Former engineering director shares anecdotes about the original iPad’s high-profile launch

Bethany Bongiorno, Apple’s former software engineering director who helped launch the original iPad, recently shared a series of previously unheard anecdotes on Twitter to celebrate the eighth anniversary of the Apple tablet, which was unveiled on January 27, 2010.

Her stories traverse a variety of topics, from how iPad came to have the signature linen background when scrolling to how Steve Jobs chose the right stage chairs for the keynote.

One of the most shocking stories is how Apple hoodwinked several third-party developers before the launch of the original device: they assumed they’d be heading out to Cupertino for a single day, but instead were told to stay for weeks on end.

As Bongiorno shares:

When the developers were brought in a few weeks before the event, they were told they were only flying in for the day for a meeting. When they found out they’d be stuck there for weeks, we had to take them to Target to get more clothes and other necessities.

The developers were escorted and monitored at all times.

We all signed up for shifts, even on the weekends. They weren’t able to bring their phones into their workroom, or use Wi-Fi, and the devices were hidden in stealth cases so they couldn’t see their model ID before the event.

Public opinion on this last story seem to be quite split, with some aghast at what lengths Apple would go to for secrecy, turning lives of the developers upside down for large amounts of time.

On the other hand, for smaller developers the chance to share their app on the biggest keynote stage in the world is enough for a few weeks of turmoil.

She has shared a total of eight stories—one for each year since the launch.

You can read them all over on her Twitter.

What do you think of these new stories? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments.