I noticed an interesting phenomenon the other day. The Apps that I use on the Ipad are not the sites I visit on the web.
The top Apps I use on the Ipad in order of "time in app" are…
- Mail: Mail is mail. No getting away from it.
- TweetDeck: I do use this on my desktop computers and probably also the second most used app on my computer.
- New York Times Editors Choice: Just well rounded news, never visit the site.
- USA Today: Well rounded but a little lighter news – never visit the site.
- WSJ: Good deep news, either really interesting or really boring – never visit the site.
- Safari: Nothing to say about it, it's a bowl of vanilla pudding.
- Flickpad: Surprisingly interesting, it gives me the visual version of facebook which is kind of more interesting than learning what everyone has done today in Mafia Wars
- Flight Tracker: An amazing find. If you travel a lot it's a goto app, at least for me. I like being able to track my flight – while sitting on my flight.
- Kindle: The Kindle app is actually better than the Kindle except when I'm on vacation in the Sun. I do most my reading on vacation in the sun so the real physical Kindle tends to be my 50% device for books with the Ipad the other 50%.
Looking at this makes me notice something that is key to why the Ipad works for me.
When I'm at the computer I'm working. Working almost always means for me responding to email, plugging into twitter or working on presentations. I do research on the computer as well. By contrast, when I'm not working I'm catching up with news, work news and news news, as well as people I know. Twitter is kind of a cross over. I check in with Facebook way less than before because there is no Ipad native app. As I said before, Facebook does not resonate with me, but I'm much less likely to use it now because Facebook is my non-work-time task and my non-work-time is spent on Ipad.
I see one other major takeaway if you believe I am at all a normal use case. If I was in the publishing business and specifically news, and had the resources, I would build an Ipad App. The NY Times, USA Today and WSJ simply get zero % of my attention without coming to me through an App. Having an app does not guarantee I'm interested, I don't use the NPR or BBC apps I have installed – but it does appear to be a barrier to not have one, at least with me. I visit no news sites in Safari unless they are emailed to me. If I get a link in TweetDeck I tend to stay in the embedded browser.
My suspicion is people who don't resonate with the Ipad have less modal behavior in their life.