Microsoft releases first iPhone app: Seadragon

Summary:That sound you heard over the weekend was hell freezing over.On Saturday Microsoft's Live Labs released an application of the iPhone called Seadragon (iTunes, free) that allows you to view (and zoom in on) Gigapixel images.

That sound you heard over the weekend was hell freezing over.

On Saturday Microsoft's Live Labs released an application of the iPhone called Seadragon (iTunes, free) that allows you to view (and zoom in on) Gigapixel images.

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.  Browse an entire collection of photos from a single screen.  You can browse Deep Zoom Images that you can create from your own pictures or your Photosynth collection (or anybody else's).

The news here isn't that Microsoft released an iPhone app, it's that a Microsoft employee said he was impressed with the iPhone's superior hardware. When explaining the decision to release the application for the iPhone, Alex Daley, group product manager for Microsoft Live Labs, said:

The iPhone is the most widely distributed phone with a (graphics processing unit). Most phones out today don't have accelerated graphics in them. The iPhone does and so it enabled us to do something that has been previously difficult to do. I couldn't just pick up a BlackBerry or a Nokia off the shelf and build Seadragon for it without GPU support.

CNet News.com reported in September 2008 that Microsoft's Tellme unit that is actively developing a voice-activated search application for the iPhone. Didn't that train already left the station when Google released voice search for the iPhone last month? Microsoft's Tellme is currently available for a variety of phones, including the BlackBerry.

Topics: Microsoft, iPhone, Mobility

About

Jason D. O'Grady developed an affinity for Apple computers after using the original Lisa, and this affinity turned into a bona-fide obsession when he got the original 128 KB Macintosh in 1984. He started writing one of the first Web sites about Apple (O'Grady's PowerPage) in 1995 and is considered to be one of the fathers of blogging.... Full Bio

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