In a case of great minds thinking alike, even as I was putting the polish on a wishlist of third-party iPhone apps, Macworld was doing the same. They had a few ideas I missed, including a finger-painting app, voice recorder, and app for listening to Internet radio.
Apple plans to announce its software developer kit for the iPhone Thursday.
But the specifics of what Apple plans to say Thursday remain up in the air: How open will the iPhone be to third-party development? Will Apple place tight restrictions on third-party apps, as some reports have speculated, or will those restrictions only apply to paid apps, as others have claimed? And when third-party applications do appear -- assuming some won't be unveiled on Thursday to kick-start development -- what can we expect to see?
Like me, they'd like to see an e-book reader, but unlike me, they specified the specific app they want, the one built into the Amazon Kindle, noting that the genius of the Kindle is that it allows you to find, buy, and downlooad e-books right on the spot, and start reading your purchase within seconds. Good thinking, Macworld.
They want to see a screenshot application, noting that it would make life easier for us ink-stained digital wretches who write software reviews. True -- but one thing I've learned from a nifty Mac screenshot utility called Skitch is that a good screenshot utility makes remote tech support easier. If you're trying to show someone how to use an applicaton, it's great to be able to take a quick screenshot, put circles and labels on the screenshot to help explain how the app works, and then shoot the screenshot off in an e-mail. A good screenshot utility will help enterprise help desks.
Likewise, a finger painting tool will help people looking to draw quick, cocktail-napkin diagrams for each other if they've already spilled beer all over their cocktail napkins.
Macworld has more great ideas -- and so (he said, coughing modestly) do I. My ideas: "Developers, Get To Work: Third-Party Apps We Need For The iPhone"