iPad OS and apps
After months of speculation, we now know that the Apple iPad runs the same iPhone OS as the Apple iPhone and iPod touch. The iPhone OS will run on the iPad’s 1GHz Apple A4 processor, and run the same software as the Apple smartphone does.
Apple has created custom iPad versions of their iWork Numbers, Keynote and Pages applications, which will each be available for $9.99. Numbers will allow uses to create and modify spreadsheets on the iPad, complete with tables and graphs, complex calculations and a dedicated numeric-entry onscreen keyboard layout. Keynote is a powerful presentation application for the iPad, supporting animations and transitions. Used with the Apple iPad Dock Connector to VGA Adapter, these presentations can be easily shown on on a display or via a projector. Finally, Pages is a word processor that can either be used with the iPad’s onscreen QWERTY keyboard or the Apple iPad Keyboard Dock with its full-sized hardware keyboard.
The other new application for the iPad is iBooks, a new ebook reader intended to take on Amazon’s Kindle. iBooks is linked to an online ebook store, which can be used to browse through titles, read reviews, download samples and then purchase ebooks, all from the iPad itself. Apple has partnered with Penguin, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, MacMillan and Hachett Book Group for ebooks, and will offer both fiction and textbooks in the iBooks store. Apple ebooks can include B&W and color text, photos, video and other multimedia, and the text are resizable with user-changeable fonts.
Although Apple has added iPad support to the iPhone SDK, the iPad will also run all of the existing applications for the iPhone. That means iPad buyers already have over 140,000 different apps to choose from, including Facebook, Pandora, games and more. iPhone apps on the iPad can either run at their normal size, centered in the middle of the iPad’s multitouch display, or can be doubled in size to occupy the full screen. As on the iPhone, the App Store is available directly from the iPad homescreen, and free and paid applications can be downloaded straight to the iPad. Apple will feature iPad-specific software on the App Store homepage.
While the iPad does not support Flash, it does have a YouTube viewer as on the iPhone for watching streaming video. Adobe have announced that Flash Pro CS5 will include iPad support in Packager for iPhone, which will allow Flash developers to release their apps as standalone programs through the App Store.