Want to know what freshly developed apps for the iPad are going to feel like? Looking through Apple’s iPad User Experience Guidelines is surprisingly revealing.
Some of the key points Apple’s pushing on app developers for the iPad, and how Apple thinks their apps should behave:
• They want apps to work no matter how you hold the iPad: “Your application should encourage people to interact with iPad from any side by providing a great experience in all orientations.”
• They don’t want applications to just be bigger: “The best iPad applications give people innovative ways to interact with content while they perform a clearly defined, finite task. Resist the temptation to fill the large screen with features that are not directly related to the main task. In particular, you should not view the large iPad screen as an invitation to bring back all the functionality you pruned from your iPhone application.” That’s some straight talk.
• They’re super into the sharing thing: “Think of ways people might want to use your application with others. Expand your thinking to include both the physical sharing of a single device and the virtual sharing of data.”
• The weirdly oddly “realistic” bookshelf in iBooks isn’t a fluke: “Consider a more real-world vision of your application. For example, on iPhone, Contacts is a streamlined list, but on iPad, Contacts is an address book with a beautifully tangible look and feel.”
• Multi-finger gestures will abound: “The large iPad screen provides great scope for multifinger gestures, including gestures made by more than one person.”
• It shouldn’t feel like a computer, even if the iPad actually lets you do things with files now: “Although iPad applications can allow people to create and manipulate files and share them with a computer (when the device is docked), this does not mean that people should have a sense of the file system on iPad.”