Minggu, 28 Maret 2010

The Appstorization of Everyday Things

I got my iPhone finally upgraded to 3.x.x and went on a buying spree, filling an entire screen with all sorts of photo apps that range from nifty (QuadCam) to awesome (DSLR Remote). And then I'm sitting there, thinking:  if printers can have app stores and so can digital pens, why not digital cameras? All these apps that turn the iPhone into a usable camera -- what if they all lived inside a device that was actually designed to take pictures?

Camera manufacturers keep competing on megapixel counts,  but that's largely a dead end. I'd take an ability to customize the device with a custom interface and features to suit my needs over a meaningless handful of extra megapixels every day.

AdAge ran a great piece the other day about the coming Internet of things.  The appstorization is another part of the same trend; it's about enhancing every day consumer devices with third-party software purchased through the devices themselves that turn these devices into something slightly new.

That's the real magic of the iPhone -- its endless pliability. It doesn't really look like a phone, it doesn't have any of the traditional phone's affordances.  It's a screen and a button, and every new app you download from the store turns the device into a completely new thing: a Scrabble board, an air hockey table, a TV remote, an ocarina.

I don't know if I want my camera double as a Scrabble board, but I'd try this app.

Update (May 3, 2010): "Wireless Industry Partnership lists 68 known application stores (up from 34 only a few months ago)." - GetElastic