Tag Archives: iPhone Apps

New Zealand banking iPhone Apps

One of the strangest things about the iPhone is how many web based apps people are building, when you think that it comes fully loaded with Safari and full web browsing capability (aside from flash), why an App version of what you can do in Safari?

The answer is of course, an App version is usually stripped down to the bare minimum and if you want the full version, then of course just go to the web to play there. This is possibly too true of the National Bank (New Zealand) iPhone App. It’s so stripped down, you more or less can’t do anything except view balances. But then again, that is the beauty of an App, it’s fast, it’s stripped down and it’s just so easy to use. Of course at this stage if you want to do anything more fun, a wi-fi network shouldn’t be the place to say send $1,000,000 to your secret Swiss account.
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Given functionality, this will be fun. For a pointer as to what it could be, we need only to look at the most innovative bank in NZ, Kiwibank. They’ve gone and developed a very nice webapp.

Link to App Store National Bank App here

As pointed out KiwiBank has a webapp version of it’s banking, and the subtle difference between a web app and installed iPhone app may be too small to have to worry about, but it is different. The KiwiBank webapp is much nicer interface and of course has full functionality – all I need now is a KiwiBank account – oh and some money.
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ASB also has a webapp version for their clients.
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This ties in nicely with this article about the potential for the iPhone and the format of iTunes payment for the iPhone as a micro payment platform.

Take that a step further, as we all know the iPhone is essentially a mobile computer (without cut and paste yet), it has the hardware platform and an evolving OS (all the ingredients for a mobile computer), the potential for payment and purchasing via mobile computing at this stage (security issues aside) is only just beginning and at this stage is limitless.

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Hey you developers

Now there is a place to go to see how the big bucks are developing iPhone companies, apps and games.

http://ifundvc.com/

Is the blog for iFund, brand new today. It’s the (as blogs tend to be) informal meeting place for people to come and discuss many of the important technical and commercial developments that surround the iPhone.

For those who don’t know, iFund is a $100m USD capital fund by venture capital company Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) and managed by KPCB Partner Matt Murphy among others.

Already iFund has 4 companies up and running, and they are (as you would imagine) in talks with others as to future developments.

iFund companies include:
GOGII – A new social interaction and marketing platform.
iControl – Stay connected in real-time to what matters most—family, property, home, and business—from anywhere in the world, anytime, day or night.
ng:moco – The first iPhone-only games publisher.
Pelago – Discover the world through the eyes of your friends and other people you trust.

As Matt Murphy states in his first post

“While these changes have been dramatic, we have only seen the first few pitches of a 9 inning game. The iPhone has changed users’ expectations of what is possible in a mobile device and UI and the AppStore finally showed the promise of mobile data applications”

Never a truer word spoken. The iPhone will radically change the very way people interact with each other, their environment and of course do business, I have no doubt about this. The simple reason for such a grandiose statement is the SDK and the ability developers have to create their apps to meet their and their customers needs. Apple gave us a great tool (like the hammer and wheel) we need to figure out how we are going to use it.

Should be an interesting read.

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Top Five Fav iPhone Apps

It was always suggested that the ‘killer’ aspect of the iPhone would be the Applications written to provide added functionality. We all remember that nauseating ‘monkey boy’ display by Steve “Developers Developers Developers” Ballmer of Microsoft.

[Don’t forget his laughable ‘laughing’ at the iPhone comments]

Anyway enough of that filthy rich nutter. He did however have one point that was correct. Unfortunately for too long at Apple, they opposed the concept, that of independent Developers. With the iPhone, Apple has turned this into the cornerstone of the iPhone . The iPhone would still be a good phone, with amazing technology, design and functionality without the independently developed Apps. With them, it has become one of the greatest ‘convergent’ tools/toys of the 21st Century.

Below is my list of current favourite applications for the iPhone. Funny enough the first is by Apple itself.

Remote: I have Airport Extreme, Airport Express and constantly play music wirelessly. Remote allows you to control iTunes on your computer from the iPhone. The perfect party tool, you know, hide the computer and no one can hijack the party by finding your copy of Mariah Carey hidden in your music library. Best of all has been the distance. Out on the lawn, being able to even simply turn the music up and down without running inside is brilliant.

Sol Free Solitaire: Totally addictive. Nice graphics and way hard.

TV Guide (New Zealand): Not all channels yet, but the basics are there. Nice design and good differentiation of the layouts from Vertical to Horizontal. Now if only it could send a message to my Sky box to change channel and turn on the DVD to record while I’m in town, that would be awesome.
{Note. Version 1.2 now available:
4 Australian States and the United Kingdom have now been added, with limited channels. The New Zealand version has added a huge range of channels (although not all), but unfortunately it’s now become more or less ‘bloatware’, as it’s slow to load and responds to commands very slowly.}

Sports Tap: Covers all of the sports I follow (no doubt some will miss their sports). But sitting in a cafe in New Zealand some 718 miles or 14031 kilometres from Chicago and more or less watch play by play my White Sox beat up on some poor baseball team is just fun. I see they have the Premier League and other major football competitions coming up this week. Will be interesting to see what level of information there is.

RIP PhoneSaber. I wondered how long this would be around for, and it seems the people connected with Star Wars finally caught up with these guys. The good news is, that although it’s now not available as a download, they are working with the official Star Wars folk to develop something – well official. This tool is indispensible for the very fact that it gets the kids off my back for 10 minutes a day (and yes they did drop it, we don’t have two iPhones in this household). So look forward to some real Star Wars action soon.

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Polar Bear Farm on a roll

Christchurch firm Polar Bear Farm will be on the worlds stage just after midnight tonight, with the launch of the iPhone and the AppStore.

They are one of the select few that were invited to develop apps for the iPhone. Only 4000 developers out of 25,000 applicants were chosen to develop apps for the iPhone.

With an expected sales figure of anywhere between 10-15 million, they only need a small percentage of users to download their apps for them to make money. This is great news for Polar Bear Farm and developers in NZ. By association, they prove that we can make an impact on the worlds stage.

Full Story here.

Their two apps are:

•Telegram which allows people to send voice messages to people all over the world similar to the way they would send a text message.
• Twinkle enables social networking on the phone and allows people to locate others within a certain vicinity.

Polar Bear Farm

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