Apple Touch Platform, Tablet, iTunes, Social Gaming and OpenFeint

I’ve returned my focus to  Apple’s Touch platform, and in so doing I’ve been diving into a variety of interesting subject areas.  Since my company’s last release, Apple has added access to a great deal of new services on the touch devices through the iPhone SDK.  While some fantastic innovations have already been created for the iPhone, we have only scratched the surface of how its unique ecosystem can improve our lives.

I went to a presentation at Mobile Portland by Dan Grigsby, creator of iPhone developer blog,  Mobile Orchard.  Dan presented statistics suggesting that the gold rush of the app store is over and that we are now entering a new phase of development for the iPhone. Generally, applications lacking aesthetic and substance simply aren’t getting the sales to justify development.  Writing great software for the iPhone is difficult and in order to stand out, applications are receiving more time and attention before being released.

The Apple Tablet,  iTunes, the Future of Print Publishing and Augmented Reality

All this is leading to some very sharp Objective C development teams who will be ripe to tackle all of the new opportunities born out of the SDK for the coming Apple tablet device.  This device, named the “Slate” or otherwise will change how people share with each other in the meatspace.  A minor illustration: No one actually likes using a netbook.  People will love using this tablet.

Apple used iTunes to train a generation how to feel good about buying physically intangible goods and is now building a series of devices that are breaking down the boundaries between digital and physical.  Touching and shaking aside, the iPod Touch and iPhone offer only a glimpse at the promise of augmented reality.

Apple’s tablet will create enormous new opportunities for print publishers.  iTunes will serve as a subscription vehicle.  Newspapers, magazines and comics are poised explosive growth via the scale of digital distribution iTunes can provide.  (Update: A day after this blog post, five publishers announced a new digital reading platform meant to compete with what iTunes will provide.

Social Gaming

Finally, I’ve been tracking OpenFeint recently and believe it represents something of a hat-trick of awesome concepts and topics: social networking, gaming, and and mobile software.  Plus+ is another emerging social gaming platform and while it is far less open to the public, the concept behind these platforms is so hot you could cook smores over it.

2010 is going to be another breakout year for developers and users of Apple’s touch platform.  What trends are you seeing and excited about?

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