iPhone…no, it’s a gPhone

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December 8th, 2008 Priyanka Joshi

The iPhone continues to attract interesting applications, despite concerns about Apple’s rigid policing of its online App Store, and the latest highlights include a delightful software from online retailer Amazon. But according to various estimates (measured online), games dominate the league table of most popular premium (paid-for) iPhone apps.

In the five months since the App Store opened for iPhones (read Review here and Indian developers’ here) and iPod Touches, some of the star performers in the gaming sector have included Apple’s own’ Texas Hold ‘Em’, Freeverse’s ‘Moto Chaser’, Vivendi’s ‘Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 3D’, Sega’s ‘Super Monkey Ball’, and Pangea Software’s ‘Cro-Mag Rally’ and ‘Enigmo’. Other apps in the paid-for top 10 are Koi Pond, PocketGuitar, Retronyms’ Recorder and Hottrix’s iBeer.

On the free list, top downloads include two social networking apps - Facebook and AOL’s AIM - and two travel offerings, Google Earth and Urbanspoon. Other featured products are Apple’s Remote and The MacBox’s Lightsaber Unlimited, plus music apps Pandora Radio and Shazam. The most popular free games are Tapulous’ ‘Tap Tap Revenge’ and Codify’s ‘Labyrinth Lite Edition’.

Among the new products seeking to get into 2009’s league tables is Amazon’s app, which allows users to search and browse for products offered by Amazon and thousands of retailers like Target and Macy’s, and purchase using 1-Click Shopping and Amazon Prime. A new feature called ‘Amazon Remembers’ allows users to take pictures of items they see while on the move, with the iPhone camera, and match these with products for purchase on Amazon. Another interesting new app comes from Proximic, whose Agents app is designed to make it easier to type in complex search queries. The technology, which is language independent, uses point-and-click to highlight bits of text. Instead of relying on keywords, the engine looks for patterns in the text to see where these overlap, and bases the results on those patterns.

iPhone’s weakness continue to live on for its lack of business functionality. It still loses out to RIM. Business users are still crying hoarse of frequent crashes and freezes in Mail and Safari; there is no on-device data encryption; and passwords are limited to four-digit numeric PINs. Also, users cannot synchronize notes or cut and paste data. On the App Store front, there is a growing roar of protest at the sometimes random way that Apple seems to enforce its rules, and the new Google search app with voice recognition has highlighted their grievances. Basically, the app breaks many of the Apple rules, and software houses say that Apple’s political allies are being allowed to do this, making it impossible for smaller developers to compete fairly, since they cannot make use of the ‘illegal’ APIs and features that Google is using.

Mr Jobs, how about coming out clean with a statement –iPhone is a gaming device, afterall.

6 Votes | Average: 3.67 out of 56 Votes | Average: 3.67 out of 56 Votes | Average: 3.67 out of 56 Votes | Average: 3.67 out of 56 Votes | Average: 3.67 out of 5 (6 votes, average: 3.67 out of 5)
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