iPad vs iPod Touch/iPhone For Kids: Pros and Cons

When my 4 year old son saw an iPad for the first time his reaction was “Cool, a humongous iPhone! “.

Before iPad came out I was curious about whether or not iPad’s big screen will make it more attractive for kids applications, particularly for painting and drawing applications. Will iPad be better than the iPhone or iPod Touch for watching movies? How about reading children books ‚Äì is iPad’s big screen going to be more attractive for kid’s books with BIG letters? How about letter drawing apps? Games, car racing apps? Interactive education apps?

Now that I hold one, the verdict is in. Below is what I think the iPad’s pros and cons are related to children apps ‚Äì which may very well be different than what you think so if you own an iPad and you are a parent or kids app developer please leave me your comments below!
iPad vs iPod Touch: Pros and Cons Related to Kid Apps


  • Display: Large display is great for children books that use large letters and illustrations
  • Touch area: Large touch and display surface makes it very attractive for kids drawing apps, music instrument apps, puzzle apps, etc.
  • Multiple users: More than one child can watch a movie or use a drawing app at the same time
  • Functionality: Can double as a family internet appliance


  • Price: iPad low end model starts at $499, iPod Touch low en model starts at $199 (and you may be able to find a second hand one that is even less expensive)
  • Ruggedness: The size makes it more fragile and less likely to be damaged if you drop or sit on it ‚Äì which happened with our iPod Touch countless times without any damage
  • Weight: It can be heavy for kids. Holding the iPad even for only 10 mins can be tiring even for me
  • Cuddling factor: Cuddling up on the couch with a large display iPad may not feel as cozy
  • Carry on size: Cannot carry in your purse for emergency situations like entertaining your little one when waiting in a long line

If I were an app developer would I be in rush to develop iPad kids apps? I think it depends heavily on what kinds of apps you develop. For drawing and interactive book apps: definitely yes! For the kids games I would wait a little bit and see how the user base will expand.

As a patent would I buy an iPad for my kid? Probably not. First of all, it is VERY expensive as a kid’s toy: Much more expensive than iPod Touch. It also seems like it is more fragile. Though I heard that iPad was build to last and much rugged compared to other similar devices like Kindle, I would not put that to the test at this price point.

Do you have an iPad, are you a kids app developer or a parent? What do you think? Please leave us a comment below.