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I understand that you need to pay $100 and get the SDK to write applications for the IPad, but do you really have to upload them to the store to get them to work on the IPad, or is there a way to get them onto your own device for "testing purposes?"

Failing that, I understand that Apple now has some way for corporations to distribute enterprise applications without involving the Apple store. What if you wanted to write an application that is to be distributed to a handful of people in a corporate environment. Could this alternate mechanism be used without involving the Apple store and its approval process?

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Don't forget that web apps are completely unrestricted. – Spiff Feb 26 '11 at 6:01
@spiff I considered that, but I'm not certain html5 is ready for prime time. – Robert Harvey Feb 26 '11 at 6:14

Yes, there is Ad Hoc distribution that lets you install your app on 100 iPods or iPads. There is something similar for corporations which allows more than 100 devices.

Ad Hoc Distribution Share your application with up to 100 other iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch users with Ad Hoc distribution. Share your application through email, or by posting it to a web site or server.

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Ah, so that's what it's called. Thanks for giving me the correct Google search term. :) – Robert Harvey Feb 26 '11 at 16:51

Might not be exactly what you're looking for, but Test Flight is a great little web app for installing and updating your "beta tests" on-the-fly.

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