An Insiders Look at Apple’s Secretive iPad Testing Procedures
Relayed from an anonymous but successful developer who worked with the iPad prior to the the products official launch, it’s a fascinating look at the efforts Apple goes through to keep a product under wraps:
Now that it’s over a year, I can talk about it.
I was probably the sixth person to get an iPad.
We got two of them flown out.
The criteria was that we had to have a room with no windows. They changed the locks on the door.
Three developers and I were the only people allowed to go in the room. Apple needed the names and social security numbers of the people who had access.
Apple needed to be able to drill a hole in the desk and chain the devices to desk. They used those bicycle cables.
They had these custom frames built around them so we couldn’t even tell what the iPads looked like. We could plug into them so we could code to them and we could touch the screen and play with that, but we couldn’t see the form factor.
Then they took pictures of the wood grain. If any pictures leaked out, they could trace it back to which desk they came from.
I wasn’t allowed to tell our CEO. I wasn’t allowed to tell anybody anything about what we were doing. I couldn’t even tell my wife. She was like, “You’re going to get fired if this doesn’t work.”
I hadn’t thought about that but she was probably right.
Luckily, it worked out very well.
The heavily masked image at the top came from Engadget a few days prior to the official iPad unveiling in January 2010, and is likely an accuruate representation of the custom frame that masked the iPads appearance in the developers tale.
Stories like this really make you wonder what Apple is currently cooking up somewhere in some dark window-less room…