Marco Arment on When the iPad App Store Will Open

Marco Arment:

Either I’m missing something, the initial iPad apps are going to suck, or we haven’t yet been told that iPad-native apps won’t be available for some period of time after the iPad’s launch. […] The problem, of course, is that before day one, we won’t have iPads ourselves for development and testing. This wasn’t a problem for iPhone development: by the time the SDK was released, we had all been using iPhones for many months. We knew how iPhone apps should look and behave, and we could test our apps on our iPhones during development for three months before anyone could sell apps to customers.

Good question. I didn’t really think about this in detail, but I just sort of assumed that iPad-specific App Store apps wouldn’t be available until a few weeks after it ships. The simulator developer tool is great, but not enough — setting aside technical differences, it just isn’t a valid way to test how it really feels to use. And even worse, the iPad simulator in this first OS 3.2 SDK beta only contains two apps: Contacts and Settings. So developers can’t poke around the UI and get a good feel for how the system apps are designed.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010