Well tomorrow’s the big day. It’s the day that Apple is rumored to be delivering the iPhone SDK(possibly just a beta of it) so that developers can begin to write native 3rd party iPhone apps. The rumors have been all of the map as to whether Apple will control/have to approve the distribution of these apps or not. Also will they only be available through iTunes or directly from the developers? I’m sure we’ll find out soon enough. Apple is supposed to release the SDK (software developer kit) at a special even on Thursday, March 6, 2008.
What I wanted to list here are the apps that I would like to see and even willing to pay for. Now keep in mind I’m talking 3rd party apps, not necessarily updates to the iPhone itself. I still have a long laundry list (50 ways to make the iPhone better) of "features" that I would like to see come to the iPhone via firmware updates (some of which have recently been addressed – ie. custom ringtones via GarageBand, iPhones on corporate plans, pseudo GPS, SMS to multiple people, etc.). However, there are certain things that Apple may never do. That’s where the 3rd party apps come in. Macworld published their list of 25 apps that they would like to see and we agree on a few, but there are some that I would like to see that they didn’t list. So here goes. These are apps that I would be willing to pay for:
10 – AIM based Instant Messenger
SMS messaging is great, but I would also like to do iChat (AIM based instant messaging). There are a couple of web based solutions, but having a native iPhone client would be great. It may not happen because it would take revenue away from AT&T. However, if a 3rd party developer could do it, It would be great.
9 – Skype/Vonage VoIP
This is another controversial one. If people could make calls while they were connected to Wi-Fi via VoIP, that would certainly save on those wireless minutes. However, this would definitely be one that AT&T wouldn’t be to happy about. However, if this one were available it would sell like hot cakes.
8 – Expense Tracker
While some are asking for a Pocket Quicken kind of app, my needs are simpler. I would like an expense tracker that I could input expenses in as they occur and then email myself an expense report at the end of the week that I could print. I could then do my real expense report quicker.
7 – Blogging App
How cool would be it be if I could take a picture(s) with the iPhone’s camera and then create a blog entry incorporating that shot? People would definitely do more blogging if they could do the whole process (EASILY) from their iPhones. So a native iPhone app that tied into the standard blogging engines (Blogger, WordPress, etc.) would be hot!
6 – Dictionary/Thesaurus
Having some more apps that I would use regularly would be nice. Not only would I like a dictionary/thesaurus, but also a unit converter and currency converter. These are no brainers and should be pretty easy for a 3rd party developer to make.
5 – FileMaker Pro Light
FileMaker Pro is one of the best database apps in existence. I’ve used it for years. It would be really cool if I could take my databases with me. The iPhone has enough storage and horsepower. It would be great to be able to sync a FMP database and update it while on the go. Come back and sync the changes I made while I was out to the main database on my desktop. Take it step further and let me update it or send the changes over the internet.
4 – Shopping List
This is so basic! Since the iPhone doesn’t have a To-Do function (go figure), it would be nice to generate shopping lists, errand lists, etc. that you could then check off as you complete or buy each item. Take it step further and allow someone to log into a website (say your spouse), generate a list and send it directly to your iPhone. This would be the answer to "honey, I’m stopping by ______, do you want anything?" Now you’re probably sorry you made that call because they start rattling off this list of things you’ll never remember. Now they could just logon on, create the list and send it directly to your iPhone.
3 – Movies App
There is a VERY GOOD web based Movies App for the iPhone now. However, since it’s web based it doesn’t really save my prefs. I would like to see this app really beefed up and made native. I would like to see not only theaters in the area and movie times, but also movies that were just released on DVD and in theaters. I would like to save my favorite theaters as preferences and be able to tap each one to see what’s playing and when.
2 – Slingbox Player
Sling Media has already expressed an interest in making a Slingbox Player for iPhone. However, the problem is going to be bandwidth over EDGE. You would either have to use it only while connected to Wi-Fi or wait for the 3G version of the iPhone. This would be a killer app though.
1 – Screen Capture
My number one need at the moment is to be able to make screen captures of what’s on the iPhone’s screen. As the co-author of The iPhone Book and a guy who writes about tech, it would be so much easier and nicer if I could pull screen captures directly from the iPhone without having to hack/jailbreak it. Hopefully the good folks at Ambrosia Software will make a version of SnapzPro for iPhone.