Microsoft’s Live Labs has released its first application for the iPhone.

Seadragon Mobile is an experimental image viewer that aims to make high-resolution images easier to handle on a small screen.

It allows users to view enormous photo collections and high-resolution imagery using the iPhone’s multi-touch intuitive interface.

The application provides a Deep Zoom feature to enable smooth image browsing of lots of images as well as simple manipulation of massive, gigapixel images.

Alex Daley, group product manager for Microsoft Live Labs, said the iPhone had been chosen to launch the app because it is the most widely distributed phone with a graphics processing unit.

"Most phones out today don’t have accelerated graphics in them," he said. "The iPhone does and so it enabled us to do something that has been previously difficult to do.

"I couldn’t just pick up a Blackberry or a Nokia off the shelf and build Seadragon for it without GPU support."

Microsoft’s goal for Seadragon is nothing if not ambitious – essentially it wants to change the way screens are used, be they wall-sized displays or smartphone screens, so that graphics and photos are smoothly browsed, regardless of the amount of data or the bandwidth of the network.

Seadragon Mobile is available immediately on the iTunes App Store as a free download.

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