As the iPad launch nears, a few developers are showing their conceptual and nearly completed app designs. One of my favorite iPhone apps, Instapaper, is receiving the iPad treatment on day one (if, of course, it gets through the App Store review filtration).
Developer Marco Arment just posted actual screenshots from his Instapaper for the iPad. He describes it as such:
The short answer: It looks like Instapaper Pro, but bigger, and with slight interface tweaks and redesigns where appropriate.
He took the conservative route and basically scaled Instapaper on iPhone for the iPad’s resolution, adopted the new UI elements, and appropriately mimicked Apple’s iPad Mail app for Instapaper’s landscape view.
As is the case with every developer (save, perhaps, the lucky bastards at WSJ and New York Times), no one has held or used an iPad extensively, and no one has tested their working apps on it. This is undoubtedly why Arment took his safe approach for porting Instapaper to the iPad. Promisingly, he states:
I’ll experiment with more radical interface changes in the future, once I’ve had time to actually use the iPad for a while and figure out what really works on it, what doesn’t, and what the hardware can handle.
Good. I was really hoping for a mix of columns and pagination (the latter of which I love in the iPhone version), and perhaps he’ll figure out a successful way to implement them. I just hope this design philosophy (at least early on) doesn’t lend credence to the criticisms that the iPad is merely a “bigger iPhone.”