Application and content discovery on the iPad can be a daunting task, especially for new users. Users often get a feeling of "I know this is a cool piece of technology, but I don't know what to do with it." Sometimes it takes a tech geek friend to show you some of the cool apps to really feel like you have taken a step into the future.
App maker Cooliris has released three new discovery apps called Decks that can help consumers find new apps, movies and photos (on Flickr). Decks for Apps is the most useful of the bunch. It is integrated with the App Store to show off the top applications and make them easy to research and download. It is like perusing a shelf at a retail store from consumer days of yore, instead you are sitting on your couch.
Decks for Apps produces flash card-like descriptions for the top 50 paid, free and grossing apps. It makes for an interesting way to peruse the App Store and see what your fellow digital denizens are using and playing with. Other app discovery tools include App Genius, Chorus, AppsFire, Yappler and Appolicious. The breadth of those services often beat out Decks but the user interface for Decks is a big draw.
At ReadWriteWeb we spend a lot of our time searching for the newest and most exciting apps and technologies. Sometimes that means though that pop-culture passes us by. Decks for Movies shows what is currently in theaters, coming soon to theaters and DVD and what are the top rentals in iTunes. Just like Decks for Apps, the movie version is attached to iTunes and has a "get movie" button that will bring you to the iTunes page where you can rent it or buy it.
Decks for Flickr is a slick way to peruse some of the coolest pictures on the Web. It is preloaded with an "interesting" deck of photos and also allows users to query Flickr. For instance, if you want to see some of the sites in Washington, D.C., a deck can be added to the stream that will surface 50 or so of the top current photos of the city.
Cooliris uses PageKit, a Web application framework, that allows them to render dynamic content at smaller download sizes. PageKit is simple and smart so it also allows Cooliris to develop applications like Decks fairly quickly. It first used the framework to create the original Decks, an application that assists with shopping from the tablet. Cooliris is the company that makes the Discover for iPad application which turns Wikipedia into an attractive magazine.