Friday, February 19, 2010

A Developer Says Why She Thinks the iPad is a Raging Content Machine

In early 2007 Marine Leroux was surfing the Internet in her Paris, France apartment when she came across Apple’s announcement of the iPhone. She heard a click and it wasn't her mouse. Later she would say in her LinkedIn profile that her goal was to “become a user experience expert in Apple’s iPhone application design, worldwide.”

Leroux was a former head of International sales development for Adobe. She understood when Steven Jobs, Apple CEO, proclaimed at the MacWorld Conference & Expo 2007 that the iPhone, was “a revolutionary product that would change everything,” with a user interface design that combined Apple’s popular iPod music device with phone and Internet browsing capability

Fast forward three years later, when Jobs in trademark jeans and black t-shirt speaking at Expo 2010, positioned Apple as the “number one mobile device company in the world,” and announced another new offering from the magic software kingdom, the iPad.

This time many technology pundits didn’t exactly get the Big Fuss. (Look! It's a laptop, it’s a mobile phone, no, it’s an iPad!”) Giving a similar demo as the one he gave three years earlier, Jobs showed photos, movies, great album cover arts, but then so what? Many walked away saying that marketplace would be the iPad's final arbiter of success.

Those whose business is to remain in operating system know, whined about the inability to use and develop interactive Flash applications on the iPad, many developers pointing figures and accusing each other of just wanting to watch Flash porn on the Internet. Apple said that Flash just hogged too much OS memory, picked up its cookies and walked away.

Some developers like Jonathan Hollin on binarybonsai said, “I am genuinely at a loss as to just what all the fuss is about… an overhyped oversized iphone.”

Marine Leroux, the developer mentioned at the beginning of this entry, sees Apple's device as a new content delivery platform.  She has developed successful applications for the iPhone under the auspices of her company Leroux is also the founder of the iPhone Network Lounge in San Francisco, and a recent speaker at the Photoshop Developers Group talking about iPhone application development.

Carlos Icaza, co-founder and CEO of Ansca whose software, SDK Corona, allows developers to create iPhone and iPad applications more quickly rather than using the device's native language,  is on the board of directors of Bamboudesign. Backed up by compiled code, Leroux is passionate about iPad development possibilities.

“There’s an enormous opportunity here to make content a more engaging, compelling experience,” she said as we shared a cheese platter in downtown San Francisco. “This is a more powerful, portable device that includes iWork, which is Apple’s version of Microsoft Office applications Pages (Word), Numbers (Excel), and Keynote (PowerPoint).

Leroux is all for using the additional space of the iPad to create richer applications and said so in the New York Times following the iPad announcement. “When you’ve got more space, why not make the most of it?” Why simply port applications designed for the iPhone and iPod to a different device, she opined, when you can use the new platform to do something better?

 Leroux thinks that the larger iPad canvas with a great Internet browsing experience offers a chance to integrate more functionality onto fewer screens and to deepen the user experience. An example is embedding “GPS and other mobile technologies in one place.” 

She feels the real opportunity is for educational developers and publishers, particularly as the newspaper industry struggles to reinvent itself. With the iPad’s larger and superior display and 10 hours of battery life, Leroux sees the possibility of creating a “more intimate relationship between the user and an application.”

So as developers cozy up to the iPad, this new Swiss Army Knife of the mobile technology world, Leroux knows that as platforms come and go, there always will be game developers.

But she feels that the iPad will allow new content developers to reach a wider audience, including children.”This can be a Sesame Street for new learners, all learners.”

Find details of the next iPhone Network Lounge.


Lenore Weiss

Posted via email from techtabletalk's posterous

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