ipad apps for agricultureWelcome to the latest installment of our Apps for Agriculture blog post series exploring the questions “What apps does the ag industry need?,” “What characteristics make an app successful?,” and “What lessons can I learn from existing apps?”

To understand what makes a great app, it’s important to first understand the unique capabilities of the iPad that set it apart from computers.

The iPad delivers a very different user experience than a computer does. If you’ve used an iPad or own one, you know that even basic functions like dragging and dropping, moving from page to page and scrolling are very different from your every day computer.

Some key aspects of the iPad to consider when designing apps:

Multi-touch: Your fingers are the mouse and you can use more than one of them to view and access material. Pinching in and pinching out to zoom in or out is an example of multi-touch technology.
Gyro, accelerometer and compass: You can rotate the iPad to portrait or landscape, or even upside down, and the content adjusts to fit the display. It senses which direction you are steering it and how you’re moving it, so it can respond to twists, turns, tilts and shakes.
Simple and Visual: Fewer words and fewer menus contribute to the iPad’s ease-of-use.
Collaborative: The large touch screen encourages interaction with a customer or co-worker. A customer can take ownership of what they are viewing on the iPad by navigating and manipulating information as they wish.
HD cameras on the front and back: Coming on the iPad 2 March 11th, use them to talk to a friend or shoot your own HD video.

One of the best ways to understand the unique user experience the iPad offers is by playing around with well-designed apps. Trying out apps that take full advantage of the iPad’s unique navigational, graphical and interactive characteristics is a great way to learn just how fun, informational and social an app can be.

Apps Unleashing iPad’s Potential

Tesla Toy – Use all 10 of your fingers for multiple points of interactivity.

Epi – Easily and intuitively organize lots of info.

Slate magazine – Scroll through stories both horizontally and vertically.

Gowalla – If you like Foursquare, you’ll love this location-focused app that helps you learn about your surroundings and stay connected to family and friends.

Alphabet Car – The gyro, accelerometer and compass let you drive the car effortlessly.

Make a play date with your iPad and let us know what you think of these apps.