The iPad isn’t out yet, and that leaves us a few more days to speculate about its greatness. Isn’t speculation fun? We have no idea how many iPads have been ordered so far, meaning your guess is as good as mine. We have very little idea as to how the device will work in the practical, every day sense. We don’t even quite know where to categorize the tablet, seeing as it appears to be a bigger version of the iPod Touch, but with a lot of the cool factor that has been determined by the popularity of the iPhone.
Seeing as the iPad is a little bit the same and a little bit different from everything we’ve experienced before, there’s a lot of room for…speculation. When it comes to the applications built for the iPad, there’s not only room for speculation, but for opportunity as well.
Selling more apps could be big business for some app developers, especially as the iPad has such a large focus on media consumption. But a recent review by Wired indicates that a few other things may be different for the iPad’s app store, some of which could have consequences (good and bad) all their own.
The three areas Wired mentions are the cover flow, the pricing and the titles of the apps themselves. These partially address some of the concerns that have been brought up since we saw our first Steve Jobs demo of the iPad.
With what appears to be a new section for highlighted apps, the cover flow of the iPad app store may be different than what iPhone users are accustomed to. Yet similar changes are being made to the iTunes App Store as well, especially as Apple seems a better way to help users fin the apps they’re looking for. Adding a new Adult category for those apps that have previously been banned all together is just one concession Apple may make towards offering more app options within a system the company is comfortable with.
The prices of the iPad apps have already changed, as many developers are requesting higher prices for apps already present for the iPhone. Of course, the apps aren’t exactly the same–optimizing for the new tablet has been something many developers have already begun working on, particularly those in the media production and distribution industries. Yet, we’ll still have to see what the demand will be for pricier apps that are coming in a bigger size.
Naming the apps for an iPad app store would seem like a trivial thing to concentrate on, but the vastness of the existing iTunes App Store means that a properly named app could do even better on the iPad than on the iPhone. It’s safe to say that this can be confusing for consumers if a company has changed the name but not the product, but even more important is whether or not Apple will create a new store entirely for iPad apps. This would offer a bit of a reprieve for users, as the iTunes App Store is already filled with apps and its search and recommendation system is less than stellar. However, carrying over the iTunes App Store to the iPad seems like the logical thing to do.
What we’ve seen from the iPad so far seems to have merely raised more questions than answers, so we’ll still have to wait a few more days to see how things really play out. But the fact that so many questions have been raised means that the expectations around the iPad may truly offer Apple another great opportunity to build its brand and increase consumer satisfaction with its wireless, mobile devices.