Apple recently introduced two brand new TV commercials, currently airing on U.S. cable and network television, that continue the “There’s an app for that” series of ads. The two new spots, called “Share” and “Travel,” both highlight features common to all currently sold iPhone models, instead of just the newer 3GS.
In “Share,” the focus is squarely on the new peer to peer connectivity introduced in OS 3.0 that allows iPhones in close proximity to discover each other for multiplayer gaming and sharing. The ad features three apps that use peer to peer in different ways. Mover (free, iTunes link) allows image sharing using an innovative and well-designed interface tailored to the iPhone’s touchscreen controls. Bump (free, iTunes link) allows contact info exchange, and is the app that won Apple’s billionth app downloaded contest. Finally, EA’s Scrabble ($4.99, iTunes link) demonstrates the iPhone’s multiplayer gaming capabilities.
“Travel” provides a selection of apps handy for the globe-trotting iPhone owner. I was expecting Apple to throw in at least one that takes advantage of the new compass features in the 3GS, but they clearly wanted to stick to apps that would work on both the 3G and the 3GS. Rick Steves’ Historic Paris Walk ($4.99, iTunes link) is the first featured app, which provides a guided, narrated tour of the celebrated European capital. Next up is Paris Metro ’09 ($4.99, iTunes link), which provides a transit map for the Paris underground. Finally, Freeverse’s Postman ($1.99, iTunes link) allows you to create and send custom postcards using photos in your album or that you take with your iPhone’s camera.
Apple clearly wants to focus more on what both currently available iPhone generations can do, rather than on the distinguishing features of the new 3GS. Since they’ve already tried to set up that distinction in the past, I think it’s a good strategy to just try to market a unified iPhone brand and let consumers make their own choices.
This series of ads continues to be a great way to show off the iPhone’s flexibility to consumers who may not be aware of its capabilities, but I’m surprised we haven’t yet seen a fan-made parody featuring a list of unfairly rejected or hamstringed apps, i.e., “Want to use Google Voice to connect with friends and family? There’s no app for that.” or “Want to stream your own, fairly acquired media from your home Slingbox over 3G whose usage you pay for? There’s no app for that.”
Someone make it happen. And please, Apple, by all means, continue to use Matt Costa’s Mr. Pitiful, because even just hearing the instrumental intro to that song has it stuck in my head for days, which is definitely a good thing.