Thoughts on the iPad


Now that is has been announced I expect we will see a continuation of opinion and views polarizing into ‘for’ and ‘against’ camps, and I can see both camps.

Until it is released we won’t know what it is really capable of, but until then I have questions for users and developers alike.

It is obvious to me that the iPad isn’t going to attract as many buyers as the iPhone or the iPod Touch, at least not initially. I’ve only seen one prediction on sales volumes and that is 4 million units this year. Given that, my guess would be that it won’t be as popular with developers as the iPhone and Touch, again, at least to start with.

iPad is going to appeal to a different user base with different needs. I think that musicians will find it an attractive option if it gets support from developers, and there’s no doubt that the device does offer developers some new opportunities not only for their existing apps, but for new ones too.

Given that the iPad will run existing iPhone apps it will have the immediate disadvantage of the current app store in that the music category will be crowded out with ‘official’ apps and all the other junk that currently annoys us. But will Apple make a shrewd move and introduce an iPad only facility in the app store to cut through this? It would be useful if they did.

What really interests me though is how developers will react. I’ve already heard some developers talk about making their apps device aware so that they can offer iPad only features into their existing apps, but in doing so will they miss an opportunity?
Apple has already defined the device as a middle ground between the iPhone/Touch and the laptop. If you extend this model to pricing of software then we could see a middle ground in pricing terms too with iPhone/Touch apps at the lower end (and there’s already been much coverage of the ‘race to $0.99’), with desktop/laptop software at the higher end, and with iPad software occupying a new middle ground.

Let’s face it, if you could have an enhanced version of Jasuto, or BeatMaker, or NLog (or any other number of apps), which boasted extra facilities and capabilities and made real use of the expanded screen real estate, then why not market two separate apps, one for the iPhone and one for the iPad?

My next question is what will Apple produce in software terms for their new device? They’ve not made a lot for the iPhone, but already they’ve announced their book app iBooks, and their new versions of iWorks just for the iPad, and set the price point for these comparatively low, and more interestingly at a mid point between the software they offer on the iPhone and desktop.

I knew that 2010 was going to be an interesting year for mobile music, and yesterday saw that prediction come true, at least the possibility of it coming true anyway.

In the days and weeks running up to the release of iPad I hope we’ll see some announcements on what developers have started to dream up.

If you have plans for new apps for the iPad or extending your existing software I’d love to hear from you (confidentially or not), and as always I’m keen to hear what you think of my thoughts on the iPad.

6 comments

  1. For me, the iPad is almost perfect.
    I used to be a power user with computers but these days all I ever do is chat, browse and write. Everything else is done on my iPhone and the only reason I don't do it all on the iPhone is because of the size and the lack of physical keyboard. Both of these have been solved. Coupled with Brushes (an app I use daily) and Fourtrack (another) I am almost entirely sure that the iPad will become my MAIN COMPUTER. I loved the idea of netbooks or tablets for ages but they have always been too damn slow. Windows has always been too slow on smaller devices and apple laptops cost far too much. This is perfect. I can surf from the sofa. There are some issues I have, and I will list them here:
    1. No front-facing camera. This would make perfect sense for a video conferencing device.
    2. No multitasking- Come on, with that much realestate I expected them to allow us to run windowed iphone-res apps side by side so that we can browse and have chat up side by side.
    But apart from these niggling issues, I think it is going to be a fantastic buy for me. IF developers jump on board. let's hope so.

  2. I have another issue:
    There should be the capability to manage my ipod/iphone ON this device. I can't ditch my desktop until that happens :/ I wanna plug it in and transfer music or apps between them. Or update my iphone. or whatever.

  3. I've read the new 3.2 SDK includes a shared folder that multiple apps can access to swap files, and mounts as a disk on the desktop when you sync to a computer. It's intended for the new iWork iPad suite, but perhaps it could mean a new birth for the ioLibrary?

  4. bleep!BOX will definately get some updates to take advantage of new real-estate, but like you said it almost makes more sense to start making a new app that can really take advantage of all the features the platform has to offer (better CPU, more screen space, etc). Starting to think about what that new app might look like.

  5. All I can think about is how awesome certain apps would be with a larger screen, like beatmaker, sunvox TouchOSC, many others…All the apps that struggle with the lack of space. Just think about those 3 apps alone on that device, its too awesome to imagine for me!

    For me the 1 thing that always drives me nuts with the iTouch is the small screen, so this is going to be so awesome.

    The thing that bothers me is the lack of simultaneous app support, multi-tasking, whatever you want to call it. I was looking forward to trying out multiple apps at the same time.

    Lastily, the price point puts it within my range, so I'm glad they didnt include crazy features that would make it too expensive…

  6. think things will pick up quickly after people can get their hands on one and experience it … just watch videos of people trying one at the Intro demo room; there is a physical connection with the device that must be experienced.

    Secondly, the speed and touch UI combination will enable app writers to develop stuff that we haven't begun to imagine.

    Third … look how much the iPod has evolved in eight years. The iPad is a newborn.

    I love the way Apple stirs the pot….

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