The iPad announcement received its fair share of jeers for everything from its name resemblance to a ladies’ cleanliness item to its visual similarities to a large iPod. Still, Apple has hit gold before, and its general size makes it much more a potential alternative to laptops than anything they’ve made before.
“You can see how there’s a lot of people, including some businesses, and some students, who don’t need a full PC,” said Trip Hawkins, CEO of Digital Chocolate to Inc.com. “I see the tablet as being the ultimate browser experience. The big screen makes it better for viewing than a mobile phone, and opens up a lot of possibilities.”
There’s a lot of potential for new iPad related Apps when the device releases; Retronyms made a lot of money off of a voice-capture app when the iPhone debuted. The founder of the San Francisco-based software company says that developers should think different. “We believe that music is one of the best uses for iPad, so that’s different, and can be exciting,” he says. “The ones that will have a GPS will have a cellular network, so you can imagine making some really big, beautiful, location-aware games for them, too.”
While many iPhone Apps will work on the iPad, some developers are refreshing their old products for the iPad. Digital Chocolate is, for instance, optimizing Roller-Coaster Rush for the larger screen iPad. “To really make that the best use of the iPad, you’re going to want to update your color palate depth and frame rate and graphic capabilities,” said Hawkins.
Having a hit on day one is nice to have, but not necessary (or likely). Having good long term success can be helped by generating buzz, marketing, cross-promoting, and creating infrastructure. “It’s not necessarily the day that comes out that it needs to have blockbuster sales,” says Greg Trefry, iPhone app specialist. “Think about what audience you’re going after, and how that person interacts with their device.”
“From social games on Facebook to iPhone games, there’s no longer the old-school concept of putting it out there and then it’s done,” he says. “Now it’s all about interacting with your fans, and making appropriate updates based on feedback.”
Of course, making a game for the App Store can be a good bet as well, seeing as how half of the paid Apps are games. “A game with good quality game mechanics doesn’t really benefit that much from throwing a lot of great graphics at it,” said Hawkins.