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

With the US launch of the iPad now just a few days away, we have been taking 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 has been wishful thinking (Aperture on the iPad for example), some of it is just us getting excited about the ways we can hopefully use our iPads.

In case you missed any of the posts, we have listed them here:

Part 1 - Art (Brushes App)

Part 2 - Video (Reel Director)

Part 3 - Photography (Photoshop Mobile)

Part 4 - Music (Four Track)

Our fifth and final part of the series looks at pulling all of this together and we call it:

Creative content creation - Pages for the iPad

Why are we getting excited about Pages for the iPad?  Well, for a start, it looks gorgeous, Apple have done a fantastic job of optimising the app for the iPad as you would expect, and it stands out as a fine example for other Developers of what can be done on the iPad platform.  If you are not sure what we are talking about, take a moment to watch Apple's guided tour video for Pages first.

Looks great doesn't it?  Bearing in mind that this is version 1.0 of the software, we think that Apple have made content creation easy and fun, but at the moment Pages for the iPad only appears to create gorgeous, but static, documents.

With the ability to output to PDF or back to Pages on the Mac, this may well be enough for some Creatives, and at just under $10 we think it is a bargain given its current functionality.

Ideally though, we would like to see a bit more integration with other media. This would be a great advantage for self-published content creator.

Imagine you run a small fanzine and currently print out a greyscale magazine every few months, it takes you a long time and costs you quite a bit more than you make in subscriptions, but you love the subject and you really don't care about making money.  You have decided to take the fanzine entirely digital.  You have no budget, but you have an e-mail list of dedicated readers who are open to new ways of reading your publication.

You have a great idea for a fully integrated magazine blending together different media into one publication that you can e-mail out to your subscribers.  In your head this new fanzine has video clips, audio comments and interviews from some of the content creators you follow, a 'Fan Art' section with bios of the artists, audio messages fans have recorded on their iPhones and e-mailed to you that you want to collate together on a 'Your Comments' page and obviously plenty of photos too.  

How great would it be for someone like this, or the Educator creating learning materials, or perhaps a Student putting together a project, basically anyone who wants to produce creative content, to be able to all of this in ONE iPad application and share it with others, either on a site or via e-mail?

This is possible, we realise, with a combination of PDF (Acrobat) and ePub and possibly now HTML5 for video (HTML5 is good for iPhones/iPads), but it seems to be fiddly and/or expensive to get these documents together at the moment.  After watching the video above, we are certain that Pages could be the foundation of the one piece of software that can fulfil this need for independent, busy and probably cash-strapped creatives.  Whether the iPad can cope with all of this remains to be seen, but at this early stage it certainly seems like it will be able to, if not now, in future iterations for sure.

Pages as it is though looks great and we cannot wait to get our hands on it.

We hope you have enjoyed our mini-series of posts about the type of apps we want to be using on our iPads.  If you have any observations, or your own ideas about what you want to be using your iPad for, please let us know in the comments. 

If you haven't already, make sure you don't miss future posts by subscribing to our RSS feed or follow us on Twitter.

Paid Content and the iPad Catalyst

Earlier this week, the new Chairman of the UK television network ITV, Archie Norman, e-mailed all his staff requesting they contact him directly with comments on a new strategy for how the company can move forward. 

But the comments he makes later in the Telegraph article show what he thinks the future of TV networks is likely to be, paid content on mobile devices and computers.  And the mobile device he specifically mentions?  Of course, the iPad!

"I think it is very likely [we will use some elements of pay-TV] because one of the things that is going to happen as people consume their television off different platforms — such as internet-enabled TV, off your laptop, off your iPad as you commute to work — for some parts of the content that ITV own or others own, people will pay."

This is interesting because it shows how major content providers see us using our iPads, as well as other mobile devices.  The rest of the Telegraph article is worth reading too for an idea of how corporate networks are thinking.

In another news story this morning, the BBC are reporting that UK newspapers the Times and the Sunday Times will begin charging for access to their online news service from June.  They will launch new versions of their websites in May, offering an initial free trial period, before charging £1 for one day's access or £2 a week for a regular subscription.  It is not something we are used to here in the UK so, as the article says, it will be interesting to see whether this 'high risk strategy' pays off, or if people instead go to the free sources of news that abound around the Internet.

The New York Times is itself reporting that advertisers are going for a 'land grab' of sorts over advertising space in certain iPad apps before the April 3 launch.  The NY Times comments that this is arguably the hottest time to be in front of punters' eyes whilst the excitement lasts.

Those of us familiar with the iPad launch event will remember well the New York Times demo of their app for the iPad, and this is certainly how many people see themselves using the iPad.

The iPad Catalyst

You may think it is going a little too far calling the introduction of the iPad a catalyst, but that is how many see it, for the content creators especially.

Just like the iTunes store affected the music sales model and the iPhone shaped the development of 'SmartPhone' or mobile apps, we think the iPad has the potential to shape the future of content delivery.

Whether the 'paid content' model works or not is going to depend on a lot of factors, some of those being cost, quality of content, accessibility (i.e. independent stores or everything routed via Apple's iTunes/iBookstore), and quality of service, especially for video based content.

Have an opinion about paid content on the iPad?  Let us know in the comments.