iPhone apps aren’t just for small development firms and gadget geeks anymore these days even big banks, retailers, and software giants like Microsoft and Oracle are getting in on the app act. Why? Not only does the next generation of consumers feel comfortable with spending much of their life online, they expect their retailer, bank, or software company of choice to offer them the freedom to do business anywhere, from their iPhone. To meet the demands of its internet and iPhone savvy customers, more and more big businesses are debuting their own iPhone apps. Here’s a look at a few of them:
Microsoft’s Seadragon iPhone Application.
In mid-December 2008, Microsoft released its first iPhone app a photo gallery app called Seadragon. Perhaps users were hoping for an iPhone app like Microsoft Office for the iPhone, or at least FreeCell, but Seadragon is Microsoft’s toe-dipping experiment into the iPhone application pool.
Google’s iPhone App
Far ahead of Microsoft (as usual), in December 5, 2007, Google released its iPhone app that, like a Google homepage, consolidated all of Google’s services into one page, so that users could easily access their Gmail, YouTube, Google Maps, and other services. In-line with Google’s typical corporate attitude, Google’s press release on this iPhone application stated that their commitment to provide “users with access to information, wherever they are is a device-independent commitment” in other words, expect to see similar versions of this app on Google’s own Android phone, as well as other touch-screen phones. (Source: Google Press Center, December 5, 2007)
Target’s Holiday Shopping iPhone App application
Target created a holiday shopping iPhone app that lets you browse through gifts and offers the ability to locate a store to purchase them, or buy them online at Target.com. If you don’t know what to get, you can shake your iPhone as you would a snow globe (the app’s intro animation), and a random gift from Target will pop up.
The Weather Channel’s iPhone Application
The Weather Channel wants you to be able to know what weather conditions will be like no matter where you might be. This iPhone app allows you to get the typical Weather Channel local weather information for your city or region, but its customizable weather maps also allow you to pick multiple layers of maps, displaying radar, UV index, rain/snow fall, and more.
Oracle’s iPhone App for Business People
Business software giant, Oracle, posted an iPhone app in November 2008 to allow sales managers to review quotes, approve or reject these quotes, chart sales forecasts, etc. Another Oracle iPhone application allows general managers to review expense reports, job postings, purchase orders, etc. As the business world becomes increasingly mobile and global, Oracle is one step ahead of its competitors in allowing its customers to access business information on the go. (Source: Information Week, November 29, 2008)
Bank of America’s iPhone App Helps you Find the ATM
Remember that old television commercial for Visa, where a couple lost in the desert of some remote part of the world with no cash was met by a young boy frantically shouting, “Ateeim! Ateeim! Ateeim fix everything!” As the couple wondered who Ateeim was, the boy led them to the village center, where, miraculously, an ATM stood. With Bank of America’s iPhone app, you don’t have to rely upon the natives anymore to find the closest ATM. Bank of America’s iPhone application will show you the nearest ATM to your location and will also allow you to check your balance and pay your bills, all from the convenience of your iPhone. Only now we need all the other banks to come out with iPhone applications so other customers can have the same easy access.