More iPhone rambles..

With the new 3GS hardware and the 3.0 software coming out this week, I can’t help but think about iPhone stuff..

One topic that’s been in the news is iPhone as a gaming platform. Until last week, the only game I’ve ever played on the iPhone was the beer sliding one that comes with iPint. I just never thought of the phone as much of a game machine. Earlier this week I downloaded the game Hero of Sparta lite and was pleasantly surprised. [full game review over at ign.com] The game seems like a take on god of war more or less. The controls are pretty much classic Nintendo styled – directional pad plus two action buttons. The interesting part is that the controls are on the screen. I personally had never really considered the multi-touch screen serving this purpose. The tracking wasn’t totally awesome, but it was usable. The graphics were pretty decent, and far more than I expected the iPhone to be capable of. I did have a bit of a problem following the action on the small screen though.. especially with my thumbs covering some of it. This game really tempts me to get an A/V connector and try it on the Television. This would certainly be an interesting direction to take from console gaming. It could have the portability of those all-in-one atari controller games, and the flexibility to do high graphic games and also all the regular palm top computer stuff. Again, this makes me really want some advanced I/O for the iPhone. I don’t know off hand the bandwidth required to send full res, full refresh graphics, but wouldn’t it be cool if the phone could sync up to a TV wireless-ly?

Another connected topic, that I think has a much larger social impact is the app store. I’m using myself as a benchmark here which doesn’t make for the best data, but I find myself so much more likely to buy apps than I would real “software” because of the low prices. I am pretty comfortable going on a $1.99ea shopping spree on the app store, but hesitant to drop $40 for one piece of PC software. I don’t know if it’s a matter of perceived value or what. I do think that the market penetration of the iPhone could really be a boon for the widespread adoption of micro-payments though. This has been the first platform where it really makes sense.. It’s the same with buying music on iTunes. I can get behind a song’s value being a dollar. My fear though is that social determinism will rear it’s ugly head and people like the RIAA will keep pushing for higher costs and wreck the whole thing. There are already some apps that are $19.99 or more. I recognize that the are probably very useful, and that the authors “gots ta get paid”, but at the same time, that price just seems outside of my continuum of reality.

More on this later.. I’m also going to post a bit about some of the apps I’ve found that have proven useful.

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