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What no iFart? Where are the iPad's joke apps?

Apple iPadBrowsing through the iPad's App Store this morning, I noticed one mainstay of the iPhone and iPod Touch market is conspicuously absent: joke apps.

There's no iPad version of iFart Mobile, iBeer or Bubble Wrap - yet. These simple, time-wasting apps are among the most popular programs for the iPhone and iPad Touch, but there's no sign of anything like them in the top downloads section of the App Store.

So is the crap app dead on the iPad? It's too early to know for sure, mostly because none of the apps I mentioned above are even available in iPad form yet. In the meantime, it's possible that iPad owners are downloading the iPhone versions of these apps and running them in pixel-doubled mode, which wouldn't be reflected in the App Store charts.

Nonetheless, the iPad appears to be a different beast than the iPhone in terms of what people are downloading. The top five paid apps on the iPad charts are Pages, Numbers, Keynote (all from Apple's iWork productivity suite), GoodReader and Real Racing HD. The top five free apps are iBooks, ABC Player, Netflix, USA Today and WeatherBug Elite.

For comparison, let's look at the current top five paid and free iPhone apps. On the paid side, there's The Simpsons Arcade, Doodle Jump, Monopoly, Big Button Box Pro (a soundboard) and the baseball app MLB.com At Bat 2010. The current top performing free apps are The Impossible Test (a touch-based reaction game), MicroCars, the historic events calendar On This Day, Batter Up Baseball and the silly picture mash-up program PhotoChop.

The iPad: more serious?

The difference is clear: iPad apps are more serious. There are fewer games in the charts and no mindless diversions. Having spent the weekend with an iPad, it makes sense. After using the iPad for a few hours, the iPhone feels like a toy. It's conducive to apps of little consequence. But the iPad is more like a computer. You want to watch videos and read books on it, and maybe even get some work done.

While we haven't seen the likes of iBeer and iFart Mobile on the iPad yet, the iPad App Store might not be so hospitable to these iPhone mainstays. At least in that regard, the iPad is not just an oversized iPod Touch.

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