Clearly the big news this week has been the launch of Apple’s iPad in the States – we in the UK will have to wait a little longer unless you are fortunate enough to be able to pop over there to buy one.

Already, Google is announcing specific iPad functionality (for its email product, Gmail), and Yahoo has jumped right in with a tailor-made entertainment app.

If the big boys are sitting up and taking notice like this, what does it mean for the smaller fry? Well, they undoubtedly see a future for the ‘tablet’ style of computer. It’s true that where Apple leads, others follow: just look at the host of touchscreen phones that came in the wake of the iPhone.

No need to redesign your website specifically for the iPad, though, we’d say. The iPhone itself made it easy to navigate through websites that hadn’t been optimized for small-screen viewing, with the ability to scroll around the screen and zoom in on specific areas. The iPad has the same functionality but a proportionally larger screen, making navigation even easier.

Word is, though, that this device (which it is largely envisaged will be used in the home) will greatly increase the popularity of the app (short for application). We’ve talked before on this blog about how a great app can bring users back to your site and improve customer loyalty. If that’s something you’ve considered in the past, you may wish to give it even more thought for the arrival of the iPad in Britain.