Apple iPad Promises Media Revolution

The early speculation is that the tablet brings publishers hopes of new revenue for digital content while ushering in a shift in how users interact with the Web.
"Apple's announcement of the iPad today offers developers exciting new opportunities to create native and Web-based applications for a new type of mobile device," said Raven Zachary, president of iPhone development consultancy Small Society, in an e-mail. "iPhone developers, Web developers, and content creators are going to be spending the next few weeks understanding the impact of the iPad and what it means for existing and new apps."

"It's going to be a great new canvas for a lot of people to take advantage of," said Walter Luh, co-founder of Ansca Mobile, maker of the Corona development framework for iPhone apps, in a phone interview.

In contrast to the snack-sized apps that are typical for the iPhone, where use-time may be only a few minutes, Luh foresees more involved apps emerging for the tablet. "The applications you develop are going to have more substantial features," he said. "They'll be designed so that you'll interact with them for a longer period of time."

And that, he expects, will allow developers to charge more for iPad apps. The average price of paid apps sold in the iTunes Store is about $3.63, according to Flurry.

Luh also anticipates that iPad apps will be useful for content creation as well as content consumption, the former being more challenging on the iPhone and iPod due to their small form factors.

Apple clearly believes in this possibility and has ported its iWork productivity suite to the iPad to prove it. While the iPad may not yet be ideal for professional graphic design or Photoshop work, which remain heavily dependent on mouse and keyboard input, it's likely to make the creation of reports and spreadsheets easier for professionals on the go.

The iPad with iWork may not be enough to challenge the supremacy of Microsoft Office, but it could give many enterprise business travelers second thoughts about lugging their laptops around.

"It's a new interaction model," said Luh. "We're going to see very, very new ways of dealing with this kind of computing."

For Further Reading

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Live Blog From Apple's iPad Launch