Amazon opened the flood gates this week, by announcing it plans to bring its Kindle e-reader and e-bookstore to the iPad app.

Now we're expecting to see an avalanche of iPad apps being unveiled in the run up to April, when the device will finally be made available to consumers.

Amazon's news comes on the heels of Apple soliciting submissions for iPad applications into the iTunes App Store.

And now the race is on to be among the first uniquely iPad-specific programs available for Apple's tablet that goes on sale in the US on April 3. Apple has yet to reveal when the iPad will reach UK shelves but it's expected here towards the end of next month.

Regardless of how many iPad apps are ready by April 3, iPad users will have access to most iPhone applications currently available.

But developers are racing to prepare native iPad apps that take advantage of the iPad's 9.7in diagonal screen size - by comparison the iPhone's screen is 3.5in diagonal.

The wide range of applications that came out for the iPhone are a huge reason Apple's mobile device has become so popular with users.

Apple knows this well and hopes it can reignite that application magic with the iPad.

Here's a quick look at what to expect in the coming weeks once iPad applications begin rolling into the iTunes App Store.

Comic book readers

The comic book world is excited about the possibilities offered by the iPad, and for good reason. The iPad is the first device that will come close to displaying a full-size comic book in digital form.

One of the earliest comic book reader iPad apps to come out of the gate will be Panelfly's. The company offers digital comic books from Marvel and smaller independent comics publishers.

Panelfly plans on releasing its application in March, according to the company website. Also keep your eye out for other comic book readers; check out what Panelfly competitor, Comixology has in store for the iPad on Vimeo.

Book readers

Despite the absence of an e-ink screen, the iPhone proved to be a popular device for e-reading, and the iPad promises to be a popular e-book device as well.

Apple has decided to allow for vigorous e-book competition on the iPad by shipping the device without Apple's iBooks application.

Instead, iPad owners will get to choose between Apple's application, and those from competing booksellers.

To show off its tablet plans, Amazon recently launched a new web page on its site detailing the Kindle app for 'Tablet Computers including the iPad'.

Barnes & Noble is also coming out with an iPad application in the US and Oceanhouse Media plans on bringing the works of Dr. Seuss onto the iPad as it has done with the iPhone, according to Just Another iPad Blog.

NEXT PAGE: Utilities and magazines

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