updated 02:45 pm EST, Wed January 27, 2010
Devs will be able to use iPhone SDK for iPad apps
Apple on Wednesday introduced several apps, including the iWork suite, that have been optimized for the company's new iPad tablet. The iWork apps include Keynote, Pages and Numbers, with each utility redesigned for the tablet's multi-touch interface. During the iPad unveileing, Apple marketing executive Phil Schiller provided a demonstration of the iWork apps.
Pages utilizes the virtual QWERTY keyboard for primary input, allowing users to enter text as the tablet is oriented in the landscape or portrait modes. The interface also features a new Page Navigator tool for quickly switching between pages, while text is automatically reformatted around images that are dragged into the body of the document.
Keynote utilizes the multi-touch interface for actions relating to slide arrangement, transition configuration and graphics, among others. The UI, like the other iWork apps, drastically reduces the need for a typical menu system of the desktop versions.
Numbers also takes advantage of the touch-based input methods. Users can bring up a variety of different keypads, each geared for entering different types of data.
Apple claims the iPad will run almost 140,000 App Store titles that were originally designed for the iPhone. Users will be able to choose between the original iPhone size, which appears as a small box on the larger iPad screen, or the image can be expanded to fill the screen. The iPhone SDK 3.2 beta allows developers to create apps that are designed specifically for the iPad, or for simultaneous compatibility with the iPhone.
Along with the document software, Apple also introduced a new iBooks app that works as an e-book reader. As earlier rumors suggested, the company is highlighting the device as a perfect tool for reading books or other print content such as magazines and newspapers. The New York Times previewed an iPad version of their newspaper, with drop-down contextual menus for additional features including embedded videos.
The iPad is expected to ship in 60 days, with Wi-Fi versions starting at $500 and 3G-enabled models starting at $630. Users will be able to purchase the iWork apps directly from the App Store for $10 each. iWork files created or edited on the iPad will also be compatible with the desktop versions of the software.