Looks like Microsoft is really going “hands on” (hehe… I crack myself up!) Check out the list from Gizmodo:
- There will be a OSX-like dock, though how OS X-like is yet to be seen.
- Multi-touch gestures in photogalleries like two-finger zoom, flicking, and panning. Think of the photo app on the Microsoft Surface table.
- Multi-touch paint program where you can draw with 10 fingers (again, think of what you’ve already seen in Surface)
- Multi-touch piano app
- In-depth mapping application that pulls from Microsoft’s Live Maps and Microsoft Virtual Earth
It’s that last one that should peek lots of interest ’round here. Combined with the touch technology, I can see a number of potential uses in the geospatial world. Supposedly we’re looking at sometime late next year for a release date, although MS is notorious for having exceptionally fuzzy release dates.
Information has begun to roll out about the companies that have received support from the iPhone venture capital funding announced back in January…all two of them so far. Whrrl, a project from Pelago, is one of the first funded via the iPhone VC and is a location based social mapping site that focuses on rating specific locations and events. We talked to Darren Vengroff of Pelago back in Episode 148 if you want to hear about the web and current mobile version of Whrrl. After the interview we asked Darren about a potential iPhone version of their mobile software and he said they were already working on it (clearly). Most likely Whrrl will continue to be free when the App Store opens in the coming weeks, and it is a safe bet that it will not be the only location-based app available.
As we discussed when the Android developers challenge results were announced for the first round selection, there are tons of mobile location based apps that developers are creating. Obtaining location is a relative aspect to these apps as there are different ways to capture location whether from GPS, Skyhook’s wifi location or even pulling from something like FireEagle where location is entered directly. The goal of any of these apps is to move us from space to personalized and socialized place. While Nokia has been an early leader in the mobile mapping arena, it is likely the enthusiast developers building for the new devices like the iPhone or the Android platform that will push what we think of now as location based apps to the next level.