We came across an announcement for a cell phone interface, ZenZui’s Zooming User Interface. This interface was initially developed by the Microsoft Redmond Research Lab and the independent company ZenZui is backed by Microsoft IP Ventures. Unlike the iPhone, ZenZui is not a phone but an interface that can be deployed on various mobile devices.
The zooming interface utilizes up to 36 tiles with simple one finger/thumb navigation. You get to pick what tiles or widgets that are available in your Zoomspace. According to ZenZui, there are no additional costs beyond your mobile data plan. The system will be ad supported. While we are not sure about this, we will give them the benefit of the doubt and hope the ads are relevant and non-intrusive.
What really sparked our interest is the announcement of a developer SDK that will be made available in summer of 2007 and the ability of third party developers to push their tiles/widgets into the ZenZui Ecosystem. This open system will undoubtedly make ZenZui more appealing than the iPhone if Apple and Cingular continue to keep the platform closed. Developers will have the option to either pair their tile to a non profit for charity or to participate in the ad system with revenue sharing.
Overall this looks pretty cool but it’s a ways off and we’ll have to wait and see how this plays out. Here’s a video demonstrating ZenZui’s Zooming User Interface.
The new Apple iPhone has been making the rounds on the blogosphere so we’re not going to rehash the same old details. But, we will point out some interesting things.
- OS X
- 4.5 x 2.4 x 0.46 inches
- 320 by 480 at 160 ppi
With OS X, internet connectivity and Safari you can take your content anywhere. Or, as Steve Jobs put it, “It’s the internet in your pocket.”
The screen size is perfect for widgets. Imagine the SpringWidgets Scoreboard, NHL scores anytime anywhere, or our new bLaugh Widget and have access to the 20 latest bLaugh comics. The possibilities are endless.
If you haven’t already, you should go check out Apple’s site for more information regarding the iPhone and the video of Macworld 2007 Keynote Address.
Unfortunately, the iPhone will be released on the Cingular network with the 4GB and the 8GB versions priced at $499 and $599, respectively.
Update: We just caught up on our readings and Read/WriteWeb has a great write-up on the iPhone. In particular we like the comment by Steve O’Hear and we couldn’t agree more.
“However, while the bundled apps from Apple, Google and Yahoo are a great start, I’m hoping that the iPhone (unlike the iPod) will be opened to third-party developers. With the device being driven by a version of OS X, imagine what the rest of the developer community could bring to the party. If Apple doesn’t go down this road it will leave many a Mac fan (including myself) wanting more.”
Update #2: Looks like Apple’s got some trouble on their hands. Apparently, iPhone is already trademarked and Cisco (current owners of the trademark) has filed suit against Apple just 1 day after the announcement of the iPhone at Mac World 2007. While it doesn’t take away from the phone itself, it is unfortunate. For some information from Cisco’s point of view, Mark Chandler (Cisco’s SVP and General Counsel) has posted a commentary on Apple’s infringement of Cisco’s iPhone trademark.
Update #3: It looks like we may be waiting a while for the ultimate mobile widget platform. Additional information from ReadWrite/Web suggests that it is unlikely the iPhone will be opened up for third party developers. The next question is… Will it support Flash? There are indications that it may not. These are disappointing developments indeed…