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Apps I’d Like to See on the iPhone

Here is a list of apps I'd like to see on an iPhone:

  • Terminal (like, duh!). Being able to SSH into my server would be awesome. Heck, I'd settel for a shell-looking SSH client.
  • Something to post to my blog (and not via the blog's Web interface - I know I could use Safari. I mean something like Ecto.
  • Actual GPS-aware maps. Why not obliterate the market for hardware GPS maps while you're at it, Apple? What has Garmin ever done for you?
  • A dedicated front-end to ________ (IMDB has been suggested, but clearly people are going to want dedicated front-ends to lots of sites - IMDB, Flickr, etc.). It would come in handy when you're watching TV and don't want to get the laptop. If you're out, a dedicated front end to your favorite sites could save bandwidth over using Safari.
  • An encrypted password wallet would obviously come in handy. Can't remember your kid's social security number at the doctor's office? Check your iPhone.
  • An image sucker (to suck images from a digital camera's card). This would require an add-on piece of hardware, but so be it!
  • Multi-service IM (like Adium). Duh. SMS may be fine for some people, but if you're gonna pay for unlimited bandwidth, I say use it!
  • iChat screen sharing (or VNC or the like)! Imagine actually logging in to your home computer from the road. This kind of app could almost eliminate the need for many of the apps above. It'd be a bit clunkier, of course, but it'd work.

What are your suggestions?

12 Responses to "Apps I’d Like to See on the iPhone"

  1. A Sip client like Gizmo.
    A skype client ?

  2. Amen on the SSH client. Along with this I'd like to see a one-time password calculator.

    Another thing I'd like to see is a Barcoder Framework. People could use the iPhone to read barcodes so that inventory-like applications could be written. It's already networked so it could easily report back to a central inventory server.

    Actually, a killer app would be something were you could scan the barcode of a product at a store and the application would price check it with Froogle or nearby stores.

  3. The main reason I carry a Palm on me is to use Pocket Quicken. Since Quicken ships with every new Mac, some mobile support in the iPhone would be very useful.

  4. Isn't it obvious - Skype or other VOIP service. Since it can connect to the internet using the best method available, why not use VOIP if cell service isn't available or the signal is weak?

  5. * "Terminal" - hardcore geek request :P. Nobody in his right mind would do a terminal session in a mobile device, except once or trice to impress the fellow geeks. I've been there, done that, even with a WAP interface (can you imagine writing "vi foobar.sh10gg20lifoobar:wq./foobar.sh" in a WAP browser's input field?

    * "Something to post to my blog": Atom is already available. Check out for a SonyEricsson or Nokia device and start posting stuff into your Atom enabled blog (blogger for example). Take a picture, click on "Post to blog", done.

    * "Actual GPS-aware maps": don't ask Apple for it, instead ask Google why their GMaps java application doesn't support bluetooth GPS. I'm sure it's Google that doesn't want to compete (yet) with the other map companies.

    * "A dedicated front-end to ________": Sherlock? 😀 (note: RSS readers are already available at least in SE and Nokia devices). Better just do a proper Ajax based website and let Safari Mobile process it.

    * "An encrypted password wallet": double check your device, as it might already be there. Again, SE and Nokia devices have a wallet for a long time.

    * "An image sucker": does it really make sense? The camera's memory card is already bigger than the iPhone. It kind of makes sense to import the photos into the iPhone to show them in "iPhoto Mobile", but not as an archival (as in the existing kit to copy photos into the big iPod)

    * "Multi-service IM": Apple doesn't want to scare Cingular (or any other operator) yet >:)

    * "iChat screen sharing (or VNC or the like)!": Apple Remote Desktop Mobile makes sense and Apple is the right company to do it, but it's a use case that only geeks would use and would be low priority.

    * "Skype or other Voip": skype is from skype, not from Apple, so apple can't just put "skype in the iphone" without skype's help. About other kind of voip, see the chat comment above.

  6. Bruno Rodrigues said on January 15, 2007:

    "Terminal" - hardcore geek request :P.

    Gee, the title of the post is "Apps I would like to see on the iPhone." Your negativity is unwarranted and unnecessary. I'd use it all the time. (p.s. aliases are your friend.)

    Bruno Rodrigues said on January 15, 2007:

    Atom is already available.

    So is posting via email to WordPress. That doesn't mean it has ecto-like capabilities. And why would I check out a Sony or Nokia? I'm not going to duct-tape one to an iPhone.

    Bruno Rodrigues said on January 15, 2007:

    Better just do a proper Ajax based website and let Safari Mobile process it.

    I completely disagree.

    Bruno Rodrigues said on January 15, 2007:

    Again, SE and Nokia devices have a wallet for a long time.

    Again, I'm not strapping another phone to the back of the iPhone. You're really missing the point here, aren't you?

    Bruno Rodrigues said on January 15, 2007:

    The camera's memory card is already bigger than the iPhone.

    Uhm, not many people have 8 GB flash cards in their cameras. And even if they were the same size, you'd double your storage space. Move the photos you took to your iPhone, format your card, and take more pictures.

    Bruno Rodrigues said on January 15, 2007:

    but it's a use case that only geeks would use and would be low priority.

    Hi, my name is Erik. I'm a geek. This is my blog…

  7. VPN Clients - many offices and schools put have WiFi networks you need to VPN into. It'd be nice to have this support so you could jump onto the office wireless instead of using the edge connection.

    WiFi Bridging - more a feature than a separate app. Use the iPhone's WiFi connection to form an Ad Hoc network sharing the edge data connection. I'd think this has to be faster than using the bluetooth connection for a modem.

    I'm sure I could think of more, but those are the two that have bounced into mu head and stuck.

  8. 🙂 relax, I'm not being negative, just realistic. (mobile is my work, but I do want Steve to succeed)

    My point is that Apple is just starting to enter the market. Let them first make sure that the core use cases are working, the ones for the "regular" people, and the ones that the competition already have for a long time, and then they can worry with special stuff for the special geek in us. Or would you prefer a ssh and vpn enabled phone that can't do proper calls or use messaging? There's plenty of windows PDA's already in the market. 😀

    In other words, you (we) could replace the whole list with:

    "1. allow installable applications developped by me using the enhanced "mobile SDK" that apple will released for xcode".

    That would be the killer feature, wouldn't it?

  9. I agree with Bruno on the Killer Feature....

    "1. allow installable applications developped by me using the enhanced "mobile SDK" that apple will released for xcode".

    But lets not bet the farm just yet... 🙂

  10. Bruno Rodrigues said on January 16, 2007:

    allow installable applications developped by me using the enhanced "mobile SDK" that apple will released for xcode

    Clearly this list all but assumes that as a given.

  11. I would disagree that Bruno's comment was a given. I feel this list would have to be, as it stands today, be developed by Apple. If they actually did open the phone up to outside developers, then you will absolutely see these applications you mentioned above. I say that with confidence, because if YOU really want one, then you would create one from scratch and sell it. (You do create some kick ass software!)

    So. That is my 2 cents.

  12. Tom said on January 20, 2007:

    I would disagree that Bruno's comment was a given.

    I think you misunderstood. I was saying something two-fold:

    1. Apple is not going to create all of these apps themselves. No way in heck. So, allowing third parties to develop (the SDK, etc.) is necessary.
    2. If the SDK and the option to develop for the iPhone is granted to the masses, these apps will be released.

    In other words, my list of apps assumes that third parties will develop for it. "Allow installable applications by third parties" doesn't change my list, it's just a pre-requisite for the list.


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