Chapter 9. All About Apps

App is short for application, meaning software program, and the App Store is a single, centralized catalog of every authorized iPad add-on program in the world. In fact, it’s the only place where you can get new programs.

You hear people talking about downsides to this approach: Apple’s stifling the competition; Apple’s taking a 30 percent cut of every app sold; Apple’s maintaining veto power over apps it doesn’t like.

But there are some enormous benefits, too. First, there’s one central place to look for apps. Second, Apple checks out every program to make sure it’s decent and runs decently. Third, the store is beautifully integrated with the iPad itself.

There’s an incredible wealth of software in the App Store. These programs can turn the iPad into an instant-messaging tool, an Internet radio, a medical reference, a musical keyboard, a time and expense tracker, a TV remote control, a photo editor, a recipe box, a tip calculator, a restaurant finder, a teleprompter, and so on. And games—thousands of dazzling handheld games, some with smooth 3-D graphics and tilt control.

About 500,000 apps have been designed for the iPad’s screen. But there are also 1.4 million apps that have been designed for the iPhone—and you can use them on the iPad, too. (They appear either double size or with a big black margin.)

It’s so much stuff that the challenge now is just finding your way through it. Thank goodness for those Most Popular lists.

Two Ways to the App Store

You can ...

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