Monday at San Francisco’s Moscone Center, Steve Jobs and company took the stage to unveil their plans for the iPhone, and gave several developers a chance to show off some of the most interesting new apps for the emerging platform.
Developers from several major software categories took their turn in the spotlight to show of their apps, all of which are expected to launch in July with the release of Apple’s iPhone 2.0 software.
Sega Monkey Ball
Ethan Einhorn of Sega demoed Super Monkey Ball on the iPhone. Eight weeks after the SDK event, the developer came up with 110 stages of the game, including “all four of the classic monkeys” from previous versions of the title. Einhorn demoed the last world in Super Monkey Ball to show just how well the tilt control works.
Observers at the event were impressed with the game’s graphics and performance, giving applause as the Einhorn successfully navigated the first checkpoint. The “tilt control works beautifully,” said Einhorn. Sega loves the App Store and Super Monkey Ball, and they’re looking forward to more apps. Super Monkey Ball will be available at launch of App Store for $9.99.
Ken Sun from eBay takes the stage to talk about the company’s new iPhone app, which will give iPhone users easy access to the site. Sun demonstrated how users can manage auctions on the iPhone. iPhone is the number one mobile device for accessing eBay, said Sun, so the company decided to create this application just five weeks ago. The apps allows users to access to search, a summary of activities, and their personal avatar.
It’ll show you when you’ve been outbid, so you can easily see what you’re winning and losing. Entering a bid is really easy. The eBay app will be available for free when App Store launches. This shows that a lot of companies with fairly sophisticated Web sites are still going to develop native applications for the iPhone. As nice as the iPhone’s Web browser interface is, a custom app to pull data off the Net can be much better.
Loopt is a location-based social networking service dedicated, as CEO Sam Altman says, to “connecting with people on the go.” You can basically see your friends superimposed on a map, view what people have been up to all day, and look at photos they’ve taken. You can call, text, or comment on your friends’ status feeds. “You never have to eat lunch alone again,” said Altman. You can use Loopt with your friends on other platforms. The app will be free on the App Store at launch.
Michael Sippey from TypePad gave a demo of the company’s new blogging client. The iPhone-based app lets you create a text post or take a photo with your iPhone and send it to your blog. Also, you can add a photo from your library into a post. Based on what we saw in the demo, the client appears to handle multiple blogs (though all TypePad-based, presumably). You can choose categories and edit the body text.
A pending items view will tell you the progress of posts in the background. Then you can jump to view your post in Safari. The app will be available for free at the launch of the App Store. Sippey’s demo received a nice round of applause from some of the bloggers in the keynote audience.
The Associated Press provides news to more than half of the world’s poopulation every day. Already, AP has one of the best Web apps for the iPhone, but they’re making a native app too. AP’s Benjamin Mosse went on stage to discuss the application, which is called the “Mobile News Network.” You can add locations to get local news; it can use Core Location to get news from wherever you are.
And it’ll download the news as you’re reading it, so you can read later from wherever you are, even when you don’t have a network. Also, you can take a look at the award-winning AP photos and watch video from their news network. If you have a photograph or firsthand account of a breaking news story, you can submit a report to the AP. The Mobile News Network will be a free download when the App Store launches.
Pangea Software, the Mac game developer, showed off two titles at Monday’s event. The first one is Enigmo, a physics-based puzzle game. The game is completely touch-based; with drag and drop, zooming, panning, and rotating of puzzle pieces.
Pangea Cro-Mag Rally
The second game is Cro-Mag Rally, a 3-D caveman racing game. Porting the game over was very easy, said Pangea’s Brian Greenstone. It only took about three days to get each game playable. The iPhone’s tilt controls serve as the steering wheel. “That makes this game what it is,” Greenstone said. It appears very much like the Nintendo Wii’s motion-sensitive controls. Adding the accelerometer-based steering took “five to ten minutes.” Both games will be on App Store at launch for $9.99.
Cow Music Band
The next demo showed off the work of a solo developer, Mark Terry, from Cow Music. He works in the insurance industry in England, and his application is called Band. It’s pretty amazing work for a solo developer. Two-octave piano, drum kit, and a 12-bar blues setting that quite literally lets you play 12-bar blues all on your own.
Terry also demoed a bass guitar window and playing the bass line from “Money” by Pink Floyd. So you can mix all the different instruments together and form your own band. Band will be on the App Store in “a few weeks time,” said Terry, but he gave no info on pricing.
And here’s something from MLB.com for baseball fans. MLB.com has built an iPhone-native application, which we got a taste of from MLB.com’s Jeremy Schoenherr. MLB.com “At Bat” offers features unavailable anywhere else.
It’ll show you all the live games. It’ll give you all the scores, who’s on base, who’s batting, etc. It’s even got real-time video highlights from games just as they’re being played. This app will be available in the App Store at launch.
Medical applications figured prominently in Monday’s WWDC keynote. Dr. S. Mark Williams showed off a new medical app called Modality, an educational application to help medical students learn anatomical information, replacing paper flash cards.
Modality lets students zoom and pan across high-quality pictures, and tap on a Google Map-style pin icon to identify a body part. It’ll also quiz students on locating anatomical features. Within weeks of the App Store launching, Modality will have a dozen apps available, and many more by the end of the year.
MIMvista is a leading developer of innovative medical imaging software. MIMvista’s Mark Cain showed off the app for the audience. Dsiplaying a a CT scan and PET scan of a fictional patient named Johnny Appleseed, Cain fused the two images together, and began switching the image’s orientation on the screen, showing the front, back, top, etc.
Yep, it looks like Johnny’s got a lung tumor, unfortunately. Poor fella. The application also has a built-in movie mode that shows an animated model of the patient’s body. The program will be out at the launch of the App Store.
The last third-party demo of the day came from Digital Legends Entertainment. Apple only learned about this dev last week. They’re based in Barcelona, but have only started on the SDK two weeks ago.
“But when you get a look at the graphics, you’ll forget you’re looking at a phone and think you’re looking at a dedicated gaming console.” Xavier Carrillo Costa is here giving us a demo. A warrior is jumping around on screen, and it looks pretty cool. The game — Krull — is expected to be released in September.