I've joined this forum to share what my company, Red Hill Studios, is learning about App development and the iPad marketplace. We created and released "Painting with Time" back in January and it did really well as a free educational app (#2 in US, #1 France, #1 Australia, 90,000 downloads). Our goal was just to learn how to do it (we do a lot of other types of interactive educational media such as museum installations, educational games, health games, and instructional interactive media - see our web site). But our clients weren't asking for apps so we were losing touch with the app world.
We created and released a more serious educational app, Painting With Time: Climate Change, back in April and it has done ok (6,000 downloads, 1/6 of those are paid). But this app let people explore how the same scene has changed over 30-40 years such 'painting on' a current view that shows a lake replacing a huge glacier. Not exactly an 'uplifting app' but it was based on my roots as a science documentary television producer/director/writer for PBS in the 80s/90s. So that was an interesting lesson in what works in this marketplace (maybe serious topics will be explored at some point).
We're about to release a new travel app and I'll post a comment here when it's out (next week?).
We develop in Cocos2D and the Interface Builder. We've done some experiments with CS6 and Air to create apps from Flash files (it works pretty well if you're not asking too much from the CPU/GPU.
I'm interested in connecting with other developers, particularly in the health and science area. I was one of the participants in the OSTP Health Game panel at White House Conference Center in February and have presented at GDC, G4H, Health 2.0, and various medical conferences. I just attended Dust and Magic and Games for Health and have interested info from both. I'm trying to stay on top of the rapid development of health- and science-based apps. And I'm happy to share what we've learned.