With the rumored but still unexpected announcement of iMovie for the iPhone 4 and the adoption of Apple’s (s aapl) A4 processor in the new mobile device, it begs the question of what else could be in store for Apple’s iDevices.
Could we see iMovie or other iLife apps arrive for the iPad or even see iWork show up for the iPhone 4?
The Case for iWork on the iPhone
There’s quite a bit of evidence to support an eventual release of Pages, Keynote and Numbers on the iPhone. First, looking at Apple’s screenshots showcasing iOS 4, there is mention of a feature that allows attachments to be opened in a native application, if the application is installed. The example shown by Apple (the real image from Apple’s website is shown to the left) depicted opening a presentation in Keynote, but Keynote doesn’t exist on the iPhone just yet.
Another consideration is the iPhone 4 supports the Dock Connector to VGA cable and Apple actively promotes this as an accessory. While there’s potential for developers to make use of this, it seems more likely that this accessory serves the same purpose it does for the iPad — to output presentations to an attached projector. Does Apple really make its accessories for third parties or don’t they really have to serve a function for Apple first?
Yet another reason to believe that iWork is coming to the iPhone is support in iOS 4 for bluetooth keyboards. Sure, if you email all day on your iPhone, there may be a reason why you’d want an external keyboard. But don’t you think they have something a little bigger in mind? Like composing a document in Pages?
To learn more about using iWork, check out our iWork screencasts on TechUniversity (subscription required).
The Case for iLife on the iPad
First, while iMovie for the iPhone looks to be phenomenal, there’s clearly not a need for it on the iPad yet because the iPad doesn’t have a built-in camera. But that super-fast A4 chip and large display just seems to be screaming to edit some video.
Here’s some more evidence. The iPad Camera Connection kit supports more than just photos. If your camera also records video, they will copy into your camera roll on the iPad. Guess what? If you record video now on your iPhone 3GS, it goes into the your camera roll. That’s where iMovie for the iPhone searches for source footage to edit. There’s two logical conclusions that I draw from this. The first is that it should be possible to use the same connection kit on the iPhone 4 as a means to get additional video onto the device (though we won’t know for sure until the device ships). The second thought, and most important, is that we already have a method to get video clips onto the iPad, so why not allow us to edit them? The technology is already in place and with Apple pushing towards universal binaries to allow iPhone and iPad apps to share a same codebase, it’s not as hard as you’d think for them to port the app over to the iPad.
As an aside, when I refer to this app as iMovie for the iPhone, the “for the iPhone” emphasis is my own. Look around on Apple’s website and you’ll notice that when they refer to the app itself, it’s just iMovie, just like Pages, Keynote and Numbers.
What about the potential for other iLife applications? The Photos app already lets you see your photos by Faces and Places. While the current Connection Kit just imports into an album, the next logical step would be for the iPad to crunch away and tag your photos with existing people and locations that it recognizes. In terms of editing your photos, this seems like a no-brainer as well. Considering the fairly limited editing functionality built into iPhoto ’09, it seems that it wouldn’t be too difficult to add that functionality into the iPad, especially considering the nature of finger input and how this would be a very natural way to touch up a photo.
In the areas of GarageBand and iWeb, well these are a bit harder of a sell. Certainly there’s plenty of argument for the success of music-related apps and the iPad is a great platform for this. When these types of apps are successful, Apple wants to get in on that action. iWeb is probably the least likely of these, but who knows?
With such a large screen and Apple’s push towards these devices paving the way towards a future of new ways to interact with technology, I feel we’ve only seen the beginning of what’s to come. When the original iPhone launched, everyone oohed and ahhed but the device was rather simplistic. It had some fancy features, sure, but the real power wasn’t tapped until developers started creating apps for it. Of course, Apple contributed its own plethora of apps and feature updates as well. The iPad still exists in this space but that’s starting to change with new apps and whenever we may finally see iOS 4 for the iPad.
To learn more about using iLife, check out our iLife screencasts on TechUniversity (subscription required).
Some of this may be speculation, but there’s also some evidence that point to some surprises Apple may have up its sleeve. Remember Steve’s quote… for a device to exist between the iPhone and the laptop and be successful, it’s “going to have to be far better at some key tasks. They’re going to have to be far better than the laptop and better than the smartphone.” Steve even listed off what those key tasks were, including photos, video and music. So what do you think? Share your thoughts!