What Apple has done for the iPhone is brilliant. It has created a marketplace for mini-programs that turn the phone into a gaming machine (Scrabble, Texas Hold'em, etc. -- and you have to see how Super Monkey Ball utilizes the gyroscopic feature of the iPhone for this addictive game) a book reader (visual and also audio books), a constantly updated information center (Weather Bug), music device, travel assistant and business tool.
I could go on for days, but you have to see it for yourself to get the full breadth and scope of what is available. But, for readers of TheStreet.com, we're concentrating on some of the first business and finance programs available in the App Store.
Make Your iPhone the Ultimate Business Tool
var config = new Array(); config<BRACKET>"videoId"</BRACKET> = 1676282506; config<BRACKET>"playerTag"</BRACKET> = "TSCM Embedded Video Player"; config<BRACKET>"autoStart"</BRACKET> = false; config<BRACKET>"preloadBackColor"</BRACKET> = "#FFFFFF"; config<BRACKET>"useOverlayMenu"</BRACKET> = "false"; config<BRACKET>"width"</BRACKET> = 265; config<BRACKET>"height"</BRACKET> = 255; config<BRACKET>"playerId"</BRACKET> = 1243645856; createExperience(config, 8);
Many of these little applets are free. There are nominal charges ($1-$10) for others. I even found one, called MyAccountsToGo --
BusinessOne, which is selling for $449.99. If you need full, direct access to a SAP BusinessOne accounting system on your iPhone, I'm guessing $450 (or nearly two-and-a-half times the price of the phone) is not too much to pay. For the record, there is also a free version that lets you see what the full program looks like. Of course, the free version can't be updated from your corporate office.
At the other end of the spectrum, there is a set Calculators (in addition to the upgraded one on the iPhone 3G) that sells for 99 cents, and the nifty (CheckPlease, Tip Calc (both free), Gratuity (99 cents), Tipper (99 cents) and BigTipper ($1.99) which help figure restaurant gratuities.
There is a Loan Calc (99 cents), a Mortgage Payment Calculator (99 cents), daily expense tracking (IXpense, $4.99, TapExpense, $4.99 and iSpend, $15.99) and Day Bank ($3.99) a simple but powerful pocket money manager.
As for keeping track of investments, there is the free Bloomberg news applet, iGold ($7.99), which automatically retrieves and displays real-time price quotes of precious metals -- and SplashMoney ($9.99), which connects to your online bank so you can create, track and analyze your spending with customized reports. TripLog/1040 ($12.99) is somewhat self-explanatory.
has a free program called Oracle Business Indicators which provides secure, real-time access to business performance information right onto your handset.
Salesforce Mobile lets you keep your customer information instantly accessible through your iPhone. It's free if you have an unlimited edition Salesforce account or an enterprise or professional account with a mobile license.
If you have access to a VNC server, Mocha VNC (free) lets you use your iPhone to connect to a Windows or a Mac (OS X) computer and see files and programs and resources as if you were sitting at your desk. Very cool.
ZeptoPad (99 cents) is a portable whiteboard applet from Japan which lets you add ideas, sketch and "mindmanage" your wildest dreams. LionClock Plus ($79.99) and Lite ($29.99) track time spent on projects and then let you create and email invoices directly from your iPhone.
There's even an amazing, free little program from CareerBuilder.com that lets you search (by keyword, job description and salary) on your iPhone through nearly two million jobs on its Web site. You can also narrow your search by using the iPhone 3G's built-in GPS system which will help you find jobs nearby your phone's exact location.
Remember, these are only some of the programs available in only two categories -- in the first week of existence. We'll revisit Apple's App Store soon to see what else TheStreet.com readers love and hate.
Gary Krakow is TheStreet.com's senior technology correspondent.