Diary of an iPhone developer: The iPad

What does the iPad mean for developers? Here’s one iPhone dev’s first impressions of the iPad and its SDK kit.

It's finally here! The new iPad is almost exactly what the rumor mill has been churning up for months but somehow seeing the thing officially announced still makes my jaw drop a little. Why? Because it opens up some new opportunities for iPhone developers without making them jump through a lot of hoops.

For starters, it runs iPhone apps out of the box. It's true that apps built for the 320-by-480-pixel iPhone 3.5-inch screen might look a little funky on the iPad's 9.7-inch lush 1024-by-768-pixel display. But this was a great move on Apple's part to avoid alienating 100,000+ mobile apps for release. Much in the way the Classic layer did for OS X and Rosetta did for the switch to Intel architecture, this was a logical way to bridge the transition while developers update their apps for the larger display.

Apple released the new 3.2 SDK beta to general developers today. I'm still in the process of downloading the whopping 2GB update (by comparison, the newest Android SDK is only 20MB) but a glance at the 3.2 API differences are, unsurprisingly, very iPad-oriented. A great number of additions are for text layout, which is great for e-book content; E-Ink won't hold a candle to this puppy as the new APIs should make the iPad perfect for displaying content exactly as it is in its print counterpart. Also, a lot of robust movie playback features have been added as well as a brand new class called "UIGestureRecognizer" which, as the name implies, expands upon the already stellar touch input libraries.

The new SDK makes it easy to create distinct iPhone and iPad UIs over the same app and features a new iPad Simulator that helps you debug and view your UI before you can even get your hands on the device. The SDK also includes APIs to allow developers to utilize external displays attached to an iPad.

Am I disappointed the iPad doesn't run desktop OS X? Sure, it would have been interesting to run Photoshop on an iPad, but the choice to go with an augmented iPhone OS was clear: The iPhone has one of the best best mobile OS's out there and the iPad is very much a mobile device. It is truly a computer built for consumption rather than creation. Still, it will be interesting to see the sorts of "creation" style apps that developers will come up with. I expect that the painting app we saw demoed at the announcement, "Brushes," is just the beginning.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags iPadAppleapple ipad

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mike Keller

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

This Holiday Season, protect yourself and your loved ones with the best. Buy now for Holiday Savings!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?