Though Microsoft has steered relatively clear of the competing mobile operating system run by Apple’s fast-selling iPhone, the company gave in to popularity on Saturday with the release of its first iPhone application. Seadragon Mobile is an experimental image viewer developed by Microsoft Labs that aims to make enormous, high-resolution images easier to handle on a tiny screen.
Much like Silverlight 2, the company’s Web multimedia platform, Seadragon gives users a Deep Zoom feature, allowing them to probe extremely far into images. In the demo shown on Live Labs, an enormous array of historic documents are scaled down to thumbnails – which are closer to pinky-nail size, to be fair. A double tap explodes any one to full-screen size nearly instantly, and further manipulation is possible with the iPhone’s popular multi-touch pinching action.
Though the application comes with its own collection of demo content, users can also spin their own photo collections into giga-pixel sized image collections with Photosynth, another offspring of Microsoft Labs.
Seadragon Mobile is available immediately on the iTunes App Store as a free download.