The new iPhone 3G rolled out this morning all across the U.S. completing it’s worldwide launch that started yesterday in New Zealand. Much has been written online about the new device but one of the biggest changes since last year’s first edition is the ability for 3rd party applications to run on the phone. And better yet, the millions of iPhones and iPod Touch models sold over the past year can also be upgraded to take advantage of these new appications.
In looking over the iTunes App Store this morning, I noted a few wine related applications in the more than 500 now available. I think this will be a hot area, even in something as niche as wine, based upon the ease of development and the millions of units sold worldwide. I would expect to see some applications targeted at the wine trade (winemaking and vineyard data collection, for example) as well as at consumers. The first couple applications seem targeted at non-wine savvy consumers which is what I expected. I should also note that I have only installed and tried one of the applications below at the time of writing but I think I got a good idea of the functionality from the pictures and descriptions.
The first application I noticed is called Wine Log, not to be confused with the eponymous Wine 2.0 site, which is a simple wine note taker. Although this might be handy for consumers wishing to keep track of wines they taste on the go, there is little here for the more advanced wine lover. But at just $2.99, this app seems to deliver decent value for those with modest needs. I also can see where this basic layout could be modified to handle other scoring systems and a few more bits of information to make a “pro” version in the future. I’m sure this will evolve along those lines with user feedback.
Wine Snob is an educational reference app that looks similar to others I’ve used on Palm and Windows Mobile platforms. From the screenshots and description, it seems to provide mobile access to wine terms, food pairings and other useful information. Like Wine Log, this app sells for $2.99.
In browsing the rest of the store, I noticed an iPhone version of my favorite note taking application, Evernote. Available as a free download, I installed and connected to my account on my duahgter’s iPod Touch. Like the Windows Mobile version I’m currently using, the feature set is limited to reading existing notes or posting text and photo notes. The iPhone version extends this with the addition of audio notes and direct integration with the onboard camera. This is a good start and might be enough for iPhone users looking to keep some wine notes on the go and syncing them with their desktop.
But I think we will see better wine related apps for the iPhone in coming months as Wine 2.0 players like Snooth and VinCellar look to extend and embed their web applications into the mobile space. As this space gets more interesting I’m sure I’ll be tempted to jump on the iPhone bandwagon even if I can’t type worth a darn on the thing
To be continued…