You’ve probably never heard of this obscure new device called the iPhone 3G from no-name manufacturer Apple, but we decided to give a rundown of some of its newest apps anyway. We’ll be comparing them to non-SDK third-party apps that only work on jailbroken iPhones.
The iPhone 3G announcement at WWDC 2008 brought good news for sports fans as an official MLB.tv app will be bundled with the iPhone 3G. It provides live scoreboards, pitch-by-pitch updates, and current video highlights minutes after they happen. There is no comparable unlicensed third-party app, but Sportstap.mobi, formerly MLB iPhone, is a site that contains similar information and has been optimized for iPhone browsing. Sportstap does not offer all the rich content that MLB.tv app does, so this is a clear win for SDK apps.
For gamers, a few SDK games have come down the pike over the last few months, and today another game, Super Monkey Ball, was announced. It uses standard touchscreen controls in addition to new tilt controls, giving the gameplay a more complex and rich feel. Fun to be sure, but adventurous jailbreakers can feast on a much larger selection of games, including iPong, iChess, and the wonderful NES Emulator Application that can play hundreds of NES roms. While games as complex as Super Monkey Ball and Spore may never be written without the iPhone SDK, the busy and resourceful emulation community will always win out on game selection. In addition, only non-SDK developers have toyed with the idea of multiplayer games like Battleship Peer2peer, which allows users to play Battleship against human opponents.
On-the-go bloggers were also taken into account in the latest crop of native iPhone apps with the new Typepad app. It allows users to manage and edit posts on a Typepad blog, but it really shines where it comes to photo manipulation. The app allows users to add, move, and scale images on their blog, and it is capable of manipulating photos from the web or those taken with the iPhone’s built-in camera. There are a number of simple photo editing apps and a few notepad-style apps available to jailbroken iPhones, but nothing that even approaches the level of interactivity with a specific blogging service found in the Typepad app.
Productivity, audio, and miscellaneous apps made without the SDK abound, but it remains to be seen what innovations SDK developers will bring forth. With the list of iPhone applications still growing, it would be somewhat short-sighted of us to declare that one way is better than the other, but we’re curious where you stand on the issue. Do you prefer to be in the fold with Apple or the DIY spirit of making apps from scratch and eschewing the Cupertino ivory tower? Let us know.