iPhone: the greatest mobile fingerpainting platform?

In yet another example of amazing iPhone apps (and amazing users), an artist paints the coming week's cover of the New Yorker magazine with his iPhone. And the story also points out how far Apple's competition has to climb to even come close.

In yet another example of amazing iPhone apps (and amazing users), an artist paints the coming week's cover of the New Yorker magazine with his iPhone. And the story also points out how far Apple's competition has to climb to even come close.

The artist is Jorge Colombo, who used Steve Sprang's $4.99 Brushes app to create the cover art. He also is selling limited-edition "iSketches," hardcopy prints made with archival inks.

Another app can create a flipbook movie of the making of the painting, which you can see at the bottom of this New Yorker blog posting.

What comes to mind here is that anyone who uses the words "iPhone killer" when referring to an iPhone competitor should watch this video and really think hard about the iPhone ecology before hitting the publish button.

Beyond the iPhone hardware, which is already counted as the most elegant, fun and useful smartphone on the market, is a powerful and easy-to-use SDK (one that's getting even better shortly); a growing group of developers who are building powerful, sophisticated apps in every category; an easy to understand marketplace for applications with convenient access for customers (which is not without its problems for developers and users); and an installed base that actually buys applications and uses them.

For years, Microsoft and the PC crowd pointed to the Mac software list and told potential switchers that there just wasn't enough there there. That the list of Windows apps filled every market niche and if you really wanted to be productive, you had to run Windows.

Now, Mac users said that the Mac was a better platform and provided a better user-friendly environment for applications. While there might be fewer programs, the software that was there was more elegant and mo' better. While this was true, it was a difficult argument to make. And the reality was that there were niches that were unfilled.

However, that situation is easing now that the Mac is becoming accepted as a business machine. More software developers are offering Mac OS X versions, or are using open standards that let Mac programs provide support. And if push comes to shove, you can run your Windows application — with support for Windows in BootCamp or with a commercial VM solution, even the narrowest niche can be now served with a Mac.

With the iPhone, this argument is turned on its head. The iPhone is now the platform with the big list of apps. And it's also the best hardware, software and development platform. A strong combo.

Perhaps that is the meta message of the full-page ads that Apple keeps running, the one that just shows a dozen or so iPhone apps with a description. It's a short and powerful message.

FWIW: Here's the iPhone technical sessions listed for the upcoming Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June.