iPad apps begin to go live in the App Store

Oh, Apple! You dirty, dirty tease.

Two days before the iPad itself hits the shelves, its apps have begun to go on sale in the App Store.

Why is this happening, you ask? Well, as it turns out, Apple asked developers to set the release date to a few days before the iPad launch. We can’t say for sure exactly why they did that, but we’re assuming it was to avoid last minute hiccups. We expected Apple to have some sort of magical invisibility toggle set on all of these apps – but given that we’re looking at the listings for Scrabble, Omnigraffle, the New York Times, and a bunch of other iPhone apps right this second, we’re guessing that’s not the case.

There’s no (public facing) official iPad directory just yet, so you’ll have to punch things manually into search if you’re trying to dig things up. Fortunately, the guys over at AppAdvice have already done most of the work for you, unearthing a few thousand iPad apps by way of the iTunes API. Check out their big list here. Update: A bunch of people have also found this one right within iTunes

Developers who want to keep their app a secret until the big day are being asked to change their release date to Saturday.