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Web Design \ FEB 4th 2010

Hey Web Designer, What Can the iPAD Do for You?

iPad Photos

From the comic book industry to used cars salesmen, everybody’s talking about how the new iPad will change their small business. Once again, Steve Jobs caused a minor earthquake when he presented the new Apple gizmo and now people are eager to prepare themselves for the post-iPad era. Which brings us to the question, what revolution will the iPad bring to the world of web design, if any?

The first obvious novelty that the iPad brings along is a new size. We’re talking 9.7″ and 1024-by-768-pixel resolution at 132 PPI. True, the Kindle also has a 9.7″ display, and I’m sure other widgets as well, but the iPad is aiming to bring these measurements to the mainstream. So are we saying goodbye to oversized headers? Will the iPad mark the return of pop-ups? Or will scrolling on the touch screen make everything a lot easier?

One major questions is the flash issue. Adobe were quick to post a statement saying: “It is our intent to make it possible for Flash developers to build applications that can take advantage of the increased screen size and resolution of the iPad”. Basically, they plan to adjust their “Packager for iPhone” (which converts flash content for iPhones) to the iPad. It will not happen right away when the iPad is released, but Adobe is in a rush to make it ASAP. Naturally, using flash techniques on this platform will put a smile on many web designers’ faces. Anyway, the iPad news already opened a new front in the war between Apple and Adobe. With Steve Jobs calling Apple “Lazy” and Adobe accusing Apple with restricting programmers’ creativity, it looks like the cat fight is heating up.

iPad App StoreAnother interesting influence that the iPad might have on web designers is due to its purpose(s). The iPad will have numerous uses. It offers an alternative to the family photo album, to your library, to your school notebook and what not. If it delivers on all these promises, it will become omnipresent. It’s hard to predict which design aftereffects this will bring, but web designers are unlikely to remain indifferent. For one thing, an emergin need for new apps can lead to a bonanza for talented designers.

There are, of course, those who claim that the iPad is nothing more than a bigger iPhone and that it will bear no new gospel whatsoever. The majority of people whose lives have changed because of the iPod or the iPhone will beg to differ. It also doesn’t really matter, because the hype already started. We don’t need to wait for the iPad release to see the changes. They’re already on course.

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