iPad ships next week

With the iPad set to ship in just a week and a half, I’ve been quietly reshuffling some of my projects around it. I’ve written critically of the iPhone and App Store a couple times, such as how the iPhone is a gold rush distraction that “doesn’t need me”:www.manton.org/2009/09/i… I also stand by “earlier opinions”:www.manton.org/2009/11/t… of how unfixable the App Store is, especially now when it’s obvious that any effort trying to convince Apple to open the store is completely wasted. They never will.

But I really like what I’ve seen of the iPad platform so far and I think it represents a big shift for everyday computing in a way that a cell phone can’t. So I renewed my membership in the iPhone developer program.

I’m working on 2 apps for the iPad. The first is just a minor iPad refresh of an existing iPhone app at VitalSource called “Bookshelf Noteview”:itunes.apple.com/us/app/bo… (iTunes link). It’s for reading notes and highlights synced from our e-book platform.

I’m not ready to announce the next app yet, but it’s a personal project which I had originally written for the Mac over a year ago. I shelved it at the time because I wasn’t sure there was demand, the backend web services weren’t mature, and I wasn’t ready to take it to completion. For the iPad though, it might be perfect.

And that’s ultimately where I see the most interesting potential for the iPad. New middle-ground apps that we haven’t even thought of yet, not ports from another platform. Apps that would feel small or distracting or wrong on the Mac, yet equally oversized for a relatively underpowered iPhone. Maybe the never-tested-on-a-real-device launch day apps will be buggy and the overall quality low, but I can’t wait to try them anyway.

Manton Reece @manton