iPad and iPhone app run on the same OS but due to the larger screen size, the user experience differs fundamentally. All iPhone apps work on iPad in 1X and 2X mode, which needs very less rework or investment. However, these apps fail to exploit the larger iPad screen size.
Here are some factors to consider while planning your app –
1. Personalized vs Shared Device – iPhone with it’s smaller screen tends to be a more personal device, while iPad tends to be Shared device within a group or within a family. iPad is more used in a collaborative environment during discussions or presentations or reading/sharing eBooks.
2. Orientation – iPhone apps usually work best with landscape orientation only except for images and videos. iPad apps can be used comfortably in both landscape as well as portrait orientation.
3. Multi-touch Gestures and Interactions – iPad can display more content, allows more user interaction and multi touch gestures. Apps displaying high quality images or play videos are better suited for iPad. Photo editing or interior designing apps are also better suited for iPad.
4. Target Audience – If the target audience for your app is children, iPad app can provide a larger swiping and tapping area and can accommodate a bigger font and button sizes. Coloring and puzzle activity iPad app can provide comfortable and flexibility during use.
5. Environment – iPads tend to be used in a more relaxed setting. iPhone is more likely to be used in a browsing on the go sessions. Food ordering or cab booking apps tend to be more suited as iPhone apps.
6. SIM enabled – All iPhone devices will be SIM enabled, but same is not true for iPads. Apps that mandate SIM usage e.g. Whats App have to be primarily iPhone apps.
7. Universal vs Separate App – A universal app is a single app that combines both iPad and iPhone app into one. You can avoid duplicate work by combining the overlapping work required in both the apps. Another advantage is that a user has to pay only once for iPhone and iPad app. By going in for Separate apps, you can always maximize the user experience for each device, but downside is that a user has to pay twice for using the same app on two devices.
We would recommend planning to develop app for one device initially, keeping in mind the flexibility needed to add tablet or phone design later on. There is a significant time and investment needed to get one app launched, and it’s worth waiting, learning and modifying the next one.