iPad Apps: A Sneak Peek at What's New
Let the iPad app cavalcade begin. Amazon showed off a Kindle iPad app Monday vowing to bring its e-reader and e-bookstore to the iPad. The news comes on the heels of Apple soliciting submissions for iPad applications into the iTunes App Store. And now the race is on to be among the first uniquely iPad-specific programs available for Apple's tablet that goes on sale April 3.
Developers reportedly have until March 27 at 5 p.m. Pacific if they want their application to be part of the first round of iPad programs available. Regardless of how many iPad apps are ready by April 3, iPad users will have access to most iPhone applications currently available. But developers are racing to prepare native iPad apps that take advantage of the iPad's 9.7-inch diagonal screen size--by comparison the iPhone's screen is 3.5-inches diagonal.
The wide range of applications that came out for the iPhone are a huge reason Apple's mobile device has become so popular with users. Apple knows this well and hopes it can reignite that application magic with the iPad. Here's a quick look at what to expect in the coming weeks once iPad applications begin rolling into the iTunes App Store.
Comic Book Readers
The comic book world is excited about the possibilities offered by the iPad and for good reason. The iPad is the first device that will come close to displaying a full-size comic book in digital form. One of the earliest comic book reader iPad apps to come out of the gate will be Panelfly's. The company offers digital comic books from Marvel and smaller independent comics publishers. Panelfly plans on releasing its application in March, according to the company Website. Also keep your eye out for other comic book readers; check out what Panelfly competitor, Comixology has in store for the iPad on Vimeo.
Despite the absence of an e-ink screen, the iPhone proved to be a popular device for e-reading, and the iPad promises to be a popular e-book device as well. Apple has decided to allow for vigorous e-book competition on the iPad by shipping the device without Apple's iBooks application. Instead, iPad owners will get to choose between Apple's application, and those from competing booksellers.
To show off its tablet plans, Amazon recently launched a new Web page on its site detailing the Kindle app for "Tablet Computers including the iPad." Barnes & Noble is also coming out with an iPad application, and Oceanhouse Media plans on bringing the works of Dr. Seuss onto the iPad as it has done with the iPhone, according to Just Another iPad Blog.
Agile Web Solutions plans on bringing its popular password manager 1Password to the iPad. The company released some mockups in mid-February to let users see what 1Password on the iPad might look like, but Agile warned the design could change before the application hits the App Store.
Before the iPad was released it was being hailed as a possible savior of print magazines by inspiring people to pay for print media in digital form. Many were expecting magazine publishers to show off interactive applications during Apple's iPad launch, but that didn't happen. However, magazine publisher Conde Nast recently released a list of magazines that will be delivered as iPad applications in the coming months, including GQ, Vanity Fair, Wired, Glamour and The New Yorker, according to The New York Times. Conde Nast has already seen some success with offering iPhone versions of its magazines. The Times reports the magazine publisher sold more than 15,000 copies of its GQ January 2010 issue for iPhone, and close to 7,000 copies of the December 2009 issue of GQ.
(pictured: GQ December 2009 iPhone app)
Brushes, an artwork application created by independent iPhone and iPad developer Steve Sprang, promises to be a creative way to take advantage of the iPad's large touchscreen. Sprang has redesigned his application to better suit the new device, allowing artists to create original images with just the touch of their finger. Brushes on the iPhone has already been used to create cover art for The New Yorker magazine, so it will be interesting to see what artists can do on the iPad.
Apple owes a big part of its App Store success to game developers getting creative with the touchscreen and accelerometer built into iPhone and iPod Touch devices. During Apple's iPad launch, Electronic Arts showed off a version of its popular racing franchise, Need for Speed and Gameloft presented its iPad version of N.O.V.A.
Will gaming be as big a part of the iPad as it has been for the iPhone and iPod Touch?
Remote Control for Your Home
One developer is planning on developing an iPad application for the my:ro control home automation control interface. The application will let you control power, lights, security cameras and more right from your mobile device. There are other home automation apps available for the iPhone right now, but using your iPad as a control panel for your home systems would be a very cool use of Apple's new device.
Zen Bound 2
Game developers at Secret Exit have had a hit with Zen Bound - a cool game that tests your patience and contemplative skills as you rotate carved wooden animals and wrap them in rope trying to cover as much as you can before running out of twine. According to early reviews of the game, Secret Exit isn't just porting the game to match the iPad's larger display. Rather the game developer is enhancing Zen Bound with new levels, music, game play, and improved graphics that complement the beefier hardware capabilities of the iPad.
Currently some of the best beat-busting mix masters use Apple laptops. A more portable option for goofing around has been iPhone apps such as Mix Me In Plus and RemixMonkey Pocket DJ. The music software company PadDeckX has created an iPad app that takes advantage of the hardware's larger screen, more powerful processor, and storage.
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