Clearly the biggest news to come out of Steve Jobs' keynote for the World Wide Developers Conference was the announcement of the iPhone 4, which is coming June 24 with preorders starting June 15. But among the feature announcements and hardware teaser images, Jobs also announced the availability of some new apps that will take advantage of the new hardware.
Netflix for iPhone was a welcome announcement, with the iPad version of the app already popular with its streaming "Watch Instantly" capabilities. According to Apple, now you'll be able to start a movie on your iPad or iPhone and then continue watching on another device or your desktop computer. Though it's great you'll be able to watch Netflix movies anywhere, we wonder just how popular watching movies on the 3.5-inch screen will be.
Popular online game developer Zynga also got in on the act, announcing the availability of "Farming," an iPhone app version of the insanely popular Facebook game FarmVille. With more than 70 million people playing FarmVille, bringing the game to the iPhone is pretty much a sure hit. We have to admit, though: we worry about the already over-stressed FarmVille harvesters now that their farms will be accessible anywhere.
Activision came to the stage next announcing the launch of Guitar Hero ($2.99) for iPhone and iPod Touch (announced as available today, but it's not in the App Store yet--we'll add a link when it becomes available). Though Guitar Hero has already enjoyed huge success on consoles, we'll be interested to see how much traction this app will gain on the iPhone/iPod platform. Will the 3.5-inch touch screen be enough for Guitar Hero fans without the advantage of holding the instruments in your hands? We'll soon find out.
The announcements were not limited to third-party developers, though. Apple also announced the launch of iMovie for iPhone 4 ($4.99). In the brief demo, Apple showed how you can edit movies using the touch-screen interface. Like the iMovie software for Mac, your timeline resides at the bottom of the screen with the footage taking up the top three-quarters of the screen. You'll be able to use iMovie in both portrait and landscape views; pinch to zoom will be available; and you'll be able to change the scale of your movie's timeline, and touch and drag to trim. Adding photos will automatically get the slow pan/zoom of the Ken Burns Effect. You will also be able to add theme transitions and titles, record geolocation (automatically inserted into theme), add music from iTunes, and much more. When you're finished, you'll be able to export to three different resolutions including 360p and 540p to conserve on storage space, or 720p for HD quality video.
That was all that was shown regarding new apps at the WWDC keynote, but we expect that many more apps that take advantage of the iPhone 4 hardware will be revealed in the coming weeks. We're especially excited to see how developers will use the iPhone 4's new gyroscope features, along with all the other new additions to iOS 4.