UPDATE 3:22 PM: Is this for real? Well, she disappeared as soon as this article was posted, so what do you think? What goes on in Apple's app testing lab? Just ask Dive Apple. She may be a cat. She lives in San Francisco. She takes lots of photos of Apple products. And her Facebook posts
are publicly visible were publicly visible (until we outed her). Let's take a look at what she has to say.
Is Dive Apple Legit?
We were introduced to Dive by a reputable developer, whose identity we will protect. The developer discovered this account through unusual activity on an upcoming iOS app while it was in review by Apple. It wasn't released yet, but here was Facebook user Dive Apple trying it out, mostly by taking pictures of Apple hardware.
Why is Dive Apple's profile public? That's a reasonable question. The account has eight friends, and they all have various levels of account privacy. To rigorously test the Facebook components of apps, Apple would have to try out all the various privacy levels. There's nothing too juicy here, but unreleased apps are definitely represented, as well as photos and videos of a few square feet of an Apple office.
UPDATE 4:57 PM: After reading this post, another app developer emailed ReadWriteWeb with more confirmation:
"I read your article about Dive Apple. I can confirm that 'she?' was one of the very first users of our app when we first submitted it to Apple. When we first soft-launched, we did some research on anyone signing up in Cupertino and we uncovered the same things you did. A lot of photo posts and Apple gear, including a few shots of Apple branded mugs and things not generally found on a regular fanboy's desk."
Dive Is Almost 4 Years Old
Dive was born in 2008, and the first thing she did on Facebook was test Naked Touch, which is apparently some kind of touch drawing app.
Dive Apple and Friends
Dive's friends are mostly animals (or Mon Calamari, an alien species from Star Wars), and most of them have "Dive" in their names. That makes sense for accounts designed for diving into apps and testing all the little Facebook-related bells and whistles. The various Dives all have different levels of Facebook privacy. Dive Apple is the least shy.
Hanging Out in Cupertino
Dive lives in San Francisco, but she spends a fair amount of time a 45-minute drive south in Cupertino. Her favorite place is the Duke of Edinburgh Pub and Restaurant, conveniently located between areas of Apple's main campus.
The Duke has pretty solid Yelp reviews, and it's located smack-dab in the middle of the techie part of Cupertino. After an Apple employee famously left an iPhone 4 prototype in a bar, The Wall Street Journal's MarketWatch called The Duke a "likely candidate" as a place to happen upon the next Apple lost-and-found prize.
Dive Loves Apple Stuff
Dive spends most of her days testing apps with names like Telefir Login and Zliq. Many of the apps on her Timeline don't appear in the App Store. Maybe they've been rejected; maybe they just aren't out yet.
Dive takes tons of pictures of her desk, which is covered with Apple hardware. There are iPads still in boxes, iPhones and iPods littered among the Magic Mice, and one tantalizing shot of an iMac with a sticky note and a sheet of paper visible.
The page is clearly an app review checklist. The header is hard to make out, but it seems to say "App Review Checklist." It's easier to make out the text at the bottom: "...storing an app from complete, make sure to claim the app back," it says. The last visible line reads "...complete until sonar is sent."
There's also a shot that shows Dive's suspiciously human (and male?) legs.
Dive frequently posts little snippets of video from various apps, but they don't give anything away. They're not embeddable either, but here's a post you can view on Facebook. (UPDATE 3:22 PM: Now that the account is gone, the video is gone, too.)
Dive doesn't leak any top-secret Apple devices. But she does test lots of apps, even ones that don't officially exist yet, so her feed is fun to watch. Even though it's mostly keyboard pics, Dive's Timeline offers some rare insights into Apple's app testing process.