iPhone 2.0 Apps - my thoughts so far

So after all the drama yesterday, I did get to play a bit the App Store. Here are my impressions, and a tip or two, so far. The first issue I ran into was syncing. No matter what I did, I could not get apps downloaded in iTunes to sync over to the iPhone. However - when I downloaded via the iPhone and it was an app I had synced before, the iPhone recognized I had already bought the app and asked if I wanted to get it again. So far though I’ve yet to be able to go from iTunes to iPhone.

The number one issue I ran into was figuring out how in the heck to download! You would think that would be obvious, but for me, it wasn’t obvious at all. To download an app from the App Store, you click on it’s price. I haven’t purchased any apps yet, I just got free ones, and I had to click once on the word “FREE”. When I clicked that, it switched to “INSTALL”. You click that again and the app will begin the install process. This took me - I kid you not - at least an hour to figure out. Am I the only one who was confused by that?

The app selection so far is just what you would expect - a mix. Some apps are really pretty. Some apps are pretty ugly. It’s exactly what you see in the shareware world. Apps do have ratings so hopefully this will help weed out the better apps from the crap, but in general, you don’t know what you will get.

I also had a problem with app launching. I had two apps that refused to run. Clicking on them gave some generic error. But wait - a minute or two after this happened to me, I ran the New York Times app (which had run fine earloer) and it caused my iPhone to restart. When the iPhone came back, I tried the two ‘bad’ apps and now they worked perfectly. Something to consider if you run across an app that won’t run. Don’t delete it right away. Try restarting.

So what apps am I playing with?

  • NYTimes - I love news, what can I say.
  • Remote - Ok, I downloaded this, but I probably won't use it. I'm almost always sitting right in front of my iTunes. The only other place I do music is via my XBox 360.
  • Pandora - This is freaking cool, and I love the web site, but, I typically listen to music at my desktop, not my iPhone. The main media I use on my iPhone is video, and even that is only for airplanes. That being said - if I could maybe stream Pandora via some iPod speakers (going to try it a bit later), that could be cool.
  • Twitterfic - I know I said I wouldn't twitter, but now I'm a bit addicted. ;)
  • WeatherBug - Good weather application, although the satellite coverage is weird. It gives you the entire planet, not a local scan. The camera feature was interesting. Apparently someone programmed web cam locations based on your location, and you can see what the web cams are seeing. Unfortunately they didn't have any for Lafayette. (I'll have to try to contact the app creators since I know there are a few traffic/weather cams in town.)
  • PhoneSaber - Really, did you think I wouldn't download this?
  • AIM - Slick app, does what it says, but what I really want is Adium on my iPhone.
  • NetNewsWire - I'm a bit "anti-RSS reader", but I gave this one a try. For some reason, it won't download the feeds I set up for my account when I used the desktop app.
  • Cube Runner - A free, and cool, game. All you do is tilt your iPhone to the left and right to slide your, runner I guess, through blocks. Fun as heck for such a simple premise. I found myself leaning into the curves.
  • LifeGame - It just does the old Life simulator. Super simple, but addictive.
  • Morocco - An Othello clone.
  • TapTap - This one could be good. It's basically Guitar Hero for the iPhone. It works well, but the music selection is a bit slim. If it could work with the MP3s on my iPhone, it would be killer.
  • Google - I'm a bit unsure about this one. It mainly just seems to be a shortcut to various Google services.
  • PayPal - Downloaded but not used it yet. I don't see much need to send money to folks via the iPhone, but I would like to check my account from time to time.
  • VoiceNotes - A tool to let you record voice messages. Already come in handy a few times. There are a bunch of these in the App Store, but this seemed to be one of the few free ones. It gets the job done. </ul> So all I need now is a good RPG. I know Square is working on one, but it's partially based on the music you play, which again will kinda not work well for me. I'd love to see someone port the old Rogue game to the iPhone. Those of you who (hopefully) got 2.0 installed - what apps are you playing with? Anyone actually bought a game yet? I'm notoriously cheap so I haven't made that plunge yet. One last note - I'm still a bit miffed that you can't edit the content on your iPhone from more then one source. Let me explain why. Before I fly, I put a few movies on my iPhone. But if I don't have enough room, I'm screwed. I'd love to put a movie on the iPhone for the way up, then use my laptop to remove it and add a new one. But since my desktop is my primary "sync" spot, I can't. Why? Music you buy is already DRMed, so it's not like I could give folks illegal copies of my music. I've seen software that will read from the iPhone but nothing so far that will let me write back to it. I mean a non-Jail Breaked phone. "Technophile" or not I'm not going to risk bricking a multi-hundred dollar piece of hardware.
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About Raymond Camden

Raymond is a developer advocate looking for his next gig. He focuses on JavaScript, serverless and enterprise cat demos. If you like this article, please consider visiting my Amazon Wishlist or donating via PayPal to show your support.

Lafayette, LA https://www.raymondcamden.com

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