One of the biggest bugbears of iPhone users is the finger marks that the touch screen is left littered with, but now Apple have released the applelet iNoTouch.
"I've had every version of the iPhone," said App World editor Buck Macintosh. "I've been cleaning them a dozen times a day ever since I got the first one. This new app has ended all that. It is basically saving me two hours a day of cleaning time. No other app on the market offers this kind of productivity boost."
All iPhone users quickly become accustomed to the various finger movements for flicking between the screens, selecting options, enlarging and shrinking screens, and the new app keeps all of the movements, but crucially doesn't require the iPhone owner to touch their precious screen.
"It's very simple," said Macintosh. "Basically, it uses the camera on the front of the iPhone to watch what you're doing, and it pretends you're touching the screen, when in fact, you're not. It's almost like magic. It's like the phone is guessing what I'm going to do, before I do it."
Macintosh gave a quick demonstration of the new app, holding his fingers a good three inches above the screen. "The closer you are to the screen, the more fine grained the control is," he explained. "But it works from up to seven inches away, which is ideal for flicking between web pages or answering a call. Writing a text or email is a little trickier at that distance, but still possible."
Macintosh is of the opinion that there are no downsides, and quite a few upsides. "You can do much larger scale motions," he said. "On the screen, you're limited to the size of the screen, but wafting your hands about above it you're restricted only by the size of the room. If I knew how to gush, I would be doing just that right now."
The current version is only version one, with Apple planning to expand the interface to include American sign language to aid texting, and add a few games, such as boxing, balloon popping and a flight simulator that involves waggling fingers above the screen.
Apple originally wanted to patent the idea. Unfortunately, Microsoft's Kinect had got there first.