The app-store generation is here. The other day, I was at Frys looking at their selection of kids learning software. $20-$30 for cd-rom based software. Worst, many of these applications were designed 15 years ago for Windows 95 and MacOS 8.6.
How the hell do stores get away with selling this stuff? They are not alone, I found similar disparities at other "office" retail outlets.
These apps were designed in the Macromedia Director days where multimedia cd-rom was the big thing. I remember, I used to develop some of those "educational" titles.
Fast Forward to 2013 and you now have a different climate altogether. My kids prefer playing on the iPad versus running a virtualized Windows 98 session to see Mickey Mouse. Many of those apps don't work in 64 bit environment and my video cards have a hard trouble of going to 256 colors and 800x600. Apps on the Apple App stores range from free to $5 for a high quality title from publishers like Disney.
For example, the Lightning Mcqueen Cars' and Toy Story reading book app cost 1/5th of a similar CD-Rom title. Moreover, the mobile apps outclass their desktop counterparts in terms of features, useability and interactivity.
This brings me to meat of my post. The app-store model will be the prevailing model for this generation. There is no denying that there you get better selection, flexibility and ease-of-use.
I've been visiting and touring private elementary schools ($25K+ yearly tutitions) and I see a trend with them moving over to tablets as well. It is simply cheaper to run software applications on a tablet than a desktop computer.
There are some apps that have no desktop counterpart. Many of the Astronomy apps use gyroscope, GPS, the built-in cameras, and augmented reality to teach you celestial astronomy. Simply point your iPad to the night sky and spend a few hours with your children exploring different star systems. And the app itself cost less than $6.
No wonder Tablet sales are exploding.