Thursday, July 1, 2010

iPad apps: defining experiences from the first wave

There are now over 1,348 approved apps for the iPad. That's on top of the 150,000 iPad-compatible iPhone programs already available in the App Store. When Apple's tablet PC launches, just hours from now, it will have a software library greater than that of any handheld in history -- not counting the occasional UMPC. That said, the vast majority of even those 1,348 iPad apps are not original. They were designed for the iPhone, a device with a comparatively pokey processor and a tiny screen, and most have just been tweaked slightly, upped in price and given an "HD" suffix -- as if that somehow justified the increased cost.

Besides, we've seen the amazing potential programs have on iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile and webOS given access to a touchscreen, always-on data connection, GPS, cloud storage and WiFi -- but where are the apps that truly define iPad? what will take advantage of its extra headroom, new UI paradigms and mutitouch real estate? Caught between netbook and smartphone, what does the iPad do that the iPhone cannot? After spending hours digging through the web and new iPad section of the App store, we believe we have a number of reasonably compelling answers.

Update: Now includes Wormhole Remote, TweetDeck, SkyGrid, Touchgrind HD, GoToMeeting, SplitBrowser, iDisplay, Geometry Wars and Drawing Pad

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