On Friday morning of MacWorld 2010, Guy Kawasaki showcased five iPhone/Mac developers and gave each one a chance to show off the innovative things they are doing. Guy is a former “Evangelist” for Apple and is currently the co-founder of Alltop. Let’s take a brief glimpse at the apps and developers that were showcased:
- Guy started out by introducing Jack Dorsey. Jack is best known as the creator of Twitter, but he was here to talk about his newest creation, Square. Square is a new credit card processing system that runs on the iPhone and will allow anyone to take a credit card payment for anything. The example given was being able to accept a credit card when you are selling your couch. The entering of credit card information is made even simpler by a free magnetic strip reader that Square will provide for your iPhone free of charge. The customer will have a chance to approve the purchase and sign right on the iPhone using their finger. Square is in testing right now, but if you go out to squareup.com you can find out more and add your email to a list so you can receive more information when it becomes available.
- Next, we got to meet Steven Echtman. Steven created Hearplanet, an iPhone application that acts like a tour guide for the whole planet. If you have been to a museum where you can rent an audio guide that will tell you what you are near as you walk around, then you have an idea of what this application is supposed to do. It is location aware, and if you are using an iPhone with location services built in it will allow you to listen to audio clips about what is around you. It will also let you search its database for landmarks or locations that may interest you. It does require a network connection, so if you are traveling outside your country you will either need a WiFi connection or a good roaming plan.
- Our third guest was Oliver Breidenbach from Boinx. Oliver got to show us a little of Boinx TV, the only Mac application to make this list. Boinx TV is a television studio in your Mac. It helps you to pull in video and audio from many sources so that you can create a live broadcast that can be presented on stage, over the internet or recorded to disk for later. Oliver spent a little time showing use how it worked and applied some special effects with a camera he had aimed at Guy.
- Following Boinx, we were introduced to Florian Voss from Microsoft. The crowd seemed a little taken aback by a Microsoft employee, but as Florian showed off Bing for the iPhone he managed to bring the crowd around a bit. It’s a feature-rich portal to the Bing search engine the has a well thought out and very visual interface. There have been rumors recently that Apple has been in discussions with Bing about possibly replacing Google on the iPhone. When Florian was asked about the possibility he spent several minutes trying to dance around the question. After he finished his attempt, Guy referred to Florian’s response as a BS answer with a smile on his face. Florian took it all in stride but certainly left room for the rumors to continue.
- To round things out, we were introduced to Bill Atkinson. Bill is a former Apple employee as well and worked to bring about technologies like MacPaint, QuickDraw and Hypercard. Bill showed us his iPhone app named Bill Atkinson PhotoCard. Using his app, people will be able to send postcards to their friends not only by email but also by postal mail as well. The app comes with 150 of Bill’s finest nature photographs from which you can choose for your postcard, or you can use your own images. After you have selected an image, you will then be able to address your card, choose your stamp design, add your message, and then decorate it using built in “stickers.” You can then email the card for free or you can purchase credits from Bill to spend, and Bill will print out a very high quality postcard and mail it for you. The average cost of the cards with postage is around $1.50. He had samples printed out at the show for everyone to see and feel the quality. Bill also announced that they will be making the app available free of charge this coming Tuesday, February 16, for 1 day only. So head over to the app store and pick up this wonderful app for free.
It was a nice presentation that showcased what both small and large developers were doing. I’m sure everyone there had knowledge of one or more of the products before they arrived, but I would also venture to guess that everyone walked away with something new. I know I did.