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The Apple iPad – Is it just a big iPhone?

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Now that the Apple iPad has officially been announced, it’s time to look at what sort of opportunities for app development have arisen because of this new hardware.   If the name is making you giggle, that’s a natural reaction.  At first glance the iPad looks like a big iPhone, here’s a rundown of the essential specs.

Apple iPad Hardware Specs (Known so far):

  • 9.7″ Screen
  • 1.5 lbs. weight
  • 0.5″ Thick
  • 16-64GB Storage
  • Capacitative Multi-Touch Screen
  • Custom 1gHz A4 chip (custom Apple chip)
  • Accelerometer
  • Compass
  • Microphone
  • 30-Pin Connector
  • 10 hour battery (this seems kind of weak)

Noticeably missing: A camera.  So we can’t use the power for more cool augmented reality apps.

Cost: Starting at $499 (probably the best thing in the announcement)

Now, looking at the hardware, we don’t know exactly how quick the graphics will be, but the gaming displays looked very good, and considering the larger size of the screen it appears that there is enough extra juice in the iPad to handle larger games.

Conclusion

While it looks great, I can’t help but really think this is just an iPod Touch with a bigger screen.  We have Kindle on the touch and I hope this better looking iBooks app lets me load in my Kindle books.

I see the larger screen pretty much putting an end to the “iPhone vs. PSP” type arguments.  This is now THE portable gaming device.  Developers now have the room to put custom controls.

As far as software improvements go we don’t know yet until we see all the features in the new OS, but I have to admit that this really does just seem to be little more than a bigger iPhone.  That being said I plan to get one, since i want a bigger iPhone.

The new iPhone SDK update supports the iPad, complete with simulator you will be able to get it at http://developer.apple.com

The official iPad page:
http://www.apple.com/ipad


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Apple Tablet (iSlate) Another Great Opportunity For iPhone Developers

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I don’t know about you guys, but while it looks like so many developers are salivating over the opportunities presented by Google’s Nexus One (which looks like a great little phone), I’m really looking forward to the Apple Tablet (supposedly known as the iSlate).  I could be wrong, but I believe they will follow the same formula as the iPhone, and control the distribution of native applications which is really the key reason why iPhone apps have been so successful.  This could be yet another goldrush for independent devs provided by Apple, and I’ve been brainstorming apps what types of apps might be better suited to a larger tablet that really weren’t that great on the iPhone.  Here’s 4 types that I’ve come up with so far that I didn’t really feel were that great on the iPhone, and that independent developers could have a shot at creating.

Reading Apps

Although there were several highly successful reading apps on the iPhone I am not sure of how many people could stand reading and scrolling so much.  The great thing about books is that you don’t notice them after awhile, and that’s something that’s great about the Amazon Kindle.  You just didn’t get this level of immersion on the iPhone as you were constantly scrolling.  If you’ve got a book this may be a good time to turn it into an app.

Writing Apps

I think this goes without saying, typing on the iPhone sucks.  Sure it’s better than just about any other Phone.  There are some pretty good word processors on the iPhone, but still the opportunity is there to create some market specific writing apps.

Image Manipulation Apps

There are some image manipulation apps on the current iPhone that you can do cool things with thanks to the multi-touch.  I think most anyone that does any sort of design work wants a decent tablet.  Right now I use a Bamboo pad, but being able to have on screen multi-touch with great applications.

Point and Click Adventure Games

Maybe I’m delusional on this one because I was such a big fan of older Sierra games, and the Monkey Island games, but I see these being incredibly fun and immersive on a portable tablet.  Already we saw some successes for this style of game on the iPhone, but on a tablet it would just be even better.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on any app types that you can think of that maybe weren’t so great on the iPhone, but with a larger screen device could be great.  Please post any of your thoughts in the comments below.


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