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Why should developers make more iPad apps?

Recorded – watch the full episode on YouTube.

It used to be the case, in several Xcode versions, where you choose, do you want to target iPhone or iPad, or be universal. It's now just universal by default. Why should more folks target iPad do you think?

Janina Kutyn: First of all, there are millions of users around the world. But aside from that, it's actually been found that iPad owners spend more money on apps and their more paid apps that are like specifically for iPad than for iPhone. So, if you were a developer who wants to make money with your apps, it sounds like you may be able to do more on the iPad than the iPhone.

Paul Hudson: Okay. So to all you developers, you want to make money, you want to target the iPad as well as iPhone. Well, that's a pretty clear cut case.

“If you were a developer who wants to make money with your apps, it sounds like you may be able to do more on the iPad than the iPhone.”

Janina Kutyn: Well, it depends on also what you want to build, right? Not every app is going to get purchased – just because you put a paid app in the App Store doesn't mean I got users that are going to be downloading it. But it has also been found that iPad users on average spend two hours a day on their iPad, which is generally a leisure device. So you think of it as more for relaxing – it's not like people are sitting there making phone calls and doing necessarily important things. They sit down with their iPad to relax, so that's how they choose to spend their time. So what I mean is there's more opportunity to engage with a user there, the user who wants to actively sit down and relax and spend their time like that.

Paul Hudson: So it's an environmental difference, really, in that your iPhone is with you at the train station. You know, when you've got five minutes spare, you're a bit bored you pull out your phone or whatever. Whereas an iPad is almost like a conscious effort. I'm at home, I’m on the sofa, the TV show is boring so I'm going to do a bit of second screening – the iPad is great for that.

Janina Kutyn: I think so. So I think there's some opportunity there. I used to work at agencies a few years back, and I really enjoyed agency work. But what I got to know is that clients actually paid a lot more for iPad apps than they did for iPhone apps, even if it was the same app, but they thought bigger screen, of course it would cost more. People really think, “okay, iPad, more effort, higher quality.” That's kind of how it seems our clients and by extension their users seem to think about it.

Paul Hudson: Well, I guess you have literally more real estate to work with. You've got a bigger screen. You can go to town with layouts and graphics and similar and really make that thing sing. Because it's 12.9 inches of glass in front of you – it feels amazing. The first time you got an iPad and you went to the Maps app, you're like, “ooh, wow. I'm just surfing the whole world here.” It felt amazing! We take it for granted these days, but it felt amazing. And it does still feel amazing, but just the novel has worn off slightly more, but it's there when a great new app comes out. I'm like, “wow, this app really feels good in my hand.”

“There is a lot of screen real estate and, and I guess this brings us back to adaptive layout. If you have an app you only build for iPhone, like it's, there's so much screen to fill on the iPad that you really need to kind of think about if, if I have an iPad app, why do I have it? Am I adding value or not?”

Janina Kutyn: And there is a lot of screen real estate and, and I guess this brings us back to adaptive layout. If you have an app you only build for iPhone, there's so much screen to fill on the iPad that you really need to kind of think about: if I have an iPad app, why do I have it? Am I adding value or not?

Paul Hudson: Right. So no one wants to be the Twitter app, for example, where for a long time it was sort of big space. And then in the middle the iPhone app, more or less, and just blank space around it. But it is hard though. And from your perspective, just how hard is it, do you think to build an app that looks and works great on all sizes of iOS devices? I mean, that's from the very smallest iPhone SE, presumably up to the 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

Janina Kutyn: So I think it's really hard to do as an afterthought. It's much easier to do if you think about it from the start, like as a mistake I make probably every new project I work on, for some feature I will build a whole screen and I will forget to think about iPhone SE and then, “oh, for iPhone SE you to scroll with you because it doesn't fit.” And this happens to me literally every single project. Hopefully next time, that will be the first time I don't do this, but it's so much harder to then put your content in a scroll.

It's harder if you think of it retroactively, but it's easier if you kind of think of it from the start, talk to your designers for your app and ask them – what should it look like? What would it be? Would it be the simple way for me to make this effective on this bigger screen or on a smaller screen?

Paul Hudson: So it sounds like we could wind back to, well, what do you want new in WWDC20 and say, “I’d like an option to say my view controller can just scroll automatically if it needs to.”

Janina Kutyn: That would be brilliant! Yeah. I love it.

This transcript was recorded as part of Swiftly Speaking. You can watch the full original episode on YouTube, or subscribe to the audio version on Apple Podcasts.

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