Set my iPhone free!

January 25th, 2008

Usually, if I can think of some software, the Internet has already written it. So here’s a list of the things an iPhone could do with the right 3rd-party applications — legal and otherwise:

  • Stream music from a computer running iTunes (or any DAAP server), optionally save it to my iPhone.
    • Google’s iPhone Remote can get you to the files & let you stream them, but the interface is crude & the security issues need to be addressed.
    • WeBot is fairly slick for over-the-internet access of music files, though it looks like maybe I must route the music through their servers even if I’m within range of my mac. But it might do the trick for my home song server. Still not really DAAP compatible, tho.
  • Stream music from someone else’s iPhone (a DAAP server), and/or let two iPhone users connect and swap songs manually.
  • Stream music from an iPhone to an AirPort Express via AirTunes.
  • Record audio.
  • Share pictures, audio, or any other kind of file between iPhones.
  • Stream internet radio via playlist files, or any other standard now in use.
    • — Seeqpod does something in this space — they send a quicktime audio file that knocks iPhone Safari into video-playing mode, so you get all the controls. It works, but Seeqpod also does a bunch of other meddling that gets in the way. Even worse, they seem to be missing a lot of the best stations, including many which already netcast. KFJC, KUSF, KPSU, KCMU … college radio, basically, is absent.
    • i’m amazed that Live365 doesn’t have an iPhone version of their site.
    • Other people must be working on this.
  • Remote-control iTunes on a Mac or PC, or some other server software that streams to an AirPort.
    • — Signal does this, although it’s fairly clunky
  • Make internet phone calls over a wi-fi connection for free.
  • Trace the iPhone’s location through the day, and create a time/location map using Google tools.
  • Attach a photo and an audio caption to a pin on a map, and upload that data to an online mapping community.
  • Option to save any web-embedded MP3/AAC/video files I view.
  • Sync via Bluetooth.
  • Use the built-in accellerometer as a pedometer, counting my steps.
  • iChat — free live chat, instead of expensive SMS.
  • Free SMS via internet anyway! End the farce of SMS charges!
  • A calculator with all the math functions, not just the four easy ones.

I’m looking forward to the SDK release in February.

2 Responses to “Set my iPhone free!”

  1. StarNamer Says:

    Over 18 months after you posted this, have you found a DAAP client for the iPhone/iPod yet?

  2. mykle Says:

    Nope, not really. I hear that SimplifyMedia can do something like this once you set it up, but that’s probably their own protocol and not DAAP, which is what lets iTunes users share their music.

    It would be easy to write. I have to assume, since so many people have had this idea, that what’s stopping them is Apple. I know there are whole classes of useful software that Apple refuses to let into the AppStore for various monopoly reasons. It’s just so lame.

    And worse: because Apple won’t comment on the admissibility of a piece of software until it’s submitted to them, people now won’t write any app they even suspect Apple might have a problem with. Who would want to spend all that time in development, just to get shut down? The risk is too high.

    Apple’s iPhone application monopoly sucks. Sucks, sucks, sucks. The folks who make jailbreakers need to invent a public-domain alternative that works just as well as the AppStore. I swear, there’s big money to be made there. Or else, a class-action suit of iPhone owners against Apple, to force open the platform.

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