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Design iOS 6 Apps for the Larger iPad Screen

The important design decision to make when developing mobiles apps for iOS 6, whether you’re starting from scratch with a new iPad app or evolving one from an iPhone app, is whether to use the large iPad screen and the new user interface elements to give people access to more information in one place.

Although you don’t want to pack too much information into one screen, you do want to prevent people from feeling that they must visit many different screens to find what they want.

An iPad app can offer the primary content on the Main view and provide additional information or tools in an auxiliary view (such as a popover that appears above the Main view) to give users access to functions without requiring them to leave the context of the Main view.

The large iPad screen also gives you a lot more room for multifinger gestures, including gestures made by more than one person. An iPad app can react to gestures and offer touch controls and pop-up settings that are relevant to what you’re actually doing in the app and where you place your fingers.

With a display the size of a netbook, you have a lot more screen real estate to allow dragging and two-finger gestures with graphics and images, and depending on what you’re doing, a tap or gesture on a particular part of the screen can have a particular function.

For example, in the Gameloft version of the first-person shooter called Nova (as adapted to the iPad), the display size gives you more flexibility than the iPhone version, with more controls and objects such as mini-maps, and you can slide two fingers across the screen to throw grenades.

With all this in mind, you need to consider at least two things — besides functionality, of course — when it comes to creating a great iPad or iPhone app:

  • Creating a compelling user experience

  • Exploiting the platform and ecosystem

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