What types of apps could be written would be a function of the hardware the nanobot has. Most of the apps on a phone center around having a speaker, microphone, graphics screen, touch sensing, accelerometer, GPS, wireless communication, a processor, and storage space.
- To be able to run apps at all the nanobot must have a small computer processor in it.
- It must also have the ability to store energy in some sort of internal battery, capacitor, or chemical tank.
- It must also have the ability to be recharged. This could be done using a wireless charging coil once every so often, or simply by letting the nanobots eat sugar from your blood. There has already been research performed regarding small electric fuel cells that run on clucose.
- To load in new apps the nanobots must have the ability to communicate with the outside, probably wirelessly.
- Communication would allow for authentication.
- Load the info for your airline boarding pass into the nanobots. Now you can't foret where you put it.
- Load your drivers licence info into the nanobots so you always have it with you.
- Pay for things at the store by waving your hand over the terminal to send your credit card number.
The nanobot would also need some sort of effectors to do more than just sit there and compute things. Some exmaples are...
- The ability to produce an electric pulse.
- This could revive you if you were having a heart attack. The elderly might purchase that app.
- This could allow you to stimulate nerves, thus allowing communication with the brain. But figuring out which nerves to access is a totally separate and horribly challenging problem.
- An app to stream music directly into your ear nerves would probably be the most popular app in the world.
- If you lived in an authoritarian state they may force you to load in an app that could shock anyone who gets out of line.
- The ability to detect certain chemical.
- Detect and neutralize alcohol so you can sober up before you have to drive home.
- A diplomat may want an app that can detect poisons.
- If you could detect and destroy sugar and fat then you could make a weight loss app. Just hope it doesn't go overboard and starve you.
- If you can detect open air then you can release an organic glue to seal open wounds, thus keeping you from bleeding too much if your injured.
- The ability to produce a certain chemical.
- If you could produce pain killers out of nutrients available in the blood then you could avoid a headache.
- If you could produce alcohol by breaking down glucose in your blood then you could get drunk for free.
- If you could produce insulin you could avoid diabetes.
- The ability to store a certain chemical.
- If you could store oxygen, sugar, ATP, adrenaline then you could make yourself stronger for short periods of time. Or increase your cardiovascular performance in a manner similar to blood doping.
- The ability to burn sugar, for example to keep you warm in winter.
- The ability to send/receive specific sensory data and send it wirelessly.
- Share what your feeling physically with another person for romantic purposes.
- Tap into another person's senses for the purposes of espionage. For example, James Bond wants to steal the plans for a Russian jet so he hijacks the eyes of one of the engineers working on the program.
- Enhanced entertainment experiences, that can deliver more than just sight and sound to the audience. Or even high quality 3D movies without glasses.
- An "avatar" app?
- Depending on the range of the wireless communication and advances in cell towers, even receive cell phone calls in your head.
- Get Facebook and Twitter alerts overlaid on your vision
- If you can stimulate muscles. There is the possibility of "Puppet Ware", where someone could hijack your body.
- One way of copying someone's mind would be to get one nanobot to sit on each of a person's brain cells and record the input/output electrical pulse patterns. Having recorded the behavior of each cell and mapping the inter-cell connections one could then approximately simulate that brain somewhere else.
It should be noted that a product like a nanobot would typically be regulated by the FDA or a similar agency. Most likely laws would prohibit anyone from selling apps for the nanobots unless they had gone through a lengthy approval process. Therefore the idea of allowing non-professionals to develop nanobot apps would probably require major changes in regulatory law.
Only the most visionary medical companies would consider publicizing the hardware architecture and programming interfaces for their nanobots. Commercial cell phones became available in the 80s, but it wasn't until 2007 (when the first iphone was released) and 2008 (when the android was released) that phones with public APIs and free development environments were widely available to the public.