Universal Apps… The Proud, the FEW.

srobert

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jan 7, 2002
2,062
0
I have to say that I am a little bit disappointed by how few apps are made available as universal apps (
).

At the time I write this post, only 1 out of 6 apps in my library is universal and only 20 of the top 100 paid apps on the iTunes Store are universal.

I think this complicates and fragments the iDevice platform. Just look how the Apps section in your iTunes library is divided in 3 sub-sections if you own both an iPhone and iPad.

Universal apps have extra appeal to me. I'm usually more inclined to give an app with few or average reviews a chance when it's a universal app.

I would like to read your thoughts on the subject?

Do you guys think that there aren't enough universal apps available?
Or maybe the "pay twice" system compensates the developers for the extra work involved in coding for 2 devices?
Is the low percentage of universal apps available simply showing that the iPad platform still in its infancy?
Do I have too big a sense of entitlement? :D

P.S.: This is not really a rant. I hope I didn't sound too critical. I'm a big fan of my iDevices

Edit: Does Anybody know of a way to filter iTunes Store's search results to only show universal apps? Thanks.
 

notjustjay

macrumors 603
Sep 19, 2003
6,044
116
Canada, eh?
For me it's not so much about "universal" apps as the comparative lack of iPad apps compared to iPhone apps. Obviously this will be the case for a while, as not all iPhone apps will be ported to the iPad. It's still a little frustrating that I'll do a search in the app store and it will return dozens of apps for the iPhone but none for the iPad.

I've also found that even if an iPhone-only app is very highly rated, I'm reluctant to buy it for the iPad, instead opting to wait and see if an iPad equivalent appears. I would imagine most other people are doing the same.
 

Night Spring

macrumors G5
Jul 17, 2008
13,073
5,102
I think all the "HD" apps should be universal - for example, I never bought Angry Birds for the iPhone, but got the iPad version. Now, for apps I already own on the iPhone, I don't mind paying a little extra for the iPad version, but when I buy an iPad version first, then have to pay extra for the iPhone, I feel resentful, like, "why am I paying extra for a smaller version????"
 

macster84

macrumors member
Feb 21, 2009
30
0
Its a whole new ballgame for universal apps, especially if you are expecting full use of the iPad screens. Much of the app has to be redesigned. And the software tools are brand new; it takes a lot of hours to learn, implement, troubleshoot, and make it work 100% successfully. Just be patient. At least Apple was kind enough to allow nearly all apps to actually work on the iPad, and even double the size to fill the screen! That level of seamless compatibility doesn't exist on other hardware platforms!
 

srobert

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jan 7, 2002
2,062
0
…if an iPhone-only app is very highly rated, I'm reluctant to buy it for the iPad, instead opting to wait and see if an iPad equivalent appears. I would imagine most other people are doing the same.
Indeed. I hold off buying iPhone only apps all the time to see if the app will be universal when the iPad version is finally released. Unfortunately, the wait is rarely rewarded with good news. :(
 

Metsfan7450

macrumors regular
Jun 2, 2008
249
0
I agree that there should be a lot more universal apps. My other concern with the universal apps is that they don't appear to sync up with the iphone app. For example, I own the "My Lists" app for the iPhone. When I open the univeral app for the iPad, none of my lists are on there. It's the same thing with Notes created on the iPhone app....they don't carry over to the iPad app.
 

gocardsfan1

macrumors member
May 19, 2008
84
0
My other concern with the universal apps is that they don't appear to sync up with the iphone app. For example, I own the "My Lists" app for the iPhone. When I open the univeral app for the iPad, none of my lists are on there. It's the same thing with Notes created on the iPhone app....they don't carry over to the iPad app.
iBooks does this very well, so maybe Apple will release an API in the future or just make this happen seamlessly with people's iTunes accounts with an update. This is something that should have been implemented on day 1.
 

2002cbr600f4i

macrumors 6502
Jun 21, 2008
489
0
iBooks does this very well, so maybe Apple will release an API in the future or just make this happen seamlessly with people's iTunes accounts with an update. This is something that should have been implemented on day 1.
Agreed, this doesn't happen today because Apple hasn't really provided developers with an API to allow us to do this...

In the old PalmPilot days, they had mechanisms so developers could write "conduits" so that when you synced with your PC, you could write desktop apps that your palmpilot apps could sync data with. Apple hasn't really given any such mechanism for neither iTunes (assumingly through some sort of Plug-in mechanism) nor for the mobileme over the air sync mechanism.
 

anjinha

macrumors 604
Oct 21, 2006
7,271
62
San Francisco, CA
I agree that there should be a lot more universal apps. My other concern with the universal apps is that they don't appear to sync up with the iphone app. For example, I own the "My Lists" app for the iPhone. When I open the univeral app for the iPad, none of my lists are on there. It's the same thing with Notes created on the iPhone app....they don't carry over to the iPad app.
Developers can already develop a sync mechanism for apps. Apiggo's ToDo does it, Taska does it, Deliveries does it, etc.
 

melman101

macrumors 68030
Sep 3, 2009
2,709
279
Ok well currently my app, Local LTD is in review by apple. But that will be a universal app. I don't have sync functionality (not too important in Local LTd) but if I make MedMem universal too, I'll definitely have a sync when the universal is ready.

Check out the screenshots on the Local LTD website.
 

TraceyS/FL

macrumors 601
Jan 11, 2007
4,051
185
North Central Florida
Ok well currently my app, Local LTD is in review by apple. But that will be a universal app. I don't have sync functionality (not too important in Local LTd) but if I make MedMem universal too, I'll definitely have a sync when the universal is ready.

Check out the screenshots on the Local LTD website.
**slight hijack**

I would be interested in MedMem in universal form, with some way to sync between multiple devices. I could see it being helpful when my daughter goes between her Dad's house and mine and I could know where she got her shot, and what times she took her other meds. I'd probably have to send her with a Touch and then have it sync back to my iPad when she got here.

I wonder if my mom saw it when she was looking for Med tracking software for my dad? I'll ask!

Can you show me a screen shot showing the dosage entry??


On Topic - i've been disappointed in the lack of universal apps. We own 3 Touches and 2 iPads and each is used throughout the day for various things, I think long and hard about buying Apps for the iPad because money is tight, rarely are we buying frivolous Apps twice, just productivity ones.
 

southparksteve

macrumors member
Jan 6, 2010
41
0
San Diego, CA
For me it's not so much about "universal" apps as the comparative lack of iPad apps compared to iPhone apps. Obviously this will be the case for a while, as not all iPhone apps will be ported to the iPad. It's still a little frustrating that I'll do a search in the app store and it will return dozens of apps for the iPhone but none for the iPad.

I've also found that even if an iPhone-only app is very highly rated, I'm reluctant to buy it for the iPad, instead opting to wait and see if an iPad equivalent appears. I would imagine most other people are doing the same.
+1 I do the exact same thing
 

southparksteve

macrumors member
Jan 6, 2010
41
0
San Diego, CA
Its a whole new ballgame for universal apps, especially if you are expecting full use of the iPad screens. Much of the app has to be redesigned. And the software tools are brand new; it takes a lot of hours to learn, implement, troubleshoot, and make it work 100% successfully. Just be patient. At least Apple was kind enough to allow nearly all apps to actually work on the iPad, and even double the size to fill the screen! That level of seamless compatibility doesn't exist on other hardware platforms!

I do not like the double size apps nor do I like them when they only fill up half of the screen. The apps are simply too fuzzy (WSOP game, for one), keyboard too hard to use (skype, for example) and overall not a great experience. Granted that this option doesn't even exist at all on other platforms, but it is a feature I NEVER use and I basically do not download iPhone apps for the iPad unless they are compatible with both. My favorite iPhone apps don't make it onto my iPad at all.
 

Brien

macrumors 68030
Aug 11, 2008
2,966
625
As a developer, it's hard to design something that works for both devices. The larger screen lets me do a lot more, but the trade-off is it's easier to make two separate apps. I will say that, as much as I can, I'll be doing universal apps moving forward.
 

ssdeg7

macrumors 6502a
Jul 15, 2010
749
2
I think they will come with time, it has only been four months since the release of the iPad. The iPhone is more than 3 years old and the App store more than two years.

My only critic is towards Apple, I can't believe that they release a device and are not able to upgrade all of their apps to work perfectly on it.

Here's a list of Apps that are not Native iPad Apps:

Remote
Keynote Remote
Clock
Calculator
Stocks
Weather
Apple Store
MobileMe Gallery
Texas Hold'em
iMovie (This one has excuse)

9 Apps they released and aren't able to update for iPad users.
 

TraceyS/FL

macrumors 601
Jan 11, 2007
4,051
185
North Central Florida
As a developer, it's hard to design something that works for both devices. The larger screen lets me do a lot more, but the trade-off is it's easier to make two separate apps. I will say that, as much as I can, I'll be doing universal apps moving forward.
I can totally appreciate that too - trust me. What i'd like is if the iPad app was available as an in-app "upgrade" for less than buying them separately.

But there are a lot of Apps i'd LIKE to buy, with the limited funds they are truly limited to the ones i need at the moment.

I also am more willing to pay again if i can see there has been effort put into the iPad app to take advantage of the features and I want them. A lot of the Apps i have purchased aren't being used on the Touches much at all, despite having been used daily prior to that.

Probably the one that irks me the most that it is separate is iPeriod. Seriously, i do not NEED all of that "big" - but I hate it being double on my iPad (hahaha), but i'm not buying it again. It was worth every penny I paid for it, but I guess i'll just end up with the free version and deal with ads or whatever it has (yuck). I've removed MOST of my private stuff from my Touch and let the kids use it now without a passcode - but a few things like this remain.

So for me, it really depends on the purpose of the App and my "buy it again" willingness. Obviously, monthly female crap isn't worth more money to me! LOL!!
 

Night Spring

macrumors G5
Jul 17, 2008
13,073
5,102
I can totally appreciate that too - trust me. What i'd like is if the iPad app was available as an in-app "upgrade" for less than buying them separately.
Agreed. Would also be nice if it worked both ways -- if you buy an iPad app, the iPhone app is also available as an in-app purchase.

I also am more willing to pay again if i can see there has been effort put into the iPad app to take advantage of the features and I want them.
Good example of an app that has been totally redesigned for the iPad is Apigio's ToDo. The iPad app looks and feels like a leather desktop planner. Sure, the look doesn't affect the function, but it just feels so much nicer to use. So despite the shared name, it's a completely new app from the iPhone version, and that, I totally don't mind paying for.
 

jediistar

macrumors 6502
Sep 17, 2007
264
1
Just food for thought, I bought Lets Golf 2 for the iPhone and its retina display ready...it displays on the iPad infinitely better than older apps that are just set for the standard 3GS screen. Its not nearly as pixelated or as awful as apps looked before the release of the retina screen. Food for thought anyway.
 

TraceyS/FL

macrumors 601
Jan 11, 2007
4,051
185
North Central Florida
Just food for thought, I bought Lets Golf 2 for the iPhone and its retina display ready...it displays on the iPad infinitely better than older apps that are just set for the standard 3GS screen. Its not nearly as pixelated or as awful as apps looked before the release of the retina screen. Food for thought anyway.
I wondered if they would look better on the iPad than others... i may have to go see what i have updates pending for and see how much better they are - if at all.
 

Alvi

macrumors 65816
Oct 31, 2008
1,203
307
Mars
I have 289 Apps 25 Universal, 255 iPhone, 9 iPad, Sad thing, one example is this great "Things" App 10$ for iPhone, i think 25$ for iPad and 50$ for Mac, that really hurts
 

melman101

macrumors 68030
Sep 3, 2009
2,709
279
**slight hijack**

I would be interested in MedMem in universal form, with some way to sync between multiple devices. I could see it being helpful when my daughter goes between her Dad's house and mine and I could know where she got her shot, and what times she took her other meds. I'd probably have to send her with a Touch and then have it sync back to my iPad when she got here.

I wonder if my mom saw it when she was looking for Med tracking software for my dad? I'll ask!

Can you show me a screen shot showing the dosage entry??


On Topic - i've been disappointed in the lack of universal apps. We own 3 Touches and 2 iPads and each is used throughout the day for various things, I think long and hard about buying Apps for the iPad because money is tight, rarely are we buying frivolous Apps twice, just productivity ones.
Sure, here's a MedMem screenshot.



I will be working on a universal binary, local notifications (ios4), and more :)
 

melman101

macrumors 68030
Sep 3, 2009
2,709
279
Ok Local LTD v2.0 which is a universal binary has been approved by Apple! Check it out :).
 

Zazoh

macrumors 6502a
Jan 4, 2009
611
146
San Antonio, Texas
Prediction: if they don't find a way to make universal apps, the whole paradigm dies.

One of the paramount drivers of Apple is ease and uncomplicated use. The first hiccup in this came with folders and 'multi-tasking'. These are ancient paradigms that get complicated quickly, which folder did I put it in, is the application running or not?

Now, I download one app, where is it, oh, it was iPad only, okay, Oh, here is one that works on both devices, oh, it only takes half the screen.

These are complicated scenarios for most people. Apple is starting to follow in a space they created. Disappointing.

Now you could pin this on the developers, because there are many universal apps, but then what about all this "Control" we hear about over the Apple Store, where is that?

I love my Apple devices, I'm a developer, I don't have trouble with the above, but USERS do.