Handmark Lends A Hand To iPad


The iPad won another vote of confidence today from the developer community, with Handmark announcing it plans to support the Apple tablet device, set to launch April 3. As one of the largest mobile app developers and distributors, powering some 50 mobile storefronts, the move gives added credibility to the iPad as a new platform in its own right.

While Handmark didn't specify what type of apps it might initially bring to the iPad, the company has worked especially closely with media companies expanding to mobile devices. In that vein, it's built apps for Zagat, The New York Daily News, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and Oxford University Press, among others.

With its larger screen and multi-touch capability, newspaper and magazine publishers including The New York Times and Conde Nast are turning to the iPad and other tablet devices to launch digital editions aimed at broadening their audiences beyond print and the desktop Web. Handmark's support of the iPad should help to accelerate the shift of other media brands to the device as well.

A new study from mobile analytics firm Flurry this week showed developers are already excited about the highly anticipated arrival of the Apple tablet. It estimates the number of new app projects begun using the iPhone OS, which will also power the iPad, has more than tripled since Apple formally unveiled it in December.

The big question now is how consumers will respond when the iPad goes one sale next week. One thing for sure, at least, is that the more popular apps tailored to the device at launch, the better chance it has of gaining traction beyond Apple fanboys.

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