The impending release of the Mac App Store has us thinking about all the great iOS apps that ought to make the transition to OS X. Here are our top picks.
Note: It remains to be seen exactly what the Mac App Store will be like, but we're hoping that, at the very least, the Mac App Store encourages iOS developers to try their hand at porting some of their best apps to the desktop.
Namely, Air Video and StreamToMe. Both apps do a wonderful job of streaming media from your desktop to your phone. But what about from your desktop to your other desktop? Or laptop? While you can do that just fine with VLC over the local network, when you're at work, on holidays or sitting in a coffee shop, your best streaming option is using your iOS device. While Libox is one solution that'll let you stream from computer to computer, we'd really like to see more support for Air Video and StreamToMe because their implementations are so simple and elegant. They'd be nice additions to the Mac App Store, but we wouldn't complain if they wanted to release versions ahead of schedule (hint hint).
Quick Info Syncing Apps
Sure, we have Simplenote and Evernote to sync our text notes. While they're relatively fast (especially Simplenote), an app like myPhoneDesktop pushes data quickly from your computer to your iOS device. Once it arrives, it helps you send that information to the relevant source or copy it to the clipboard. What it doesn't do is the reverse: let you send information from your phone back to your desktop. This is an easy one because myPhoneDesktop already has a desktop application.
Reeder, Flipboard and other Beautiful Feed-Reading Apps
When using feed reading apps like Reeder and Flipboard it's really easy to get lost in the user experience. They're both beautiful and make going through RSS, Twitter or whatever is part of your digest, a more pleasant experience. Feed readers on the Mac are functional, but they're not necessarily fun. For the Mac App Store, hopefully we'll see new interface paradigms for how we read our news.
Beautiful Calendar and To-do Apps
There are tons of organisational tools on the desktop, so it's not like our iOS devices have a monopoly on productivity. That said, a lot of simple, beautiful, and highly functional apps haven't made their way to the Mac. Calvetica and TeuxDeux (despite the web app) are both excellent calendar and task apps, respectively. While their functionality would need a bit of expansion — as would most apps in the iOS productivity category — the Mac App Store would be an excellent place for that to happen. Some of the best interface design with a focused user experience is happening in iOS. Let's bring that to the Mac desktop along with a more desktop-appropriate feature set.
Photo Filter Apps
Sure, Camera Bag is already a Mac app but think about the possibilities for apps like Hipstamatic and Instagram. Although the iPhone camera offers more possibilities, I guarantee they have a life on the desktop by making use of the iSight — er, excuse me, FaceTime — camera built into virtually every Mac. Making use of the significantly higher processing power of an actual computer, these photo filter apps could work quite well for video, too. Vintage video chat, perhaps?
Photo Syncing Apps
Last week I looked into ways to never sync with iTunes and discovered the wonderful Flickr syncing app Photo Pad. While iPhoto pseudo-syncs to Flickr (and Picasa has a sync-to-web function), when are we going to get true syncing functionality for more services? Flickr sorely needs it, but it would also be great to be able to wirelessly sync your local photos to your iOS device in the way you can sync your iOS device's photos with your local machine (see Photo Sync). PhotoSync for Lazy does this (more info) to a degree, but it's only available for Windows. Mac App developers, let's get on this one!
While you can at least play Canabalt as a Flash game, it would be nice to see it as a desktop app (which would be pretty simple). Angry Birds is obviously a favourite that would also be very playable on a desktop machine. Some games (like the wonderful Rolando) wouldn't work so well on a desktop or laptop, but many iOS games would be computer-friendly even without hands-on multitouch capabilities.
What iOS apps do you love that you're hoping to see end up on the desktop? Let's hear 'em in the comments.