Since my blog post on New Zealand application developers working in the iPhone/iPod touch realm, I have heard of many more developers working on NZ apps. After a few emails alerting me to other applications built here, I decided to do a Power Search in iTunes.

It's easy - open iTunes (Mac or PC), click on iTunes Store under Store on the left-hand side, click on Power Search, make sure Applications is selected under Power Search, and under Title/Description type the following arcane code sequence: new zealand.

And I discovered thirty that were either built here for us Kiwis (and our visitors) or referenced our country name somehow (ie, Anthems). Considering I know of several apps that are coming (ie, not yet in the App Store), this is pretty cool, especially when you realise that Apple pays them 70 per cent of the app sale price. The returns, once Apple app approval is granted, are almost instant.

I haven't tried them all out of course, but I have used several. Apart from the Orsome apps I mentioned a while ago, I have the free Snow Reports app (I'm no skier, it's mostly so I can keep an eye on conditions in the South Island and on the Desert Rd).


Zenbu is good for finding services near you, and I have the National Bank iBank, Air New Zealand mPass (more wishful thinking than useful at the moment) and Auckland Traffic by Gravitini (cue Jafa traffic jokes). Gravitini's Auckland Traffic displays a map with symbols explaining traffic conditions (moderate, congested etc) but also lets you access traffic cams by tapping icons. It's just $2.59.

And while we're on traffic, Radars New Zealand: AlertMe tells you when you're running into police radars while driving - that'll set you back a mind-bending $1.29. It's based on the popular European versions by Mi Mundo but localised for us.

TrafficCamNZ is preconfigured for Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch but can also access static traffic cam pics from around the world. You can set it up with the ones you want on your commuting or travelling routes. An overseas franchise with Kiwi localised versions is Stanton Software, which has released in several MultiCam app versions for Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch ($1.29 each).

I met up with two Apple Australia representatives recently, over here to talk about iTunes and the impending sale of the billionth App Store app. A localised for NZ iPhone program they loved was aSmart HUD + Speedcams. This is by Vitalis Lennojs of Atoll Ordenadores - no, not a New Zealand company.

It works here, but also for the whole of Europe, the US, Canada, Australia, Brazil, South Africa and Singapore, so if you like to drive when you travel, check it out - it's only $1.29 as well. (I bought it, it works well, although it seems to take a few seconds to get going once activated.)

It warns when you're coming up to known, fixed speed cameras and lets you know if you're exceeding the speed that the camera is set for. I'm not condoning speeding, absolutely not - but if this makes people slow down, at least in some areas, that's all good.

(Does anyone sell a bracket for cars so you can safely glance at your iPhone while you're driving? I want one.)

How about a NZ customised GPS? NZ Geodesy by Jang Ho Park of CocoaLove Soft converts GPS info on the fly for trampers and outdoor enthusiasts and has altitude. Definitely worth a try for just $1.29.

New Zealand News by Hadar Porat looks interesting too - it keeps you up to date with the NZ news media, including the Herald, TVNZ, Stuff and 20-;odd other sources. (There are versions available for the UK, Australia, Israel and Canada.)

A cool freebie is Otago Maps by the University of Otago - it lets you find your way around the Dunedin campus using your iPhone or touch. You don't even need to be online to use it.

While some of the aforementioned developers have long programming histories, the iPhone platform plus Apple';s extensive SDK toolbox has inspired many non-programmers to leap in, so they can develop apps while retaining control of their creative ideas - there's an article about this phenomenon at the SF Gate site.

This could account for the fact that 72 per cent of smartphone developers in the US are developing for iPhone (5 per cent for Java, 22 per cent for Google Android), and 64 per cent of available applications out there are for iPhone, according to Read Write Web.

The report also notes that 87 per cent of people using smartphone applications are using them on iPhone/iPod touch. The posting has a breakdown of all sorts of other interesting info as well.

And the Apple annual Worldwide Developers' Conference has already sold out - partly due to developer interest in the iPhone as a platform, although it's for all Apple developers. WWDC runs June 8-12th in San Francisco; Apple is expected to reveal more information about the iPhone 3.0 SDK - and also on Mac OS X Snow Leopard - at the conference

NZ app developers, do I want your press releases? Absolutely, I do - I always want to know what you're doing. Please send information to mailto:mac.nz@me.com.

(NB, when I last talked about iPhone I mentioned iPhone app developer John Dow needed some graphics work on two games he has under development. John reports he got a good response and is all sorted - thanks!).

Mark Webster mac.nz