Apple Inc. has an interesting pie-slicing problem coming as far as developers of iPhone (and iPod Touch) applications are concerned. All of those first- and second-generation iPhones run the same operating system -- the just-released iPhone OS 3.0 -- as the new 3GS model. But the latter includes new hardware such as a magnetometer, a faster CPU and faster GPU, as well as more memory. If developers build shiny new apps with only those features in mind, they'll limit their market. What to do?
So far, most developers seem to be focused mainly on expanding existing apps to incorporate iPhone OS 3.0-enabled capabilities, such as push notifications and MMS support (in some markets). They're evolutionary changes, much as the newest iPhone itself is evolutionary, but still offer an interesting look at where the iPhone hardware/software combo is headed.
Here's a quick look at five applications iPhone and iPod Touch owners should consider. The easiest way to track them down is by accessing the App Store on the iPhone and searching for the app title. (You can do it in iTunes, too, if you want.)
1. Push to Jive: BeejiveIM 3.0 with Push
From: Beejive Inc.
Beejive Inc. was an early developer for the iPhone; it even had a Web-based instant messaging client before Apple released the APIs for building "real" iPhone apps. What's new in Version 3.0 is push notification, one of the premier new features enabled with the release of iPhone OS 3.0.
What this means is that BeejiveIM 3.0 will let you know whether any of your IM accounts -- AIM, iChat, MSN, Yahoo, GoogleTalk, Facebook IM, ICQ or Jabber -- has an incoming message, whether you're currently running BeejiveIM or not. Though there are other (and free) IM clients, BeejiveIM has one of the more integrated user interfaces, as well as a wealth of options, such as SMS out, hyperlink support, chat histories, and pop-up-ad blocking.
Though some people might not want to be available this way 24/7, it's nice to know you can be. (Note to BlackBerry and Windows Mobile users: Beejive has you covered as well.)
2. Fight the Flip: FlickitPrice: Free
From: Green Volcano Software LLC
This app for mobile shooting and uploading to Flickr will surely benefit from the iPhone 3GS's new and improved 3-megapixel camera -- and possibly from the additional onboard RAM and added storage space.
Flickit allows you to take, tag, title and geotag multiple photos for uploading to your Flickr page. I've managed to avoid the Flickr phenomenon, since I'm not a shutterbug, but I can see how this would be wicked useful for those who are.
Best of all, it's even compatible with all previous hardware models and iPhone OS 2.2 or later.