iPhone/iPod Touch Platform: Apps a’plenty

I recently purchased an iPod Touch and have REALLY been enjoying it. Besides the beauty of the form factor — fits in your hand so well and lets you control it with simple finger movements on its touch screen — is the application platform. Visiting iTunes App Store, you can see the huge variety of what’s currently available. And this is all still new for developers.

Last Tuesday, HMAUS (Hawaii Mac Users), held a presentation with Rich Warren on the iPhone platform. Besides picking up some great tips on cool apps and why the SDK is worth signing up for, Rich demonstrated the Japanese keyboard entry with word/character suggestions. Very cool! For example, just typing (in Romaji) “iyu” came up with “一週間”. For me, that’s really handy. (Of course, there is the problem of learning to type on a “virtual” keyboard where there are no buttons, but the auto-suggest does help, in any language.)

One of the beauty points about the iPod Touch is that it has all the features (except the camera! 😦 ) of the iPhone without the phone part — and therefore, no worries about having to sign up for an expensive monthly contract with a company that doesn’t always have it’s customers’ best interests in mind. In other words, you can get the same “coolness” of the iPhone (using wifi) but using your existing phone and plan.

Even if you don’t buy one, at least visit an Apple store to see for yourself how they feel to operate.