iPhone apps breaking new frontiers

June 10, 2011 7:04:15 PM PDT
Friday marked the end of Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference in downtown San Francisco. This year, the iPhone is really blasting off, into the final frontier.

An iPhone in space? You'd better believe it.

"It's going on the shuttle, the orbiter Atlantis, on the last flight of the shuttle program, so kind of historic," says software company CEO Brian Rishikoff. He hopes to prove an iPhone can replace some of the bulky and expensive navigation equipment that's carried on space missions. "They're certainly compact and they're in a tiny form factor, and it's commercial which means it's relatively cheap, and it can do a lot of different thing as opposed to just one thing."

He's not the only developer reaching for the stars. Alena Kudacheva came all the way from Russia with her astronomy app which also uses the iPhone's gyroscope to find its place in the cosmos.

"[It's] a window to the universe," says Kudacheva

And then there's the app designed to make you a star.

"Two turntables, a mixer, and some speed sliders, volumes," explains developer Federico Tessmann, who says his DJ app is much more than a toy. "Our vision is just having the DJ having only one iPad on the stage with all the music."

Small, slick devices replacing big, expensive machines. Just four years ago this conference was all about computers. Today it's all about the apps.

Developers say their love affair with the iPhone is a simple one, really. Unlike a computer, an iPhone is small and relatively inexpensive. These days, they say, it seems like just about everybody has one, or two.

"Everybody's got an iPhone and you can reach so many people with them," says software developer Eivind Bohler.

Developers say it doesn't hurt that Apple's conference teaches them how to do it, Apple sells more phones, and then developers can sell more cool software.

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