The New Real iPad Problem

Everyone knows that Apple makes newer, better versions of products just about every 12 months.  That iPhone you bought last fall is likely going to seem dated come this fall, or sooner, when they reveal the iPhone5 (or whatever they decide to call it) because it will have 4G LTE (the icon will actually be telling the truth!) and probably some other new ‘gee-wiz’ functionality that the 4S just can’t muster.

Just like your 3GS or even iPhone4 is unable to power Siri the 4S is capable of.  Remember how pissed you were when they showed off Siri only to realized it was a device specific upgrade and not part of the upgrade to iOS5?  (yes, I know you can hack it to work).

With the iPad the generational thing has been a real issue for application developers.  The performance capabilities from the original iPad to the iPad2 to the New iPad are tremendous. I can personally tell you from my involvement in the luxury magazine FD Luxe’s iPad app, we faced a major issue when the iPad2 was released.  Then app is image based and the whole point to it was to show off the magazine’s amazing photographs on a tablet.  But the original iPad’s internally memory was half that of the iPad2 and when you develop an app for the the latter, the former struggles to keep up.  To get the most out of the iPad2 at the time, we had to rethink how it worked on an original iPad.  Of course it doesn’t help that Apple refuses to share information with developers before the devices are released, leaving them scrambling to make apps that can live up to the new device’s abilities.

Now you have the New iPad that has twice the internal memory as the iPad2 and four times the original, and that’s not even mentioning the massive uptick in processing power and that damned retina display.  So what developers are left with is either having to find new ways to serve data to a far weaker device (i.e.: re-developing the app), or leave it behind.    When Apple was showing off all the new iPhoto and other apps during their last presentation all I could think of is how poorly those apps will work, if it all, on an original iPad – a device most users bought less than two years ago.

Yesterday a friend told me about this new app, Tapose’, a creation born out of the old Microsoft Courier concept that once wow’d people with YouTube videos.  Promising folded dual screen designs and a user interface that blew people’s minds long before we had even heard of an iPad.  Of course it never saw the light of day.  Tapose’ is supposed to take that concept and bring it to the iPad, but when you read the user ratings you can immediately see that it’s massive size and power hungry needs currently hobble it’s ability to even show the tutorial on an original iPad.  Some report issues with the app on new iPads, so maybe their problems are larger than backwards compatibility. (see demo vid below)  This totally makes sense to me, and I feel for the app’s creators since they were probably 99% of the way done with their process when the New iPad was intro’d.  A whole new set of specs and standards for an app that hadn’t even made it into the store yet.

Additionally, the New iPad’s retina display is creating havoc for app developers.  If you want your apps to look their best on that screen, you have to at least double the resolution of all the graphics.  Not only is that a massive amount of time and money many never bargained for, it also creates a whole new set of issues on how you deliver that app and its super HD resolution to the device.  The users don’t care about this.  They just expect the thing to work, no matter if the app is free, 99 cents or more.  And from what users that spent $2.99 on this first pass of Tapose’ have found is that it doesn’t.