The Success of the iPad Will Come Down to App Development

Five days or so into my experience with the iPad and it continues to exceed expectations (by far). I’ve spent somewhere between $120 and $150 in the Apple iTunes App store, which compared to my previous purchases of apps (read: $0), means there is more cash flowing into Steve Jobs’ coffers. The overwhelming indication continues to be that the success of the iPad will come down to the applications that software companies develop for it. We bought our iPads for business purposes. As an Internet company, the easier we can access data, the better we can respond to customer needs.

Business Productivity on the iPad

The main benefit of the iPad is it allows us to monitor profits, costs, bills, and customer messages in real-time across all of our businesses. I can see, quite literally, sales flow into our sporting goods business or baby retailer as I sit on the balcony drinking coffee and listening to Coldplay’s Viva la Vida (which I’ve had on repeat all day). I can monitor our investment positions and submit complex options positions with a few clicks (er… taps). It has allowed me to get up from my desk and spend time elsewhere, greatly improving the quality of life.

If I’m already using the iPad to revolutionize our trading and investing positions, can you imagine when software companies develop high-end apps that allows medical records to be wirelessly access by doctors or nurses? What about lawyers that can access case law databases?

Books on the iPad

The Apple iBook store can be great. It’s just not there, yet. There isn’t nearly enough selection, especially when compared to the Amazon Kindle (which explains why I use the Kindle app and buy books from Amazon for the iPad). I should have the ability to print directly from the iPad any page I’ve noted, complete with my markups. Imagine what that would do for business productivity.

Games on the iPad

On the gaming front, there are a lot of things that could make the iPad a game changer. For example, if Square-Enix were to release the Final Fantasy games up through FFIX, I’d buy them in a heartbeat, no questions asked. If I can play Monopoly with my family members wireless over a network connection, regardless of physical distance, I’d be thrilled because it would be another way to spend time together.