Is there no end to the Apple competitors developing iPhone apps? Moreover... Once the genie is out of the bottle, can they get it back in again. I think not. HP's latest photo printing app should be a quite useful way to print your photos from your Apple smartphone and Microsoft's Seadragon is a fantastic way to rapidly view volumes of photos on the iPhone in high resolution.
To be honest, lots of reporters are making a big deal out of the news that competitors are developing these iPhone apps - and I guess I just did as well. But it really isn't such a big deal as the iPhone has passed the critical mass threshold and needs to be taken seriously.
The funny thing about me writing this post by the way is that in the past there was no one who was more anti-Apple than me (sorry Steve). I used to be an MIS Director and I brought desktop publishing to TMC in the eighties. At the time, the graphics world was on Macs and I decided Apples have no future so we used PCs.
People tell me they are amazed how resilient TMC has been over the years - thriving while our competitors fold. I think part of the reason for our recent success is due to our experience of getting desktop publishing to work on PCs in the eighties. It was a daunting task as the applications were immature and the artists unsure of how a PC works. It taught me personally that if you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything.
The amazing thing is twenty years later I find myself being more pro Apple than I ever thought possible. I didn't think that much of the iPod but it certainly made me more comfortable with Apple.
It is really the iPhone which pushed me over the edge and made me take the whole company seriously. I really feel Apple can take 25% or more marketshare in the PC wars because of the success of the iPod, iTunes and iPhone. This is up from 10% or so worldwide today.
Microsoft has to be concerned about this growing threat as application developers go where the money is and over time we can see a critical mass of developers developing on Macs first and PCs second or not at all.
In the mean time, I am off on vacation - but before I leave, I just downloaded the HP iPrint application and was blown away that it immediately found the HP printer on my network (thank you Bonjour technology) and started printing. It even tells you when there is a problem with the printer. Some areas for improvement include being able to print other sizes besides 4x6 inches and perhaps the ability to auto-adjust images so they print better. The few shots I printed looked grainier than they should be.
I think this application will probably work great on a photo printer - the device I have is an L770 - which is more of a network printer.