Week in review March 12 – 16

iOS Developers Prepare for Retina Display

Apple’s new iPad will be released in the US today, and developers are preparing their apps for its high-resolution display. As of this writing, the folloing apps are ready to look fantastic on Apple’s Retina display, among others:

  1. Tweetbot for iPad
  2. Twitterrific for iPad
  3. NYTimes for iPad
  4. Amazon Kindle for iPad
  5. Evernote
  6. Day One
  7. Star Walk for iPad
  8. The Early Edition 2
  9. Another Monster at the End of This Book
  10. Real Racing 2 HD (as if this gorgeous app could look any better)

About Those Retina-Ready Apps

Much was said this week about the size of Retina-ready apps in relation to data plans and iPad storage. Vietnamese tech blog Tinhte noted the change (as translated by The Verge):

“‘The applications developed by Apple have been upgraded to support the Retina Display. For example Keynote was previously only 115 MB but its latest version is 327 MB. Numbers is up from 109 MB to 283 MB, Pages moves from 95 MB to 269 MB, and iMovie from 70 MB to 404 MB.’ (Translated from Vietnamese)”

The Verge notes that Tinhte’s numbers refer to download sizes; installed applications could be even larger. Tweetbot, for example, expanded from 9.8 MB to 25 MB. Meanwhile, people are buying 16 GB iPads with bargain-basement data plans. Oh noez!

CNET, however, isn’t ready to slip into Panic Mode. In an article posted on Thursday, Josh Lowensohn notes:

“…while it’s easy to apply a multiplier onto the size of these apps and guesstimate it for any app that’s out there right now, developers CNET spoke to said it’s not that clear cut. Like a snowflake, each piece of software is different, and it all comes down to the content that gets packed in. Things like videos, music, high-quality image and texture assets that are included in applications could be getting upgraded, but not all those things are equal in terms of the impact they have in size.”

Josh also rightly points out that one must consider the app. iMovie for iOS is hefty after its Retina-compliant update, but it contains much more than pretty buttons and gizmos. Likewise, Apple’s Pages contains a slew of image assets; more than many others. The biggest change, of course, is in graphically-rich titles. Reading apps, for example, are less susceptible to bloat. In other words, the sky may have dropped by a meter or two, but it’s not falling.

Apple Closes Down iWork.com

Apple issued a statement announcing the pending shutdown of iWork.com. As of July 31, users will no longer be able to publish documents to iWork.com. Instead, Apple is prompting users to migrate to iCloud:

“After July 31, 2012, you can no longer publish new documents to iWork.com from any iWork application on your Mac or iOS device. Documents already shared on iWork.com will not be available to you or to those you shared documents with. Moving forward, you can use iCloud to share documents between your computer and your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.”

While iWork.com never came out of beta, I had a lot of success using it. A few years ago, I shared Keynote slideshows with remote co-workers without a problem. I can only assume iCloud will offer the same usefulness to teams.

Patients Use iPad to Customize MRI Experience

An MRI can be an intimidating and even scary experience for patients. Researchers at PDC, Inc. have developed a system that lets patients use an iPad to customize their MRI experience. It’s really cool – choose your own video, music, audio and ambient lighting. An MRI is still an MRI, but it’s great to see strides being taken to reduce patient anxiety.

Notable App Releases

  1. PayPal Pay Here. PayPal goes after Square with its own credit card swiper for iOS.
  2. Kindle for iPhone. New look and iPad Retina display support.
  3. Sparrow for iPhone. The beloved email application for Mac finally has an iPhone counterpart.
  4. Byword for iOS. My beloved Byword for Mac migrates to the iPhone. “Sweet,” as my 8-year-old would say.
  5. Rdio for Mac. Fantastic new look. I love it.
  6. Camera+ 3.0. Improved sharing options and Clarity feature.