The iPad may be here, but not all the apps are. After having an iPad for over a month, I’m incredibly surprised at the amount of high profile web-orientated companies that don’t yet have iPad applications. Apple has now sold over a million iPads and with an international launch only a few weeks away, that number is about to grow dramatically. That begs the question – why isn’t developing an iPad application a high priority for these companies ?
1. Facebook – Probably the most downloaded iPhone app, Facebook are still to release an official iPad application. Surprising seem almost all of the 1 million+ iPad owners would be on Facebook. I realise they have 450+ million users to look after worldwide, but Facebook isn’t a small company any more. Surely they can build out a mobile development team to ensure they stay front and centre of social networks.
If your thinking the larger version of Safari Mobile is an adequate solution, it’s not. Due to Apple’s device limitations, images can only be transferred to web services via an app. The browse dialog in-browser is simply disabled. Furthermore, there are some pop-up lists, like group members, that aren’t scrollable in mobile Safari.
2. Digg – Since the release of Digg’s iPhone app, I’ve Dugg more stories than ever before due to its simplicity and convenience. I’m sure this is a common theme amongst Digg’s users, I want that same convenience from the iPad.
3 Foursquare – In my opinion Foursquare dropped the ball here, beaten to the punch by their smaller competitor – Gowalla. The experience of location-based services has never been better than on the iPad. The large screen offers the ability to display what really is a mass of information in a sensible layout. I’m sure it’s in development, but even the 3G (inc GPS) version of the iPad has launched now and still nothing.
4. Skype – Instant messaging and voice conversations may not be all that Skype can offer on other devices, yet the iPad’s growing audience is something Skype shouldn’t ignore. The promise of Skype is to allow people to communicate wherever they are with whoever, using whatever they want. The iPad is proving to be a successful new device, one that people want to use to communicate. Right now I’m using IM+ to tap into my Skype account (amongst others) for Skype IM. This really should be available via an official application.
5. Flickr – If you search for Flickr in the iPad App Store, you will find a number of results. Most of these are designed to take your flickr images and turn your iPad into an expensive digital photo frame. Lets get this straight, this is very different to having a dedicated, Flickr designed and built application. There’s an awful lot of content and functionality on the worlds largest photo sharing site and a well made Flickr iPad application could make accessing that so much easier.
Again, applications are needed for photo uploads to web services, so if you have your favourite photos synced to your iPad and decide you want to share them on flickr, that process should be easy. Flickr, get to work on building an app that lets users checkout photostreams, sets, collections and that awesome camera finder.
6. Revision 3 – Take a look at the user experience of ABC app, imagine that applied to the IPTV content delivered by Revision3. Enough said.
7. Slingbox Player – One of the primary uses for the iPad is to display video content. Sling Media, makers of the Slingbox, already made an (expensive) iPhone app, but watching TV on your iPad anywhere in your house is a much more compelling proposition. Taking that further, there’s potential to watch video content from your home while your travel with your iPad to anywhere in the world. Using an iPad case with a stand, you could place the iPad on a table and watch just like a small TV with one great advantage over a laptop – battery life. Also for us multi-taskers, we could take the iPad for watching video content whilst being productive on our laptops.
All of these companies would have at least had the conversation about wether to create an iPad app, so I encourage you to write to them and express your need. Hearing from consumers could be just the tipping point to make them invest the resources required to build an iPad app.