iPhone, iPad Games, Apps, Reviews, News Thu, 30 Jul 2015 08:09:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Apple Releases iBooks 2 With Interactive Textbooks For iPad Fri, 20 Jan 2012 04:43:24 +0000 Read More]]>

On Thursday, Apple announced, at a special education event in New York City that they have updated the iBooks application to iBooks 2 for iPad to accommodate interactive textbooks, something that has remained unchanged for generations. Apple is looking to redefine the usgae and distribution of textbooks and information, and is using its already available iBookStore and bracnhing out.

Introducing iBooks 2 — now with iBooks textbooks.

– Experience gorgeous Multi-Touch textbooks designed for iPad
– iBooks textbooks are filled with interactive features, diagrams, photos, and videos
– Tap to dive into images with interactive captions, rotate 3D objects, swipe through image galleries, watch videos in full screen, and more
– Use a finger as a highlighter when swiping over text in a textbook
– Take advantage of Study Cards to help you memorize important highlights, notes, and glossary terms
– Tap glossary terms to see definitions of key topics and concepts without leaving the page

With the addition of textbooks in iBooks 2, Apple is trying to make textbooks into what the App Store is today, by increasing reliance on Apple’s services to get books and materials for students. This is very similiar to how Apple created the iTunes Store, revolutionizing music, and the App Store.

Apple is currently partnering with McGraw-Hill, Pearson, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, which are responsible for 90% of textbook sales in the United States. McGraw-Hill and Pearson are releasing several titles for the iPad today and will be releasing more as time progresses.

Prices of textbooks range from $14.99 or less and allow authors of the textbooks to add information as they like through their ‘iBooks Author’ app which allows users to create their own textbooks. iBooks, which caused a small stir during its introduction and is slowly picking up as a major part of Apple’s education movement.

iBooks 2 is currently available in the App Store as an update to the current application.

]]> 6 Amazon Launches Web-Based Kindle Reader for Apple’s iPad Wed, 10 Aug 2011 18:55:23 +0000 Read More]]> Kindle Cloud Reader iPad

Earlier today, Amazon launched an entirely new service that they had been working on, a web based iPad Kindle Reader called “Kindle Cloud Reader”. This new service allows users to utilize their Chrome or Safari browsers to access their Kindle eBooks. The Cloud Reader also supports the iPad version of Safari and successfully bypasses Apple’s subscription rules for apps.

Amazon can now implement any promotional feature for any book that they wish, without any regards to Apple’s rules, all the while earning 100% of revenue and still drawing on Apple customers. TechCrunch noted that the new feature is already up an running at and that the feature is better than expected.

The iPad version is especially good because the store is fully optimized for the device. And you can easily switch back and forth between the store and your own library. It feels like a native app, but it’s not.

Apple has been receiving a lot of criticism about their new subscription rules, and companies are moving to entirely web based operations in order to sidestep Apple and retain all of their revenue.

Amazon recently complied with Apple’s rules by removing the Kindle Store button from their native application but with the new web-based solution the company work on its own terms without requiring any approval.

Have you used the new cloud-based reader? Do you still prefer the native app? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

{via MacRumors}

]]> 0 Apple Inc. (AAPL) to Acquire Barnes & Noble? Fri, 29 Jul 2011 12:32:05 +0000 Read More]]> Apple Barnes Noble

According to a report published by BGR, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) may be interested in acquiring Barnes & Noble. The report notes that the latest rumor has come from an “unproven source”.

We received a tip from an unproven source claiming to have knowledge of discussions within Apple to possibly purchase Barnes & Noble…
This unproven source also said that iTunes 11 would be released in September along with iOS 5 and iCloud, and will support reading iBooks on computers as well as textbook purchases and rentals.

It is safe to question what Apple would do with such a purchase, although acquiring a large bookseller such as Barnes & Noble could benefit AAPL with their e-reader approach for the iPad.

Perhaps Apple is looking to strengthen their relationship with publishers by acquiring Barnes &Noble and transforming it. Barnes & Noble stock currently places the company at a price of only $1 Billion, a small price compared to Apple’s $76 billion cash reserve. The company may have to pay more in order to acquire all of Barnes & Noble’s more than 700 stores, 600 college bookstores, eBookstore and Nook e-reader.

Apple has not yet commented on this matter, something that is still shaky and looks highly unlikely. Let us know what you think in the comments below.

]]> 1 iFlow Reader App Shuts down, Forced by Apple’s 30% Cut [eBooks] Thu, 12 May 2011 09:24:22 +0000 Read More]]> iFlow Reader App

In a blunt tone, BeamItDown’s Phillip Huber summarized what he concluded as the end of his life’s hard work and the result of millions. Huber’s company as well as their iFlow Reader application will cease to exist, come May 31st which is the official date when BeamItDown is expected to shut down.

Five of us spent nearly a year and a half of our lives and over a million dollars in cash and sweat equity developing the iFlowReader app with its unique AutoScrolling approach to reading that many of you really like. … We put our faith in Apple and they screwed us.

BeamItDown is the first company to shut down after Apple Inc. (AAPL) made a change to it’s in-app subscription rules and just before it released it’s new subscription model. This shut down is drawing attentiom across the web, with developers fearing that their apps might be on danger as well. While many cases may not be as serious as BeamItDown’s, it is still a matter of great concern within the developer community. This is something that could possibly cost developer’s lots of money, time and hard work as the subscription model eats into developers already thin profit margin. Apple has yet to make a statement on any further changes to the new subscription rules they may present with the developer’s release of iOS 5.

]]> 3 Google Books Now Available for iPhone Tue, 07 Dec 2010 22:45:57 +0000 Read More]]> Google today officially took the wraps off the eBook store we’ve been expecting and launched apps for both Android and iOS to boot. While comparisons will inevitably be made with Amazon’s Kindle service as well as Apple’s fledgeling iBooks, Google’s offering does have a couple of interesting angles worth noting.

Google Books iPhone 4One of the interesting things of note is that Google has, perhaps typically, gone for the open approach. Any device that can handle JavaScript can handle a book – there isn’t any actual need for the aforementioned native apps. The advantage of those though is that they make offline reading possible – perfect for those times when you’re away from WiFi or 3G coverage. Your reading status is synced between devices using the Google Books servers – par for the course with this kind of tech these days.

The online store – currently around 3 million books strong – is web-based like Amazon’s Kindle store and is (currently) only available in the US (Free, View in iTunes). Purchasing is handled using your existing Google account and Google checkout. Expect prices similar to what you’re used to paying at their competitors too.

I’ve personally spent limited time with the iOS app and considering I’m not based in the US haven’t been able to test out the purchasing of books. The app itself does work as expected and comes preloaded with 3 free books, the pick of which for me is Jane Austen’s Price and Prejudice.

All the usual features are in there too; chapters are selectable as you would expect, and text size and colour scheme can be changed to taste. There’s also a search feature that will list all uses of the word specified.

At the time of writing I’ve not yet managed to highlight – even for copying – any text whatsoever. Whether this is choice or oversight is unclear.

So there we have it, another entry into the eBook market, or at least the US one. It’s early days for Google Books, but so far it seems to function as advertised – but can it compete with the jugganaut that is Amazon?


Google Books App Google Books iPhone 4 Google Books iPhone Google Books Settings Google Books ]]> 1 Apple iTunes Cloud Service Roll Out To Be Limited At First Tue, 03 Aug 2010 16:52:43 +0000 Read More]]> Sources that are speaking to cnet news are giving the impression that Apple’s cloud music service, which is supposed to be a marriage of Lala and iTunes, is not any where near ready. And that when it does roll out it may be limited in scope, and more movie centric than music centric.

It is very clear that Apple is closely watching Google’s moves in the music market place. And is making tentative moves to consolidate its position as the worlds digital content leader. But it is clear that Apple is eyeing an expansion of all of its own data services for its products and their users, they are not in a rush.

All of these services, be they related to financial transactions via your iPhone, more synergy and connectivity between iDevices, more music or more movies, all require something that is not ready yet. Apple’s huge server facility in the US, which is not online until 2011.

Apple realises that Google has a long way to go yet, before it can pull off a music service to rival iTunes. Or really bring a cohesive movie viewing / downloading service to your living room. And because of this Apple are taking their time to line up the right services for music, movies and TV. As well as watching to see which way Google ultimately goes, and probably flounders.

According to several sources, the work done at Lala shortly after Apple took it over was more in the direction of video than audio. And Apple has not made any major moves to obtain rights for a more flexible license for music or movie ownership, yet. But movie execs. have been speaking of a set of “digital shelves” that consumers can purchase content for. The idea being that they own the rights to view the content for life, and not a physical DVD. Rather like iPhone apps, Steam Games, or eBooks, which you move from device to device, but always keep the rights to use.

Needless to say the legal side of this will all take more time to work out than either the construction of Apple’s server farm, or for “The Hobbit” to be made into a movie.

So if Apple get an Apple TV to us this year (something I doubt), or roll out any kind of music service, expect it to be limited at first. But perhaps growing through the second half of 2011.

Does Apple’s rumoured plan sound appealing to you? Let us know your view in the comments…

[CNET] ]]> 2 Did Apple’s iPad Help Amazon Sell More Kindle eBooks? Tue, 20 Jul 2010 21:55:42 +0000 Read More]]> About six and a half months ago (January 27th, 2010 to be specific), most technology bloggers and analysts chose the casket for the Kindle. The iPad was going to kill the Kindle device and distribution model. iBooks was going to take over as the de-facto eBook marketplace just like iTunes became the world’s biggest music store. Amazon looked like it was going to be another victim on the road to Apple dominance.

Jump back to the present and it seems that the early demise of the Kindle product line is not going to be so fast or simple. Amazon today announced that their eBook sales are outpacing regular hardcover book sales. For the last three months, Amazon sold 148 eBooks for every 100 hardcover books. Further, last month, Amazon sold 180 eBooks for every 100 hardcover books. These numbers defied all expectations. So what happened?

No one can say for sure what happened since Amazon does not release any data about where the majority of the sales were made and which device is used more extensively, but there were several factors that definitely helped. Aside from the hardware differences between the iPad and the Kindle devices (weight, display type, comfort in holding, etc…), Amazon dropped the price down on the Kindle devices. At $189 for the 6” Kindle and $389 for the 9.7” Kindle, these devices are priced much lower than when they were released and the math works much better. Avid readers who read multiple books each month realize the savings alone in the cost of the book. A reader reading 20 books a year will pay for the device in the cost saving when compared to purchasing hardcover books.

But the most interesting theory behind these numbers is that one of the reasons for the increase was the release of the iPad. On the same day of the release, Amazon’s Kindle App for the iPad was also released. Further, Amazon started a marketing campaign targeting iPad users. The purpose was to convert users from using iBooks to using the Kindle App. It looks like they succeeded. There is no doubt that the iPad as a hardware device is a great device and many people do not care about the display type when reading is involved. Amazon succeeded in doing something that many companies have failed. They turned the iPad into “their” device. They created a platform and delivery mechanism that worked the same across not just one device (the iPhone version of iBooks only became available recently) and allowed the user to switch between devices effortlessly with features such as location synchronization.

Jefferies analyst Youseff Squali’s analysis of the Kindle circulation estimates further supports this theory. Squali wrote:

We believe that Kindle’s e-book sales are benefiting from the launch of the iPad, since the Kindle e-book store offers a broad (and probably the richest) selection, with over 630K titles, which iPad owners can easily chose from. Our current estimates for 2H10/FY11 could also prove conservative as we assume only 10% Y/Y growth in Kindle device sales with no contribution to e-book sales from the iPad. A more probable scenario, based on a higher unit sales of Kindle and e-books, yields an additional ~$100M and $200M upside to our revenue estimates for FY10 and FY11.

Essentially, Squali deduces that due to a small growth in Kindle device sales, it is clear that the growth in eBook sales is due to other devices and specifically the iPad.

All of this leads to a very interesting question regarding who will be crowned king of the eBooks platform. Unlike iTunes, Apple does not have a first-to-market advantage when it comes to eBooks and has made some execution mistakes with iBooks. Barnes and Nobles is also making a move for this market and have released their own eBook reader application for the iPad. It is clear that Amazon is the current king but no one knows how long that will last for.

Which device do you use for eBooks? Are you an iPad reader using the Kindle App or the iBooks App? Which do you like better? Let us know your thoughts.

]]> 6 Publish your own ebooks with Apple via iBookstore Mon, 31 May 2010 16:40:30 +0000 Read More]]> This is a story that has sort of drifted under the radar for a while. Back in early May Lulu announced that they offer a service to aspirng writers for them to publish their own works via their service, which could then be distributed in the iBookstore.

This is a valid way to get into publishing your works. But it was always hinted by Apple that you could also go direct to them if you wish.

Apple has now clarified this for us all. And it is indeed possible to publish directly with Apple without going through Lulu or Smashwords. There are a few steps, which you need to take. But you can totally go it alone if you wish. So the choice is now yours.

In order to publish direct with Apple, via the iBookstore this is what you need to do, as well as write a book of course!

After you have applied for a publishing account. First you need to obtain an ISBN (International Standard Book Number) for each of the works you wish to publish. Details on how to do this are here.

Secondly you need to have a copy of your book in ePUB format. There are many free ways to do this. Details here.

Finally, you need to use a Mac running at least OS X 10.5, in order to encode your book with Apple’s software. You can always borrow a friend’s Mac if you are PC based.

The business model is supposed to be similar to that of iTunes App publishing, or iTunes music distribution. With you able to set the price and Apple taking a cut, and you setting which countries you wish your book to be published in.

This is the perfect use for an iPad and Pages in my opinion. Imagine sitting on a beach and writing books with an iPad – and making that your career!

]]> 2 UK iBookstore Launches Fri, 28 May 2010 18:11:34 +0000 Read More]]> ipad uk ibookstore

It was looking for a while as if the European, and UK pickings in Apple’s iBookstore might have been a bit lean. Apple was said to be having some problems getting parters to come into the iBookstore fold. Part of the reason for this was apparently to do with differing regulations for book agencies in the UK particularly.

As of this morning in the UK, Hachette UK, Penguin, HarperCollins and Pan Macmillan have all opened their doors, metaphorically, in Apple’s new virtual book emporium, iBookstore, on the iPad.

The good news is that there seems to be a lot of content to choose from, and Apple are offering sample portions of books. The bad news is that prices are not as competitive as some had hoped.

Unfortunately prices seem to be a little higher than through other online eBook services, some people are reporting. Hopefully Apple can iron that out moving forwards.

Have you picked up an iPad in the UK today? Are you planning on using iBookstore for your reading material shopping?
Let us know in the comments.

[9to5mac] ]]> 0 Apple’s iBookstore Ready for International Launch Fri, 21 May 2010 16:16:00 +0000 Read More]]>

In a perfect world, well Apple’s version of a perfect world, there would be no iPads outside of the US at the moment. But there are! In a few of the countries that the iPad will officially be launched the iBookstore app is starting to show up some locally available content. So we can see Apple starting to breath life into its services a little ahead of their official launch.

The content is limited at the moment. And most offerings seem to be coming from the free Project Gutenberg titles. Hopefully we’ll see more in coming weeks. As well as the iBookstore app on iPhones and iPods when iPhone OS 4.0 drops.

One of the reasons for this limited amount of content is because of different regulations for book copyright in some territories, as well as ongoing negotiations by Apple to sign publishers up. In the UK, for example, competition law regulates that publishers must be in control of book pricing. This presents problems for Apple’s iBookstore agency style model.

“The legality of the model in the UK is yet to be established,” reports The Bookseller. “Industry sources have warned for several weeks that the agency model used to sell e-books through the iBookStore could face legal hurdles.”

But it does seem that Apple are committed to making this work in other places than the US alone. And that will be a good thing for books, just as it was a good thing for music with iTunes.

Are you looking forward to digital book distribution on the iPad in Europe and elsewhere? Let us know your thoughts in the comments…

[9to5Mac] [The Bookseller] ]]> 0 Apple sells one millionth iPad in just 28 days Mon, 03 May 2010 18:18:36 +0000 Read More]]> Earlier today we reported on estimates of Apple iPad 3G sales in its debut weekend from Gene Munster (an analyst at Piper Jaffray). Adding those figures to those of the Wi-Fi only iPad sales numbers to date we estimated that Apple has sold over 1 million iPads already.

Apple have confirmed our estimate today with an official Press Release trumpeting the fact that they sold their “one Millionth iPad on Friday, just 28 days after its introduction on April 3″.

Apple also followed those figures up with some impressive iPad app, and ebook statistics. 12 million iPad apps have been downloaded from a catalog of 5000 already created for the device, and 1.5 million ebooks have been downloaded as well.

Even more poignantly Steve Jobs has this to say :

One million iPads in 28 days that’s less than half of the 74 days it took to achieve this milestone with iPhone. Demand continues to exceed supply and we’re working hard to get this magical product into the hands of even more customers.

When you look at Steve Jobs’ statement it is quite an impressive statistic. Many people thought the iPad would sell. But many people also thought it would be a niche product. Initially outselling what is arguably Apple’s most popular product in recent history, the iPhone, doesn’t make the iPad seem that niche anymore!

Are you impressed at the sales Apple have managed to date? Or frustrated to still be waiting for your iPad, if you live outside the US? Let us know your views in the comments.

]]> 2 Amazon worried about Apple’s iPad? Fri, 23 Apr 2010 18:27:10 +0000 Read More]]> Some say that Amazon is worried about the iPad.

Amazon was always going to face competition from other e-Book readers. But they perhaps didn’t expect the paradigm shift that has potentially come with the iPad and Apple’s iBook Store.

Even so, Amazon has just posted earning results which were higher than Wall Street expected. They did, however, follow them up with far more conservative estimates for future earnings for the next quarter. Shares in Amazon fell 6% in after-hours trading. Not a huge surprise there. The markets are fickle and tend to react to future earnings rather than current earnings.

What is interesting to note is that now that Amazon seems to be on the back foot and few industry blogs are starting to rally round their position, and gently taint their commentary with warnings of Apple’s impending dominance. Referring to the control the media savvy tech giant currently wields over the music retail business.

And yet it was only a couple of months ago that Amazon was locked in battles with publishers over royalty terms that those publishers found unacceptable. And some of those same blogs were cleating about how “evil” Amazon were being!

What we need to remember is that Apple re-invented the music business. In many ways rescuing a crippled industry from its own bad management and lack of foresight. And now they seem to have opened up the publishing industry further than Amazon were willing to, and given “new media” a brighter future. Hardly bad things.

Apple, keen to get a foothold in the eBook market has offered more favourable terms to publishers and small authors. Whilst Amazon was busy trying to lock people and companies into its system prior to the iPad hitting. They have obviously been slightly nervous for some time. But do they really need to be?

Amazon have traditionally exceeded the expectations of their shareholders, and don’t seem to be in such bad position really. They have apparently just inked a deal with Target to physically stock the Kindle in their stores. Target will sell the Kindle at the same price as Amazon retails them online. Amazon will be taking a cut in profits on its hardware by selling that way, and kind of contradicting its own corporate strategy of being an online retailer. Consumers will potentially be able to compare the iPad and the Kindle in the real world side by side before buying too.

Overall, Amazon seem to have a good spread of strategies, and healthy market penetration, that should enable them and Apple to keep each other honest, and in the end benefit the consumer.

What we must also remember is that Amazon can still sell its eBooks onto many platforms, including the iPad and the iPhone with its Kindle apps.

All in all it doesn’t seem Amazon have much to worry about, even if the Kindle slowly dies as a platform. Although they are predicting 7 million Kindles will have been sold by the end of the year. Not a small number if it pans out that way. And some say that many avid eBook readers still prefer the easier to read image on the kindles e-ink display to that of the iPad.

For techies the iPad is a much better deal. You can have your cake and read your eBook. But not all readers are looking for a tech bargain, many are more familiar with the Amazon brand, and prefer the more “ink-like” display of the Kindle.

Do you think the Kindle will die? Is Amazon in trouble? Has Apple actually made the eBook market a better place for consumers? Let us know in the comments

]]> 1 What Apps to expect on the Apple iPad? Fri, 26 Mar 2010 18:30:24 +0000 Read More]]> Will it just be Games, Games, more games, iPhone Ports and eBooks?

When our illustrious editor threw this article assignment at me I immediately went into a taill spin with a mental block. I wasn’t sure why right away. But several days, several thousand lines of code and several other equally pressing jobs later I think I know why. Basically I was trying to think of cool apps to make for the iPad. Which is kind of what my day job is. If I could come up with a whole article’s worth of new and exciting apps I’d probably be coding at least one of them… So I could’t really talk about it then! Therein lay the problem with that approach to writing an article of any length on this subject!

So I am going to approach this from a slightly different angle. I am going to start with what it is inevitable we’ll see, lead into a few things I’ve already heard we will definitely be offered, and then finish up with a bit of a wish list.

Before that though, some general musings..

The first thing to be aware of. If you weren’t already. Is that on day one the iPad will be able to download and run pretty much all of the existing iPhone and iPod app catalog from iTunes. So, plenty of choice there! Existing iPhone apps will either run in a window roughly the size of the iPhone / iPod screen in the centre of the iPads own display. Or (optionally) scaled to two times normal size in a window almost the same size as the iPad’s screen itself. Not perfect, but a tolerable solution for your must have apps if there is not an iPad version available on launch day. Do be aware, however, that depending on your version of iPad some iPhone apps won’t work perfectly. i.e. Those that have camera options, or rely on mobile network connections or more accurate GPS (for those of you with the base iPad model).

What remains to be seen is how many people will move their existing products over to “Universal apps” which can run on any of the “i” devices, and how many will produce dedicated iPad apps. I think it’s quite likely that a lot will opt to produce a dedicated iPad product. Otherwise, with the current App Store business model, developers will potentially be giving away a free upgrade of an existing app for a different platform. Perhaps that is why Apple has been rumoured to have been experimenting with upgrade fees for developers. Something that a lot of devs have been asking for for a long time. That request certainly makes a lot of sense right now. So my guess is expect to see that functionality in the App Store soon.

The other big question for all apps on the iPad is will all developers embrace the extra screen real estate, memory, and graphics capabilities right out of the door? Or will they just scale up their existing iPod and iPhone apps? I expect both will happen initially for a multitude of reasons. Obviously it’s tempting (and easy from a developers perspective) to simply run scaled up iPhone apps on an iPad’s screen. And overall it works quite well. My own apps look kind of cool at 2X the normal size. But having also done the hard work to make all the existing projects I am working on “iPad Native” I can say that they look a whole heck of a lot more impressive running in 768 x 1024 with better textures and reorganised user interfaces. Especially with shaders and all the bells and whistles of OpenGL ES 2. For predominately User Interface based utility apps developers may simply offer larger text input areas and so forth. Something which would certainly be an improvement for some software offerings that are already cramped on the iPhone. But probably not the most optimal solution for our bright shiny new iPad – where we’ll expect a bit more innovation.

Certain Apple apps, which we’ve grown accustomed to seeing on iPods and iPhones were very obviously absent from the iPad launch. Namely Stocks, Calculator, Clock, Weather and Voice Memos. Some believe this is because these apps don’t scale in an aesthetically pleasing way to full screen on such a big device as the iPad. So at the time it’s believed that Steve Jobs nixed them until a more “Apple-esque” way of solving that problem could be arrived at. Others believe that they will show up as free apps at launch anyway on iTunes. Some even think we’ll see widgets. But that latter solution is unlikely initially as we’ve not heard of any functionality which supports that in any SDK leaks. If Apple do produce these apps around launch I expect they’ll look great, but am not sure what form they’ll take. I wouldn’t be surprised, however, if we don’t see them for a while. Remember Copy & Paste, and how long that took.

So, what do I think is inevitably going to appear on the iPad?

Well, we all know about the slew of games that were previewed at the unveiling of the iPad in January. So we can expect a racing game (Need for Speed), a shooting game (Nova), and a baseball game and so forth. These games boast some “innovative” new control methods. But I think we have a way to go before we see the really innovative stuff. As simply giving us movable on screen DPads, in car switches, and swipe gesture controls is fairly normal fair these days.

We posted a list of 52 games we can expect to see at launch on the iPad (list here). These are mostly direct iPhone ports. Expect a lot of direct ports in the coming weeks and months. Most carry the HD moniker. Here is a list of few games we’ll see : Ammoin HD, Azkend HD, Flight Control HD, Grind HD, Labyrinth 2 HD, NBA Hotshot HD, Numba HD, Plants vs. Zombies HD, Sparkle HD, Worms HD, Sudoku Real Edition.

TechRadar [] are reporting that nearly half the apps at launch for the iPad will be games. Earlier this week we reported on Apple’s growing share of the mobile games market. So this seems to make sense. Personally I believe that the iPad will bring about a paradigm shift in gaming in the coming 12 months. But not so much based on the initial offerings. More on that from me in future articles.

We can also expect Apple’s own suite of iWork apps. Keynote (presentation slides), Numbers (spreadsheets), and Pages (word processing). The new iWork for iPad suite takes advantage of the iPad’s multitouch input; for example, slides in Keynote, columns in Numbers, and text and graphics in Pages can be rearranged by tapping and dragging your finger. Apple has updated the iWork online portal to provide additional functionality related to the iPad (as well as the iPhone and iPod), including a share button which makes sharing across social networks and with colleagues easier.

eBooks and eBook readers are a no-brainer. With reports estimating that Apple’s iPad iBookstore will carry something close to 30,000 free public domain books from launch. Expect a few variations on eBook readers, and perhaps applications which allow annotation and note-taking with eBooks and articles for business and personal study use.

I think we will see an awful lot of applications which are half app, half coffee table magazine, and heavily use location awareness. We know that the advertising opportunities on the iPad are being played up and made more flexible by Apple. I expect we’ll see more integration of this in the SDK in future also. Although developers need to be wary as Apple are warning that apps that exist purely to advertise will be given a hard look when submitted for publication.

Offerings similar to the New York Times app, also previewed at Steve Jobs’ initial iPad presentation back in January, will in my belief be ubiquitous with the iPad experience.

ars technica is reporting via the New York Times that “a number of large corporations, including Coca-Cola, FedEx, Unilever, Toyota, Capital One, Oracle, and GM have already bought up advertising rom the likes of Newsweek, Reuters, Time, Wall Street Journal, and NYT itself. In fact, Chase has bought out all of the NYT advertising units for two full months following the iPad’s introduction to advertise its high-end Chase Sapphire credit card.” So expect magazine and media rich apps from all of those guys, most likely on launch day, or thereabouts.

Well rounded quality apps which kind of resemble high production quality magazines are something that I think we’ll see a lot of experimentation with on the iPad. Perhaps rivalling the volume of games we can expect to see.

Although not exploiting location awareness, and thankfully not pushing advertising down our throats, a good example of the style and form factor of what I have just been talking about is the PanelFly app. Which we know is coming. And is beautiful! [] The iPad version of the app boasts social network integration with Twitter and Facebook, and even the ability to “create, sell & share your work with the rest of the world.” If only I could draw….

Which brings me neatly onto that fact that I also expect to see a lot, a real lot, of drawing and painting apps. We’ve already seen Brushes [], which was shown at the iPad’s launch. Certainly something I look forward to playing with. But I expect this to only be the tip of the iceberg. With apps for more sophisticated image editing, and even perhaps animation and technical drawing and graphing, as well as presentation of data, being obvious variations in this area of software.

Even more obvious is that we’ll see the usual batch of Twitter, Facebook, and all the other usual mobile apps being ported into iPad versions. I fervently hope though, that with the extra screen real estate, instead of scaled up versions of these apps we see people perhaps working on merging the functionality of a lot of these areas into one app. Or using the screen real estate on the iPad to good effect in the same way that the desktop version of TweetDeck has more flexibility than the iPhone version. Again, this is the same problem that some people see Apple (and all developers facing) with the iPad’s larger screen and lack of widgets or multitasking. My guess there is that we will see developments in the iPad SDK to address this sooner rather than later.

What things have I heard and seen in my travels around the web?

But what else? My first thoughts when the iPad was still just a rumour was that we’d see a whole bunch of Augmented Reality apps. With a camera in the iPad I could imagine any number of navigation, tourism, and real time architectural design applications. But we don’t have a camera in the iPad… yet. So that kind of puts the kibosh on those expectations in the short term. At least until the iPad is updated, or someone comes up with an ergonomic dock connected camera for the device. But I am aware of people already putting ideas together in this field ready for future iPad peripherals and upgrades from Apple.

Some of the larger SatNav companies are still playing it a bit coy about whether or not we’ll see SatNav on the iPad. But I think that’s all just a play for attention to garner the interest levels out there, and we’ll see those fairly soon after launch too. We’ll probably see a few novel ways to mount the thing in our cars and trucks too. TomTom’s iPhone product manager had this to say : “We don’t have a plan to release an iPad dedicated version at the moment. It’s a market that needs more research, we don’t just want to jump in.” Apparently they weren’t incredibly happy with their iPhone efforts in that field, and want to take another look. I’m not buying that, and I think they and other SatNav companies will also join the iPad party sooner rather than later.

There really seem to be some incredibly imaginative people out there redefining the way that tablet computers can be used.

One rather novel use for the iPad is as a teleprompter, coupled with an iPhone as a remote! I am guessing the idea is that you can put your speech together on the device, and then plug it into a bracket to read from as you wax lyrical to your adoring audience. I wonder how many people will be more interested in the iPad than what you have to say? The cool thing is that you can use your iPhone as a remote to control the rate and timing of the iPad display which delivers your scrolling speech text. []

A game I am quite looking forward to seeing, as I am also working on a Space based game at the moment, is “ACE Omicron”. We reported on that here : [] It’s early days yet for a lot of the smaller devs out there in iPad land. Especially as the vast majority are limited to working with the iPad Simulator only at the moment. But if they all strive for their apps to be as well presented as this one, I think we could all be in for a lot of large screen gaming fun in the coming weeks and months.

Instapaper, which describes itself as “a simple tool to save web pages for reading later” is coming to the iPad also, and it will be a Universal app. Which means you only have to buy it once to have it work on the iPhone/iPod or iPad.

Back on the rich media style apps I mentioned earlier, Wired (the magazine) has been working on a version of their magazine for the iPad. Mashable reported about that and Wired’s vision for the future of print media. Nice features they tout are “the ability to turn a product around and look at all sides of it, navigation via natural hand gestures, a dual axis navigation system, a scrubber to browse through the issue, article clippings, a favourite bin and Twitter / FaceBook integration.”

Finally what would I like to see?

Gaming wise I’d like to see the iPad used as a social gaming platform, but in a macro way. By that I don’t mean the inevitable social gaming plugins that we will definitely see as part of more traditional mobile socially connected games on the iPad. What I mean is cool and funky ways couples, or families, can use the iPad to play together. We all remember the chess game from Star Wars, right? Why not re-invigorate the board game genre but using the iPad as the board. Instead of a touch table, we have a touch board, and on that board we could play Monopoly, or Checkers, or Chess, or some totally new and cool board games built specifically to be played on a touch screen by friends. These are apps I would buy. Travelling on a plane I’d love to be able to rack up a few games of Scrabble or MahJong with a travel partner. With great graphics and sound these virtual board games could really come to life.

Those kinds of apps would be the perfect reason to have an iPad on my coffee table in the sitting room each and every day.

I’ve mentioned Instapaper, and also Wired’s iPad app. I think with the iPad’s split view User Interface capabilities it’s obvious that we are going to see a lot of multimedia productivity apps. By that I mean applications that allow us to work in various types of media at the same time, and consequently scrapbook bits and pieces of text or imagery, or even video. So that we can then produce our own web pages, Facebook or blog layouts, documents and so forth. Rather like the workflow demonstrated in Microsoft’s rumoured tablet offering : The Courier. In concept videos for that we see a virtual user taking snap shots, grabbing images and text, and sliding them effortlessly from scrapbook to image editor to word document. How they are doing that exactly on the Courier is not clear in terms of what apps are running at what time. At the moment this would have to be done in one app on the iPad, unless we simply use existing cut and paste technology. That however, is not as elegant as Microsoft’s concept on the Courier. So I expect we’ll see quite a few hybrid apps for this kind of work appearing on the iPad so that we can collate and merge different types of file resources and their components.

I also think that video editing apps will make an appearance sooner rather than later. The iPad has great connectivity. It will also have direct USB digital camera links pretty soon after launch, by way of a dock connector dongle. So dumping video to it’s reasonable internal storage and producing edits on it’s touch enabled big display seems like a very attractive app option. I have to wonder if Apple will bring iMovie to the iPad. I’d certainly have someone working on it if I was Steve Jobs. In any case third party developers are almost certainly producing movie editing apps right now.

My personal wish list is pretty much covered with what the iPad should have available for it at launch time from Apple. I am really looking forward to having a tablet sized device with a nice word-processor built in. Period. So with Apple’s own iWork package for the iPad I am more than covered.

Other than that I’d probably quite like to see some kind of way that I can code on the go. Or at least prototype ideas. Perhaps in something like Lua, if not in a full Cocoa or C based development environment. Sorry am I getting geeky now? So a version of SubEthaEdit or any of the other coder orientated editors would be a very welcome addition to the iPad’s app portfolio for me personally. I’ve discussed (with a few like minded geeks) the possibility of actually putting a cut down SDK on the iPad. It’s certainly possible, in theory, but probably not very practical. And certainly something I would probably have to put together for myself. I don’t see Apple doing it! Now there’s a project for a long weekend!

What apps are you holding out for? Or do you have something in the works you want to tell us about?

]]> 5 Free ebooks from Project Gutenberg will work on the iPad Mon, 22 Mar 2010 13:31:44 +0000 Read More]]> TheiPhoneBlog and 9to5mac reported today that the thousand of free books already available from Project Gutenberg should be able to work on the iPad.

The ebooks from Project Gutenberg are DRM (digital rights management) –free so will therefore work on the iPad and any other device for that matter. At the moment Apple are using the ePub fomat for their iBooks which are Fairplay DRM protected so will not work on any other device. Project Gutenberg will still be in the ePub format.

If you don’t know anything about ProjectGutenberg here is what 9to5mac reported from wikipedia.

Project Gutenberg, abbreviated as PG, is a volunteer effort to digitize and archive cultural works, to “encourage the creation and distribution of eBooks.”Founded in 1971 by Michael S. Hart, it is the oldest digital library. Most of the items in its collection are the full texts of public domain books. The project tries to make these as free as possible, in long-lasting, open formats that can be used on almost any computer. As of December 2009, Project Gutenberg claimed over 30,000 items in its collection. Project Gutenberg is affiliated with many projects that are independent organizations which share the same ideals, and have been given permission to use the Project Gutenberg trademark

As 9to5 states this is certainly great news for students, schools and even businesses. If they have access to an iPad then long term this would be a great investment. They have the hundreds of books stored ready to use at any time for free, where as if they bought the actual books it would cost them a small fortune. Whether or not the schools will be purchasing iPads for student use is another thing but I think it just goes to show that this is something that is to be considered for the future in schools and businesses that this is really the way forward.

What do you think? Are you an author, how would you feel seeing your book in this format? Do you know of any other great eBooks on offer? Let us know in the comments below.

Source: []
]]> 2 B&N eReader for iPad Coming Soon Thu, 11 Mar 2010 18:04:33 +0000 Read More]]> Apple is taking the e-book business very seriously and the iPad will certainly prove to be a serious threat to Kindle from Amazon. By developing eReaders major publishers want to make sure that people always have access to their favourite books in digital format.

Today Barnes & Noble updated their blog with some information about their upcoming iPad app.

The app will be designed specifically for the iPad and will feature more than one million eBooks, magazines and newspapers in the Barnes & Noble eBookstore.

B&N eReader for iPad is expected to be made available in the first week of April.

Source: B&N Unbound

]]> 1 The iPad Gold Rush | Development On Rise Sat, 13 Feb 2010 18:42:00 +0000 Read More]]> New products always elicit excitement and aggregate buzz around them. The iPad has been a perfect example of this truth. We’ve documented the build up to, and aftermath of, the iPad announcement in many articles. Now new information has come out providing further empirical evidence of the excitement the iPad has caused.

Flurry is a San Francisco-based analytics company that concentrates on the mobile space. They’ve recently released numbers indicating a sudden jump in iPhone OS development. Flurry tracks deployed and in-development applications through developers who incorporate their analytics package, a Neilsen system for apps if you will. According to a recent blog post entitled, Flurry Smartphone Industry Pulse, January 2010:

Flurry tracks over 20,000 live applications and over 2 billion user sessions each month. Applications that include Flurry Analytics have been downloaded to more than 80% of all iPhone, iPod Touch and Android devices.
So if anyone has the pulse on the course of mobile application development its Flurry.

In the same blog post Flurry reveals they tracked 1600 new iPhone application starts in January. That doesn’t seem remarkable taken by itself. However, they tracked only 600 new application starts in December. That’s almost a threefold increase in application starts in the course of one month. The explanation, of course, is iPad anticipation.

Any successful person knows that to be successful you don’t merely follow the crowd, you lead it. The huge increase in new application starts just goes to show that not only were foresighted developers anticipating the iPad, they were actively pursuing the opportunities it brings. The coming months should see a new, virtual gold rush as developers move on the opportunities the iPad brings. The primary participants? At this point I think the developers really delving into the iPad will be those creating games, eBooks, and content delivery platforms. Those are the three areas really targeted by the iPad. Others will follow but these three areas will be the real veins initially mined in this new gold rush.

Will the iPad bring a new boom of development for the iPhone/iPad platform? Will this boom bring a noticeable stratification between iPhone and iPad applications? Will you be participating in the gold rush? Leave us a comment and give your thoughts.

By: Erin Peterson

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