Locked in a blacked-out room, chained to the ground and nobody knows you’re there… it might sound like the latest torture-porn movie to hit theaters, but it’s actually the miserable life of a pre-release iPad. Apple are well known for giving key developers early access to their hardware in the interest of drumming up some launch-day App Store action, and details of the 10-page agreement those coders must sign have been leaked to BusinessWeek.
According to the sources, in order for Apple to consider sending you an iPad for early access you have to send them photographic proof that you’ve created a “safe” room for it to hide in. That includes blacked-out windows and keeping the tablet “tethered to a fixed object” so that it can’t be removed.
Unsurprisingly Apple aren’t commenting on the leaks, and similarly unsurprisingly developers are lining up to agree to the Cupertino clauses. While firms confirmed to be working with pre-launch hardware aren’t named, some of those who fell short of Apple’s exacting standards have been listed: Evernote, Flixster and Digital Chocolate were all rejected. That’s left Evernote trying to second-guess how users will interact with the tablet; like many eager pre-order customers, they’ve even fabricated their own iPad mock-up so they can gauge usability factors such as where owners naturally rest their hands.