There are three separate thought vectors relating to Apple’s mobile platforms buzzing in my cranium: the SD Times iPhone application, the technical program for iPhone/iPad DevCon, and my barely used iPad.

We’re very proud of our new SD Times Newsreader iPhone app. It was written by our in-house IT team—here’s a big shout-out to Usman S.—and is available in the iTunes App Store.

Use the app on your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad to read the latest stories from the website any time you’ve got a live WiFi or cellular data connection. It’s a version 1.0 product and we’ve got some great ideas for version 2.0, and it was wonderful to get our feet wet with mobile development. Download it and enjoy!

We’re equally proud of how our plans are coming together for our first iPhone/iPad DevCon conference. I’m focusing right now on the workshops and technical classes, and at the time of this writing, the program is about 98% complete.

A lot of work goes into putting on a technical conference, especially for the inaugural event. There’s a great deal of research into what real developers are doing and what they need to learn. We feel confident that we’ve assembled a top-notch faculty and have selected the appropriate topics for enterprise developers, ISVs and even “indie” developers seeking their fortunes in the mobile apps gold rush.  

Hope you can join us: San Diego, Sept. 27–29, 2010.

And then there’s the iPad. I pre-ordered a 32GB WiFi model in March, and it dutifully arrived in early April. I’ve maintained that my only reason for being an early adopter is to see what the iPad means to the future of publishing, while also contemplating what an SD Times Newsreader app for that platform would look like. And you know… I was right.

I’ve got the iPad, it works fine and it’s impressive to play with. I can’t find a single significant design flaw—quibbles, yes, but no major complaints. But even after loading it with apps and taking it on two trips, I can’t figure out what to do with it. For the past week, the iPad has sat unused on my desk. Perhaps I’m the wrong customer demographic.

What do you think about the iPad? Let me know at

Alan Zeichick is editorial director of SD Times. Follow him on Twitter at Read his blog at