Now that Apple is officially opening up the iPhone and iPod Touch to third-party developers, we thought we’d give software companies some projects to work on. Here are five iPhone apps we can’t wait to get our hands on.
Adobe Flash: Adobe’s ubiquitous plugin is installed on some 99% of PCs, but 0% of iPhones. This would let iPhone users play Flash-based games, navigate Flash-based Web sites, watch Flash-based video, and load Flash-based ads.
RSS Reader: Read the newspaper on the subway with one hand. Web-based RSS reading is possible using the iPhone’s Safari Web browser, but it requires an Internet connection to load content. A real RSS reader — like our favourite Mac-based reader, Vienna — which stores feed content on the iPhone for offline reading is a no-brainer.
IM/Chat: Adium is hands-down the best instant messaging client for Mac, and would make another great app for the iPhone. Chat on AIM, Google Talk, and a dozen other IM networks with one piece of software. Even better: Skype, iChat, or a similar app that can handle Internet audio and video chats. Apple’s wireless partner AT&T would hate this — who needs mobile phone minutes anymore? — and this would kill the carrier’s pokey EDGE data network, but could work great over wi-fi, and eventually, a 3G connection.
Slingbox: So far, the iPhone’s video watching is limited to whatever is on YouTube or iTunes. How about streaming live television from your home cable connection?
Remote Desktop: Left an important file at home? Whether a lightweight VNC (“virtual network computing”) app or a full-fledged version of Apple Remote Desktop, it would be handy to be able to access your home computer via iPhone. Such apps already exist for Palm Treos and other smartphones, so porting to the iPhone couldn’t be too tricky.
Readers: Any other apps for our wishlist?