A Case For The iPad (and Closed System Development) Part 1

Apple’s announcement of the iPad this week and the incredible growth of Apple’s AppStore, I thought it would be appropriate to share my thoughts on software distribution and marketing in a closed eco-system for software. This post is the first half of a two part series on closed eco-systems, like the Apple AppStore, for application development and distribution and the effect that will have on customer adoption.

I design and develop websites and applications for commercial clients. Typically they are distributed for a small, focused audience and for a limited number of platforms. With the emergence of the iPhone as a leading platform, there is a lot of pressure to begin to move projects into this space. From a personal point of view, I’m excited to look at the iPhone as an inspiring new playground for interface design and a new venue for projects. For most users, it is an execution of what Apple does best: Easy. There is some baggage that comes with “easy”, but that will be outlined in the second installment of this series.

YAAPT (Yet Another Apple Tablet Prediction)

I thought that I was going to avoid the Apple Tablet rumor bandwagon, but I couldn’t resist: After searching for and reading documentation for Apple’s iTunes Extra and iTunes LP format, I began to think about why Apple had not opened up their SDK sooner. The search for this software was instigated by asking why popular podcasters and vloggers had not begun using this extended format as a vehicle for more immersive experiences for their subscribers. Using a subscription model for the extended format would change how people engage their favorite podcasts and provide a delivery vector for content, visuals and, potentially, advertisements.

In October last year, Apple had announced their plan to introduce the enhanced format to iTunes users. The format allows end users to not only listen to audio content or watch video content, but to browse provided content and interact with the media (effectively replacing the experience large-format vinyl provided). The format is taking advantage of the already provided HTML/CSS/JS support within iTunes and provides an experience akin to a well designed website. The format was met with a luke-warm response, but there were few examples provided in the iTunes store and interest waned…Read More