How Apple Keeps iPad Developers On Extreme Lockdown

If you're a software developer lucky enough to get a look at the iPad before its release, you'd better be ready to submit to some of the toughest security measures on this side of Super Max.

We'd gotten an inkling about the extreme precautions Apple was taking from none other than Rupert Murdoch, but BusinessWeek has an in-depth look at what goes on behind closed doors.

It starts with a 10-page nondisclosure agreement that must be signed by anyone making contact with the device. Developers who want to test their apps on the iPad must do so in an isolated room with blacked-out windows, and the tablet must "remain tethered to a fixed object" for the duration. While Apple will ship iPads out to devs, they won't do so until they've got photographic proof that their restrictions have been complied with.

That is, of course, if you're able to get your hands on an iPad at all - it's not clear how many developers have been seeded, but even notables like Flixster and Evernote have been shut out of the process so far.

It's pretty extreme measures, especially considering that the iPad has been a known quantity for some time now. But hypersecrecy has worked for Apple in the past, even in its most extreme forms. And it's nice to finally figure out why those first leaked iPad images looked so strange:

[Business Week]

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