Thanks to the recent proliferation of do-it-yourself iPhone app services, the next big thing in Apple’s App Store might just be vanity apps. Take, for example, Appsfire’s Ouriel Ohayon, who just announced the launch of his own iPhone app. Ohayon used Odiogo Apps to create this personalized app. Odiogo, which mostly focuses on providing text-to-speech services for news sites and blogs, allows users to add RSS feeds, Twitter updates and photos from Flickr to its apps.
Odiogo’s apps also feature the company’s text-to-speech services, offline access and advertising support. For now, though, potential users still have to contact the company’s sales department to get their own apps and the price of these customized apps isn’t clear.
More Clutter or a Great Opportunity?
As the barrier of entry for creating customized iPhone apps continues to fall, chances are that we will see more and more vanity apps in the App Store. On the one hand, this could clutter the store with relatively useless apps. On the other hand, it could also provide a new source of income for independent bloggers who could use the apps to sell more advertising inventory or even charge a small fee for the app itself. Even bloggers with a small fanbase could reap the benefits of having their own iPhone apps.
The question, however, is if users are actually interested in installing a single-purpose iPhone app that only gives them access to the content of one blogger. In the end, these apps are less flexible than a good mobile RSS reader.
Apps like this probably make more sense for large multi-author blogs that publish a lot of content every day. On the other hand, the idea of being able to point their friends to their iPhone apps will surely prove to be irresistible for many people.