After all the trouble updating my iPhone to 2.0 yesterday, it was about midnight when I first got my hands on the first Apps.
I downloaded, Twitterific, Facebook, iPint and a couple of others, and my overall reaction is that they're poor.
I expected fully functioning versions that encapsulated the simplicity of the iPhones interface, but no it seems you get patchy performance, and just about the same functionality as the Web Apps.
Lets start with Twitterific; I expected the full Twitter functionality natively on my iPhone. Instead I get a list of my 'friends' updates and (admittedly quite a nifty) interface for replying to them or twittering to my account. But comparing it to Hahlo (a Twitter iPhone Web App) I think it's a poor imitation.
And the Facebook App. I've become increasingly frustrated and annoyed with Facebook over the last few months, and their iPhone App kind of sums it all up. There's the Facebook web interface which we all log into using a browser that gives you everything (although it's getting increasingly cluttered and hard to find specific options - like my feed and privacy preferences). There's the iPhone Web App which was a stripped down, bare bones, this is your status, this is your feed (with only native Facebook app updates), you can view someone's contact info, or write on their wall - pretty much it. Well the new native iPhone version is actually pretty much exactly the same as the Web App (which was pretty poor lets be honest). Oh there is one thing - using it for around 10 mins last night it managed to crash around 4 or 5 times, lovely!
Their not all bad, take the game iPint -
the application that turns your iPhone into a virtual glass of ice cold lager. You have a pint at one end of a bar, you tilt your iPhone to slide your pint to your friend at the other end of the bar, trying to miss the various obstacles along the way. If you complete that you are rewarded with an iPint - your screen turns into a pint glass and it reacts (with the motion sensor) so you can drink it, etc just like a real virtual pint! Its a simple concept (I'm just not too good at explaining it - this Youtube video is better), and it doesn't serve any real purpose - but what it does do is show what can be achieved by iPhone developers, and it is executed brilliantly. I need to point out that I haven't tried any other games (I'm not going to pay £5.99 for Super Monkey Ball...) and I know they will probably be better than iPint.
So games work on the iPhone, but regular apps don't. Maybe its because they are trying to port concepts I already know and use to the iPhone? Maybe because I'm used to their online versions I expect to get the same, if not more out of them on the iPhone?
Either way I think there'll be many changes and differences between the iPhone Apps available today, to the ones available in a few months time - after all its a new platform, and a radically new interface - somehow I just expected a better first shot.
Comments? Tweet me @mealybar, smoke signals, or homing pigeon, or something :)