One of the many deciding factors that helped me justify my iPad purchase came as an iPhone update to Konami’s Metal Gear Solid Touch App. The update mentioned that it is now compatible with the iPad. I was excited to hear that developers are adding value to their Apps by providing cross compatibility between the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad devices. Then I see on the AppStore…I’ll keep with Konami as an example…Frogger being sold as a separate app that was developed specifically for the iPad. So if you currently own Frogger for the iPhone, which does work on the iPad…you’ll have to make a second purchase if you want to play it in the iPad’s native resolution. This will also put a second icon on your iPad if you purchase both.
I’m torn to think if having separate apps are a good or bad thing for developers, cutomers and the AppStore on a whole. On one side, I support the developers by purchasing their apps and contributing to their long term success. On the other, I can’t help but think that money is the only deciding factor to create a secondary app for the iPad…thus getting the customers to pay twice for the same app.
Adding further confusion is the separation of free Apps. The free Google Mobile App was updated to run natively on both the iPhone/Touch and the iPad. The free eBay app offers two separate apps that work for each respective device. So now is there a question of coding difficulty that developers decide whether to make one universal app or two separate ones?
In terms of paid apps, we as the consumer have the power to voice our oppinions with our wallets. I will really have to like a purchased iPhone app a lot to justify a second purchase that will run at a higher resolution on my iPad. Personally, I’d be much happier to see an update with that fantastic line…now runs on iPad! Otherwise, that separate app better have more features than just a higher resolution. I now find myself searching for that “+” sign in the AppStore that indicates a universal app for all devices before I make my purchase.
What’s the answer? Should developers continue to sell separate apps of the same software as long as the sales are there? Should developers offer iPhone app owners a cheaper upgrade of the same app through an in-app purchase? Tell us what your thoughts are by leaving a comment below…we’d love to hear from you!