It’s an interesting time for the iPad.
After starting out as the hottest consumer electronic product in history, the hype has faded. Sales have gone flat, when you look at them on an annualized basis.
One theory for the slowdown in iPad sales is that iPad apps aren’t specialised enough. Too many developers are just taking iPhone apps and blowing them up into iPad apps. Without strong differentiation, people are just using their phones.
Mark Kawano, and his partner Timothy Donnelly, recognise this shortcoming, and they’re trying to do something about it. They have made an app specifically for the iPad, called Storehouse. Storehouse is raising $US7 million in series A funding, led by Sherpa Ventures, with True Ventures, Lerer Ventures, and Designer Fund participating.
Storehouse is a way to share photos through the iPad. It’s almost like a visual blog. You organise your photos on the iPad, then share them to the web. Storehouse grabs photos from Apple’s Photo Stream, Flickr, Instagram, or Dropbox.
Storehouse’s web pages look a lot like pages from Medium, which is the blogging platform from Twitter co-founder Ev Williams. But instead of being heavy on text, Storehouse is heavy on photos. Here’s a Storehouse landing page:
Kawano and Donnelly have deep experience with Apple and the iPad. Kawano was at Apple for seven years. He was the lead designer for iPhoto, and a developer evangelist. Donnelly worked on The Daily, the first tablet-only newspaper that came from News Corp.
“It’s orders of magnitudes hard to make an iPad app than an iPhone app,” because the bigger screen of the iPad opens up new choices and harder decisions, Kawano told us in an interview. “This is something I recognised at Apple, which is something I saw helping developers.”
Another example of a page:
Storehouse’s app launched in January. Kawano and Donnelly have been working on the company for over a year now. It’s early days, but Kawano says there are hundreds of thousands of users from 250 countries.
The app itself is very pretty, and photos look good. For the most part, people are going to share photos on Facebook, and Instagram, and even Snapchat. But for someone looking for a slightly nicer way to share photos and tell a story with photos, it’s worth checking out.
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