How to Run iPhone Apps on iPad (and Why You’d Want To)

| How-To

Part 3 - Perusing the App Store and Some Tips

At this point, you may be wondering how all this applies when actually perusing the App store. Apps in the Store are identified as being either Universal (indicated by a ‘+’ designation) or made to run on a specific device type. The specifications that accompany the app descriptions are fairly clear. 

An icon representing an app on the App Store

App descriptions in the App Store will identify a Universal app with a ‘+’ sign along with further compatibility details

Additionally, some apps strictly made to run natively on an iPad are identified with an “HD” or “for iPad” tagged onto the app’s name. Examples include FX Photo Studio HD and OmniFocus for iPad.

While Universal apps are increasingly common, you are likely to continue to find that some app developers create separate versions of their apps to specifically accommodate the two resolutions. It seems that this is generally done for some of the more complex, higher-end apps. You may be required to purchase each individually if you want a copy for each device. Again, the FX Photo Studio and OmniFocus apps come to mind.

Finally, here are a few tips when using apps designed for iPhone on your iPad:

  • Apps may only work in portrait or landscape orientation. These apps will change orientation even with screen rotation lock enabled.
  • Text and graphics may not appear as sharp when using 2X mode. If you prefer sharper text and graphics, use 1X instead.
  • Some features may not be available on iPad (for example, apps that let you make phone calls or use the iPhone camera to take pictures on an older camera-less iPad).

To sum things up, we’ve learned that:

  • Universal apps work on all devices.
  • iPad-specific apps will not work on iPhone.
  • Assuming the apps in question are compatible with the installed version of iOS, most iPhone-only apps will work on iPad, albeit in pixel-doubled mode.

Don’t let the fact that an app was specifically designed for the smaller iPhone screen discourage you from fully enjoying its intended functionality right there on your iPad.

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John Stephens™

In other news from 2009….


LOL at the other commenter’s trademark.
As a first time iPad owner, this article was very helpful to me.  Thank you.

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