iPhone & iPad Apps – A Wish List

I have had an iPhone since the day it was released. I upgraded to the 2nd generation, and eventually the 3GS, the day they were released. Why? Because they have changed the way I interact with the data and technology I access regularly. Once the App Store opened, that interaction exploded. Research shows that iPhone users use 5X more monthly data than BlackBerry users. Yes, 5X! Users now have access to a large selection of handset operating systems, but not all with the wide selection of apps available for the iPhone. Android is coming on fast and strong, and Windows Phone 7 Series based handsets will be here before you know it, but the iPhone & App Store are here now. Add the soon to be released iPad to the mix and this will be an interesting year for the mobile user.

A few months ago I started thinking about apps I wished were available for the iPhone, and then it happened. Apple announced the iPad. I am not here to debate if the iPad will succeed, while I think that it will. I know that, for my needs, it could have a place in my workflow. If I do buy an iPad, it will be because of the apps.

Below is a list of some apps I would like to see on the iPhone, iPad, or both. Some of these already exist from third parties, but I would like to see what an Apple implementation would be like.

Airport Utility

Unlike most SOHO & consumer routers, the Apple Airport Series of devices are not managed via a web browser interface. The Airport Utility is required to make changes to an Airport configuration. I am used to this design since many of the Watchguard security devices I deal with also require configuration via an application UI. While the average home user does not change their router configuration, I use the Access Control features to limit the hours that my kids devices are able to access the web. Sometimes however, my son needs internet access for a homework assignment outside of the pre-set hours. That requires the Airport Utility, which is a pain if the Mac is not on. Having a mobile version of the Airport Utility would allow configuration from an iPhone or iPad.

iPhone Screen Recorder

The Quicktime Player version 10 included with Snow Leopard allows screen recordings. Being able to record the screen of an iPhone, or iPad, would be a great asset. Imagine application reviews, demonstrations, marketing materials, and training, all captured during use. I think this could become especially important to iPad users.

Spam Filtering for Mail

This one is huge. Apple Mail on the Mac is trained over time to recognize spam. Most of mine is caught at the server level, but some get by those filters. On the desktop, or laptop, they are caught and moved to a Junk Mail folder. On the iPhone they show up in my inbox. At this point in the history of email we have become used to having our email filtered and yet, in the mobile context, we are back at square one. Any spam filtering on the iPhone would be good, but having it sync the trained rules from the desktop would be great.

iWeb Editor

This may be a stretch. I don’t use iWeb but, for those that do, this could be helpful. There are apps for managing content on your WordPress or Squarespace site, but not your iWeb site. Since they are releasing an iWork Suite version for the iPad, this makes sense too.

GoToAssist

GoToAssist is a remote support option from Citrix, the same company that does GoToMeeting and GoToMyPC. I use the Express version daily, and having an iPhone version would be amazing. On an iPad it would be killer. When it comes to existing, third party, remote access apps for the iPhone, there is no shortage of choices. Lots of VNC or RDP choices, and  LogMeIn. But, the GoToAssist Express feature set is designed for support and consulting. An iPhone version has been discussed in their forums but, as of yet, nothing. I hope Citrix steps up soon.

Internet Radio Tuner

The App Store has more internet radio apps than I could ever use, so why is this in the list? Using Apple’s Texas Hold’em as an example, I think Apple could write a great radio app.

iChatAV

I can hear the “there is no forward facing camera” comments now. Plus, the iPad, as presented, has no camera at all. So what. In my Qik vs UStream post you can see that the iPhone is more than capable of streaming video. In a video call, the callers may not need to see each other simultaneously. Say I’m at Disneyland, because my son is in the parade, and I want grandma to be able to watch him. One-way video may be fine. Or, as I point the camera away from me and at the parade, I could see her on the screen as she reacts to the parade. I could not do that with a forward facing camera. There are already Skype clients, such as Fring, that support one-way video calls. I think Apple could do a great job with this. Then if, or when, the iPad gets a forward facing camera (there is a spot in  the frame supposedly for an iSight camera) this could be a great tool.

iMovie Mobile

The iPhone 3GS allows recording video, and has very limited editing. In fact, editing is a strong term. It allows trimming the clip. There are third party editing options for the iPhone. Nexvio has created a variety of apps for the iPhone that allow amazing editing and production, right on the phone. ReelDirector is a video editing app that is surprising in it’s feature set. Slomo allows you to slow down, or speed up, a video clip. Add that clip to ReelDirector and you can make some great movies, in the field and on the iPhone! With the iPad coming, and if it ever gets a camera, video editing for web use could be amazing. I am sure the added screen real estate of the iPad is not lost on Nexvio, and that they will be upgrading their apps at some point to work on the iPad. This one should not be in this list, since there are great existing options, but I would love to see an Apple implementation. A full featured, Apple quality, video editing app could be interesting.

Bluetooth Keyboard Support

According to the Apple iPad design page:

“iPad also comes with Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR technology, letting you connect to devices like wireless headphones or the Apple Wireless Keyboard.”

We need that support on the iPhone too.

AV Out for Third Party Apps

Let’s say you are taking the family on a long drive and you want the kids entertained on the way (read: “Stop asking if we are there yet!”). If you have a DVD player in the car then you might rent some movies. That’s what we do, and that is why I use an Apple AV Cable with my iPhone. I either rent movies through iTunes, or burn my own using HandBrake. What would be great is to play all those great iPhone games using a TV screen. People have done it with jail-broken phones, and this Ars Technica article by Erica Sadun shows it was done back in December of 2008.

I am sure there are a ton of other apps, or features, I did not think off. What’s on your iPhone, or iPad, wish list?

2 Responses to “iPhone & iPad Apps – A Wish List”

  1. Mark, Sr. says:

    Assuming the the next generation iPad has a built in camera, I would suggest a FULL version of iMovie. I currently use my MacBook for my weekly/daily weblog productions at http://www.GroundsPass.net, and a bare bones, lighter weight, compact tool for this would be welcome.

    One of the options for any electronic device, should be for the (pro)consumer to be able strip it down to using it for one specific function, if need be. Using the “camera-ready” iPad for, and ONLY for, my weblog productions would be worth adding it to my electronic device collection.

  2. Razz says:

    I could not agree more. And if it were a front facing camera then you could see see yourself as you record. Or, you could see a teleprompter app, or the video as you stream live via UStream or Qik. Oh yeah, and thanks for the ads you place here Mark! I really enjoy your stuff on groundpass.net too.