Since Apple opened the floodgates to the AppStore for iPhone and iPod touch, the amount of anticipatory feedback I am getting from customers has exploded. Not a day goes by without messages from hopeful customers asking if and when my applications will be available for the iPhone. In particular, Black Ink and MarsEdit.
Will I release versions of these applications for the iPhone? Most certainly. Without a doubt. When? That’s a bit tougher to answer. I want to release these applications as soon as I possibly can, but no sooner. That is, I don’t think it would be fair to the public or good for my reputation to release premature applications, so I’m taking “my sweet time” to be sure I’m at least satisfied that they are good, reliable 1.0 releases before I go public with them. Stay tuned!
In The Mean Time
So what is an anxious customer to do in the mean time? I appreciate that iPhone users find it extremely frustrating to imagine what powerful aides their devices could be to them, if only they had the right software. While I do expect that, in time, there will be no better way to blog or solves crossword puzzles on this device than with my software, there is other software that is worth mentioning.
Waiting For MarsEdit
In the blogging department, WordPress users at least should have something to tide them over soon. Matt Mullenweg has announced a native WordPress client, which is apparently complete and submitted to Apple. They’re just waiting for it to go live on the store. Since we can’t try it out yet, I can’t exactly vouch for it, but I hope it will be a step up from navigating the web interface from the phone!
The folks over at Six Apart have also released a native iPhone blogging client, but unfortunately it only works with their paid TypePad service, so it won’t be of much help unless you happen to subscribe to that service.
Waiting For Black Ink
The allure of crosswords on the iPhone must be pretty obvious, because there are already two applications available for downloading and solving puzzles, and they’re pretty good! I have enjoyed buying these applications and seeing how other developers have tackled the problem of displaying a crossword puzzle while also leaving enough room for the user to type in the answers.
The first, simply called “Crosswords,” was developed by my friend Ben Gottlieb, of Standalone, Inc.
Notice how they’ve developed a completely custom keyboard, which aside form sporting a monochromatic look, is also significantly smaller than the default keyboard. This leaves more room to show the puzzle content. The high quality of the custom artwork makes the application shine, although it’s clear the puzzle rendering itself could be a bit cleaner.
The other application, called “2 Across,” comes to us from developer Eliza Block.
Notice that she uses the default keyboard, but provides an extremely zoomable puzzle display that exudes quality. The rendering is extremely sharp and the touch responsiveness is immediate. I also like how she animates the puzzle when you select a square, so that the word is as visible as possible within the confines of the display.
Back To Work
It would have been a great joy to have my applications in the App Store on day one, but looking on the bright side, it will be somewhat easier to finish developing them and to release them in a known context. It’s becoming clearer by the day what people are looking for in the store, and the wealth of applications makes it easier to experience what works and what doesn’t work on this new platform.