Microsoft brings first ever app to iPhone


15 Dec 2008

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After Apple last week celebrated 300 million downloads of the over 10,000-strong ocean of iPhone applications available from the App Store, Microsoft has just released its first ever application, an image-viewing program called Seadragon Mobile.

However, this is not any ordinary image previewer, it was developed by Microsoft Live Labs, the guys behind Photosynth, the super-cool online resource that allows user to take lots of photos of an object or place and ‘stitch’ them together into an explorable 3D mini-environment that can then be shared with others.

Seadragon Mobile – which is free for download from the App Store – is also an application that goes beyond the standard picture: when viewing an image with Seadragon, you have the ability to pinch and zoom your way into super close-up.

The Seadragon Mobile blog promises that ability to view giga-pixel images on the iPhone in a seamless way that brings the viewing experience closer to the laptop or desktop.

Examples given of the possibilities of such a cool application include the ability to pore over maps, explore massive galaxies or simply browse through your entire high-resolution photo collection, all over Wi-Fi or 3G from your iPhone.

Seadragon is associated with Photosynth, so you can view photos directly from that site or add your own. The ‘browse Photosynth’ functionality is currently not working, but will soon be fixed, according to Microsoft Live Labs.

By Marie Boran