Cooliris (formerly PicLens) makers of a browser plugin which transforms the web into an immersive 3D experience, has just released their first application for the iPhone. The new Cooliris App brings 3D web surfing to the iPhone. Like their plugin, the iPhone app lets you browse using their unique "wall of content," a 3D wall that you can flick through using finger swipes and can touch to zoom in and out. This app lets you search Google, Flickr, Yahoo, SmugMug, and DeviantArt. Also like their browser plugin, the Cooliris iPhone App delivers relevant news and articles from across the web via a "Discover" feature which presents iPhone-optimized content organized in categories like News, Sports, Tech, and more.
Cooliris has always been one of our favorite web browser plugins as it re-imagines the entire experience of browsing through the web. Designed with surfing media in mind, the browser plugin lets you surf through a 3D wall of content and then zoom in and out on the images and videos found. The plugin doesn't work on all web sites yet, but several big names are already supported like Flickr, YouTube, Kodack, Amazon, Photobucket, Picasa, DeviantArt, Smugmug, MySpace, Facebook, Bebo, Hi5, Friendster, Google Images, and more. You can also Cooliris-enable your own web site with only a bit of code.
The iPhone App
Now, with the Cooliris iPhone application (iTunes link), the 3D media surfing experience has been delivered to the mobile web, too. For those familiar with the Cooliris browser plugin, the iPhone experience will be very familiar. The only difference is that you no longer need to use a mouse to move through the wall of media - you only need your finger.
You're able to do Google searches with the iPhone app, so, if nothing more, Cooliris offers a unique way to to visually search the web using a Google-powered search engine. However, the Cooliris app also allows for searching other sites, too, including Flickr, Yahoo, SmugMug, and DeviantArt.
With the Discover feature, the app uses the iPhone's built-in GPS to detect your location in order to deliver personalized feeds for your locale. For example, here in the U.S., one of the categories available is for the U.S. Elections. Other countries will have their own local news featured here instead. As you read through the news in the Cooliris app, you can easily pull up a related story by "clicking" on the associated metadata the app displays. This lets you visit related web content without having to leave the Cooliris app to view the parent web site back in Safari. In other words, in addition to being a visual search engine, Cooliris is an alternative browser too.
You Have To Try This!
If before you felt that the Cooliris web browser plugin was cool, but wondered if it was all that useful, you'll definitely want to see it in use on the iPhone now and think again. The marriage of the 3D technology and the mobile web is the perfect combination. Cooliris seems as if it was designed just for the touchscreen iPhone.
This app represents what is only the first release for Cooliris on the iPhone. Later on, the app will include more features ported over from the web client as well as new features designed specifically for the iPhone. The company won't hint what those may be, but we're definitely going to stay tuned.
You can download the iPhone app for free from here.