Apple just finished their iPad event. Here’s what you’ll want to know as a developer:
Jobs says the device is for, “Browsing the web. Doing email. Enjoying and sharing pics. Watching videos. Enjoying music. Playing games. Reading ebooks.”
It’ll run unmodified iPhone apps out of the box in two modes: actual size, which takes up half the screen, and scaled up 2x for full screen. This implies the 9.7″ screen has a resolution of 960-by-640. Update: henning informs us that it’s 1024×768.
The device runs Apple’s own A4 chip at 1GHz. Other than a bare Wikipedia page there’s not much data on the chip. It’s an ARM chip, which is why it can run the unmodified iPhone binaries.
The device has 802.11N WiFi and Blue Tooth 2.1 + EDD. Unlocked 3G GSM is an option. There is no camera. Not clear on compass/location hardware — maps app suggests location capabilities, but can’t find anything. Update: Ken Pespisa points out that Apple’s published the specs since I wrote this: compass and location in the 3G model.
Apple will release the SDK later today. It’s not clear whether this’ll be pre-release and, therefore, covered under NDA or not. If it’s not, we’ll have how-to pieces starting shortly. Update: it’s available, and it’s pre-release. We’ll queue up our pieces for after the NDA drops.
What’s notable about the SDK? From the press event we can say:
There’s still no multi-tasking.
With the larger screen comes many new UI elements and layout options. These options aren’t lifted directly from OS-X, but are a blend of OS-X and iPhone OS: Apps can have panels/panes. Tables can have multiple columns. Tab interfaces have been expanded to include OS-X like top-of-screen tab-window/panel picker style (vs. bottom of window iPhone tab menus). Most notable:
Pop-over/drop-dow style menus are in frequent use; e.g., the bookmark and font-chooser floating menus.
The iPhone HIG and other Apple documentation make it clear that iPhone is considered a one column, one window platform. Does that imply the pop-over style menus won’t come to the iPhone?
Lots of implications here for building your app specifically for one device or the other; if the new goodies on the iPad become expected/familiar then bare iPhone apps will rub iPad users the wrong way; conversely, spending the time to make a true iPad app has to be weighed against the 70MM devices with iPhone display specs.
As an incentive for developers Apple will be pimping iPad optimized apps in the store.
Finally, Apple is selling the iWork apps in the App store at $9.99 each. Good move, setting a higher price expectation.