iPad available for web & software developers in Limerick

Posted on 27. May, 2010 by ger in Uncategorized


The iPad is going to be big. If you’re a web or mobile app developer you need to get an iPad to test your software. If you’re not in the US that’s a bit tricky at the moment. So here’s the thing. Here at Goshido we’ve managed to acquire an iPad and we’re willing to share it with other software/web developers in Limerick Ireland.

When I was in San Francisco a couple of weeks ago it was obvious the machine has mass market appeal. While I’d expect the uber nerds at Web 2 Expo to be iPad-mad, when I walked into the flagship Apple Store at Stockton and Market I was astounded.

Apple have chained 30-ish demo iPads to tables just inside the front door. Invariably they’re all being used. When someone walks away there’s a scramble for the machine. A member of staff is roaming constantly from one iPad to the next, spraying screen cleaner and scraping off the the layers of fingerprints. iPads are very susceptible to fingerprints.

The blue-shirted sales staff answer the same questions again and again, ‘Sorry we have no ipads… That’s right we have no stock of any kind… We get shipments every day except Sunday… We don’t know what we’re getting until we open the boxes.’

The trick is to go in at just after 11am. Apparently that’s when the shipment arrives. Even then they’ll only have one type of wifi iPad. The 3G ones are hens teeth. I visited the Apple Store four times to try get one for Mobanode and three of the four times they were sold out. When they did have stock they didn’t have the one Mobanode wanted.

To be honest, at first I was a little disappointed with the device. I have since changed my opinion. I’ll go into that in more detail in a later blog post.

However, from a web app point of view, the browser is excellent, the same browsing experience as a netbook or desktop (maybe better because you can touch the web). People will be using your software/web app on ipads even if it is not optimised for mobile screen sizes.

While many people are very impressed with the performance of the iPad in general I’m wondering about the JavaScript performance in iPad Safari. Our web application Goshido, uses jquery, and it performs very differently on the iPad. The feel is just not right. Effects are not as smooth and some of the navigation that works great on a desktop is less-than-great on the iPad. You can’t see that on the emulator (brilliant and all as it is). At the end of the day, it’s like trying to build a sandcastle with dry sand, software must be tested on real hardware.

Now I don’t know if the problem is our software (most probable), jquery (we’re not using the latest version), or Apple’s implementation of JavaScript (surely not). Whatever it is, we need to figure it out soon.

At the very least you need to make sure your product doesn’t have a similar issue.

So here’s the thing. If you’re based in Limerick Ireland and you’d like to borrow our iPad for a day to test your software, let us know. There’s no charge, all we ask is you bring it back in one piece. Email us (info at goshido dot com) or tweet (@goshido) if you’re interested.

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