Develop iOS 6 Apps for iPad’s Big Screen

When developing mobile apps for iOS 6, keep in mind that the iPad display offers enough space to show a laptop-style application (which is one reason why web pages look so great).

You can organize your app with a master list and detailed list of menu choices, or in a layout for Landscape orientation with a source column on the left and a view on the right — similar to the OS X versions of iTunes and iPhoto and exemplified by the Contacts app on the iPad.

Note: Although the iPhone screen is smaller than the iPad screen, don’t think of the iPhone screen as being “tiny.” The iPhone 5 screen, for example, at 1136 x 640 pixels, displays more pixels (on a smaller physical screen) than the original Macintosh screen (512 x 342 pixels).

The first Mac had a 0.18-megapixel monochrome display. The iPhone 5 clocks in at a 0.73-megapixel (four times larger) dazzling full-color display. Progress is a wonderful thing, eh?

If you’re familiar with iPhone apps and OS X applications, the iPad is somewhere in between. With the iPad touch-sensitive display, you no longer have to create different screens of menus (as you might for an iPhone app) or deploy drop-down menus and toolbars (as you might for an OS X app) to offer many functions.

For example, to crop and mask out parts of an image in Apple’s Keynote app for the iPad (the app that lets you create slide shows), you don’t have to select a photo and then hunt for the cropping tool or select a menu item — just double-tap the image and a mask slider appears.

In Apple’s Numbers app for the iPad, if you double-tap a numeric formula, the app displays a special numeric-and-function keyboard rather than a full-text keyboard — and the app can recognize what you’re doing and finish the function (such as a Sum function) for you.

These are examples of redesigning a known type of application to get rid of (or at least minimize) that modal experience of using a smartphone app — that sinking feeling of having only one path of communication to perform a task or supply a response.

iPad applications should allow people to interact with them in nonlinear ways. Modality prevents this freedom by interrupting a user’s workflow and forcing the user to choose a particular path.

Lists are a common way to efficiently display large amounts of information in iPhone apps. Lists are very useful in iPad apps, too, but you should take this opportunity to investigate whether you can present the same information in a richer way on the larger display.

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