3G iPhone Hype: Where is the News that Really Counts?
Yes, it's started. Â So many bloggers, "news" sites, and rumor mills are talking about the expected 3G iPhone, and how it will change the world. Â Lots of sources "close to the 3G iPhone project" have been touting the appearance of the new Wunderkind of the Smart Phone genre, and the many bells and whistles that they will be sporting. Â But one aspect of the new iPhone has been oddly silent: Â the up and coming applications that everyone is expecting. Â Now, as I'm sure comes as no surprise to those who follow my blog (thanks you two! ^_^), I'm very pro-Mac. Â I like the Mac platform, I like the fact that it's now 100% UNIX compatible as of 10.5, and I like the fact that it's simple to use. Â Part of that has to do with the design of the hardware, but most of it has to do with the applications that are available for the Mac. Â That's what really makes a Mac a Mac. Â You can change a windowing system on either Vista or even Linux to look like a Mac, but it still doesn't have the same applications running. Â Well, we know that Apple already has released various beta versions of the iPhone OS SDK in order to encourage developers to write programs. Â This is great, but we haven't heard much from developers as to the applications they are writing. Â Many have speculated, but none confirmed the release of a Microsoft Office suite (surely watered down if not just a viewer) for the iPhone, and some other apps like a version of Flash from Adobe. Â But nothing concrete. Â Well, if I were calling the shots, or at least if I were looking for Apps that would appeal to me, here would be my list:Â
- Presentation Software: Â I want to be able to show a Keynote from my iPhone. Â This could be either something built into iTunes sharing (like photo albums), or an actual Keynote viewer and basic editor. Â Either way, I would like to see an app that will let me present Keynotes. Â Then I would just need to have a way to hook up the iPhone to a projector. Â
- Text Editing: Â This could be as simple as a plugin for Google Docs (which didn't work well on the first gen iPhone), or a separate application that is more than just a note taker, but could be less then a full fledged version of Pages or Word. Â But typing on the software keyboard? Â let's talk about:Â
- Bluetooth Keyboard Support: Â Yes! Â Let us tether a bluetooth keyboard to the blasted thing! Â It would be convenient on so many levels. Â And it's one major requirement I have for the rumored iPod Slate.Â
- Spreadsheet Viewing: Â This could be just as simple as adding the Preview option from Leopard into the iPhone OS. Â I'm not thinking about using a spreadsheet program on the iPhone, that's something to do on a real computer. Â But it would be nice to be able to read a spreadsheet that is sent to you, or review it before a presentation.Â
- Terminal: Â Yes, I want a terminal on my Mac. Â Why? Â Because I use it constantly while checking connections, servers, ports, and running various apps. Â It would be invaluable for any IT professional to be able to SSH into a remote machine while traveling, check on a server status, restart services, etc. all while away from a real computer. Â
- Full Version of iCal: Â I want something more robust than the current iCal software on the iPhone. Â All new events created on the thing shouldn't create a new calendar. Â It should also be able to subscribe to new calendars, and color-code them. Â That would be nice.Â
Those are the applications that I would most likely need. Â It would be ideal for presentations while teaching, quick video demos, and technical support. Â Of course, these would be high on the list, but what of other wants? Â Here is my wishlist:Â
- Second Life Client: Â It's been compiled for smart phones, why not for the iPhone? Â It would be ideal for any instructor or student taking an online course in Second Life. Â And with many institutions utilizing Second Life as an online learning platform, it would be nice to have it truly portable. Â
- Twitter App: Â Even if it's just using a Dashboard Widget or something, a nice little Twitter widget that didn't use SMS would be nice. Â ^_^
- VNC/rdesktop/X11 Client: Â A VNC/rdesktop/X11 client would be nice, partly for Technical Support, and partly for screen sharing for other machines. Â Now, I'm not talking about sharing the iPhone screen (which would require a running VNC/X11 Server), but rather just a client. Â Security shouldn't be an issue at that point, and technical support/distance learning will be that much easier.Â
- Parental Controls: Â You know there are parents out there that will give in to their kids and buy them an iPhone. Â It might be a good idea to have some sort of parental controls for browsing, sharing, etc.Â
- DOS Emulator: Â Purely for entertainment value, I would like to play a number of old DOS games when ever I get in the mood. Â ^_^ Â I'd like to see something like DOSBox ported to the iPhone.
- Games: Â Yes, occasionally I would like to be able to get caught up in a game to relieve stress. Â Something simple like a pinball game would be cool, or even something really advanced like World of Warcraft. Â I can almost guarantee that if there were a WoW client for the iPhone, it would be the number 1 machine out there. Â ^_^
- SSHFS: Â Let me upload my files securely to a server, and retrieve them in the same way. Â SSHFS would be sweet for the iPhone.
- VoIP Software: Â Yes, let me have my VoIP software on my iPhone, even if I can't use the phone network for it. Â Not that it should matter, I would be paying for the phone minutes whether I use them or not. Â But at least this way, in case of an emergency, I can always have some type of phone working as long as there is some sort of network connection, and I won't have to rely on possible bottle-necked Cellular networks. Â
So, that is my list, be it ever so humble. Â Now, do I really expect everything to be incorporated into the new Wunderkind? Â Well, if I did, then I'm up for a big disappointment. Â But I do hope that at least someone takes on some of the ideas here and runs with them. Â There are a lot of great ideas out there, and with Internet distribution you can easily target the right people that would be interested in such applications, like me!Â
Is there anything that you would like to see on the iPhone by the way of apps?