A small advantage to the iPhone's Safari-only applications

iPhoneI am as sick of hearing about the iPhone as everyone else not lucky/rich/crazy enough to be getting one today, but as I was trying to wade through the gajillion iPhone related stories in my RSS feeds it occurred to me that finding applications on the iPhone is worlds easier than it is on my Windows Mobile phone. Here's why: When you see an interesting Windows Mobile app (like Google Maps), you can see a screenshot of it in action but you can't really play with it until you download it and install it to your phone. Because it is such a hassle I am a lot less exploratory with mobile stuff than I am with web apps or even desktop software. With Safari based iPhone apps however, you can try out applications right in your browser and get the same experience. I first noticed this when I saw this Flickr photo browser. It's a pretty compelling way to demo software. No downloads, no synching to devices, no hassles. What would it be like if all software was that easy to try?

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