Blog Post

iWork for iPhone and iLife for iPad?

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

Open In Keynote? 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!

6 Responses to “iWork for iPhone and iLife for iPad?”

  1. Brian Winter

    I used my iPad on holiday in Japan in September. Every couple of days I’d load up my SD chips onto the iPad. It did a sort of bearable job splitting events according to the date the images were shot. No editing of titles no means of tagging but worse to come!
    I upgraded to iOS 4.2! All events sorted (sort of) according to date were lost! Replaced with – 101IMPRT, 102IMPRT etc. now just how useless is that. One giant leap for iOS, one big failure for Apple. How is it no-one checked the software before foisting it on the public. Even the hyped folders was misrepresentation. Just folders for apps and nothing else. I could do that before the upgrade to 4.2.1 so that was nothing new anyway.
    Only around three apps on the iTunes shop are reasonable but none are as good as iPhoto ’09. Why, oh why, hasn’t Apple ported iLife over to the iPad or might we see it next year?
    In the meantime I gave up trying to organise my images on the Pad and used iPhoto on my MBA 12″
    Incidently videos recorded with my Canon G11 reproduce without problems on the iPad via Photo.

  2. Brian Winter

    Photo on the iPad wasn’t bad on iOS 3.2 but strangely it’s actually worse on iOS 4.2.1. Events created on 3.2 using date image was taken are lost in 4.2.1
    let’s hope iLife ’11 rectifies this problem.

  3. One more big clue to iWork being destined for the iPhone:

    1. Go to the iPhone page on the Apple Store.
    2. Pre-order a model of your choosing.
    3. Click “Learn more” under the AppleCare header

    You can then see the following:

    “Software support included

    Whether you’re sitting in the comfort of your home or office or on the go, you can get direct access to Apple experts for questions on a wide range of topics, including:

    * Syncing with iTunes
    * Connecting to wireless networks
    * Sending and receiving email
    * Using iWork for iPhone and other Apple-branded iPhone apps"

    Can’t get any plainer than that.

  4. What really excites me is the trend of the iPhone & iPad working together with other hardware, like via the VGA adaptor or Bluetooth keyboards. I think there is a lot of opportunity here for new implementations of iPhone/iPad applications and some related hardware to accomplish new things beyond what just the phone and an application can do. It’s such a versatile device, and the more it can connect to other hardware the more possibilities there are to extend the iPad or iPhone functionality.

    With the software alone though, it’s personally huge for me to be able to edit video 1) anywhere and 2) with a touch interface. I don’t see myself making finished products in iMovie on the iPhone, but at least getting a rough cut together when I have a few spare minutes that I can transfer to my MacBook to finish up. To take it a step further I can’t wait for the day there is a version of Logic Pro on the iPad, or at least a companion to the full version, for the same reason.

  5. Shock Me

    I think a system for sharing between the phone, pad, and desktop will have to be provided for this to come to fruition. That will mean some way of accomplishing what we used to use the Finder for. We’ll need something a Bonjour for OSX services. It could be some form of ad hoc networking of your various iDevices exchanging pasteboards, screens, and networking as automatically as possible. That will mean enhanced sharing and syncing as close to realtime as possible must appear sooner rather than later.