The Boston and Seattle iPhone Apps Catalog
It’s been one month to the day since Apple simultaneously released the iPhone 3G, pushed the 2.0 version of the iPhone firmware to all iPhone owners, started distributing native iPhone applications through the App Store, and launched its MobileMe communications service. Of all these changes, the most momentous, in the context of the mobile industry as a whole, was probably the introduction of the App Store.
Until the appearance of third-party applications that ran natively on the iPhone, the device was just a super-cool combination phone and iPod with an excellent Web browser. (Unless, of course, you dared to jail-break your device, void your warranty, and install apps not approved by Apple.) But now it’s a full-fledged mobile computer. You can do almost anything on your iPhone that you can do from a Mac or a PC, provided you’re willing to use the tiny on-screen keyboard. In fact, you can do a lot more, since any program that runs on iPhone can tap into its built-in camera and microphone, its motion-sensitive accelerometer, and its GPS chip. That pushes the state of mobile technology forward immeasurably, and it’s an advance that companies like Google, LG, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, and Sony-Ericsson are now struggling to catch up with.
Here at Xconomy we’ve been saying for a while now that we want to showcase developers in our Boston and Seattle home regions who are contributing to the iPhone revolution with their own apps. Turns out that was easier said than done, since Apple made developers sign Draconian non-disclosure agreements that prevented them from showing their apps to outsiders until the launch of the App Store. Even now, there’s no quick way to figure out where the makers of the roughly 1,500 apps featured in the App Store are located.
But for you, valued reader, we will go to any length. Below is our first pass at a catalog of organizations in the Boston and Seattle areas that have created iPhone apps. With one exception, the programs listed are all native applications available from the App Store.
You’ll notice that the Seattle area is much better represented in our lists than Boston. There are at least three possible reasons for that. 1) We just haven’t found all of the Boston-area mobile app developers working on software for the iPhone. 2) Boston is indeed one epicenter of the mobile industry, but the area’s wireless companies tend to cluster around infrastructure technologies and mobile marketing rather than consumer-facing applications. 3) Seattle, by contrast, is one of the world capitals of consumer applications development, especially in the gaming and productivity areas.
We’re sure we haven’t found all of the Boston and Seattle companies working on iPhone apps, so we’re counting on you to help us add to these lists. Please send additions to firstname.lastname@example.org and/or leave a comment below.
iPhone Apps from Companies in Boston
Local Picks—TripAdvisor (Newton, MA). Category: Travel. Contains restaurant recommendations for 410,000 restaurants in Australia, Canada, France, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States, and more locations, drawing on more than 1.5 million user reviews at TripAdvisor.com. Free.
iChing—Neutrinos, LLC (Brighton, MA). Category: Entertainment. An electronic version of the ancient practice of reading divinations by tossing gold coins and consulting the text of the I Ching, the Chinese Book of Changes. $9.99.
iQ—Neutrinos, LLC (Brighton, MA). Category: Games. An iPhone version of the classic game 20 Questions, with features that allow users to add their own secret answers and trivia. $2.99.
GPSTwit—Raizlabs (Boston, MA). Category: Social Networking. A client for the Twitter short message broadcasting network that automatically tags ‘tweets’ with the user’s location. Contacts can see the user’s status as well as their location on a map. Free.
Otis—Wonder Warp Software (Cambridge, MA). Category: Games. This puzzle game has elements of Tetris, Chain Shot, and Jawbreaker; the object is to clear the board by clicking on boxes of like color. It’s harder than it sounds. $3.99.
RunKeeper—Raizlabs (Boston, MA). Category: Healthcare & Fitness. This application uses the built-in GPS in the new 3G iPhones to enable runners, hikers, walkers, cyclists, etc., to track all of their daily outings, including duration, distance, speed, pace, and plot the corresponding route on a map. $9.99.
SnapMyLife—Mobicious (Needham, MA). Category: Photography. Allows users to take geotagged photos and upload them directly toa community photo-sharing site of the same name. Users can also see their own photos and those of other SnapMyLife members on a Google map. Free.
TipTotaler—Neutrinos, LLC (Brighton, MA). Category: Lifestyle. A restaurant tip calculator that makes it easy to split up a bill between multiple diners, and to take the cost of drinks into account. $0.99.
TravelTracker—Silverware Software (Sudbury, MA). Category: Travel. A digital travel assistant that stores (or allows instant access to) trip-related information such as flight reservations, hotel and rental care contact information, packing lists, expense lists, frequent traveler account records, aircraft seat layouts, and weather information. $29.99.
Where—uLocate Communications (Boston, MA). Category: Navigation. The Where app, which taps into the iPhones’ GPS- and Wi-Fi-based location finding systems, combines several location-based widgets in one. For example, there’s a tool for finding Starbucks locations, another for searching out the best gasoline prices, and a third for locating other friends who are signed up with uLocate’s BuddyBeacon service. Free.
iPhone Apps from Companies in Seattle and Environs
Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart—Vivendi Mobile Games/Sierra Entertainment (Bellevue, WA). Category: Games. This popular 3-D racing game takes advantage of the iPhone’s accelerometer, turning the whole device into a steering wheel. $9.99.
Jott—Jott Networks (Seattle, WA). Category: Productivity. Like Jott’s telephone-based service, this app lets users record brief voice memos, which are transcribed and stored in folders or added to to-do lists. Free.
Leaflets—Blue Flavor (Seattle, WA). Technically, Leaflets aren’t native iPhone apps—they’re designed to be accessed through the device’s Safari Web browser. But they’re very app-like, providing users with simple icons (Leaflets) that let them tap into RSS feeds, Flickr photostreams, sports scores, New York Times headlines, events at Upcoming.org, and the like. Free.
Nearby—Platial (Portland, OR). Category: Lifestyle. This interesting application combines photography, location-based search, and social networking, allowing users to use their current location to search for photographs, reviews, and other listings created by other Nearby users. Free.
PhotoArtist, PhotoShare, and SmallCanvas—Big Canvas (Seattle, WA). Category: Photography. Big Canvas calls these three apps “visual life-logging” tools. SmallCanvas is a social-networking drawing program, PhotoArtist is a mobile photo editing program, and PhotoShare is the portal to an online photo-sharing community where users can share the images they create with SmallCanvas and PhotoArtist.
Whrrl—Pelago (Seattle, WA). Category: Social networking. This program, which is also available for Blackberry and Nokia devices, is another location-based social search application. Users can share their locations and see the locations of their friends, and the program can highlight the locations of nearby establishments recommended by friends. Free.
Seattle Bus—Deallus Software (Seattle, WA). Category: Travel. This app provides real-time arrival and departure information for the entire Seattle Metro bus system, and points users to the nearest bus stop based on their current location. $9.99.
South Park Imaginationland—RealNetworks (Seattle, WA). Category: Games. Based on the South Park Imaginationland movie trilogy, this game lets the user take on the role of Butters as he battles his way through Happy and Evil. $9.99.
UrbanSpoon—UrbanSpoon (Seattle, WA). Category: Travel. This restaurant-finder application filters its listings and reviews according to the user’s current location. A slot-machine-style interface allows the user to call up a random restaurant from a list of nearby establishments by shaking the phone. Free.