Apple has finally announced the iPad and while much of the press is underwhelmed, the Monkeyfoot team is ecstatic with the possibilities.
The iPhone presented a lot of great usability challenges, but in the end, the interface did not lend itself to real world applications. Everything needs to be designed for big fingers on a little screen and can only be delivered in bite-size chunks of information. With the new iPad, that has changed. While we still need to deal with big fingers for navigation, there’s now a full keyboard that can be utilized for large volumes of input, as well as a much larger screen (1024×768).
The reality of a doctor or contractor using an iPhone for treatment or project management is a stretch. How would you feel if your doctor tried to show you your latest MRI scan on a small screen and point out the meniscal tear you suffered from too much break dancing at the holiday office party? Now, how would you feel if he did the same on a much larger screen? You’d still feel like you should cut back on drinking at work events, but you’d at least feel more confident about seeing the actual injury.
Star Trek is here. Well, not the “boldly going” part, but at least the cool hand held computer screens.
Many “experts” have scoffed and said that apps for the iPad will fail because users will just use web apps now. While the iPad does make web apps more accessible than the iPhone, we’re still limited by the rules of the Safari browser. We also need to consider that a mouse pointer is far more exact than a thumb or finger – 2×2 pixel area for a mouse, approximately 10×10 for a finger. For those 2 reasons alone, apps will succeed.
Unfortunately, the larger screen will allow more room for error in the interface and suddenly there will be a huge surge in designers calling themselves usability experts or interface designers. Simply laying out a navigation and putting a gradient under it does not quality these individuals for the title of usability expert.
So, yeah. You get it. Monkeyfoot likes the iPad.
But… there’s still some questions in our minds about the functionality. How will the iBookstore work? Will everyday developers and writers be able to sell books through the store like people do on iTunes? What does the SDK look like for those books? When developing apps, do we have to create iPad and iPhone versions together? If not, will they be showcased as such in the app store?
Monkeyfoot has already developed a few concepts for our clients to utilize the iPad for their business. Want us to do the same for you? Head over to the “contact” page and tell us what you’re looking for.