at cloudarchitect.att.com, and it lets developers rent some cloud power for their web applications and pay hourly or monthly. It supports various storage and network options, configuration parameters and server options. Another goodie for developers is Application Resource Optimizer, a tool that can help apps run faster, use less power and consume bandwidth more efficiently by gathering usage data on the device and feeding it to your computer for analysis.

Folks interested in developing for AT&T’s new platform are welcome to pay a $99 registration fee, which provides them with unlimited access to AT&T’s API catalog through the end of 2012 Network-wise. AT&T said little we did not know already; the company deployed over 80,000 new antennas in 2011, made some 150,000 “network improvements” and shrunk device packaging by 22 percent —which helped save 200 tons of waste.

These are most of the major APIs AT&T announced today:

Payment & in-app billing - Users can make purchases from any HTML5 web app with the same level of efficiency as an app storefront. They will be charged on their AT&T bill. SMS authentication is supported and AT&T is offering the standard 70:30 split for developers here.

U-verse + Wireless Connects- U-verse + wireless connects is the fastest-growing television provider in the past 2.5 years with some 3.6 million subscribers as of the third quarter of last year. Apps on Wi-Fi can interact with U-verse receiver and have the ability to see what is currently playing on TV. In addition, apps can instruct U-verse receiver to play video from Internet, meaning they act as a software-based U-verse remote. One example shown on stage is Twonky Beam Browser that was used to stream content to a U-verse box. These APIs are designed for both Android and iOS.

Device Capabilities – Apps can access device-specific hardware features

AT&T mHealth Alpha – consumers can have single cloud aggregate health data from doctor offices insurance companies. This allows doctors to assess complete medical profiles, for example.

MMS & SMS, Location and more…

Other related announcements from AT&T today include the new AT&T Mobile Application Management powered by Apperian’s Enterprise App Services Environment that lets users distribute, manage, analyze and secure applications plus an extension of its M2M (machine-to-machine) application development with a U.S. reseller agreement with Axeda Corporation, an exclusive among major U.S. mobile carriers.

Cross-posted on 9to5Google.com.

Jordan Kahn contributed to this report.

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