Let’s start with something good about the iPhone. Applications.
Many of the apps in the iTunes app store are trite and stupid – but that’s true of most development platforms with a fairly low barrier of entry and not overly surprising. Some apps however are excellent and are themselves possibly the best ( or only ) reason to recommend the platform.
First, WordPress. I feel I must mention this app as I’m currently using it to write this post and it’s clean, easy to use, and makes use of the iPhone’s native keyboard and predictive text which is quite pleasant for long posts like this one.
iPhone’s text abilities are also very useful in the application ‘Frotz’. There is a small but committed interactive fiction community still alive on the Internet and long time readers will remember I’ve mentioned them on many occasions in the past. Frotz for the iPhone allows you to play any z code game on your phone and provides the ability to download games direct from the ifdb site. The only thing missing is a bonjour server for pc to load up z code files you already possess.
I mention that because it is exactly what BookShelf offers to get your ebooks onto your phone to read. BookShelf itself justifies my iPhone purchase as it is a fantastic ebook reader that shows off well the iPhone’s excellent screen resolution. It’s not perfect as it’s chunking is annoying and it crashes occasionally but on the whole it is worth the 12$ au price tag. This is so far the only non-free app that holds any interest for me.
So there’s a couple of great things about the iPhone, but it’s not all roses and teddy bears. The platform is reasonably unstable and crashes are not unusual, my last post illustrates the worst of that, and I am still irritated by the fact I’ll need to buy a licence if I wish to give iPhone development a try.
Still, things aren’t too bad on the application front. If you’re an iPhone user yourself, let me know which of your favorite apps I’ve missed.
Now let’s see if this app will post well.