Study: Developers Testing Games, Entertainment Apps on iPad

Some software makers have been lucky enough to get their hands on Apple’s iPad weeks before its April release, people tell Bloomberg BusinessWeek. What kinds of apps are they building?

Games are the focus, judging by the recent activity of software developers monitored by Flurry Analytics:

The chart above shows the proportion of iPad apps being created for each category in the iTunes App Store by developers who are testing on the actual devices. Flurry, a popular provider of analytics software for mobile applications, tracked the number of programs using its software on the tablet and divvied them up by category.

Games are the predominant type of app being tested on the iPad, making up 44% of the total. Entertainment, which Apple has generally defined as videos and novelties like lava lamp apps, take second with 14%. Social networking programs made up 7% of the total, followed by sports, travel, lifestyle, and utilities.

The data is not a comprehensive look at all the apps that will be available for the iPad shortly after its launch, since it does not account for the apps being built on an iPad simulator, which Apple invites anyone to download for a nominal fee.

Instead, the chart may offer a window into the types of applications Apple is most focused on getting perfect for the iPad’s release on April 3. While selecting which developers to “seed” with actual iPad devices before launch — a process reported on by Bloomberg BusinessWeek Friday — the company appears to have favored game makers, whose apps are generally more complex and may require that developers have a greater familiarity with the capabilities of the device.

Flurry Analytics would not disclose the total number of iPad applications or iPads it’s currently monitoring, or their location, as it did in January. The company could not comment on whether the activity it’s monitoring is the result of an effort by Apple to seed third-party developers.

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