iPhone 1.97 – More applications

Alas, this time some applications without icons. Narrative rules.

  • Remote Control. Sort of a disappointment, so far. Sure, I can control my MacBook, but I really want to control, say, the home TV set or the lecture hall projector :). This is from Apple, so we expect it to be maybe more suggestive than operative. I guess we will put those in the shape of applications to come.
  • Moonlight Mahjong Lite. This is the simple tile game, with a three dimensional visualization option. Using multitouch, you can rotate, pan, zoom, and otherwise explore the area. Good thing this is not a driving game, I would have wiped out a dozen times. 3D navigation is not easy, with or without multi-touch.
  • Molecules. This is a port of a BSD open source project and shows that, hey guys, there is a real computer in here. New molecules can be downloaded from the RCSB Protein Data Bank. (http://www.rcsb.org/pdb. This is a bit overpowering for Chemistry 1 and Chemistry 20 students, but I’m sure those molecules will soon become available.

  • Weatherbug. I’m addicted to weather radar and weatherbug meets that addiction nicely. It’s always such a pain to go to a portal page, click on the weather icon, reach a weather site, click on a feature, find the map i want, click on it, and then finally get to see where that storm is. Weather bug puts that radar image right up front. Bingo. [Double bingo. I woke up Friday morning and heard that there was a weather alert – a supercell was headed into the Champlain Valley, due to strike at 7 AM. Weatherbug showed that this would pass well to the north of Burlington. Whew!]

What I like about theses applications is that they are real applications. You can immediately see where the iPhone is blowing away the telco model of the cellphone. Ditto why so many programmers are frustrated by the compromises Apple has made to that telco model. This is a real computing platform.

Google’s Android and the OLPC programs will, I bet, help those disruptive ideas bubble up.

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