Blog Summary:

This blog thoroughly explores iPad app development. It covers the basics, like what it is and the difference between iPad and iPhone apps. You’ll also learn about the benefits and tools for developing iPad apps, along with an example. Moreover, this guide encompasses the development process and cost structure, which is helpful for anyone considering building an iPad app.

iPad’s popularity is back, and it’s coping well. Google Trends data suggests that iPad apps have a slightly higher average search interest than iOS apps. With that, it’s clear that the discussion of iPad app development is rising. And why not? Everyone loves this Apple product, and it has a good market as well.

This blog is for entrepreneurs looking to create interactive iPad applications. Let’s get started!

iPad App Development: What is it?

iPad app development is the process of developing apps specifically for Apple iPad devices. It consists of utilizing different Apple development tools and programming languages to create interactive experiences. Moreover, iPad apps allow taking advantage of some unique features like a large touchscreen display and powerful processor.

Here’s a detailed analysis of the key aspects of iPad app development:

  1. Tools: Apple’s Xcode is the primary integrated development environment for iPad applications. It also provides an extensive toolkit for designing, developing, testing, and deploying applications.
  2. Programming Languages: Swift is the modern and preferred programming language for iPad app development. Apple also supports Objective-C and React Native, but Swift is generally considered to be more efficient and easier to learn.
  3. App Design: The interface must be optimized for the iPad’s aspect ratio. It comprises creating layouts that are easy to navigate and using visuals that take advantage of the iPad’s high-resolution display.

Difference Between the iPad App and the iOS App Development

You may be wondering about the potential difference between an iPad and an iOS application. Basically, iPad applications fall under iOS app development. The iPhone Operating System is applicable to iPhones and iPads. When you develop iOS apps, they will work on iPhones as well as iPads.

However, it opens up new possibilities when designing for the iPad’s bigger screen. The primary things are the same in both iPhones and iPads, which use technologies such as Swift or Objective-C. Moreover, Both platforms utilize Apple’s development tools, primarily Xcode.

Let’s check the differences between the iPad app and iOS app in a table format for better clarity!

Feature iPad App iOS App
Device Compatibility iPad iPhone and iPod Touch
Screen Size Optimized for larger iPad screen Optimized for smaller iPhone/iPod touchscreen
User Interface (UI) Can take advantage of extra space for more UI features, multiple panes, and layouts Simpler UI due to limited screen space
Multitasking Supports functionalities like Split View and Slide Over Limited multitasking capabilities
Availability Not all iOS apps are available on iPad All iPad applications are technically iOS apps (but may not be optimized for iPhone apps)
Apple Pencil Support It may have features specifically designed for Apple Pencil use No Apple Pencil support
App Store Distribution iPad has its own App Store section but may also show compatible iPhone apps Apps are listed in a single App Store

Is it Beneficial to Develop iPad Applications?

You should decide whether to hire iOS app developers and develop a custom application. To help you understand, we have presented a few benefits of creating iPad apps. Let’s check them out!

  • Enhanced User Experience

An iPad device provides a larger and more touch-friendly interface than iPhones. Hence, it enables a richer and more immersive experience. It largely applies to applications with plenty of visual information or complex interactions like games, design tools, or educational apps.

  • Increased Screen Real Estate

The larger screen of the iPad provides more space for content and applications. Hence, users improve readability and usability. Moreover, apps that display a lot of data or require users to see multiple things at once will be highly beneficial. These multiple tasks include spreadsheets, presentations, or music creation tools.

  • Better Performance Capabilities

iPads generally have more powerful processors and graphics capabilities than iPhones. Hence, it enables handling more demanding applications. Moreover, this benefit will be beneficial for apps that require abundant processing power. For example, video editing apps, 3D games, and scientific simulations.

  • Greater Multitasking Support

iPads offer improved multitasking features. So users can operate multiple applications at the same time. Particularly, it is beneficial for applications that are often used side by side with other apps. For example, note-taking apps, reference materials, or creative tools.

  • Targeted User Base

The large iPad user base specifically looks for apps designed for the larger screen and touch interface. By creating an iPad app, you can reach this particular audience and accommodate their requirements.

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Must-have Tools for iPad App Development

A few tools enhance iPad app development. These tools help streamline development and create first-class applications.


Xcode is considered to be the chief platform of iPad and iOS app development. It acts as a cornerstone for your app. From the interface to code writing, testing it on an iPad simulator, and app store submission, Xcode is a do-it-all solution. So, you can download Xcode, which is freely available in Apple and is power-packed with features:

  • Code Editing & UI Design
  • Built-in Tools
  • Multiple Language Support
  • Testing & Debugging
  • App Store Ready


Firebase is a suite of tools by Google that offers various backend services to enhance your app’s functionality. With just a few lines of code, you can integrate features like user authentication, real-time databases, cloud storage, and analytics.

Firebase makes it easier to manage your app’s data and user interactions. With the Firebase tool, you’ll get benefits like:

  • Faster Development
  • Scalability
  • Real-time Features
  • Security

Swift Playgrounds

Swift Playgrounds is available for iPad and Mac. It is designed to introduce you to the world of app development using Swift, a powerful programming language created by Apple. Moreover, Swift Playgrounds caters to beginners as well as experienced programmers. The feature-set includes:

  • Real-world Swift Code
  • Live Preview
  • Built for iPad


TestFlight is an ideal tool that enters the picture after app development. It allows the distribution of the apps to a limited group of testers before releasing them publicly on the App Store.

Thus, you can accumulate valuable feedback and detect any bugs before your app goes live. Moreover, it is a completely free tool from Apple and integrates smoothly with Xcode. The feature-set includes:

  • Distribute Pre-release Builds
  • Automatic Updates
  • Multiple Builds
  • 90-Day Build Validity

5 Best iPad Apps That You Need to Know

This assembled list of 5 apps has made the iPad a useful tool for note-taking, video editing, and graphics designing.

  • Procreate

Procreate is an award-winning illustration app designed specifically for iPad. It’s known for its wide variety of brushes, intuitive interface, and powerful features.

Moreover, the Procreate app caters to professional artists as well as aspiring creatives. It’s also available on iPhone as Procreate Pocket, but the full functionality is accessible on the iPad app.

  • Notability

Notability is a well-known note-taking application designed for iPads and Macs. In addition to notes, this app allows you to incorporate images, handwriting, drawings, and even audio recordings into your notes.

It has a free and paid version that comes with additional features like handwriting recognition and audio transcription. Some of the specific features of this app include:

  1. Multi-format note-taking
  2. PDF annotation
  3. Audio recording
  4. Handwriting recognition (with a premium subscription)
  5. Proper Organization
  6. Easy Sharing via email, link, or AirDrop

Moreover, Notability is ideal for students, professionals, and artists. However, anyone who wants to take notes more engagingly than with a traditional pen and paper can utilize this app.

  • LumaFusion

LumaFusion is another robust video editing app designed specifically for iPads. It’s known for its intuitive touch interface and user-friendliness. However, its feature set competes with professional desktop editing software. Below, we’ve assembled a few functionalities:

  1. A familiar editing tool
  2. Multicam Editing
  3. Video and audio effects
  4. Create titles
  5. Sharing and Export

Affinity Designer 2

The next one is Affinity Designer 2, which is a powerful vector graphics design app for the iPad. It boasts features that rival professional desktop software, all optimized for a touch-friendly mobile experience. Let’s check out this app’s feature set below:

  1. Create complex designs and illustrations on the go
  2. Vector and raster graphics
  3. Unlimited layers and artboards
  4. Print-ready output
  5. Touch-focused interface
  6. Apple Pencil compatibility

GoodNotes 6

GoodNotes 6 is the go-to note-taking app for iPad. It focuses on replicating the feel of natural handwritten notes but with the additional advantages of digital tools. Key features include:

  1. Smooth and responsive handwriting experience with the Apple Pencil
  2. Organized digital notebooks
  3. Incorporate typed notes, images, diagrams, and stickers into notes
  4. Powerful search function

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What is the iPad App Development Process?

Now, it’s time to move on to the phases. The app development process is nearly the same for all application types.

    • Idea and Market Research

The initial phase involves brainstorming your app idea and defining its purpose, target audience, and value proposition. Additionally, it’s important to carry out careful market research. It involves identifying any existing competitors, potential gaps in the market, and the overall feasibility of your app idea.

    • Planning and Wireframing

Once you’re firm on the app’s concept, plan its functionalities, user interface (UI) flow, and user experience (UX) design. Moreover, wireframing involves creating low-fidelity mockups of the app screens to visualize the layout and user flow. It helps identify possible usability issues early on.

    • Design and Prototyping

This step involves giving your iPad app a visual identity. Designers create accurate mockups that incorporate your brand elements and ensure a visually appealing and intuitive user interface.

Additionally, it involves creating an interactive prototype that allows users to test the app’s functionalities and navigate through the different screens. Hence, based on their valuable feedback, you can refine the app further.

    • Development and Coding

The actual development starts here, where the developer writes code in Swift or Objective-C using Xcode, Apple’s integrated development environment (IDE). Moreover, it involves API integration to enable features like in-app purchases, social media sharing, or data access from external sources.

    • Testing and Quality Assurance

Afterward, the app undergoes rigorous testing to ensure it is functional, performs well, and is free of bugs. Testers use an iOS simulator to simulate user scenarios and identify issues that require consideration.

Quality assurance (QA) processes ensure the app meets Apple’s App Store guidelines and delivers a seamless user experience.

    • Deployment and App Store Submission

After thorough testing and polishing, it’s time to submit your app to the App Store. To optimize app discoverability, you need to create an App Store product page with screenshots, an app description, and keywords.

Your app then undergoes a review process before going live to ensure adherence to App Store guidelines and technical specifications.

  • Post-Launch Maintenance and Updates

    After launch, you need to continuously monitor your app’s performance, gather user feedback, and address any bugs that arise. Moreover, you can regularly release updates. This step is crucial for retaining users and keeping your app competitive.

How Much Does it Cost to Develop an iPad App?

You may have a question about the cost of developing an iPad app. From our information, we’ve estimated the figure. A simple iPad app with basic functionalities costs anywhere from $30,000 to $70,000.

On the other hand, a complex app costs $100,000+. However, the final expenditure varies depending on the features you include in your app. The more complex the features, the more it will cost to develop.

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Launch Your iPad App with Moon Technolabs

Moon Technolabs is a powerhouse of experienced iPad app developers. With their technical expertise, you can launch custom iOS apps instantly. Moreover, from idea generation to app store submission, we efficiently assist you through the entire process and ensure your app gets a swift green light.

Additionally, we are glorified to develop top-notch iPad apps in the past. Our diverse portfolio speaks volumes about our capabilities and commitment to quality.

Not only that, we also provide 24*7 post-launch support and maintenance for your iPad app. Our developers take on bug fixes, add new features, and keep your app compatible with the latest iOS versions.

Wrap Up!

iPad app development is a promising sector within iOS app development, offering a unique and lucrative opportunity. Moreover, the resurgence of iPads and their distinctive user experience have created a compelling space for developers.

Developing an iPad app follows a clear process: idea generation, market research, designing, coding, testing, and ongoing updates.

Although there are development costs involved, the possibility of generating revenue and attracting users makes it a venture worth exploring. Take your first step towards developing a thriving iPad application. CONTACT US NOW!



Can you develop apps on an iPad?

Swift Playgrounds allows you to develop simple apps on an iPad and submit them to the App Store. However, for professional app development, an iPad needs more power and features than a Mac. Xcode, the industry-standard tool for iOS development, is only available on a Mac. So, while iPads can be a launching point, a Mac is the essential companion for serious app creation.


Can I do software development on an iPad?

You can definitely write some code on an iPad with apps or cloud-based IDEs. It's great for learning or light coding on the go. However, for serious development, a laptop is still better. iPads lack the processing power, multitasking abilities, and file management of a traditional computer.


Do you need a Mac to develop iPad applications?

Mac is the most common way to develop iPad applications, but it's optional. Apple's Xcode development tool is only for Mac. Though there are alternatives for Windows and online platforms that allow the development of iPad applications, they have limitations compared to Xcode. So, keep that in mind.
About Author

Jayanti Katariya is the CEO of Moon Technolabs, a fast-growing IT solutions provider, with 18+ years of experience in the industry. Passionate about developing creative apps from a young age, he pursued an engineering degree to further this interest. Under his leadership, Moon Technolabs has helped numerous brands establish their online presence and he has also launched an invoicing software that assists businesses to streamline their financial operations.

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