Apple iPad Development First Impressions

iPad Announcement Event Photo

Like most of the Internet, we were glued to the various blogs covering Apple’s iPad event today (gdgt seemed to deliver both the best quality and availability). As soon as the SDK was announce we jumped on it and got to work updating one of our iPhone apps to see what kinds of challenges were ahead of us.

We made all of the basic changes needed to get our HexOut puzzle game running at full iPad size with new high-resolution graphics in just about an hour. I can’t wait to see things running on a real device.

Building an iPhone app that also takes advantage of what the iPad offers (namely more than 5 times the pixels to fill) is going to be more of a challenge when you have a complicated application that has to scale all sorts of UI layouts smoothly. With a game you can generally just substitute bigger iPad-suitable images for the smaller ones that are used for the iPhone version. Developers that stuck with standard table views and navigation layouts are going to reap the benefits of adhering to Apple’s guidelines soon. Highly customized UIs are going to be a lot of trouble to scale up to iPad size.

I can’t talk about many of the details thanks to the NDA (can I even say that there is an NDA?). I can say, however, that I think that the iPad will be the platform to host some of the most important UI innovations of the next decade. I can also say that this is going to be one heck of a casual gaming platform. I also think we will see some really innovative apps for different areas where tablets have been tried before like medical, retail and industrial. We are also pleased to offer iPad development to our clients who are looking to take advantage of this new platform for content distribution and custom applications.