Microsoft Live Labs Releases First iPhone App – Seadragon Mobile

Written iPhone Photo App Review

Microsoft has recently made its first foray into Apple iPhone applications with the release of Seadragon Mobile.

In a most unlikely industry collaboration, the software heavyweight has produced a novel image app that is now freely available on the App Store.

Seadragon Mobile allows users to view Gigapixel images right on their iPhone. Yes, Gigapixel. The image-scaling technology has been developed by Microsoft Live Labs and was originally intended for the Silverlight platform on the PC, but it has been ported across for the iPhone market.


Seadragon comes with a number of images to explore including several pieces of high-res artwork, NASA’s blue marble and other space images. You can also view user-submitted “Deep-Zoom” Photosynth image albums. There is a nifty search function that lets you find an image set of interest. Seadragon assembles all the images in a set into an ordered display of thumbnails which allows you to view a large number of images quickly and easily. Pinch-zoom control is used to great effect here.

The satellite maps of the world included in Seadragon Mobile are possibly the most useful feature offered by this app. They are closely akin to Google maps, but, dare I say it, better executed – at least in terms of presentation. The maps are available in the same three formats as those provided by Google: satellite, hybrid and road. Labels are clear and the scaling of highways, population centers and geographical data is spot-on. There is a major gripe here though, and it’s a deal-breaker: there’s no search function.

Wrap Up:

As the app stands, it has limited real-world functionality but there is a lot of potential here. Seadragon Mobile was however always intended to be a tech-demo rather than a killer-app, so we shall see what the future holds.


Seadragon in action:



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One Response to “Microsoft Live Labs Releases First iPhone App – Seadragon Mobile”

  1. I do enjoy your blog. Keep on posting, I will subscribe. What do you think of the new Nokia N97?

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