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Apple Ramps up App Testing on the Tablet

by Travis Harvey | January 25, 2010January 25, 2010 12:13 am PDT

Reports earlier this month mentioned that developers had already begun building apps with an SDK tailored towards tablet applications.  Now Flurry, a popular mobile app analytics company, has identified applications being used on unreleased Apple hardware.  As Wednesday’s event draws closer, here’s a look into Flurry’s findings.

Using their analytics tool, they have detected about 50 devices that have downloaded 200 different applications, presumably for testing purposes.  Flurry Analytics has matched the characteristics of the devices running these few applications with rumors we’ve already been hearing.  The devices have been geographically pinpointed via WiFi IP addresses to Cupertino, all under an unreleased iPhone OS 3.2 software.  Although app usage on the device began back in October, they’ve recently seen a spike in download rates that they attribute to Apple’s impending media event.

Flurry really shines when it comes to application analytics that provide insight to developers as to how users are interacting with their devices.  Flurry has tracked about 200 different applications used on these devices and has come out with some interesting results:

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Of the most downloaded applications, games captured the strongest majority, perhaps signaling that Apple’s prepared to position the tablet as an excellent gaming platform where developers of any size can reach an audience of millions (Kotaku, a sister site to Gizmodo, was invited to Apple’s event for the first time ever).  Entertainment and News & Books ranked second, strengthening the speculation that the tablet would be targeting a media-consuming audience.   The most downloaded application to these devices was an application focused on daily media consumption and Flurry projects the device to focus heavily in this area.

Despite the reservation of some to believe this new device is indeed a tablet, Flurry has more data that reinforces its confidence that the device is not an updated iPhone.  Applications that utilize Flurry report back on an iPhone’s hardware as it did with the pre-released versions of 3G and 3GS but the API wasn’t passing this information from these devices.  They’ve already spotted iPhones with 4.0 and are confident this is something completely different.  All devices except one are trapped within Apple’s campus but details were refused when asked of the device’s carrier.  Maybe Steve takes his home at night?  We’ll know on Wednesday!


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