Now that the iPad's shipping it's a land-grab for app developers. A lot of the larger developers had iPad-native apps ready for Saturday's launch, but several didn't.
While it's true that the iPhone/iPod touch version of the app will run on the iPad, it's a waste of screen real estate. What's worse is that "mini apps" remind me that I really don't need an iPad -- because the app runs fine on my iPhone!
Sure, you can double the pixel resolution of an iPhone/iPod app by tapping the little "2x" icon in the lower-right corner, it's bogus. A blown-up iPhone apps feels like you're holding the iPhone too close to your face or something. It's hard to describe other than being off-putting.
Developers that have established, popular apps need to accommodate the larger screen real estate offered by the iPad or risk losing app loyalty (and sales) to competitors that offer iPad versions. Here are a couple of missing iPad apps:
Amazon – Surprisingly there's no native Amazon app for the iPad. You'd think that Bezos and company would want to sell stuff to iPad users, but I guess not. It's a weird oversight for the mega-retailer, especially when you consider that eBay has a native app and that Amazon already released its Kindle app for the iPad.
Facebook Mobile - Another glaring omission is Facebook for iPad. Om thinks its because developer Joe Hewitt left, but really guys? No iPad app? There's got to be programming prodigy on staff at FB that could bang out a full-screen iPad client in an afternoon. Don't get duped into spilling $3 for the super-lame Facebook Ultimate either (no link love), it's a fourth-party hack that's universally panned in the reviews. Opt instead for the Web app, http://touch.facebook.com until FB gets its act together.
Gowalla – Speaking of social media app, where's Gowalla? I love it on the iPhone but as I stated above I'm not a 2x resolution guy. Same goes for Foursquare. Aol has release AIM for iPad, but that's about it.
DropBox - Cloud storage apps are also notably absent for the iPad. There's no Dropbox or Mobile Me iDisk. SugarSync does have an iPad app, so that's what I'm using for file storage for the time being.
Google Earth, Google Mobile - No surprises there, sadly.
Grand Theft Auto – While I'm not much of a gamer, GTA rocks on the iPhone/iPod touch and has a lot of potential for an iPad game. But that's a bit of a stretch because there are a lot of other great iPad games already on the App Store. More on them in a future post.