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Summary:

Watching the iPad’s first television spot on the Oscars Sunday night, I got giddy all over again in anticipation of getting my hands on this hot new product. Though it’s still a few weeks away, I’m even more excited for the applications that will be coming […]

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Watching the iPad’s first television spot on the Oscars Sunday night, I got giddy all over again in anticipation of getting my hands on this hot new product. Though it’s still a few weeks away, I’m even more excited for the applications that will be coming to the platform. Here’s my top 10 list of apps that I want to see developed for the iPad.

Coda

As a graphic designer and web developer, Coda is a staple in my workflow. It features a built-in FTP system, which could be problematic to port to a mobile device, considering there isn’t a traditional file structure to store data. However, perhaps the iPad’s new file storage system will provide an adequate solution. Regardless, as someone who codes, it would be awesome to sit next to a client and modify code and push changes to a site all from my iPad while they load and test the revisions on their own desktop.

Photoshop

Before you laugh, remember that Adobe has already released Photoshop Mobile for the iPhone, and all things considered, it’s not such a bad application. A larger iPad version could allow support for opening and manipulating native Photoshop files as well as working between multiple files. CS4 introduced a new tabbed approach to viewing multiple documents at once. A similar setup could easily be implemented on the iPad.

Katamari Damacy

What’s a fun touchscreen device without a fun game? Katamari already exists as an iPhone app so it’ll scale up decently on the iPad. But given the advanced graphics of the iPad and the larger screen, a native iPad version is a must. If you’ve never played Katamari, check out this clip below.

iMovie

Call me crazy (it doesn’t hurt to be wishful) but the feasibility of an iMovie-like app is certainly within the realm of possibility. I would have never expected Apple to introduce video editing on the iPhone. Nevertheless, along with a video camera, the iPhone 3GS allows for simple video edits. Why couldn’t we have a larger implementation of this on the iPad, provided it gains a video camera at some point? With the larger screen, there’s plenty of room to view a larger timeline, add transitions or effects and with one tap, upload your masterpiece to YouTube.

iChat

I’m actually quite surprised this app still hasn’t made it to the iPhone yet, but as a platform that’s designed to be “the best way to experience the web, email, photos and video,” the iPad seems like the perfect device for iChat, especially if a future model gains a video camera.

Screen Sharing or Remote Desktop

There have been a number of third-party developers that have created similar apps for the iPhone, but I’m honestly shocked to see that Apple hasn’t implemented its own solution yet. With a larger screen and almost full-size keyboard, remotely accessing and interacting with other Macs on my network would be a breeze on the iPad.

Preview

While the iBooks application will open books that are in EPUB format, I’d love to see a more robust implementation of Preview available on the iPad (and iPhone). Specifically, an app that is capable of annotating PDF files and provides support for links within PDFs. Since I’m also an academic, some of the journals I read (as PDFs) contain bookmarks to other articles or chapters and currently, none of the built-in applications on the iPhone support interacting with them.

Hulu

I don’t care how it has to happen or if it involves Flash or not. Who doesn’t want Hulu on the iPad? Even if it required a small subscription, I would love to be able to access my Hulu queue on the go. Better yet, since the iPad is a closed system, the app could download and cache content so it wouldn’t necessarily have to be streamed in real time. This could be a great solution to save AT&T’s crowded bandwidth for 3G models and allow WiFi-only models to still play even if a network isn’t around. I’d pay for that; would you?

Bento/Filemaker

Now that we have iWork, how about a real implementation of Bento (or FileMaker if that’s not too much to ask)? The current iPhone version is pretty pathetic and really hard to use to manipulate larger databases. While FileMaker may be a stretch, I’d put serious money on seeing an iPad version of Bento before the year is out.

An Improved iTunes App

It looks as though the new iTunes app represents a step ahead of the current iPhone version, but there are still some missing features that would make this app a rock star on the iPad. Adding support for Internet radio, browsing my other libraries by Home Sharing or support for iTunes Extras and LPs would be amazing. Honestly, why hasn’t Apple announced support of iTunes Extras and LPs? The specs call for a viewing area of 1280×720 (the 720p high definition standard). They also call for building your iTunes Extras with what’s called a bleed graphic, or a graphic that can “fill in the extra space” if you’re viewing it at a size greater than 1280×720. Now given that as a way to compensate for a difference in aspect ratios, if you were to scale down an iTunes Extra for the 1024×768 display, wouldn’t it just make sense? Come on, if the Apple TV can do it (and we all know how excited Apple gets about that product), shouldn’t the iPad as well?

What are your thoughts on apps you’d like to see? Share your thoughts in the comments below. The great thing about Apple’s developer community is that they keep up with what’s discussed in the blogosphere. You never know; a developer might see your suggestions. So, share what you’d like to see on the iPad!

  1. Great suggestions! Two missing apps that make the iPad not for me (yet) are iChat (or Skype) and Garageband (Lite, if necessary). As a songwriter, I would love to have the ability to sketch out song ideas on the go, and then be able to pull them into Logic for further development once back home. I do this now with my old iBook, but it’s time I had a new portable and I’d love it to be an iPad rather than fork over for a MacBook!

  2. Some multiple choice e-learning system. It can be online, but it’s easier to monetize through the AppStore.

  3. The reason apple hasn’t put LP’s and extra’s on the iPad was because it uses elements of flash, and LP’s are all the more reason apple should have incorporated flash.

    1. I’m pretty sure iTunes LP’s do not use Flash. Not sure about iTunes Extras, though.

    2. jobs hates flash and itunes extras work the same way as the LP’s do – w/o it.

    3. Neither iTunes LP nor iTunes Extras make any use of flash. Both make use of internet standard CSS, HTML and javascript – they’re more powerful than you might think. Apple would never use a technology they’d like to see phased out.

  4. My number one would definitely be Feedly! Feedly creates a gorgeous magazine-like view of RSS feeds that would be smashing on a screen like the ipads. Can’t wait.

    @Ondrej – iFlipr has a great multiple choice learning interface on their iphone app. It should scale well to the iPad and should look super on a bigger screen.

  5. Add Scrivener, the popular writer’s tool, to the list. It’d make writing on the go a delight.

  6. So let’s count Mr. Paul as being in the “is a productivity device” camp.

    On my first day at a startup, I programmed with one of those roll-up keyboards. Somehow we found the budget to replace it before I finished my first cup of coffee. Programming on the iPad can only do worse, unless text prediction starts recognizing code.

    A MacBook just isn’t that much more expensive or difficult to lug around. It pays for itself in efficiency, and a keyboard is still where it’s at for big/long thoughts.

    What about builtin iPhone apps like Clock and Weather?

    1. Mostly agree, and I won’t be letting go of my physical keyboards for a while. However, a lot of programming time, for me at least, is spent refactoring/testing/tweaking that doesn’t require much typing. If I need to type, I’ll grab a real keyboard, but I’m really looking forward to being able to get a change of scene by using some flavor of remote desktop or, preferably native apps. (it could happen) It may be naive: I’ll let you know in a month or so!

  7. I would like to see something that functions as a print que that can print directly to my wireless HP printer. That was I can create documents in Pages and print directly from the iPad without having to sync to my MacBook Pro first – that would be awesome…

    1. I’ll second that.

    2. Ahhmen, I am hoping to be able to print to a wireless printer.

  8. “Who doesn’t want Hulu on the iPad?” How about everyone who doesn’t live in the USA?

    1. Unless we can also have HotSpotSheild on the iPad…

  9. I would really like to see the Pages app to have drawing capability!!! Like when I am taking notes in school and the teacher draws a little reference figure I could just use my finger and draw it. Amazing. And even when she does calculations, I could draw them out and it would notice what I am drawing and make my lines straight. This would create the perfect app EVER for notes.

    1. Better yet, just have the notes app support sketching, pictures, webclips and map snippets, even integrating the voice memo app, and don’t limit sketching just to boxes, I want to draw on maps and over photos. We need a next gen journal/scrapbook app.

    2. Evernote could fulfil that role? I hear they’re working on an iPad version. Or Momento…?

    3. evernote is just too clunky, and no sketching I use take a note but that lacks online sync

    4. that being said I still want one thats text, sketch, clips, images all on one page

  10. Opening and manipulating native photoshop files on an iPad sounds to me like a big ask, at least from the point of view of anyone with a decent camera. Where would all the memory come from to store the working page and the undo page on a 10-20mpx camera file let alone the processing power to process such files.

  11. Thomas Maier Tuesday, March 9, 2010

    I definitely have to laugh. Photoshop? Calling something Photoshop doesn’t make it Photoshop. What Adobe calls “Photoshop” on the iPhone isn’t Photoshop. It’s 1% of Lightroom or something but nothing more. The actual Photoshop won’t come to the iPad. Why? This means a whole new version of Photoshop which means it costs money which means it will be expensive which means the only pro customers would buy it which means it needs paths support which means cursor support because you can’t provide pixel-level precise graphics and icons with you finger tip. No Photoshop on the iPad. Never. I bet!

    1. Well never say never. :) Nobody expected Photoshop Mobile to come out on the iPhone… but it did.

      You make some excellent points, Thomas. It would require a whole new version of Photoshop; just like any other “major” app that one might port from the Mac to the iPad. Though that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. If there’s a market for it, it’ll see the light of day. It might be really watered down, like Photoshop Elements, but it’s still possible.

      You’ve seen the touch styluses for the iPhone, right? The ones that are based on capacitive touch? With one of those your iPad would become a nice little tablet, wouldn’t it? Perhaps pixel-level precision isn’t as far off as you thought. :) Thanks for your comments!

    2. I can imagine something like Pixelmator working really well on an iPad. I also believe John Nack has stated that Adobe have actively been developing for the iPad for some time…
      http://blogs.adobe.com/jnack/2010/01/if_adobe_did_an_ipad_app.html

    3. photoforge and a pogo stylus

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  14. I’d like to see a uTorrent app! (For non-copyright infringing purposes…of course)

    1. Haha… Of course.

  15. Somebody will hate me but I would love to have VMware Fusion or a similar virtual machine. Or at least an Outlook compatibility at 100%. That will make my life easier. Imagine to run win applicatios over the ipad.

    1. Why, so you can experience the “blue screen of death” on your iPad?

    2. Torbjørn Vik Lunde Chore Wednesday, March 10, 2010

      iPad doesn’t have Intel-chip, so I don’t think you could virtualize Windows on it, however I’m betting there will be plenty of apps that allow you to connect to a Windows-machine and work on it remotely. (Either Citrix or Microsofts own Remote Desktop.)

      @Andy: It’s not cool anymore to make fun of Microsofts Blue Screens, after they moved all their OS to the NT-plattform (Windows 2000, XP, Vista and 7), their OS has veen quite stable.

      Remember, being a fan of a product doesn’t mean you have to hate it’s competitors and attempt to make fun of them at every chance…

  16. As long as it has a nicely built version of Instapaper, Tweetie and Facebook I’ll be happy. Would love to see Espresso/Transmit included for on the go code changes but think that’s too much to hope for… initially anyway.

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  19. I don’t buy Apple fans argument that missing flash is no big deal. I have always been an Apple fan, but I don’t blindly follow the rest of the Apple herd. This omission puts the IPAD off many mobile users shopping list, and for me this is the deal breaker.

    1. I may never understand that just because we do not miss a feature that an Apple product is lacking that we are “following the herd.” For myself I view flash as more a delivery system for ad on web pages, and to be honest I have had an iPhone for a year or longer, and didn’t notice it didn’t have flash. I can understand you may not be able to live without flash; however, those of us that can shouldn’t be accused of following the herd. Students for example may not care about flash but the textbook capabilities. Just because people do not love the same features that you do doesn’t mean they are just buying what Steve Jobs is telling them to.

    2. Torbjørn Vik Lunde akear Wednesday, March 10, 2010

      Have the thought occured to you that some people actually dislike flash, and are quite happy that Apple is actually doing something to kill it? (Although killing Flash is probably not the motivation for not including it, not the main at least.)

      To me it is simply a matter of principles, the web should be free of plugins (Yes, that means I’m not really a huge fan of Quicktime on the web either.). For video use HTML5, for animation use SVG og Canvas. The list of things that Flash can do, but modern HTML/CSS can’t do is shrinking rapidly.

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  22. Sheldon McConnell Wednesday, March 10, 2010

    Are you kidding me, there is only one app I want to see….and thats an app that can predict the future. Imagine the exciting possibilities.

    Please, I challenge anyone to walk in the front doors of Hasbro/ParkerBrothers with a magical app called “Ouija iPad” and tell them you have seen the future.

    O-Wee-Gee !

  23. I see what you mean.
    But there are to much requirements which would last to long:

    Pro customers need performance. You can’t comprare the iPad with a current Mac Pro or an iMac, of course. So even if you have the possibility to use Photoshop like you would on the computer you can’t. Yes, performance is a matter of time, but this also holds true for Mac Pros and iMacs and in 4 years – who knows – we maybe get Mac OS 11 with a native multi touch GUI. And that we can restart debating about Photoshop on finger-touch devices.

    Styluses is something Apple will never bring back to touch devices (Steve even mentioned that on the first announcement of the iPhone classic). So the only way would be a version of Photoshop with a stylus attached. I can’t imagine that. In addition to that, the keyboard is a key feature for Photoshop. You need the precision of a mouse cursor and the handling of a keyboard (shortcuts, arrow keys to move path points, ..) – to the same time within the workflow. Do you really want an on-screen keyboard or this hardware keyboard Apple announced plus a stylus? How do you move a path point about a tenth pixel? (On an actual computer you select the point with the cursor, zoom way in and then hit the arrow key.)
    I believe that the iPad is great for drawing. But for that there is already an application in progress. I guess Adobe could go the same way but that’s still far behind a full featured Photoshop.
    And when you look at iWork for iPad you can see that they tried really hard to rebuild the interface from the ground up. And the feature amount of iWork is just a fraction of Photoshop. And to have a usable version of Photoshop you need extremely good interface designers. And not stuff like that: http://adobegripes.tumblr.com/

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  25. Pau Balagué Peláez Friday, March 12, 2010

    I would KILL for a Celtx app in the iPad… The ability to work on scripts while on the go is a must

  26. I want myseft to see the Brushes at the iPad, this will be a killer application. I cannot wait for solutions like Wacon Tablet on my iPad to integrate to the iMac and MBP.

  27. Coda:
    Depends on what kind of sys you develp.

    But I think it’s a bad idea to modify code on the fly and push it to client test site.

  28. DJ

    An app for Mac that allows you to mix two songs on a virtual turntable. It would be awesome on a touch device, and the iPad would be the perfect size.

  29. I would kill for iPad version of old Panzer Genaeral game by ISS. Its simple, addictive and would work awesome with touch screen. Plz some one make it happen :)

  30. I haven’t bought an iPad yet because I cannot watch hulu. Watching my shows and reading books, that was the plan.

    I’ve been hoping for the ability to create invoices for Quickbooks. I’m hoping a programmer will see this and take up the project. A sync with the customer list, item list and whatever else is needed for invoices. Then when I am on site at a class I can enter what the customer buys, and when I sync at home the new data is added to the quickbooks file.

    I would have bought the iPad without the hulu ability if I could have done this.

    Right now I use Quickbooks in a dropbox folder on my laptop but a 13″ MacBook is still more cumbersome than the sleek iPad.

  31. What would be amazing is an app that lets you run two apps side by side. I know there is an app called side by side, and it is great for what it is. What I am envisioning is students had writing a paper, then needing to type it up. It is totally possible for them to hand write on the iPad using Notes + or Note Taker HD and it is possible to type it using pages. However, quick switching between the two would be awkward. What if the two could mold together for these purposes?

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