When the iPad was first announced, I will confess to uttering a few comments about it being a giant iPod Touch.  Honestly, there was very little about the device, apps included, that would entice me to make the plunge and sink upwards of six hundred dollars into something that looked like it was running up-rezed versions software that I already owned.  A perfect example of this is the iPad’s Safari web browser.  Sure, it may have more real estate to work with, but it brought nothing new or compelling to the table.

Seeing a vulnerability in this market, the Japanese developers behind the PC web browser Lunascape decided they could make an impact by releasing their own competing web navigator.  Christened iLunascape, they went on to corner the tabbed browser market on the iPad.  The application was so popular that when it was released in Japan last month, it skyrocketed to the position of #1 free app in less that twenty-four hours.

Members of the development team recently discussed their new approach to iPad browser design:

You’re going to be holding it at the bottom a lot, so we moved all the major actions down to the bottom. (And we named it as ‘In Reach’ interface – as you can access menus and tabs easily while holding the iPad, as well as it is very simple to use for anyone.) You are going to depend more than ever on tab browsing, so we brought over all the real desktop-like tab functions to it.

As this is just a start, the features are rather limited. We will develop it further by listening to your feedback. So, give it a try and let us know what you think. It is free.” — Yuki Sekiguchi, via Lunascape Development Blog

While the interface and tabbed browsing seem to be huge new features to bring to the fledgling device, I think it is great to hear how they are open to listening to their community.  If I had an iPad I would definitely give it a download and see what all the buzz is about.

Who knows? Maybe if you don’t like something, they could fix it for you!  If that isn’t customer service, then I don’t know what is.

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