RealTime IT News

Microsoft Puts an App on the iPhone

Microsoft's Live Labs research division debuted its Seadragon Mobile application over the weekend for the Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) smartphone.

It gives iPhone users the same graphic-enhanced capabilities Windows PC users now enjoy, such as viewing entire photo collections in one screen.

The application is not yet available on Windows mobile devices. No word on when it will be. That Microsoft would release an application for the iPhone suggests that the software giant at least recognizes the popularity of the iPhone platform.

The latest figures Apple's App store references about 10,000 software offerings.

The Microsoft development effort also proves Apple made a smart move in July when it opened up iPhone development following the arrival of the iPhone 3G device in June. The goal was to drive platform interest, and given the Microsoft effort and software catalog Apple has achieved those goals.

According to a Live Labs description, Seadragon boosts navigation speed, performance and graphic scaling for improved image browsing of vast quantities of visual information, whether it's on wall-sized displays or mobile devices.

On Saturday the Live Labs blog reported the mobile application was available at the Apple App store.

"Seadragon Mobile brings the same smooth image browsing you get on the PC to the mobile platform. Get super-close in on a map or photo, with just a few pinches or taps of your finger," stated the blog.

But the hubbub over a Microsoft-developed application for viewing images on iPhones had barely peaked when word of a few glitches in the software leaked out. But at least it came from Microsoft.

Then, on Sunday, a Lab developer blogged that the application's browse function wasn't working properly though users could still search and view images. The team expects to submit a fixed application within the next few days.

"The 'Browse Photosynth' functionality broke right after we submitted the app to the AppStore…. Sorry!," stated the post, followed by a frowning emoticon.