Why there *will* be a new goldrush for devs...

Discussion in 'iPad' started by anthonymoody, Jan 29, 2010.

  1. anthonymoody macrumors 68020

    Aug 8, 2002
    ...and it ain't a reason mentioned by SJ or anyone else in the keynote.

    The reason is: pricepoint. The App Store suffered a major "race to the bottom" for pricepoint. SO many (excellent) apps are free or cost $.99 that to price something higher it had to have an existing name brand - say a game from EA - or some other compelling feature - say access to walled-off content like the MLB app has. And even then we're talking only $5 - 10 for these 'premium' apps. It quickly became impossible for devs to justify - or sell - price points above a few bucks for 99.99% of all apps.

    With the iPad, I predict the exact opposite will happen for a meaningful subset of apps. Specifically, I mean those apps which, because of the increased screen real estate on the iPad, *can offer meaningful computing functionality which is otherwise impossible or impractical on an iPhone*. Think "apps which will allow you to use an iPad as your primary/sole computer." Which for the record is my intent from Day 1.

    I wouldn't pay BOO for a screenwriting app for the iPhone. I'd never use it. But for the iPad? Hey when FinalDraft is released as an iPad app for say $29 or $39 or $49 you can bet your buppies that it'll sell. Why? Because it'll be useful, compatible with tens of thousands of existing installations, and offer functionality on par with that of a laptop (assuming Apple allows for a reasonable file storage structure which I strongly believe they will).

    Photoshop (Elements)? Same. (Basic consumer) video editing software? Same.

    Think about all the computer apps you use which have no practical equivalent on the iPhone and ask yourself: can you imagine an iPad app which offers 80%+ of the functionality of the PC/Mac version?

    FinalCutPro and the like I'll grant you - we will not see these types of processor hyper-intensive apps on the iPad any time in the near of medium term future. But just about *everything* else? Of course we will. And at prices that will make devs - and Apple! - quite happy.
  2. WytRaven macrumors 6502

    Mar 19, 2009
    Orbiting Mercury
    Yay! Finally people with brains and clear sight are starting to join the iPad discussions :)
  3. Legolover64 macrumors regular

    Feb 24, 2008
    I entirely agree with you.

    As a registered iPhone developer, I can tell you that the iPad already looks very exciting. The iPad Human Interface Guidelines and other documentation seems to enforce and promote the idea of very usable, large apps that intelligently take advantage of the screen size. I wish I could say more, but I'm somewhat paranoid about the NDA. Suffice to say there will be some very universal experiences across all apps, even third party ones, thanks to some of these guidelines.

    I also intend to use the iPad as, more or less, my mobile computer in its entirety. As a developer, it's a minor bummer that I probably won't be able to run an integrated development environment or anything on the device, but I hope some of the SSH clients redo themselves to be iPad compatible. If so, this device will replace my laptop for easily 4/5ths of its functionality, if not more. My one concern is transportation of the keyboard dock, as it has a large lip to support the iPad. Hopefully there's a well thought-out case for it that keeps it from being damaged.
  4. anthonymoody thread starter macrumors 68020

    Aug 8, 2002
    Thanks guys :)

    Exactly!! And this is the point all the haters seem to be missing! It's the classic 80/20 rule. And in computing my guess is it's more like 95/5. 95% of the people using Macs and PCs tap around 5% of the features and functionality available, almost all of which will ultimately be available on the iPad.

    Given a choice b/t even a 3lb Air (to say nothing of a 5lb MBP) and a 1.5 pound iPad, why would you ever choose the former? The iPad will do - well - what most of the people want to do most of the time.

    Oh, also totally agree about the keyboard dock. That'll be my home set up, and I'll take it on the road only for longer (say 1 week or longer) business trips. And you're right - it's an odd shape so toting will be something to figure out. But we'll get there :)

    Legolover I really appreciate your perspective as a dev, and your comments about the HIGs have really piqued my curiosity and made me more excited than ever about what the ecosystem will look like a year from now...

  5. TheBonk macrumors 6502


    May 22, 2007
    Amen! I'm tired of everyone getting upset that they didn't get the JesusTablet they wanted to replace their laptop. There's a lot of great things about the iPad that people are just too stubborn to see.
  6. outz macrumors 6502

    Jul 17, 2007
    how dare people expect basic hardware/functionality from a device that has been so hyped up by apple.
  7. TheBonk macrumors 6502


    May 22, 2007
    Uh, it wasn't hyped up by Apple at all. It was hyped up by all the people on forums like this talking about how the tablet would change computers forever, and how it would have $3000 worth of tech in a cheap device. And once the product was announced, everyone gets pissed because it wasn't the product that they had imagined such high expectations for.

    It's like a kid on Christmas who's expecting some awesome, expensive present and doesn't get it. So is the present his parents got him crap because he didn't get what he wanted?
  8. anthonymoody thread starter macrumors 68020

    Aug 8, 2002

    What "hardware/functionality" do you want that you did not get?
  9. TraceyS/FL macrumors 68040

    Jan 11, 2007
    North Central Florida
    I know that i'm willing to pay in the $20-30 range for an app. I mentioned it in another thread - but heck, might as well talk about it here too! LOL!!

    I have no idea if this is possible in the SDK or not.

    I"m looking for an app that will play videos from your library in the top section, and then on the bottom has a spot for taking notes. With both typed, AND the ability to hand draw stuff (math & science stuff). Then add in the ability to view a PDF and ANNOTATE that PDF (i'm willing to succumb to JPG if i have too) - you know, fill in worksheets or outlines...

    Heck, i'm liable to pay more for it, I really really need it to streamline some things.

    Someone else mentioned in the other thread - add in the ability to view files up top, and take notes below too. Which I could use too - but not as much as being able to watch the lecture on the note screen.

    (we *should* be getting an iPad the moment they are ready to ship, so i'd be able to beta test if anyone would like :D)
  10. DaLurker macrumors 6502

    Mar 30, 2006
    Thanks for the intelligent post. Pulled the words right out of my brain, this is the platform that fits between the iPhone and the Laptop; More functional than an iPhone but won't be replacing your Laptop for hardcore tasks. The enablement will come from software!

    As a developer myself I'm very excited about this platform, true digital integration into our lives is about to begin and this form factor will be the future.
  11. admanimal macrumors 68040

    Apr 22, 2005
    I also agree. People who see no future for this device demonstrate a total lack of imagination for the type of apps we can and will see. iWork is already a preview of this.
  12. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601


    Feb 10, 2004
    I think you are correct in this but I think there are even more good reasons to believe that it will happen. First, as you mention the ability to create more full featured, useful, less-trinkety apps. Additionally, I think Apple has done developers a favor by setting a decent price point for iWork. Yes, I would have liked it for free, but charging $30 sets a precedent that we should expect to pay more for iPad apps than iPhone ones because they should do more. Lastly, the price of the device plays a role here. An iPhone/iPod touch can cost anywhere from $49 to $399, with $199 being a pretty reasonable median price. Paying $50 for an app on a $200 device is something many people will balk at. The iPad, though starts at $500 and can top $800, so buying apps for $30, 40, 50+ won't seem quite so unreasonable.

    Personally I'm really excited to see what developers come up with for this, both in terms of software, but also now that it seems Apple is allowing at least a little more hardware interaction with the dock and BT keyboards, to see if anyone takes a leap and tries to create some hardware add-ons.

    I meant to include this in my last post, but I would be interested to see how that turns out for you. I could probably manage this myself with three exceptions - one is ripping/converting DVDs to h264 files on my iMac. Another is Netflix instant watch (although I do that very seldom on the computer, almost always on the PS3). The last was something someone else mentioned, and that's my occasional freelance work as a web/database dev. Not that the device couldn't handle that easily enough, but rather than it's unlike we'll have a suitable app available anytime soon.... though I would pay good money for a version of TextMate with an integrated (S)FTP client in it!

    Hm... I would also need a keyboard dock, case, and Apple BT keyboard if I was going to make it my primary system. And probably the 32gb version at the least, rather than the 16... man now you have me thinking about trying it just for to blog the novelty of it. :p
  13. anthonymoody thread starter macrumors 68020

    Aug 8, 2002
    I have and will retain an iMac which is used in my household as the central media hub. All photos, music, and videos (and iPhone apps) are stored there. It's simply a way more robust machine than any laptop for ripping, storing (I have a RAID array protecting the data) and serving up/syncing media.

    So that's where my media lives and will continue to live (my "info" currently lives in mobileMe though it's possible to sync media from one mac and cal/contacts/emails from another without problem if you're not into mobileMe.

    Anyway, that solves the ripping part for me.

    As for Netflix, I stream exclusively to my PS3 which is of course hooked up to my TV, so that's that for me.

    Can't address your final challenge - I suspect that this task may represent the 5% of stuff that people will always (or at least for a very long time) need a more robust "full" computing solution to perform.

    The more I think about this, the more I think it might be fun to start a blog about living with the iPad as my exclusive machine...

    Off to wordpress to set it up now :D
  14. outz macrumors 6502

    Jul 17, 2007
    multitasking/webcam mainly.
  15. anthonymoody thread starter macrumors 68020

    Aug 8, 2002
    Well this is just a guess of course but I'd be shocked. SHOCKED if we don't get multi-tasking in a fairly large OS update. 4.0 anyone?

    I think it'll come with/around the time of the next iPhone rev. Call it a June release, possibly announced around the time the iPad actually ships.

    Don't forget though that the iPhone currently offers what for many is the most important multi-task: the ability to play music while doing other stuff.

    As for a webcam, I hear you. For me that's personally a pretty big bummer. Not enough to prevent me from using an iPad as my primary device. But a bummer.

    Prediction: a year from now they'll rev the hardware to include a camera and 4G/LTE bands which would allow for video chats over cell radios. Not to mention the ability to use it on Verizon's network...

    Actually I do have a serious question for you about multitasking and why you want it. (And I ask here b/c this thread has fortunately maintained a fairly level headed tone unlike some of the other flame wars in the other threads!)

    What two (or more) uses do you need/want going at once? And perhaps more pertinently, why doesn't the iPad's app switching not closely enough approximate it for you?

    Honest question.
  16. TraceyS/FL macrumors 68040

    Jan 11, 2007
    North Central Florida
    For me, about the only multi-tasking i could need/want is the ability to watch a video while using a "notepad" type of app.

    I've heard others mention keeping IM clients open while watching a movie or reading email and such.
  17. outz macrumors 6502

    Jul 17, 2007
    i skype a lot... and it's nice to be able to switch from skype to a browser without the conversation ending (i do the same on my netbook and laptop, and i would use the webcam for skype) i would also like to stream music from slacker radio and browse at the same time. just small things like that.

    oh, and flash support would be nice for hulu etc.
  18. steve-p macrumors 68000


    Oct 14, 2008
    Newbury, UK
    The issue I have is that a lot of apps reset their state on startup. Say you are in the middle of something in one app, then you switch to a different app to look something up, and switch back to the first app again. Often you find you're right back at the start. Bento would be one example of this. Also when apps start from scratch every time, it can take a second or two while they start up. This would be fixed for me even if they didn't allow more than one app to run at once. So if you started another one, the first one just paused, until you switched back to it. That wouldn't cause any more battery drain than now, just use a bit more memory. However this wouldn't help other people who want something to actually run in the background.

    I'm sure multitasking will come - it seems like a logical step forward. Maybe limited to 2 or 3 apps, but that's enough.
  19. anthonymoody thread starter macrumors 68020

    Aug 8, 2002
    I hear you and agree with all of you on all these multitasking desires. Not necessarily b/c I need or want them all, but because it makes perfect sense to me that (many) others might. Especially b/c not all apps have a persistent state type memory.

    Related aside: why is it that all apps don't have persistent state? Is it a system/SDK limitation? Devs can you please chime in?

  20. cjthebest macrumors member

    Sep 16, 2007
    Just imagine LogMeIn Ignition, after it has been rewritten, on this baby! There's the perfect example.
  21. anthonymoody thread starter macrumors 68020

    Aug 8, 2002

    Yeah I wasn't familiar with that particular VNC (I think that's what it is yes?) but someone on another thread mentioned this as a pretty good workaround for many of the iPad's perceived limitations. I gather these types of things don't work for streaming video, but for simple (office) file - if not also app - access it should work great. Nice full screen implementation...yummy!

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