iPad Apps Take Center Stage In Apple Special Event 2010
One of the key elements of Wednesday’s iPad debut was apps. Much of the iPad experience will be driven by the applications available for it. Although the iPad features native support of iPhone apps, it will be the programs written specifically for the device that make the most impact and define the user experience. Wednesday’s keynote gave us a glimpse into the world in a number of different fronts.
On the gaming front, EA demoed an iPad version of Need for Speed Shift and Gameloft demoed an iPad version of N.O.V.A. The most obvious iPad customization is the increased screen real estate. The iPad runs on a 9.7″ screen that’s almost double the size in both directions of the iPhone. The games demoed today used the increased space with no effect on the graphical elements of the game. Graphics seemed to stay crisp, clear, and fluid; there were no jagged edges or lag evident. Scaled iPhone games probably won’t fair as well so its reasonable to think most of the major gaming development houses will develop either two custom versions of a game going forward or a game that can detect its operating environment make the best use of it. Considering how price conscious App Store users tend to be, it will probably be more the later than the former.
Outside of the gaming realm, Apple also demoed the familiar iPhone Facebook app and a new iPad app from MLB.com. The Facebook app demonstrated how the scaling feature will allow you to view any iPhone app at either the current resolution or scaled up to iPad resolution. The MLB.com app takes the MLB.tv app all baseball-loving iPhone users are used to and adds statistical information and computer generated outputs like pitch location and hit distribution. I can see that one being a hot seller during the upcoming baseball season.
On the utility front, Apple demoed Brushes and iWork for iPad. Brushes will be a native iPad art program geared more towards the artist than the hobbyist. It certainly seemed to make good use of the iPad interface for artistic creation. iWork for iPad consists of special versions of Keynote, Numbers, and Pages specifically designed for work on the iPad. Although it was hard to tell if they are as full featured as the Mac versions, the demo seemed to illustrate most tasks a common user might want to perform. And you can’t argue with the $9.99 per program price.
Besides the gaming, the killer app of the iPad thus far is iBooks and the associated iBooks Store. iBooks is Apple’s eReader program. The associated store allows users to buy books and download them directly to their device. This is obviously a solid shot at the Amazon Kindle. Although time will tell if iBooks is a better experience than the Kindle, it certainly looked impressive today.
It was obvious from today’s keynote that apps will be central to the iPad experience. I look forward to what is coming when the iPad goes public in March. What do you think? Were you impressed by what you saw in the app demos during the Keynote? What apps do you want to see come to the iPad? Drop us a comment below.
By: Erin Peterson