Developers' interest in the iPad

Discussion in 'iPad' started by lozpop, Sep 8, 2010.

  1. lozpop macrumors 6502

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    Mar 6, 2006
    #1
    I bought the iPad the first day it was on sale in Italy, on may 29th, and I still love it.

    There's one thing that make me think about the apps in the App Store. A lot of high-tech journalists, like the god Walt Mossberg, always said that the iPad is all about software, all about apps, and that it's a device that could be anything thanks to the App Store.

    I agree with them, in fact I bought the iPad also for what it would have become in the future with the developers' genius.

    But now, with the iPhone 4 and the announced iPod touch, It seems that developers see more chances to make money with these two device than with the iPad.

    I don't see so many "awesome" applications for the iPad.

    What do you think?
    Do we have to wait until the second generation iPad — which will be more powerful?

    But I'm the first that doesn't think that more powerful hardware specs are what the developers are waiting for.
     
  2. cmvsm macrumors 6502a

    cmvsm

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    Nov 12, 2004
    #2
    I've said this over the past couple of months. You look at the iPad area on iTunes and day after day, its the same crap. You might see updated apps in the gaming area once per week if you are lucky. The iPhone and iPod Touch area seems to update virtually every day with new apps.

    The "iPad is new and you have to give the developers time" lingo is crap. They've had plenty of time to start getting some additional apps out if the incentive to do so was there. Maybe that's what Apple needs to start providing.

    In fairness to apps that are already out, i will say that the Avatar and Zombie Infection are great games as well as handful of others, but the iPad has not reached its potential in terms of available apps by any means of the imagination.

    I don't think its a hardware issue, its more of an incentive issue. You've got 10 times the amount of people with iPhones and iPod Touches, so as a developer, where am I going to spend my time? Apple needs to figure this out.
     
  3. lozpop thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Mar 6, 2006
    #3
    And don't you think that this situation can be changed?
     
  4. smetvid macrumors 6502

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    Nov 1, 2009
    #4
    I'm not entirely sure if apps are the ultimate solution for the iPad. I think the iPad fits a certain niche where most people are happy with what it already does which is surf the web and check email. The core stuff the iPad already does is actually pretty good and there is very little reason to make anything else. There is also the fact that every iPhone app already works on the iPad so most developers can just make their games or apps once instead of dealing with double the development time.

    I personally just don't see the same level of mad rush for people to want to buy apps for the iPad compared to the iPhone or iPod Touch.

    I also think developers are taking a wait and see approach to see if the iPad is here to stay. I think it will but I just don't think it will ever be as popular as the iPod and iPhone. I still think the iPad will always be a niche device and I think that kind of scares some developers away.

    I am in the process of learning Objective C so that I can hopefully develop iPad apps in the future but it is a long process. I have a background in Flash and a bit of Python but to me app development is a bit tough right now. As a graphic designer I really don't mind making two or now three sets of graphics for my apps.
     
  5. lozpop thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Mar 6, 2006
    #5
    Will, it depends on users. Apps like Netflix, Pages, Keynote, Numbers, SketchBook Pro, FileMaker, GoodReader, etc.. really make the iPad a better product.
     
  6. smetvid macrumors 6502

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    Nov 1, 2009
    #6
    But you could say the same thing about any computer. A PC laptop without Office or any games is pretty much just a web browsing machine as well. That is pretty much how a lot of people use them however and for the most part they are happy. About the onlt software I see some PC users ever buy is Microsoft Office. In terms of the iPad we already have apps for those same types of functions. Yes many of those apps are nice but really there are only so many productivity or painting apps you can make and there just isn't the same size market for those apps right now.

    Exactly what type of apps would you like to see flood the market that are not already there that may not work as well as just a smaller iPhone app?
     
  7. smiddlehurst macrumors 65816

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    Jun 5, 2007
    #7
    Or, to look at it another way, a developer can think 'hey, there's a thousand and one apps coming out every week for the smaller iOS devices and getting noticed is tricky, how about I launch into a slightly less competitive environment and try to get a bigger slice of a smaller pie'.

    I think the main issue with iPad app development is people are impatient and have no clue about how developement really works. Remember when the app store launched for iPhone people had already had a year, a YEAR, to think about what would be cool apps on that platform, at least in terms of basic concepts. Even then it took a while to see serious apps come through.

    Fundamentaly a developer needs three things to build an app for a given platform: 1) the software tools, 2) an idea and 3) a potential userbase. The iPad requires different designs and principles to, say, an iPhone so really making the most out of it requires starting over in terms of design. On top of that you had the massive uncertanty of how well it would sell. With Apple rapidly ramping up production (2 million a month now, 3 million soon) and iOS 4.2 dropping soon I guarantee developers are keeping a VERY close eye on the platform.

    There's another problem with the argument about the iPad area on iTunes if you're talking about the top x lists. Right now every month that goes by is seeing another 1 to 2 million units being bought. Those units are, at this point, new to the iPad app scene (as in, they're largely not upgrades or additional units in a household sharing an iTunes account). What's the first thing anyone does with regards apps on a new platform? Look at recommended apps and go buy some. That results in stuff like Angry Birds getting bought a LOT and, at this point, the user base isn't there to necessarily push a new app past the well known titles on those lists.

    Basically, patience. The iPad is actually doing very, very well indeed for a product in its first year (25,000 apps in six months is astonishing for what is effectively a new platform with a relatively slow roll-out) and software will continue to roll out as developers get their heads around what can be done and the platform continues to grow. Anyone that thought you'd have parity with the smaller iOS devices this quickly isn't living in the real world.
     
  8. adammull macrumors 6502a

    adammull

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    Jun 14, 2009
    #8
    I agree, and would go so far to say that the presence of apps sucks compared to what we are used to.

    That being said, almost every app I use on my phone is merely a web portal anyway. Twitter apps, FB apps, TMZ, USA Today, Engadget, etc. All of which are just iPhone versions of what can be found on the web. On the iPad I can just use the web. My $.02
     
  9. smetvid macrumors 6502

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    #9
    That was exactly my point. The iPad is more like a computer then a smart phone and in effect attracts users that think it more as a laptop then a smartphone. Since it is being used as a laptop and the web experience itself is more like a laptop there just as much of a need to create apps to compensate for the smaller size.

    How much software do Mac Book or PC laptop users buy all the time? Not very much outside of the things they use on a regular basis.

    We all have to admit as well that perhaps iDevice development is finally starting to mature out of the experimental phase and sticking to apps that actually matter. What I mean is that there are a ton of pretty useless iPhone apps out there from where everybody was trying a new concept to experiment and see what works. The process is a bit more mature now where a lot of new apps today are much more useful then a quick 5 minute game or something you may only use once like a light saber app. The iPad is a bit more serious device then just a neat toy and I think a lot of developers should be a bit of heart and mind into their apps instead of just pushing out mindless apps so Apple can say how many iPad apps are in the store.

    I personally like the fact that most of the iPad apps are somewhat useful and that there are not 200 different paint apps or 50 ftp apps. Really how many different apps do we need? At some point I suspect natural selection will take it's course and there will only be a handful of iPads apps people actually use and the rest will just rot away in the app store.
     
  10. lozpop thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Mar 6, 2006
    #10

    I agree with you, but there are some apps that I'd really like to see for the iPad.

    I'm a graphic and web designer, and it would be awesome to have a sort of Coda for the iPad, that let's you to manage your website remotely (not creating, it would be too hard). Or a sort of Aperture/Lightroom slightly better than the "photo editing" apps that are already on the App Store. Those apps have just scrubbed the surface of the potential of the iPad.

    Again, recording an HD video with my Sanyo HD1000, transferring it on the iPad directly with the Camera Connection Kit (a thing that I can already do) and then making some video editing. Hopefully Apple will launch iMovie for iPad, too.

    I really see tons of possibilities, but maybe because I do a creative job.
     
  11. barkomatic macrumors 68040

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    Aug 8, 2008
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    Manhattan
    #11
    I think my iPad is a lot of fun, and I can't think of any apps on the iPhone that I also wish were on the iPad. The iPad seems to have more interest from developers in terms of streaming content. Don't forget, it was the first to have the netflix app. I'm also reading that streaming HBO, Time Warner Cable, and other really interesting stuff is under development. We'll see if that actually happens.

    That being said, I think developers saw the writing on the wall when the latest iPhone 4 was released with its high resolution screen, 512mb of RAM, and facetime cameras. It's basically a roadmap for the next iPad revision or two.
     
  12. smetvid macrumors 6502

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    Nov 1, 2009
    #12
    I'm also a web designer and I believe there are some basic coding apps for the iPad already. I think I saw one that has FTP built in and you can create or modify HTML,CSS and Javascript. I think there are currently limitations like syntax checking but they seem to be a big step in the right direction.

    Of course I just cannot see creating an entire website on the iPad just to say it can be done. I think an app like this is great to make changes or do a small amount of code but seriously a computer would be a much better development environment. IMO.

    So basically you have a few specific needs for apps that you would like to see. You my friend like myself are an extreme minority of the iPad userbase. What percentage of iPad users do you think would buy an app like this? 1% maybe. That is not a very big market to create such a complex app. I think you would be better off doing feature requests to the companies that already have a start on the apps you want and see if they expand on them. Again your feature requests may take a back seat depending on if current versions of the apps are making any money to cover their development time.
     
  13. lozpop thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Mar 6, 2006
    #13
    Yeah, you're right, but I still hope to see some development in some categories.

    Also Coda for Mac has a small target, but it sells. And so Coda for iPad could do. 20,000 users that purchase a 7.99$ app are a small percentage but still a lot of downloads.

    Anyway, I read that the creator of Coda is thinking about an iPad version. Yes!
     
  14. zMacintoshz macrumors regular

    zMacintoshz

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    NY, FL
    #15
    i am actually working on a nice utility/ productivity app for the iPad
     
  15. sinsin07 macrumors 68030

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    Mar 28, 2009
    #16

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