iPhone/iPad Graphics Apps

Thoughts on the iPad

Apple’s biz dev group was kind enough to snag a 32-gb iPad for me after they pretty much sold out around boston. It took a few hours but I think I’ve managed to fix all of the show stopper bugs in iBeams HD, and it looks stunning on the iPad. Frame rate is super smooth, it feels really immersive, and the UI is much less squashed on the device. It was always crazy overkill on the iPhone, but it feels pretty good on the iPad.

So thoughts after a few days playing with the iPad; its the ergonomics that drive me nuts problematic, the device can’t comfortably sit on your lap without being propped up, you can easily get a 80 degree viewing angle from a laptop but the iPad really needs to be held. It’s too heavy to hold for long periods with one hand, or at least it makes my wrist act up, and lastly combining the two previous problems, it just feels too big for reading in bed, it’s not like you can bend it like a paperback. All told it feels more comfortable reading a blog on my iPhone then on my iPad.

Presumably once I get a decent case some of these issues might go away, but maybe Apple should have gone with a smaller higher res screen and 9 hrs of battery life, (fyi inside the device is mostly battery).

I really want a hulu app, and the lack of multitasking and video flash support is annoying, at least give me a multithreaded chat client. It’s rather odd that the iPad support for OS 4.0 has to wait till the fall.

The App Store and Review Process
It feels like apple has been really picky about their human interface guidelines, they really want you to use popovers and support all orientations. They frequently reject apps for not rotating properly. On the other hand considering Apple was letting people ship out apps on hardware that they’d never seen with an really slow emulator, iBeams HD was getting 5 fps in the simulator making it untestable, they really didn’t give useful feedback like “hey your app crashes when we press X”.

Apple you need to have a way to let developer notify you that something is a hot fix for a bug that is upsetting customers. When an app is broken, 4 business days to then bounce a submission because the splash screen doesn’t rotate, is really unacceptable.

The New Market Place
iPad Developers seem intent to avoid the race to the $.99 bottom. Right now sales are much lower on the iPad, and development cost are higher, although porting existing apps may not be that bad depending on the nature of your application. Heavy use of 3d just rescale the viewport, 2d side scroller… ouch. Games are mostly $5+ but the smaller developers are releasing universal apps that by definition can’t have different price points, so there’s going to be price pressure down as the number of universal apps goes up.

I can’t edit this post on my iPad, and I’ve hit a number of sites like zimbra’s mail client and even apple’s developers forums where the keyboard UI fails to register or there is just no way in mobile safari to move the scroll bars. Long story short, what’s forgivable on the iPhone feels a lot more frustrating on the iPad.


April 18, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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