Sunday, December 14, 2008

Seadragon on your iPhone

We've just released a Seadragon viewer for the iPhone! It's got links to lots of great content, and you can add your own. Of course it has all of the smooth zooming goodness you've come to expect from Seadragon, but now in a handy portable form you can take to the pub with you!

This is another project, like Seadragon Ajax, from the team I lead inside the Seadragon group. This one came from Ben Vanik, and it's really his baby all the way through. We hired him earlier this year, and before long he had absorbed the Seadragon technologies so thoroughly that he was able to write a fresh version (three times, in fact, before he was satisfied) fully optimized for the iPhone. After the first prototype he showed for Out of the Box Week, we knew we needed to ship this thing. Since then he's tweaked the algorithms and honed the interface until the whole thing shined.

Of course it wasn't literally only Ben; the entire Seadragon group helped one way or another, most notably Lutz Gerhard, Chuck Cummins and James Darpinian. I'd also like to call out the photographic artist Chris Jordan, who was kind enough to let us include five of his newest pieces in the sample content.

On a side note, this is in fact the first iPhone application to come from Microsoft. So far the response from the iPhone community has been overwhelmingly positive, but there are those who think it's some sort of contradiction in terms. Rest assured my team's mission is only to innovate, however we can. I leave the guardianship of political correctness to you, if that's how you feel.

In the meantime, we'll be zooming pixels through the airwaves to our hearts' content. I hope you join us!


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