Why You Can’t Afford to Ignore the iPad

I’m pleased to offer you a guest post, by “The App Man” – Rick Yeager.

Great! A post by a long-time Apple fanboy on why everyone has to bow down to Apple and love their overpriced tablet. This should be fun.

Before you run off, give me a few paragraphs.I know not everyone is entranced by the haunting glow of the iPad’s Retina display and there are even a few out there that will avoid iTunes, iPods and anything else that starts with a lowercase “i” and ends with a ®. I get that. Apple and its users can be a bit obnoxious. The problem is, they’re also pretty ubiquitous and their numbers are growing.I mean, “iPad” is quickly becoming the eponym for all touchscreen tablet computers. It’s the Kleenex of its niche market, and whether you like the iPad or not, it’s users are your customers.

In November 2011, Net Applications revealed its findings that Apple’s iOS accounted for 61.64% of mobile web traffic for the previous month. Mobile traffic is big and the iPhone and iPad are a big part of it. You don’t have to like the iPad, but you’d be foolish to ignore it.

Be kind to the iPad

How can you make sure you don’t alienate your iPad wielding customers?

To make your website iPad friendly…

• Dump Adobe Flash:
There are apps out there that will convert Flash content to HTML5 but that’s not your customer’s job—it’s yours.

• Simplify Navigation:
Mouse-over web navigation that would reveal submenus when the user hovered his mouse over a button were all the rage not that long ago, but it’s hard to “mouse-over” when you don’t have a cursor much less a mouse.

• Consider how your site looks in BOTH portrait and landscape:
Fluid-width layouts and adaptive web layouts will allow your website to practically lay itself out to accommodate any screen in any orientation. It looks like magic, but your customer won’t notice—they’ll be too busy enjoying your website and buying your products.

• If you must, create a special “mobile” website:
for some, being iPad-friendly means a complete overhaul of their website and content. I feel your pain. But as the iOS userbase continues to increase, you’ll be better off serving those users as customers than handing them over to your competition.

• Get an iPad:
Seriously. When web developers what to test websites, they test on multiple machines on multiple web browsers. Why should it be any different when developing for mobile? Find someone with an iPhone too.

Looking to earn bonus points?

The step beyond simply making sure your site can be viewed on the iPad, is to actually build a site with iPads in mind.

• Create a special mobile website that functions as an app:
Gmail, Amazon’s Cloud Reader and Twitter are a great example of this. All three have official apps in the iPad App Store, but if you navigate to their websites in mobile Safari, you’ll fine that each of their mobile sites function as if they were native iPad apps.

Whether you believe it or not, it’s being predicted that very soon mobile web traffic will far surpass desktop web surfing. If that turns out to be true, it won’t be long before what I’m offering here for “bonus points” will be a necessity for business.

You don’t have to like Apple or the iPad, but don’t ignore it either. It has the potential to bring you a lot of business if you use it to your advantage while your competitors are still perfecting their Flash sites.

Rick Yaeger, AKA “The App Man,” makes it his business to help you get the most out of your Apple devices. He can be found at appman.tv. Follow him on Twitter @RickMacMerc

One Response to Why You Can’t Afford to Ignore the iPad

  1. Great information, especially about Flash and navigation. Thank you Rick!

Leave a reply