While iPad apps can be an ideal form of advertising, the consumer experience must be great in order to justify the download. Here are examples of major brands getting it right in these early days of the iPad.
Disney's Magic iPad kingdom
Disney is one of the first big companies to really jump on the iPad with a slew of games and books designed specifically for the larger format. Popular Disney titles now showing on a 9.7-inch screen near you include JellyCar 2 ($2.99), Disney Fairies Fly ($7.99), Toy Story Read-Along (free), Toy Story 2 Read-Along ($8.99), Craft Finder (free), The Princess and the Frog Read-Along ($8.99) and Phineas and Ferb Arcade ($2.99).
iPhone apps from major retailers
Major retailers are also becoming comfortable with the new marketing dimensions the iPad provides. Walmart offers a free app on the iPhone (which works just as well on iPad) that lets you search for nearby stores using your location. The app also lets you search for items, bookmark them, share via Facebook or email, and of course complete the transaction. The Home Depot, Target, Best Buy and Walgreens (all free) offer similar iPhone apps that work on iPad.
Productivity is also the watchword for some apps. HP iPrint 2.0 (free) is an iPhone app that can print photos from your iPhone (and the iPad) to a networked printer, and HP also offers a variety of financial and scientific calculators ($14.99-$29.99). If HP can create and offer an iPad app that will let me print documents from my iPad, they could charge for it. I’d pay.
Your in good hands with these apps
Insurance companies are also seeing the benefits of having a quality app. State Farm Pocket Agent, GEICO Glovebox and Allstate Mobile (all free) all allow you to track your insurance claims, display your insurance card, contact your agent and get accident support.
iPad apps for electronics
I use my DirecTV Mobile (free) app on my iPhone to set my DVR to record shows and search schedules. Comcast Mobile (free) does the same for its customers, and Verizon offers the Verizon FiOS DVR Manager (free).
You can bank on these apps
If you want to do a little banking from your iPhone or iPad, you can use the Bank of America Mobile Banking iPhone app (free). Discover Mobile (free) and American Express (free) allow you to track your credit card balances and even make payments.
I use AT&T myWireless Mobile to keep tabs on my wireless account and make payments.
As we become increasingly more reliant on our mobile devices to help run our busy lives, big companies are smart to create apps for their customers, and to offer them for free in most cases. A well-executed app can increase the reputation and visibility of any company, and may even serve as an incentive for a potential customer to choose one company over another who doesn’t offer an app.
Now if they could just all update them all for iPad…