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Entries in App Store (5)

Apple Highlights Apps for Art Lovers

'Apps for Art Lovers', that's the title of a link we just spotted on the featured section of the App Store. There's some cool stuff in there, much of it for free.

Highlighting Gallery Exhibition apps, classic Artist portfolios, Photography Book apps, Art creation apps (like ArtRage) and other really cool stuff it is a nice little collection to browse through in a spare moment.

Now we're struggling to squeeze even more apps onto our already over capacity iPads. Check out the collection.

App Store Essentials: Painting & Drawing

Apple has always been a big advocate of creative apps, even back in the early days of the App Store Apple highlighted iPhone apps for painting, drawing, music creation and beyond. Today Apple updated its promoted section with a rather nice selection of creative apps for the iPad. Of the 20 chosen apps many are 4 and 5 star apps that belong on the iPad of any artist. It's well worth a look, if only to check that your creative toolbox is complete. Head on over to the App Store on your iPad to see Apple's promoted apps.

App Store virgin? There's an app for that! 

A recent study by Nielsen suggest that 32 percent of all iPad owners have yet to download their first iPad app from the App Store. It seems clear to us that Apple have done a remarkable job of covering the basic needs of the common iPad owner. We think this goes a long way to explaining why 1 in 3 iPad owners have never visited the App Store.

Though it's likely that a contingent of iPad owners will always remain App Store virgins, surely Apple would like to see that percentage reduced somewhat. What can Apple do to lead iPad owners to the App Store?

There's an app for that

A neat solution might be to give the iPad its very own 'Introduction to iPad' app. Sit it in full view right next to the App Store icon. Attract attention to the app by making the edges of the app icon sparkle every few hours, that way it can't be ignored and should draw in even the least curious iPad owner.

The app could be much like an interactive magazine, the content of which could be updated monthly or perhaps even weekly. It could contain videos of some of the more popular apps in action and perhaps even short video interviews with app developers. Just like a regular magazine the app might be divided into sections, news, reviews, previews, interviews, questions from readers, How-to's, etc. The app could link out to external websites like iPad Creative where appropriate and provide full support for purchasing featured apps there and then without the need to jump back out to the App Store itself.

With some of Apple's own iPad apps being available only through the App Store, Pages, Numbers, Remote and iDisk to name a few, it follows that Apple would want to make the App Store a regular part of the iPad experience.

iPad Kindle App officially announced

We knew it was coming but Amazon have officially announced their Kindle App for 'Tablet computers including the iPad' (italics ours) on their website.  The announcement focusses on the app, but the iPad makes it into the headline, with a specific mention later on too.  It is an interesting play for Amazon, especially when many pundits have said that Apple is looking to put some pressure on Amazon with their iBookstore.

The Kindle app has been available on the iPhone for just over a year now, but the iPhone is not really suited for reading books or magazines for most people.  This announcement is of note because it appears to duplicate one of Apple's most touted iPad features, the iBookstore.  Business Insider have an interesting side-by-side comparison of the two apps on their site and it is obvious which one is Apple's, as they say:

So far, it looks like Apple is winning the design contest, especially for its e-book store.

 Duplication = customer choice?

There is certainly function duplication here, and Apple have refused apps on the iPhone simply because they 'duplicated functionality' already installed on the device.  However, the deals that Amazon have with publishers and the books they have available should differ from Apple's selection in theory.

In addition, Apple would certainly be seen to be anti-competitive if they refused the Kindle app simply because it sold books too, wouldn't they?

However, as Amazon are announcing the Kindle app, we can only assume it will be available in the app store for the iPad sometime after it launches.  It is a complex relationship that Apple and Amazon has at the moment and it will be fun watching it pan out.  Our only hope is that the choice will remain in the app store, to the benefit of us, the end consumer.

What do you think about Amazon's play here?  Let us know in the comments.

Australia's First iPad App is a Medical Encyclopaedia

Australia's first iPad app is going to be a medical encyclopaedia according to Mogeneration. In conjunction with Medwords, they have announced the publication of Carter’s Encyclopaedia of Health and Medicine, and it will be released first on the iPad.

This 1,100 page medical encyclopaedia will have the traditional look of a hardback encyclopaedia, but it will contain interactive images, a browsing history and allow you to add bookmarks. From the screenshots on Mogeneration's website it looks a lot like the Dorling Kindersley Human Body book for the iPad, demoed by Penguin publishing, which we blogged about a few weeks ago.

However, this is interesting from two perspectives:

1) This is an example of a serious use of the iPad for educational purposes and much is being said about the iPad and the impact it could have on the field of education and research.

2) Mogeneration's publishing framework is quite interesting. It allows any content creator to publish their content via a native iPad/iPhone (and Android) app, which can then be purchased through the App store, but they do the development work.

Mogeneration are not the first to offer this service and provide books via apps in iTunes, but from a creative point of view this kind of service is interesting. It is an alternative to the more traditional publishing route using the iBook store that Apple will be introducing with the iPad launch.

Once the iPad is launched this is certainly the approach that we expect many self-publishing Creatives to take in getting their content onto the iTunes App store without having to deal with Publishers and all that entails, thus joining the hundreds of other 'appbook' publishers already there. It is an area that we expect to develop rapidly and we will be watching with great interest.