Do you need a special website for the iPad?

This is one of those questions that has to be answered this year. The tablet PC is coming, and not just the iPad. The predictions are frantically flying about. Internet Retailer Magazine says that in just a few years 82 million Americans will own a tablet PC. Worldwide, the figures could be staggering.

ReadWriteBiz calls it a tablet explosion, and suggests it’s time to make your website tablet-ready. But is it really? Your website already has to deal with multiple browsers and screen sizes, plus mobile devices. Do you really need to alter your website for the iPad and various tablet PC’s? I’m not a website design expert so I asked a couple of friends from my Twitter network who are:

“When the iPad was announced, most people said “It’s just a big iPod Touch!” — which is relatively true. Certainly, not in all aspects. But the overall user interface leaves a lot to be desired. Look for that to change this year, namely with Android Honeycomb (version 3.0). Honeycomb will provide an entirely new tablet experience, not based on a simpleton “grid-style” layout. It looks so promising, I ditched my iPad, which I’ve had since day one.”

“The big draw is for native apps, but dynamic websites can actually be “web apps” of their own. Google has done a great job in this space using html5 with Gmail, Google voice, YouTube, and a few of their other mainstream properties.
moving forward, web designers will see added pressure to build more dynamic sites that scale and serve various devices, on various operating systems, with various browsers, displayed on innumerable screen sizes and resolutions, all provided on a plethora of internet connections. and with the scalability of html5, which even apple is embracing”

Mike Beauchamp
– Mike Beauchamp
Digital and Social Media Strategist –

“Apple sold 3 Million iPads in the first 80 days it was on the market.  In October of 2010, Steve Jobs reported Apple had sold more iPads, for the fiscal quarter, than Macs.  Some analysts are estimating up to 45 million iPads will be sold in 2011.  It is apparent the iPad is going to continue to be a growing platform for web surfing.  We recommend web designers and site owners adjust or code a version of their sites to support this device.  This is a market that will continue to grow and needs to be supported by the web.”

-Steve Crandall
Founder of Stupidcat Web Design
and successful online entrepreneur with 18 years of Web Development experience.

Got it? Kinda makes you wish for the simpler times of the Internet when there was one screen size and everyone used Internet Explorer. But these are not those times. How will you handle the iPad and the coming wave of tablet PC’s? Are you planning to make adjustments to your website?

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