I last posted my thoughts on what the App Store needs to really give the iPhone longevity and not be relegated to just another fad phone or even worse an Apple only, fanboys toy. So today I’ll just give a quick once over on how I feel the App Store is doing. To kick things off on opening day the App Store had 550+ software titles available for free or purchase from single developers to large software houses. Having browsed around I’d have to say that the App Store is indeed off to a good start. What’s really going to get the ball rolling is the development and release of software titles we already know and use on other platforms. I say this because the large software devlopers for Windows Mobile for example have software titles that have already matured and don’t have any more room to grow. Many of these developers are at a point where they are just adding features and cleaning up bad or inefficient code. The iPhone gives developers a new place to start and a more defined set of tools and rules to follow to develop from. So, by releasing good classic software titles in the App Store it will not only drive more people over to the iPhone platform. It will also give the iPhone a solid core set of third party applications to rely on which is what is needed for any mobile platform to survive. Listed below are just some of the software titles I tried out and what I think of them.
SpalshData released some titles from their popular SplashWallet Suite; SplashID, SplashMoney and SplashShopper. I only tried out SplashID along with the desktop client which syncs only through Wi-Fi. While I like this feature I’d like to see it sync via USB also. Entering text was easy and straight forward. You can create and edit your own templates using the iPhone or PC and you can also modify the built-in templates provided to your needs. My only reservations are that it’s limited to only 9 customizable fields and the entry fields do not display really long text in it’s entirety. SpashID is a good version 1.0 of their popular software but for $9.99 it still needs a little work.
Bejeweld 2, was a big disappointment for me personally. I’ve played this game from the time it was originally released for the Pocket PC. It had Classic, Endless, Puzzle and Action modes with lots of extra audio and visual effects making it 100 times better than the original standard Bejeweled game. This version for the iPhone is good but it’s just watered down and resembling the orginal Bejeweled game but with nicer backgrounds and a few sound effects. For those who never played Bejeweled 2 or just prefer the classic version then this game is for you. Those like me who want the Bejeweled 2 we know and love it’s a no buy especially at the selling price of $9.99.
Epocrates Rx drug database for those of us in the medical field is and excellent find. This version for the iPhone is twice as nice as the original althought it works differently than their other versions. You can now search by physical description via markings, color, shape, etc. I rank this as a must have for all EMTs, pharmacists and any healthcare professional requiring a drug reference database. If your on scene with nothing to go on but a pill in an unmarked bottle and identification is critical this is the software for you. Easily update the database and automatic medical news alerts keeps you up-to-date with the latest reference information. Best of all it’s free.
Remote is not your typical remote control program as the name my lead one to believe. This is an Apple iTunes only remote that gives you total control of your iTunes library on your PC and/or Apple TV. Using the remote is like using iTunes so there is nothing to learn. It works via Wi-Fi and displays the album art on your iPhone of whatever you have playing on the PC. Some people have paided hundreds of dollars to get similar functionality, well, Remote is free and a must have for any iTunes or Apple TV user. Save some cash and go get this one.
eReader has been the best ebook reader available in my opinion and is now out for the iPhone. Version 1.0 doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of eReader Pro but having the ability to wirelessly download (OTA) your books right on to your device is awesome. Combine this with using your iPhone to access your eReader or Fictionwise accounts, you can purchase and download your favorite books in minutes to your iPhone without ever having to go to a PC. eReader for iPhone does everything you need to start reading your ebooks and it’s free.
These are just 5 software titles from the ones I tried out. Like any store you are not going to be happy with everything but like I said before the App Store is off to a very good start. It will take some time for more of the larger software houses to release their titles which are still in development like WebIS to release Pocket Informant, but they are coming. So sit tight, titles are being released just about every day so there will always be something to look forward to. Now go find some apps and enjoy iPhone 2.0. And later tonight when your relaxing from all those apps you downloaded check out the Mobility Today Podcast Live at 9pm and every Wednesday. I’m sure it’ll be good as always.