Entries in apps (13)

5 Apps We Cannot Wait To See on the iPad - Part 1

With the US launch of the iPad now less than a week away, we take a look at some of the apps we know are coming to the iPad, or that we really want to see hit the platform when it launches.

Some of this is wishful thinking, some of it is just us getting excited about the ways we can hopefully use our iPads. Between now and launch day we will post one app from each core area of the creative sphere. Part 1 of 5 is...

Art: Brushes app

One of the things that initially excited us about the iPhone was the perfectly implemented touch interface, especially when we started playing with the doodling and sketch apps. But we quickly found the size of the iPhone screen a little frustrating to work with. Yes, we could zoom in and out to see the detail on the iPhone, but it has to be said that it is still a bit too fiddly on a 3.5 inch screen.

However, when we saw the iPad being demonstrated it wasn’t reading our newspapers and magazines, or watching movies, or playing games that crossed our minds first of all (although these things are really exciting us), no! It was the thought of using that lovely touch interface to draw graceful arcs across the 9.7 inch screen, washing in a watercolour fill on a skyscape background, or seeing our whole sketch, drawing or image and then picking out the detail and zooming in with all that extra elbow room the iPad screen will allow us to use.

And then we saw Steve Sprang demo his Brushes app, completely revamped for the iPad interface, and our heads exploded! This was it, the perfect app for the iPad’s new supersized touch screen. So we had to mention this one first really, this was the app that sparked our imagination during the iPad keynote. Steve Sprang looks to have done a fantastic job with this app, the interface has been optimised to use the full screen real estate that has been given him, the tools look gorgeous and easy to use, it uses layers, implementing them really well and, watching the demo, you may not even need a stylus, but if you do this one looks good.

Check out the video demo of Brushes for the iPad below:

Don't forget to check back tomorrow for Part 2 of our Top 5 apps we cannot wait to see on the iPad. If you haven't already, make sure you don't miss it by subscribing to our RSS feed or follow us on Twitter.

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.

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