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In what could ultimately become a more significant innovation than the iPad, on Thursday Apple announced that beginning this summer, consumers will be able to run more than one application at a time. Whoo hoo! Also in today's iPad Industry roundup, we take an early look at Apple's new iAd advertising platform and tally up how many people have purchased iPads to date.
Run more than one app at a time
They say that the mark of true intelligence is the ability to hold two competing thoughts simultaneously. This is also also the cases with apps on the iPhone, iPad and other mobile devices. At long last, Apple announced today that within a few months, we will all be able to run multiple apps at once on our iPhones.
"We weren't the first to this party, but we're going to be the best," said Apple CEO Steve Jobs, presenting at the iPhone O.S. 4 Developer Conference. "It really changes the way you use the iPhone. You're bouncing around the apps with tremendous fluidity."
While we can anticipate obvious life enhancements associated with the ability to listen to Slacker Radio while flipping through Instapaper Pro simultaneously, like many of Apple's innovations, the value won't be fully realized until third-party application developers imagine services specific to the new reality.
It already is all about the apps. With multitasking, that truth will be exponentially more apparent. Of course, multitasking will also be available for the iPad.
GameCenter and iAd Coming Soon
As a standalone announcement, the unveiling of GameCenter - which will enable game developers to tap into gamer networks - would be front page news. However, combined with multitasking and the new iAd advertising program, it's yet another example that good things from Apple come in bunches.
With iAd, Apple is now squarely competing with Google to see who will own the mobile advertising space. And what a battle that will be as Apple dominates mobile devices while Google is the worldwide leader in digital advertising. Stay tuned.
App arrow firmly pointed up
Some more Apple data shared today directly by the company. More than 3.5 million iPad apps were downloaded within five days of the device being available to consumers. There are currently more than 3,500 iPad-specific apps available out of the more than 185,000 apps available in the iTunes App Store. Combined, more than 85 million iPhones and iPod touches have been sold to date.