Prepare for an iPad App Explosion: Developer Activity Up 185%

Recent data from mobile analytics firm Flurry shows iPhone OS developer activity has increased by 185% since Apple announced their upcoming slate computing device known as the iPad earlier this year. By measuring new application starts within the Flurry community, the firm was able to determine significant increases in developer activity, including the largest spike ever in their recorded history during the month of January after the announcement occurred. The growth continued in February and now the company reports that a large proportion of the new applications they are seeing are custom version of existing applications tailored specifically for use on the iPad.

When Apple began taking pre-orders for the iPad on Friday, March 12th, the Apple.com website was updated with new information about the device. One of the most significant reveals was that iPad applications would soon have their own dedicated section within the iTunes App Store. The website text reads:

Browse a section of the store that features apps designed specifically for iPad. You’ll find hundreds that make the most of its large display, responsive performance, and Multi-Touch interface.

Although current iPhone applications will work on the new Apple device without modifications, developers who want to take advantage of the larger screen could use the updated iPhone SDK (software development kit) to modify their apps in order to release custom iPad-only versions. Now it appears that those who chose to do so will be rewarded for their efforts by having their apps made more visible via this new section of the iTunes Store. Considering that the number of  iPhone apps now in existence is somewhere near 140,000, being able to achieve this increased visibility will allow developers “the opportunity to establish an early presence on this new device and drive more downloads,” says Flurry.

Last week, we took a look at some of the iPad applications we’re looking forward to, including things like comic books, magazines and games, but there’s clearly a lot of others we haven’t even anticipated yet. We’re only days away from knowing what those will be: Apple’s iPad will be available for sale starting April 3rd, and along with its launch, the new iPad App Store will go live as well.

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