Ipad Apps

Apple's magic developer numbers: 100, 100 million, and 1 billion

We've all heard huge numbers thrown around as measures of iPhone and iPad App Store success -- over 200,000 apps and 5 billion downloads being some of the most recent and most impressive. There's a couple of other numbers that are even more interesting when it comes to iPhone and iPad development: 100, 100 million, and 1 billion.

Roughly 100 million iOS devices have been sold to data and they are all broadly software compatible. There's some fragmentation to be sure -- older devices are slower, there's no cameras (yet) on the iPod touch and iPad, no GPS in iPod touch, iPad Wi-Fi, and the iPhone 2G. Apple mitigates this somewhat by offering services such as CoreLocation where, if no GPS is found, it gracefully degrades down to cell tower triangulation or Wi-Fi router mapping. Even the iPad with its odd-device-out 1024x768 display will frame iPhone apps or pixel double them, which is awkward but still workable, still compatible. When iPhone 4 ships, it will be precisely double the vertical and horizontal pixel count of previous generations, meaning older apps will simply look the same as they did before (using 4 pixels in the space they used to use 1).

Likewise, most iOS devices tend to get updated to the latest version of the OS, or at least fairly recent versions. While iOS 4 will drop compatibility for iPhone 2G and iPod touch G1, it will also be free for all other devices for the first time, ensuring iPod touch G2 and G3 owners are more likely to update.

Everything isn't perfect, but for a vast majority of apps it doesn't need to be. They just work.

The sheer size of that install base is stunning. Code an app once and deploy it to a theoretical 100 million devices -- and growing -- all with a drop-dead-easy to use icon on the home screen to help them get your apps?

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iPad live podcast #7: WWDC wrap-up

NOTE: iPad Live! now has its own RSS and iTunes feeds! Subscribe now via the links above.

iiPhone international launch... with delayed deliveries, will the iPad replace your desktop, Apple TV to get iPhone OS and $99 price tag, B&N eReader, Wired, OmniGraffle and the rest of the week's news and apps. Listen in!

Want to make us new theme music and win fabulous prizes?

iPad Live! needs your help, check out our theme music contest for your chance to win over $200 in prizes!

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MathBoard for iPad - app review

MathBoard for iPad is an educational application designed to help you or your child excel in arithmetic operations. The level of difficulty is customizable, making MathBoard a great learning tool for children in kindergarten through elementary school as well as adults who wish to brush up on their basic math skills.

MathBoard is simply a multiple choice quiz generator. You can customize which topics you wish to be quizzed on, how many questions are in the quiz, and what range of numbers you want in the problems. Topics include addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, squares, cubes, and square roots.

While taking a quiz, there is a small area at the bottom of the screen where you can use your finger (or stylus, if you prefer) to work on the problem as if you were using a pencil and paper. This is an excellent feature of MathBoard, however, the area is too small. For example, when working out a multiplication problem of two numbers with two or more digits, you quickly run out of space to complete all the calculations in the traditional manner. Instead, you must continue your work next to the work you already did. This can be very confusing for a child who is new to the procedure. I would like to either see a pop-up to do scratch work on or landscape support. Most of these problems require vertical space to work out and rotating to landscape may solve the lack of space issue.

After completing the quiz, MathBoard displays your score and gives an option to save the quiz. If you do, you can come back to it later and retake the entire quiz or just the questions you got wrong.

Despite the small scratch work space, MathBoard is an excellent application for learning arithmetic. The interface is very beautiful and much more enjoyable than taking printed quizzes with pencil and paper!

Video and screenshots after the break!

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Appigo talks Todo for iPad - TiPb at WWDC 2010

Boyd Timothy and Calvin Gainsford from Appigo show off Todo on the iPad, its features and how using the iPad is different from using the iPhone. And, of course, tell TiPb what they think of iOS 4 and iPhone 4.

(It's possible they like it a lot.)

Video after the break!

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Line2 brings iPhone, iPad calls into 21st century - TiPb at WWDC 2010

Peter Sisson, founder and CEO of Toktumi talks Line2, their premium, business-optimized calling solution for the iPhone and iPad (with optimized iPad UI coming soon). While many forms of communications have leapt forward in the digital age, our telcos have been content to keep telephony in the relative dark ages. Line2 is one of several services hoping to pull them kicking and screaming forward, with both cell and VoIP based solutions.

Currently you can conference call over VoIP -- which is really nice on an iPad -- with full call waiting and real SMS functionality. With iOS 4 VoIP will work in the background meaning apps like Line2 could just be first-class telephone solutions (and strangely carriers don't seem to be as afraid of this as they used to be).

Line2 competes with free-as-in-Google voice by offering a more user-centric app, with lots of features and a focus on customer care. They're US/Canada only at the moment but will be expanding into the top 7 international iPhone markets soon and especially for business users, they think their offer will be compelling. (Enough that Peter suggests a MiFi rather than device data plan might just be the way to go forward...)

Check out the video interview after the break!

[Line2 on iTunes]

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New York Times has Pulse RSS reader pulled from App Store

The Pulse RSS reader for iPad, featured just yesterday during Steve Jobs' WWDC 2010 keynote, is reportedly being removed from the iTunes App Store following a copyright complaint from the New York Times/The Boston Globe.

The gist of their demand letter is that Pulse comes pre-loaded with the NYTimes.com RSS feed and features it in screen shots, is a paid app, and thus commercially using their RSS feeds, and that it reframes the NYTimes.com and Boston.com websites, both of which the New York Times Company says is in violation of their copyright.

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Documents to Go for iPad- app review

As a user of Dataviz's Documents to Go product for years, I was ecstatic for the iPhone release and now even more so for the universal binary for iPad. Documents to Go is a mobile office productivity suite that allows you to create and edit Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint formatted documents and file types on your iPad.

Let's first look at how we can access our documents, there are a few different ways. First, you can create documents on the iPad. Next, you can sync with your desktop (PC or Mac). You can install a free desktop sync tool. This allows you to pick a folder on your computer and sync those documents to the iPad, or use the built-in iTunes sync if that is your preference. Last but not least you can connect to a few different web services in the "cloud" and edit your documents and save it right back to the cloud. Documents to Go supports these services:

  • Google Docs
  • Box.net
  • Dropbox
  • iDisk
  • Public Disk (iDisk)
  • Sugar Sync

Syncing your documents to the cloud is truly fantastic and is something Apple's own iPad iWork suite does not offer beyond iWork.com.

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New and notable iPhone and iPad apps for June 4, 2010

Sure, new and notable iPhone and iPad apps isn’t a theme, but with so many new and such a large swathe of notable, who needs a theme? Join us after the break to see what’s going on in the iTunes App Store this week!

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Galactic Untangle HD for iPad - app review

Galactic Untangle HD for the iPad is a puzzle game. It is simple, yet challenging, and can easily keep you occupied for hours.

In each level, you are a given a bunch of points connected by lines, and your goal is to move the points around until there are no lines crossing. In mathematical terms, you are given a graph and it is your job to rearrange the vertices until no edges are crossing, i.e., result with a planar representation of the graph. This game is very strait-forward and simple, but not generally easy to beat. As you progress, the graphs become much more complicated and difficult to beat.

There are two modes in Galactic Untangle HD. In "free mode", there is no stress of being timed and you can relax and play at a leisurely pace. In "challenge mode" you are being timed and you have an option to submit your score to the world scoreboard. However, even though you are asked to enter your name, the world scoreboard does not display names. As someone who holds a few of the records, I find this annoying.

Galactic Untangle is an excellent game. It is designed well and looks beautiful on the iPad's screen. It has a simple objective, yet challenging gameplay. And best of all, it's a fun way to give your brain some exercise!

Video and screenshots after the break!

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Why Apple may be removing desktop/dashboard/widget apps from the App Store

Since the iPad launch on April 3, TiPb's been getting tips about desktop/dashboard/widget-style apps being removed first from the iPad App Store, then from the iPhone App Store as well. There are a number of examples, some well known by now, some relatively unknown. The commonality between all of them is that they've tried to somehow make the iPad or iPhone into a Mac- or PC-like screen filled with mini-apps like browsers, email clients, calculators, weather, etc.

Some look almost exactly like Apple's Mac Dashboard, other like Windows of various flavors. Others don't look like desktops at all but rather place widgets on top of photos or other, more specific backgrounds.

Devs have worked around this by using a much more restricted metaphor, like a double tiled display, or by going the Jailbreak route, or they haven't worked through it and just gotten frustrated at the opacity of the App Store review process and not known how to proceed.

I can't claim any special insight or information on this, but my best guess is that Apple is removing (or advising they will be removing since not all of them have been pulled yet) the apps for the same reason they originally didn't include cursor (arrow) keys on the Mac. It's a pretty well known story and one that's been used a few times in different commentaries on the iPhone and iPad and Apple's direction thereof, but it bears repeating.

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