Interesting how we have all read about the evils of Microsoft over the past decade, starting with the Justice Department's efforts in 1999. However, when one takes a close look at the behavior of many companies, doing what is necessary to be competitive is common practice. Take Apple for example. After the market crash, during the Fall of 2008 Apple shares dropped to $90 per share, and Apple is now at $165 per share and riding high. On the other hand, Apple is clearly not what one would call an "open company". The Macintosh product line and the OS X operating system is built on top of Intel based processors, yet don't dare try to run OS X on a Dell Intel based processor, or for that matter an Intel based processor from anyone other than Apple.
When I started iPhone software development I searched the Internet long and hard for a means to run the iPhone SDK and Objective X (XCode, etc) and OS X within a Microsoft Virtual PC (VPC). I found one hacker who spent hours trying such and was moderately successfully, however no doubt he violated numerous license agreements along the way.
And then there is the Apple iPhone App Store. My previous blog posts support my view that the iPhone product line is a revolutionary product line, however it is clearly not what one would call an "open product line". The Apple iPhone App Store places Apple into the role of King-Maker.
Here is an interesting article from this morning's Wall Street Journal that may suggest a reversal may be forthcoming in Apple's behavior.
The iPhone has definitely changed my world, since getting my first in Aug-2008. I have gone from using a Motorola RAZR (and having a Windows Mobile PDA in my closet which I never used) to having the iPhone constantly by my side. I enjoy reading the morning paper on the iPhone rather than the black ink edition of the local newspaper. It is nice to be able to email news articles to friends over breakfast. I have also purchased a Mac Pro laptop for iPhone software development purposes. I have not yet gotten past use of the iPhone simulator, however I am hoping to have more time for iPhone development soon.
So what are my favorite life-style changing iPhone apps ?...not including the built-in apps from Apple ?
- Dice - My very 1st 3rd party iPhone app. Good for a roll of the dice. Perhaps the Obama Administration should use it when projecting next year's budget deficit.
- Linkedin - The iPhone edition of the business oriented Linkedin.com networking web site.
- MissingCalc - A scientific and programmers calculator (Octal, Hexadecimal, etc)
- Urbanspoon - Restaurant directions based on local GPS coordinates.
- Google Earth - Zoom in on your favorite spot on planet Earth.
- Google - A number of miscellaneous Google apps, many of which simply redirect you to the iPhone Safari browser.
- iTalk - Griffin's voice memo app.
- Say Who Lite - A Voice Dialer, which I will dispose of when I get my iPhone 3GS next April.
- MiniPiano - Just what it says, yet somewhat amusing.
- WikiTap - Not sure where this came from. Not real sure what it does.
- OpenTable - Another Restaurant locator GPS service.
- VR+ - Another voice memo facility. Also popular on the Blackberry.
- Light - Lights up the room so one can see. Some people will think of everything.
- Skype - The famous Skype client. Has been out now since Apr-2009. Definitely one of my favorites. Voice over WI-FI works rather well.
- LOCiMe - Start this app and you can record your current GPS location at the LOCiMe web service, and then monitor all of your movements via web queries.
- Twitterrific - Follows Tweets for nearby Twitter members, based on GPS location.
- Stanza - Electronic book reading subscription service.
- Currency - Converts International currencies.
- Yellow Pages - Do you need to ask ?
- Facebook - The iPhone edition of the favorite social networking site.
- Zillow - The iPhone edition of the real estate research Zillow web site.
- WSJ - Wall Street Journal.
- NYTimes - New York Times.
- Dictionary - The iPhone edition of the Dictionary.com web site.
- AP Mobile - Associated Press News Service.
Have you ever noticed how some people (Palm and Blackberry users) simply will not admit that perhaps... just perhaps... Apple has the best product with the iPhone. After all, Apple now has over 50,000 applications on the iPhone App Store. Now this is what I call mobilizing the software development community.
And just think. In 1980 I was using a used IBM Selectric typewriter as a business productivity tool.
Please let me know of your favorite iPhone apps.